How to remove hard deodorant stains

Written by april dowling
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How to remove hard deodorant stains
Deodorant stains are common on shirts. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Deodorants are hygiene products used to control body odour and underarm wetness. They are primarily composed of oils and waxes that can leave greasy build-up on fabrics. White deodorant stains are visibly unappealing and especially apparent on dark-coloured fabrics. Deodorants harden and become more embedded in fabric fibres the longer they remain on garments. Promptly treat deodorant stains to restore the garment's overall aesthetic appeal.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 2 non-dyed cotton cloths
  • Undiluted white vinegar
  • Warm water
  • Pretreatment stain remover
  • Washing machine
  • Washing powder

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  1. 1

    Dampen a non-dyed cotton cloth with undiluted white vinegar.

  2. 2

    Blot the stain with the dampened cloth to soften the hardened deodorant. Try to remove as much deodorant from the fabric as possible. Always use a clean portion of the cloth to prevent reapplying deodorant to the fabric.

  3. 3

    Dampen another non-dyed cotton cloth with warm water. Blot the fabric with the damp cloth to rinse out the vinegar.

  4. 4

    Apply pretreatment stain remover directly to the remaining deodorant stain. Follow the manufacturer's directions on the product's label. Keep the pretreatment stain remover on the fabric for the recommended amount of time.

  5. 5

    Launder the garment in a washing machine using the hottest water safe for the garment. Substitute warm water for hot water if necessary. Follow the washing instructions on the garment's care tag. Add washing powder to the wash according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  6. 6

    Allow the garment to thoroughly air-dry.

  7. 7

    Repeat the process if any deodorant still remains on the fabric.

Tips and warnings

  • You can substitute denatured alcohol for the pretreatment stain remover.
  • Test the vinegar and pretreatment stain remover on an inconspicuous portion of the fabric to prevent discolouring the garment.
  • Drying the garment in a clothes dryer can cause any remaining deodorant stains to become permanent.

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