Written by Grove Collaborative

Stain Busters: How to get deodorant stains out of shirts

Last Updated: November 12, 2020

A deodorant stain doesn’t have to determine the shelf life of your shirt. Discover how to get deodorants stains out of shirts with these simple tips!

Let’s be honest, deodorant stains on your shirt are extremely unsightly. Not to mention frustrating. Some might even dub a deodorant-stained shirt as all but useless. A little extreme perhaps, but there you have it.

To solve this problem, we have compiled some of our favorite cleaning methods to help make your clothes as good as new. Moral of the story? A deodorant stain doesn’t have to determine the shelf life of your favorite shirt. It’s more than savable with a little effort. Continue reading for our best tips!

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Method 1 — Hydrogen peroxide

How to do it:

Step 1:

Using a spray bottle, spritz hydrogen peroxide directly onto the stain.

Step 2:

Pour a drop of unscented dish soap onto the now dampened stain.

Step 3:

Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on top for good measure.

Step 4:

Scrub the stained area with a toothbrush in circular motion.

Step 5:

Let it sit for about 30 minutes, then wash as instructed.

Method 2 — Ammonia

How to do it:

Step 1:

Make a solution of lukewarm water, add hand or dish washing detergent along with a small amount of ammonia. Mix well!

Step 2:

Soak the stained garment in this solution for about 15 minutes.

Step 3:

Gently rub the stain from the back of the garment to help loosen the stain.

Step 4:

Soak again in the ammonia solution for another 15 minutes and then launder as instructed.

Method 3 — Stain remover

How to do it:

Step 1:

Spray your stain remover on the outside of the shirt until the fabric is saturated.

Step 2:

Let it sit for 5-10 minutes and then wash out as normal.

Best natural products to remove deodorant stains

You can also use natural products to clean deodorant stains without exposing the fabric to harsh chemicals. These natural items include:

Lemon juice

Lemon juice has major acidic properties which make it an excellent cleaner, even for severe stains. Pour some lemon juice onto the stained area and sprinkle salt on top. Rub the stain and let it sit for some time. Clean as instructed.

White vinegar

Vinegar is an excellent cleaner. Take a sponge or soft cloth and generously dab the vinegar onto the stained area. After a few minutes, wash in the machine at the hottest temperature recommended. Repeat this process as needed.

Baking soda

Like vinegar, baking soda also works efficiently on almost all kinds of stains. Make a paste of baking soda with water and rub onto the stain. After a few hours, wash in a hot laundry cycle.

How to prevent deodorant stains on shirts

Ideally, it’s always better to try to prevent deodorant stains in the first place instead of going through the hassle of removing them. Try these tips to help:

  • Wait until your deodorant is completely dry before getting dressed to prevent transfer to fabric.
  • Wash light colored clothes as soon as possible to prevent those fun, yellow deodorant-sweat stains.
  • Wear a moisture-absorbing undershirt for added protection.
  • Use an all-natural deodorant that doesn’t contain aluminium or other synthetic ingredients.

Grove Tip

Considerations for different colors of clothing

For white shirts, you can simply use bleach to treat the stains. As for colored and dark shirts, you will need to use alternative treatments such as vinegar, baking soda, or other bleach-free fabric stain removers.

Cotton, wool, denim

The easiest way to remove deodorant stains from denim, cotton, and wool fabrics is to use a clean cotton sock. Place the sock on your hand and rub on the stain in circular motion until the stain vanishes. Viola! No stain removers or heavy scrubbing required. It’s almost like magic.


For polyester stains, blot the area with undiluted white vinegar with the help of a soft cloth. Allow it to absorb for some time before washing with warm water. Air dry for best results.


Make a solution of ammonia and water. Soak the stained area in this solution for around 30 minutes and then wash with hot water.


Rub out as much of the stain as possible. Make a solution using warm water and a gentle soap or detergent. With the help of a sponge, gently dab the stained area with this soapy mixture. Dry the leather item before use.

Grove Tip

Considerations for different fabrics

You may need to use different techniques for certain fabrics. What works for cotton may not work for silk or polyester and in fact could actually damage the fabric instead of remove the stain.

How to get deodorant stains out of bras

For deodorant-stained bras, the easiest way to remove the stain with minimal effort is to pre-treat your bras before washing.

Make a solution with water and oxygen whitener and soak the bras for up to 30 minutes. Then wash per the label instructions. You can also use a baking soda and water paste to pretreat sweat and deodorant stains.

Just be careful to use warm water for cotton and synthetic materials, and cold water for silk and wool blends.

At home ingredients to remove deodorant stains

There are several home ingredients you can use to treat deodorant stains. Rummage through your pantry and cabinets to see if you have any of these beauties:

Meat tenderizer

How to use: Soak the stained area with water and generously sprinkle/pour meat tenderizer on top. Rub it thoroughly and let it sit for about an hour. Wash per your label’s instructions.


How to use: Crush a couple of aspirin pills and make a paste with water. Apply it directly to the stain and let it sit for a few hours. Wash in the machine per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Nylon stockings / socks / towel

How to use: Rub the socks, stockings, or dry towel together onto the stain in a circular motion. Wash in the machine as instructed on the label. This method is ideal for colored clothes, and works efficiently on stains caused by deodorant sticks.

As you can see, learning how to get deodorant stains out of clothes and fabrics isn’t as difficult as it sounds. In fact, it’s probably one of the easier types of stains to remove, depending on your fabric. Give these tips a shot and prepare to be WOW’d. We are confident your fabric will look good as new in no time!

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