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How To Get Antiperspirant and Deodorant Stains Out of Clothes
Written by Katie Crissman
October 01 2020

If you’re one of the millions of people who’ve used antiperspirant or deodorant you know they both cause one very annoying problem - they stain! Below is some information about each product and several ways you can get rid of the stains they cause.

What Antiperspirant Is, Who Uses It, and Why It Stains

Antiperspirant is a substance or formulation that people apply to their skin in order to prevent or reduce sweating. Antiperspirants differ from deodorants because antiperspirants can actually block sweat from forming on the skin, while deodorants contain some antibacterial properties and have a scent to mask the smell of body odor. Antiperspirants are classified as drugs by the FDA because they contain an active ingredient that affects a biological process - preventing the formation of sweat. Most antiperspirants use aluminum chloride as their active ingredient, but other metallic salts like aluminum hexahydrate and aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex are also used. It is thought that these active ingredients block sweat by forming a sort of shallow plug within sweat glands that prevents sweat from escaping to the surface of skin.[1]

These active ingredients are what cause antiperspirants to stain so badly. When a person wearing antiperspirant sweats, the aluminum chloride, or whatever metallic salt is in the antiperspirant, mixes with their sweat and forms a plug. Once this happens the antiperspirant is likely to leave a yellowish stain on any clothes it comes into contact with. We aren’t sure why this happens, but some propose that it is because antiperspirants are very acidic. At any rate, these yellowish stains are often permanent, or at least, hard to remove.

Anyone can use antiperspirant in situations where they want to sweat less, but it’s essential for people with hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is a condition in which people sweat excessively, even when it doesn’t benefit them physiologically to do so. Unfortunately, people who sweat constantly also need to wear antiperspirants continuously. This means that clothing is prone to staining and often needs to be replaced which adds more financial pressure to people who already have to deal with the hefty cost of treating hyperhidrosis[1]. In order to stop this cycle of clothing destruction people need to understand how to deal with antiperspirants stains.

What Deodorant Is, Who Uses It, and Why it Stains

Deodorant is a substance that’s applied to the body in order to improve a person’s smell and kill bacteria on the skin that cause body odor. It’s considered to be a cosmetic product so it’s not regulated by the FDA like antiperspirant is. Deodorants use various ingredients depending on the brand and what they are made to do. For example, “natural” products tend to use different ingredients than most other commercial products. Some of the common ingredients that can be found in deodorants include sodium stearate, sodium chloride and stearyl alcohol, parabens, or the stronger ingredient triclosan, to kill bacteria present on the skin. Deodorants come in a variety of packaging including roll ons, sticks, spray bottles and lotions.[2] Unfortunately, because of the ingredients it uses deodorant, like antiperspirant, it can stain clothes easily. Luckily, you can learn how to get deodorant stains out of clothes so it doesn’t cause too much of a problem.


Preventing a stain is often easier than having to remove a stain. Here are some tips on how to prevent antiperspirant stains so they don’t happen in the first place:

Choose the Right Antiperspirant

Try to find an antiperspirant that does not stain badly. Many people struggle to choose the right over-the-counter antiperspirant as there are literally hundreds on the market. It is hard enough to find one that is effective and non-irritating, but looking for a good antiperspirant that does not stain easily is also important. This process will take some trial and error, but it will be worth it. This same advice applies to deodorants as well, as some formulations tend to stain worse than others.

Apply Antiperspirant Correctly

Antiperspirant is meant to be applied to dry skin. It is also a good idea to apply it at night so that it has time to sink into skin and work efficiently the next day. Doing this can reduce some of the rub off that occurs, although dry antiperspirant can still easily stain. It is not necessary to apply multiple layers, so apply a thin layer that is less likely to rub off.

It is less important to apply deodorant correctly. It is best to apply it in the morning to dry skin after taking a shower, but it can be applied whenever. If you are using it with antiperspirant, apply it in the morning after antiperspirant has had time to sink into the skin. How you apply deodorant doesn’t really affect how to remove deodorant stains or prevent them significantly.

Wear Protection

The biggest place that antiperspirant and deodorant stains accumulate is in the armpit. If someone knows they will be sweating excessively then they can purchase and use garment protectors, also known as garment shields. There are pads made specifically for people with this problem. They are pads the size of an armpit that can adhere to the inside of a shirt and absorb sweat so that it doesn’t show or stain clothes. Remember, it’s easier to prevent stains than learn how to remove deodorant stains or antiperspirant stains!

How To Remove Antiperspirant Stains

If you can’t prevent a stain, then you’ve got to try and wash it out. Here are a few methods you can use to get an antiperspirant stain out:

Method One:

  1. Rinse the stain in cold water.
  2. If the garment is delicate or if a stain has had time to settle then soak it in a mixture of baking soda, water and white vinegar solution. This will counter the acidity from the antiperspirant.
  3. Wash the clothes and see if it worked.

Method Two:

  1. Turn the clothing inside out and find the stain.
  2. Pour white vinegar onto the stain and let it sit for a minute.
  3. Scrub the stain with a toothbrush until it looks like it is coming loose.
  4. Pour more vinegar onto the stain and allow it to sit overnight.
  5. Wash the piece of clothing like you normally would in the washing machine. If the stain is still present, repeat the process again.

There is no way to guarantee that these methods will remove all antiperspirant stains, but it will greatly reduce their appearance.

How to Remove Deodorant Stains

Ready to learn how to remove deodorant stains? Here are a few methods you can try.

Method One:

  1. Dip a sponge into white vinegar.
  2. Apply the vinegar to the stain liberally and let the stain soak it in for a few minutes.
  3. Put the shirt into the washing machine and wash it on the hottest setting the manufacturer allows.
  4. Repeat this procedure if the stain isn’t gone after the first washing.[3]

Method Two:

  1. Create a mixture of these products:
  • Put the shirt into the mixture and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  • Rub the stain gently to loosen it up.
  • Let it soak in the mixture for another 15 minutes.
  • Wash the shirt in the washing machine. Don’t put it in the dryer if there is still a stain after it’s washed![3]
  • If you use a spray based deodorant you can use rubbing alcohol to remove a deodorant stain. Rub the alcohol directly onto the stain and then wash it thoroughly.[3]

    Now you know how to get deodorant stains out of clothes! Luckily, it isn’t too hard.

    What to Do if These Methods Don’t Work

    If the above methods don’t help you get rid of antiperspirant or deodorant stains then you can try using a detergent or stain remover with oxygen bleach to try and get the stain out. The sooner you wash a stained item the better your results will be.[4]

    One study found that pre-treating with a stain remover like Vanish could reduce the visibility of stains, but interactions between commercial detergents and the stain remover decreased it’s effectiveness.[5]

    Unfortunately, antiperspirant and deodorant stains can be hard to remove, but with care most stains can either be prevented or treated.

    1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Amsterdam: Elsevier Pub. Co., 2014. Retrieved from
    2. Zirwas, M. J., & Moennich, J. (2008). Antiperspirant and Deodorant Allergy Diagnosis and Management. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 1(3), 38-43. Retrieved November 12, 2018 from
    3. How to Take Deodorant Out Of Clothing. (n.d.). Retrieved June 16, 2020, from
    4. Out, Out, Pesky Sweat Stains. (2011, May 11). Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 5, 2018, from
    5. A novel washing algorithm for underarm stain removal. (2017). IOP Conf. Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 254. doi:10.1088/1757-899X/254/8/082001 Retrieved from

    What You Need to Know About Carpe Clinical Regimen

    By Katie Crissman /

    One of the newest clinical strength antiperspirants to hit the market is Carpe’s Clinical Grade Regimen - it combines several high performing products with a specific care routine to provide long term sweat reduction for even the heaviest sweaters. Read on to see if Carpe Clinical Regimen is right for you!

    Antiperspirant is great - for most people. You apply it once a day and it stops your sweat! It’s easy. But, what if that’s not what happened? You bought it, read the label, and used it exactly as directed and, unfortunately, you’re still sweating - excessively. If this is you, then you’ve come to the right place. There are products specifically made for heavy sweaters who haven’t had luck with traditional antiperspirants. These products typically include the words “extra strength”, “clinical strength” or “prescription strength” and they are, thankfully, available over the counter without a doctor’s prescription. 

    The difference between clinical strength products and their weaker counterparts are the active ingredients they use. Clinical strength lines typically use one of several newer types of metallic salt ingredients that are known to be both stronger and less irritating than aluminum chloride (which is the standard active ingredient in antiperspirants) [1]. While there are many clinical strength products on the market, we are going to focus on a new clinical strength regimen that combines a strong active ingredient with a specific care routine to get excessive sweating under control. 

    Carpe Clinical Regimen -  What It Is and How It’s Different

    One of the newest clinical strength antiperspirants to hit the market is Carpe’s Clinical Grade Regimen. It’s different from other prescription grade products because it combines several strong products with a specific care routine to ensure maximum product performance. It’s also different from Carpe’s other products because it uses a stronger active ingredient and delivery system. The system is geared toward people who experience intractable armpit sweating, but Carpe also makes products for people who struggle with other types of sweat. The Carpe Clinical Grade Underarm includes three specific products that, when used together, have been found to be highly effective at reducing sweat production. These products include:

    • Carpe Clinical Grade Underarm Antiperspirant 
    • Carpe Clinical Grade Exfoliating Wash
    • Carpe Clinical Grade Underarm Wipes[2]

    Carpe Clinical Grade Regimen uses an active ingredient called Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex GLY (20%) combined with other soothing inactive ingredients to effectively stop sweat in its tracks while reducing skin irritation.[3] Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex is a newer generation metallic salt that stops sweat production and is known to be more effective than other types of active ingredients antiperspirants typically use. One study mentioned in the journal Dermatologic Clinics found that antiperspirants using Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex were, on average, 34% more effective than antiperspirants that used aluminum chloride as an active ingredient.[1] Carpe’s traditional products use an active ingredient called Aluminum Sesquichlorohydrate at 15% which is effective, but less potent than Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex.[4]

    It’s important to note that Carpe’s Clinical Grade Regimen provides a long term impact on sweat reduction from making short term lifestyle changes. This is because the results build up over time and peak at about 4 weeks. It takes 4 weeks of using the Carpe clinical grade products once each morning and every other night to see the full effect of what they can do. This is typical of all antiperspirants as their effects tend to build up with consistent use. Consistently using antiperspirant products is especially important for those with hard to treat sweat problems because it can be the difference between treatment success or failure.[1][2] 

    If you’re frustrated with the way your current antiperspirant is working or how it isn’t working, then consider giving Carpe’s Clinical Grade Regimen a try! It’s active ingredient is comparable to other prescription strength products on the market but it’s multistep system with easy to use wipes is completely unique! Remember, an easy to use, consistent antiperspirant routine is going to give you long term sweat reduction so it’s important to find a system that works for your lifestyle. 

    1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Amsterdam: Elsevier Pub. Co., 2014. Retrieved from>
    2. How It Works (Clinical). Carpe.
    3. Clinical Underarm  PM Wipes. Carpe.
    4. Underarm Antiperspirant for Excessive Underarm Sweating. Carpe.

    8 Random & Interesting Facts about Excessive Armpit Sweating

    By Daniel McCarthy /

    8 Random & Interesting Facts about Excessive Armpit Sweating

    Our worries about shirt stains, sweaty underarms, and smelly armpits may dominate how we think about excessive armpit sweating. Hey, we may even avoid thinking about these all together. But guess what? There are some random and interesting facts that just may change how you think about excessive underarm sweating! Let’s take a look: 

    Fact number 1: Sweat by itself ISN’T smelly

    Sweat is often associated with smelliness. But by itself, it doesn’t smell AT ALL. The reason sweat can smell (in places like your armpit) isn’t really about sweat. It’s about the sweat glands (and hair)! Apocrine glands are the biggest of sweat-producing glands and are usually located near hair. It’s this combo that leads to smelly armpits.

    Fact number 2: Excessive armpit sweating is as old as cavemen

    Hang with me here. Excessive underarm sweating is connected to the fight-or-flight response ingrained in even the most ancient of human predecessors. This excessive armpit sweating response has helped humans survive for millenia. And yep, it means our cavemen ancestors likely had sweating armpits, too. Even though they didn’t have to worry about shirt stains like us, we have the benefit of products like carpe underarm and antiperspirant in general to help with our excessive armpit sweating.  

    Fact number 3: Famous people worry about excessive armpit sweating too

    Michael Gary Scott, fearless and deliciously cringeworthy leader of Dunder Mifflin Scranton on the show The Office, is perfectly played by actor Steve Carell. Carell seemed to play the role with such ease, comfort, and confidence that nobody would ever know he was worried about excessive underarm sweating due to his hyperhidrosis. Co-star Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute on the show) even pointed out that the set temperature was a cool 64 degrees to keep Carell’s sweaty underarms from becoming the focus of the scene. 

    Even though Carell’s excessive armpit sweating wasn’t part of the show, I like to think Michael’s approach to sweat stains could be summed up by his famous line:  “I knew exactly what to do. But in a much more real sense, I had no idea what to do.” 

    Fact number 4: Other celebrities combat hyperhidrosis too

    Steve Carell is not the only notable person looking for the best sweat prevention. As a longtime vampire and real-life human with hyperhidrosis, Robert Pattinson is another actor who combats hyperhidrosis (and werewolves) on the regular. 

    Like Pattinson and Carell, Halle Berry also has hyperhidrosis. Famously, Berry confidently showed her sweat stains on the Ellen Show back in 2010. So when you’re feeling a little self-conscious about your own excessive underarm sweating, remember you too can confidently move through your day like Berry barring her pits for the world. 

    Fact number 5: Ventilation over here please!

    If you’re still worried about how to get rid of pit stains, some ventilation could provide a brief respite. Because we sometimes get pesky pit stains, it can feel like our excessive underarm sweating is due to our pits proclivity to produce the most amount of sweat. Yet, this annoying issue is more commonly attributed to a lack of ventilation, although sweaty armpit causes cannot be narrowed to one thing. Still, a little ventilation and clinical strength antiperspirant can go a long way in dealing with pesky pit stains and excessive armpit sweating. 

    Fact number 6: An underappreciated aspect of a non-meat diet

    Sometimes even the best antiperspirant and deodorant may not feel like enough to help with excessive armpit sweating and underarm smell. That’s okay though because there are other interesting ways to approach this issue. A 2006 study showed that women found mens’ armpit odor “more attractive, more pleasant, and less intense” when these men ate a non-meat diet [1]. If you haven’t already thought about eating less meat, the improved aroma of your pits (and the kitchen) may be another reason to eat a non-meat diet. 

    Fact number 7: Fashion matters

    Choosing clothes is a fashion statement for many. And while fashion may matter more to some than others, there’s one interesting reason we can all get behind to choose our clothes. Our clothing choices can help deal with excessive underarm sweating. That’s right, there are clothes, materials, styles, and pads that all can help with excessive armpit sweating as well as excessive sweating and shirt stains in general. 

    Fact number 8: You aren’t alone

    An estimated 2-3% of the US population suffers from axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive underarm sweating). Even though this percentage may seem small, 3% of the US population is right around 10 million people. That’s like all of NYC combating excessive armpit sweating at the same time. It can be easy to feel isolated in dealing with hyperhidrosis, but there’s some comfort in knowing many others are dealing with the same worries. 



    1. Havlicek, J., & Lenochova, P. (2006). The Effect of Meat Consumption on Body Odor Attractiveness. Retrieved from

    7 Effective Tips to Stop Sweaty Hands

    By Daniel McCarthy /

    7 Effective Tips to Stop Sweaty Hands 

    Not sure how to stop sweaty hands and excessive sweating? You aren’t alone! Whether you’re working from home, gaming, or just trying to get your phone to recognize your thumbprint, it can get pretty dang annoying to constantly worry about how to stop having sweaty hands. In this article, we’ll cover 7 effective ways to help you stop sweaty hands:

      1. Reduce your stress
      2. Try (the right) antiperspirant
      3. Iontophoresis
      4. Check with your doctor about underlying conditions
      5. Medications
      6. Give a Botox shot 
      7. Take a more surgical approach

    1.  Reduce your stress 

    This one is often easier said than done - but it can help a lot. Research has shown that higher levels of anxiety cause sweat glands to become more active [1]. This is particularly true for hand sweating. 

    Figuring out how to stop sweaty hands looks different for each person, but there are some relaxing activities that can either prevent sweat or help control it once it’s begun. Some possible activities to reduce your stress include listening to your favorite music, getting enough sleep, and exercising daily. Other helpful techniques include deep breathing and stretching. Everyone is different, so try some of these other tips to find what works best for you. 

    2. Try (the right) antiperspirant

    You’re relaxed, but maybe you’re still trying to work out how to stop having sweaty hands? While reducing stress is a beneficial home remedy, it should be combined with other easy-to-use remedies. Some home remedies, such as baking soda or apple cider vinegar, may help with hyperhidrosis, but the next best step is over-the-counter antiperspirant

    Antiperspirants are great at preventing clam hands and often work better than deodorants to stop excessive sweating. Antiperspirants for hands are especially important in how to stop sweaty hands. Others prefer anti sweat wipes. Finding the right hand antiperspirant is an important step to combat sweaty hands. 

    3. Iontophoresis

      Hate needles? Need to figure out how to stop sweaty hands? Iontophoresis may be for you. This method uses mild electrical currents to treat your hands while they’re submerged in water. And although iontophoresis sessions may be performed at a doctor’s office, some people choose to purchase their own iontophoresis machines for at-home treatment [2].  

      While this method can be a bit harder on the wallet, if you can pay upfront for a machine, you may save by avoiding paying for every visit to the doctors. However, if you don’t see progress after a few weeks, talk to your doctor to discuss how to stop your sweaty hands from affecting your daily life. 

      4. Check with your doctor about underlying conditions

      It can be easy to write off sweaty hands as a reaction to anxiety or nervousness. But sometimes sweaty hands can be caused by underlying conditions. These conditions might include diabetes, low blood sugar, overactive thyroid, infections, and other issues. To learn more on how to stop sweaty hands that may be connected to underlying conditions, it is best to talk to a medical professional about your hyperhidrosis needs. 

      5. Medications

      In addition to talking about your underlying conditions, a medical professional may also suggest a prescription to help with sweaty hands. More specifically, your dermatologist may prescribe an oral medication for hyperhidrosis like a series of pills known as anticholinergics, which help your body produce less sweat. Like pills, topical creams may also be prescribed to help reduce excessive sweating. These creams are made up of solutions that will decrease the amount of sweat released, including hand sweat. If medications don’t cut it for you, you may need to take one of the two steps below. 

      6. Give botox a shot

        You may be thinking, I’m not sure how to stop sweaty hands, so why are you recommending botox? While many may not associate botox with hyperhidrosis, it can significantly reduce excessive sweating, including in your hands [3] . While botox may solve how to stop having sweaty hands, this method can cause temporary pain or weakness of the hands, so it is crucial that you consult a medical professional for appropriate botox delivery. 

        7. Take a more surgical approach. This one is only for serious sweaters who have tried everything else.

        If you can’t figure out how to stop having sweaty hands after trying these first six tips, you might consider surgical treatment for primary focal hyperhidrosis. While botox is a less invasive surgery, significantly more invasive procedures include endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy​ or an endoscopic lumbar sympathectomy. These names may be hard to pronounce, but these surgeries can provide significant relief for people with certain kinds of severe hyperhidrosis. Of course, try less invasive options first, and talk to a medical professional before deciding to take a more surgical approach. 

        There may be no one-size-fits-all solution for how to stop sweaty hands, but hopefully one of, or a combo of these tips help you enjoy life a bit more and worry about sweat a bit less. 


        1. Huddle, J. R. (2014). Hyperhidrosis: Causes, Treatment Options and Outcomes. New York, NY: Nova Science.
        2. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Amsterdam: Elsevier Pub. Co., 2014. Retrieved from <a href=></a>
        3. Lakraj, A. A., Moghimi, N., & Jabbari, B. (2013). Hyperhidrosis: anatomy, pathophysiology and treatment with emphasis on the role of botulinum toxins. Toxins, 5(4), 821–840.
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