Skip to content

Facebook pixel

Shirt with sweat stains and white marks

How to avoid white marks and stains on clothes

Antiperspirant deodorants can build up over time and leave white marks on your clothes. Find out how to remove antiperspirant deodorant stains from shirts and other items of clothing.

Antiperspirant deodorant stains and white marks can be almost as annoying as sweat stains. Finding white antiperspirant deodorant marks on your dark clothes can be a real pain and ruin a great outfit.

Just as bad as white marks are antiperspirant deodorant stains, which build up on clothes over time. They discolour fabrics, leaving your clothes with hard-to-remove stains.


What causes antiperspirant deodorant stains and white marks?

White marks or stains on clothes come from the ingredients in the antiperspirant deodorant you use.

The aluminum salts used in antiperspirants can leave chalky marks on the skin, which can transfer to clothes and leave white marks.

Deodorants don’t contain aluminum salts, but some do have other ingredients that can leave caked-on white residue on your shirt’s underarms. This is especially common with stick or roll-on deodorants that transfer from your skin to your shirt throughout the day.


How do I get rid of antiperspirant deodorant stains and white marks?

Finding white marks and antiperspirant deodorant stains on your clothes can be embarrassing – especially if they don’t wipe off or come out in your usual wash cycle.


Get rid of antiperspirant deodorant stains out of clothes.

1. Scrub the stain on both sides of the fabric with a regular bar of soap and a clean toothbrush.

2. Brush the soap into the fabric vigorously to get to the heart of the stain. Rinse the soap off with water and leave the fabric to air dry.

3. Rinse the soap off with water and leave the fabric to air dry.

4. For particularly excessive staining, repeat until the mark is gone.


Alternative methods to try

Bicarbonate of soda – Mix baking soda with a small amount of water to make a “slurry”. Apply the slurry to the stained garment with a toothbrush and follow the same method as above. Try the mixture on a small area of your garment first to test its colour fastness.

Vinegar-Soak Soak the stained part of the garment in a container of white vinegar. After an hour, brush with a toothbrush. Again, try on a small patch of fabric first to test for colour fastness. After treatment, wash the garment using normal detergent in a washing machine to get rid of the vinegar smell.


Avoiding white marks

Avoid white marks by giving your antiperspirant deodorant a minute or two to dry before putting a shirt on.

Take care not to overuse your antiperspirant deodorant. Overdoing it can lead to excess residue getting on your clothes and leaving white marks. 

If you’re still having issues with white marks and antiperspirant deodorant stains, try switching to a different antiperspirant deodorant. Other products like Degree® Ultraclear Black & White range are specially designed to reduce white marks on your clothes, keeping you dry and your clothes looking grey.

More Degree®