It's the pits...
In comments on Tuesday's post about my game-changing white shirt, Leah asked about how to get rid of those yellow underarm stains. I had no idea so decided to do some research. Granted, any white garment is going to come with an inherent assumption of higher maintenance. Hell-O, dribble coffee cup! Konichiwa, pent-up packet of exploding soy sauce!
While there are variety of suggested remedies for those pesky yellow pits, the cause is generally agreed upon as being a reaction to the aluminum in many deodorants/antiperspirants. So to begin on a note of prevention, switching to a non-aluminum deodorant may prevent the discoloration in the first place. (There are other health-related reasons to ditch those aluminum-based products, too.) I've recently switched to this one and have been happy so far.
|Kiss My Face Lavender Deodorant|
- First, DON'T use bleach. It won't work, and it's hard on fabrics and the environment.
- 1:1:1 parts baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and water. Rub mixture into stains (be sure you've protected any other surfaces against the peroxide). Let sit 30 minutes then wash.
- 1:1 parts oxygen-based bleach (like OxiClean), and ammonia. (I'd be careful to do this in an area with plenty of ventilation or else budget for a visit to the emergency room!) Rub into stains for 30 seconds, then wash.
I've found several recommendations with variations/formulas based on peroxide and/or OxiClean.
And here's my favorite:
- Soak shirt in water with denture cleanser tablet.
Full disclosure: I haven't tried any of these.
Ring around the collar...
Remember these obnoxious commercials? My friend's mother, G&T in hand, used to yell back at the TV, "tell your husband to wash his neck!"
But I was surprised to learn that "those grimy rings" aren't from dirt, but rather from dead skin cells and the melanin within. Even the freshly showered neck can generate a collar ring.
- Many swear by stick or spray treatment prior to washing.
- One recommendation that I will try (and would be great to use in a pinch or when traveling) is to spot the ring with shampoo, rub, then wash.
|Nordstrom Delicate Fabric Wash|
- I picked up some of this over the weekend for laundering my lingerie, but the Sales Associate said it also works very well for removing stains. I'll give it a try and let you know.
It Was All Yellow...
Just about any white cotton garment will yellow over time. Again, skip the chlorine bleach.
|Your grandmother probably used this.|
- Laundry Bluing is actually a dye that counterracts the yellow. It's reputedly hard on fabrics if used repeatedly, and should only be used on natural fibers. (True confession, we used to wash our horses' white socks with this prior to horse shows.)
- Some recommend adding a cup of apple cider vinegar to the rinse cycle. This probably works more on greying from hard water buildup than yellowing, but worth a try. Plus, you'll smell like a salad! (True confession: we used to rinse our horses with this prior to horse shows. Made their hair SO soft and shiny!)
- OxiClean. It's like Windex for non-Greeks! (We didn't use on our horses.)
Do you have any tricks for keeping white shirts pristine?