One common and seldom discussed topic of concern for laundry-doers is the stubborn persistence of yellow stains in the armpits of white or lightly colored shirts. Normal clothes washing procedures are ineffective in removing the stains, bleach does little to mute the yellow areas, and time after time the shirts are washed and the stains remain. The reason for the yellowish tent in the armpits of white shirts can be traced back to a combination of perspiration and the chemicals that comprise common deodorant or antiperspirant. Take these easy and inexpensive steps to rid your laundry of these irritating stains once and for all.
Begin treating shirts with yellow stains in the armpits by soaking the clothing in cool water for at least one hour prior to washing them. Remove the shirts from the water and allowed them hang dry until completely dry. The key to attacking the yellow stains in the armpits is to use an enzyme-rich liquid laundry detergent. The enzymes are effective at breaking up the concentration of chemicals that cause the stains. Pour the detergent directly onto the stained areas of the shirts, grab the shirt material on either side of the stain, and scrub the underarm areas of the shirt together to work the detergent deep into the material of the affected areas. Be sure to repeat the scrubbing for the armpits of each stained shirt before moving onto the next step in the process.
Allow the scrub shirts to stand inside the washing machine for at least 20 minutes to ensure the enzymes have sufficient time to attach to the stains. Add your regular laundry detergent and color-safe bleach to your washing machine and set the washer’s temperature setting to the highest level possible. If using chlorine bleach, ¾ cup in a standard size washer or 1 ¼ cup of bleach for an extra-large load. For best results, wash all of the affected shirts together. After removing the laundry from the washer after the cycle has completed, check the armpit areas for signs of persistent yellow stains. If the yellow stains are still visible on the damp shirt, repeat the process to remove the stains fully. Dry the treated shirts using the dryer settings appropriate for the treated laundry's material.
Pay attention to your white or lightly colored shirts in the future. Catching the stains early will present an easier opportunity to avoid the embarrassing stains to come.