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The simple way to remove sweat stains

From rising temperatures in the heat of the summer to running to catch that last bus up the hill, sweating happens to all of us and sometimes at the most inconvenient time, particularly when we’re dressed up in our favourite pieces rather than our sweat-wicking activewear.

There are lots of old wives’ tales from at-home products to try to store cupboard potions to mix but, as our wardrobes are full of treasured pieces, we wouldn’t recommend splashing vodka on any your garments.

While perspiration stains can be stubborn, if you act quickly and use the most effective techniques, there are simple and safe ways to remove them.

Armpit stains on clothes are caused by a reaction involving antiperspirant ingredients and your sweat. Most antiperspirants contain aluminium compounds but it’s these compounds that are actually causing the build-up and yellowing on your fabrics. Try switching to an aluminium-free or natural deodorant to help minimise this reaction. After you’ve applied your deodorant always wait until it’s fully dried before putting on any clothes. This will prevent any rubbing off onto fabrics and also avoid the famous white zebra stripes.

Images by Koto Bolofo and Jordy B Photo

Treating sweat stains immediately (or as quickly as you can afterwards), will help stop lasting marks appearing on the fabric. Firstly, rinse the affected areas with cold water. Next, create a pre-treatment by diluting a cap-full of Signature Clothes Wash (or Wool, Silk and Delicates Wash for delicates) in cold water and carefully scrub the affected area. If the stains are particularly noticeable, soak the items in cool water with your chosen fabric wash for up to 30 minutes. After pre-treating the stains, wash clothes in the machine as soon as possible. Remember never leave clothes with sweat stains sitting in the laundry basket.

After washing, check the sweat stains to make sure they’ve been completely removed before drying. As drying can further lock the stain into the fabric, if it hasn’t lifted, repeat the process again.

A little tip? Sometimes prevention is better than cure, regularly pre-treating areas of clothes which are more prone to sweat stains, especially lighter coloured items, can help to prevent or at least mitigate the appearance of these stains over time. By following our simple steps, you won’t need to sweat the small stuff next time.

Cover image by Jon Humphries

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