Sweat stains on clothes can be annoying and tricky to remove. Whether it’s a yellow stain on a white shirt or a discolored patch on your favorite blouse, sweat stains can be frustrating to deal with.

Luckily, there are effective methods you can use to remove sweat stains and restore your clothes to their original state. In this article, we’ll explore some of the different ways to remove sweat stains from clothes.

Why Does Sweat Stain Clothing?

You may wonder if sweat is colorless, then why does it stain clothing? The truth is, sweat alone is not responsible for those pesky yellow spots appearing on your favorite shirts. Sweat stains come from a reaction between your sweat, deodorant, and the bacteria on the surface of your skin.

Since many people only sweat when exercising or working outside, they don’t typically have to worry about staining their everyday clothes. However, sweat stains can be a hassle to remove and prevent for people who sweat more excessively.

Learn more about how you can get rid of annoying sweat stains and prevent them from happening in the first place below.

Are Sweat Stains Permanent?

Sweat stains can be challenging to remove if they are left untreated for an extended period of time. If you don’t act quickly and follow the appropriate steps to remove them, they can become stubborn to clean.

Sweat stains usually set because they go unnoticed. Once they make it through the dryer, it may be too late. Since heat makes stains set in, be sure to air dry your clothing when trying to get rid of any tricky stains.

If your first attempt isn’t successful, repeat the following steps until you are happy with the results before going back to your regularly scheduled drying cycles.

How to Remove Sweat Stains (Step-by-Step)

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

The first thing you need to do is gather your supplies. Fortunately, many of the items you will need are likely somewhere in your pantry right now. To attack stubborn sweat stains head-on, you will need:

2 cups of water
1 cup of white vinegar
½ cup of baking soda
1 tablespoon of table salt
1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide
A clean toothbrush or spoon

Step 2: Prepare the Solution and Soak

After finding all the supplies you need, the next step is to create your soaking solution. The solution should contain two cups of water and one cup of gentle detergent.

Next, pour the ingredients into a clean tub or bowl. After preparing your solution, soak the sweat-stained garment in the mixture for 30 minutes.

After the 30 minutes are up, roll in a towel and squeeze gently to remove any excess water. Finally, you will want to spread the shirt out onto a flat surface.

Step 3: Create Your Stain Removal Paste

The real trick to removing sweat stains is all in what you scrub them with. Using half a cup of baking soda, a tablespoon of table salt, and a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide, create a paste to use on the sweat stain you want to remove.

In this solution, the hydrogen peroxide will break up the proteins in the sweat stains and either reduce their size or completely remove them from your garment.

Step 4: Scrub Away the Sweat!

To get pit stains out of your shirts, use a clean toothbrush or spoon to gently massage a baking soda paste into the shirt stain. Next, let the paste soak into the stain for another 20 minutes before washing your garment in the washing machine.

After soaking it for twenty minutes, wash your garment in your washing machine according to the care label’s instructions.

Always hang up the garment to dry; heat from a dryer may cause any leftover stains to set in. If any sweat stains remain after this process, repeat as many times as needed until you achieve the desired results.

Other Methods for Removing Sweat Stains

If you’re in the middle of a sweat stain emergency and don’t have the supplies or time to remove sweat stains using the steps above, here are some simple alternatives you can try.

Many of these methods use items that are probably in your kitchen right now!

Using Aspirin

Believe it or not, aspirin is good for alleviating more than one type of headache. If you’re low on cleaning supplies or stain remover, try this DIY method that only requires aspirin and a warm cup of water.

For this method, you will crush two aspirin tablets and mix the powder in half a cup of warm water. Next, soak the stained part of your garment in the solution for two to three hours, then wash as you normally would and hang dry.

Aspirin helps clean clothes because it contains the chemical compound acetylsalicylic acid. Acetylsalicylic acid breaks down when exposed to moisture to become salicylic acid which can clean clothes.

Salicylic acid does not bleach fabrics, meaning you don’t have to worry about further damaging your favorite garments.

Using Dish Soap

Hydrogen peroxide and dish soap are another great stain-removing combination. This method requires a mix of one part dish soap with two parts hydrogen peroxide.

Once you have created your solution, tamp the stain with a clean toothbrush and let it sit for one hour. Next, wash as you normally would and hang dry.

Dish soap is also great for removing oil and grain stains.

Using Salt and Lemons

If you prefer to avoid using any sort of chemicals or cleaning products on your garments, try these two all-natural alternatives that you probably have sitting around in your kitchen right now.


Table salt is another effective weapon against sweat stains. To activate salt’s stain-fighting powers, dissolve four tablespoons of table salt in one quart of hot water. Next, use a sponge soaked in the saltwater solution to pat down the stain until it disappears.

Salt is great for cleaning because the individual grains contain sharp edges that can scrape away at stains and other unwanted residues. However, you should always be gentle when using this method, as scrubbing too hard with salt can damage the fibers of your fabric.


Another natural solution for sweat stains is lemon juice. Lemon juice can remove unsightly stains from clothing by creating a simple cleaning solution. To make the cleaning solution, mix equal parts lemon juice and water and gently massage the stained area before washing and air drying.

Lemon juice is a gentle stain fighter that works on even your most delicate garments.

Preventing Sweat Stains

Stubborn sweat stains can be tricky to remove from your favorite garment, especially if they have time to set in. The best way to fight sweat stains is to avoid them altogether. Here are a few ways to prevent pesky sweat stains from ruining your favorite garments:

Use antiperspirant: Strong antiperspirants can significantly reduce the amount of sweat your armpits produce. Opt for antiperspirants that contain aluminum chloride or aluminum zirconium.
Apply antiperspirant before bed: Apply a thin layer of antiperspirant to your underarms before bed. Make sure your skin is clean and dry before applying it.
Avoid applying too much deodorant: If you’re using regular deodorant, try not to apply too much of it. Using too much deodorant can lead to more staining on your clothing.
Wear an undershirt or sweat guards: Wear an undershirt made of moisture-wicking material to help absorb sweat. Alternatively, you can try using sweat guards that stick to the inside of your clothing to absorb sweat.
Trim underarm hair: Regularly trimming your underarm hair can help reduce sweating and make it easier for antiperspirants to be effective.
Wash clothes before the sweat dries: To prevent sweat stains from setting in, wash your clothes as soon as possible after wearing them. If you can’t wash them immediately, hang them to dry instead of putting them in the hamper.

How ZIPS Can Help

Sweat stains can be a nuisance, but they don’t have to be permanent. Using the methods outlined above, you can effectively remove sweat stains from your clothes and extend the life of your garments. Dry cleaning can remove other stains like oil, tannins, and dye stains.

Remember to act fast and treat the stains as soon as possible to increase your chances of success. With a few common household items and a little bit of elbow grease, you can say goodbye to unsightly sweat stains and enjoy fresh, clean clothes. For more tips about how you can wash your clothes to keep them looking their best, check out ZIPS tips.

If you are short on time and need your clothing cleaned and handled professionally, try using a cleaning service like ZIPS.

At ZIPS, we treat your garments with the utmost care to maximize their longevity and keep you looking your best every day of the week. For customers struggling with sweat stain woes, we do whatever it takes to get your clothes looking like new again.

Find a location near you, and let us take care of it today!