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How to get pit stains out of white

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Get pit stains out of white and make your clothing look brand new

We've all looked at shirts lying on our beds after a long, taxing day, those yellowish stains at the underarms staring right back at you, mocking you. Did I really sweat that much? And if it's this visible to me, how many people got a great look at the aforementioned crusty, cardboard-like creatures under my arms each time I raised my hand to answer the teacher's questions.

Look, we've all been there. Fortunately, there are some quick and easy-to-implement fixes that will help to restore your shirts, garments, undershirts, vests, and your confidence, to their previously impeccable (okay, maybe not your confidence) condition.

First and foremost, to get pit stains out of white shirts, it's important to use the correct detergents for the job. You'll want to find laundry detergents which contain oxygenated ingredients, according to Jason Ellis, author and purveyor of the site

You'll  apply the detergent directly to the sweat stains, rub gently, let soak for around thirty minutes, and then finish the process by washing your laundry as you typically do. This can be a good start to erasing stains and refitting your old clothing to their pre-sweat induced, newly store bought perfection.

The website Prevent Sweating is just one of a number of sites available online which purport to help users stop sweating. But for those who already have the shirts to prove it, we'll delve into helpful tips and techniques for those looking to get pit stains out of white clothing.

Hydrogen Peroxide

There are many quick tips for cleaning different articles of clothing. One of the methods they outline is that of using hydrogen peroxide in order to blast away any unsightly sweat stains that may have accumulated over the days. Simply:
  • Start by soaking the stain in half water, half hydrogen peroxide for about thirty minutes
  • Wash the piece of clothing with cool water
  • Air dry the garment

If it's still visible to the naked eye, repeat the steps with slightly higher concentrations of peroxide. This should get out stain, as well as negate the cardboard-like texture that sometimes comes with heavy sweating on shirts. 

Baking Soda Paste

  • Simply mix a small amount of baking soda with water; mix until it forms a thick-ish paste
  • Use an old toothbrush (not your roommate's) to gently brush the mixture into the main areas of stained clothing
  • Let sit for around 20-30 minutes and then rinse with cold water
  • Launder your clothing on the cold cycle with the best possible laundry detergent available

According to author Jason Ellis, the baking soda mixture can sometimes leave ungainly residue on a piece of clothing, so the paste should only be used for lighter clothing.

White Vinegar

For clothing other than white garments, this vinegar cure has proven to be an effective destroyer of sweat stains on colored articles of clothing.

  • According to Ellis, one should use 2 cups of water to 4 tablespoons of vinegar
  • Apply your solution directly onto the offending stain and then wash as you normally would in the laundry

Using the Sun and Your Liquid Detergent

This particular stain-removal process can be timely and labor intensive. As well, you'll need the trusty sun to be out, with no rain forecast for the remainder of the day.

  • Use either the hydrogen peroxide mixture, or the best available laundry detergent on the article of clothing
  • Simply lay it out in the sun, or hang it out under the incoming rays
  • You'll need to keep the stain wet, which will mean relatively constant spraying of water

But, as the water evaporates so will the stain. Do this for 3 to 4 hours -- hence, the labor intensive part of this task -- and then wash as you normally would, using the cold water cycle. With all of these methods, you should see shirts that remind you of how they looked right off the rack.

Resources: How to Get Sweat Stains Out of T-Shirts. How to Remove Sweat Stains from Clothes.

Above photo attributed to moriyaharpster

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