Like other types of apparel, dress shirts are subject to wear and tear, including sweat mark buildup over time. If you notice that your once crisp shirt now has perspiration stains, then it’s time to give it a refresh. After all, you want to look polished every day when you go to and leave the office!
Even when you take every precaution to avoid sweat stains––from laundering your shirts regularly to wearing deodorant––they can develop. Sweat penetrates the fabric fibers, which is something that you might overlook at first. However, sweat, combined with the aluminum found in many deodorants, builds up and eventually results in an unsightly yellow hue.
Sweat-stained dress shirts don’t have to be rotated out of your closet, though. Instead, you can refresh your dress shirts and erase those unwelcome yellow stains. Follow these tips to give your dress shirts new life by removing sweat stains.
Before you give up on those sweat-stained men’s dress shirts, it’s essential to understand why it’s better to launder than replace them outright. To start, cleaning your shirts is suitable for any modest budget. Don’t see your high-quality dress shirts as disposable—a piece that you get rid of as soon as a sweat stain appears. Instead, see these shirts as an investment and take some time to clean them. When you do, you’ll spend less money on new dress shirts since you’ll extend the life of your existing collection.
Cleaning instead of replacing your dress shirts are good for the environment too. Every new shirt you purchase requires various resources to make, from the textiles it uses to the manufacturing process. When you keep your current dress shirts, they also won’t end up in a landfill. So, you’re making a green choice to clean instead of replacing your sweat-stained shirts.
Keep these tools on hand as you prepare to clean your dress shirts:
As you start to refresh your dress shirts, begin with those with recent sweat stains. Since these stains aren’t deeply embedded into the shirt’s fibers, they will be easier to remove. So, tackle those stains first as they appear. You can complete these simple cleaning steps before you launder your dress shirt.
A simple mix of one part hot water and one part detergent applied directly to the stain can help loosen it up for new sweat stains.
Or, fill a sink with:
Soak your stained dress shirt in this solution. You can soak the stain for 30 minutes to overnight, depending on how deeply set in the stain is.
After pre-treating your stained dress shirt, run it through the washing machine as you usually do. There’s no need to rinse the pre-treatment off before washing—it can continue to help remove the set-in stain during the wash cycle.
Older stains can be challenging to eliminate, but they’re not impossible. However, you might have to spend a little more time targeting these stains to ensure they’re entirely erased. Consider these proven strategies when it comes to removing these sweat marks.
Start by treating the stain with a baking soda solution. Mix 4 tablespoons of baking soda with ¼ cup of warm water. These ingredients should create a thick paste. Using a small scrub brush or clean a new toothbrush, gently brush the paste directly onto the stain. Once you’ve worked the paste into the shirt, let it sit for 30 minutes and then machine wash it as usual.
Aspirin is another unexpected ingredient that can help you tackle those hard-to-fight sweat stains. So, visit your medicine cabinet because all you need are two Aspirin and a half-cup of warm water. Crush the pills and add the water to create a paste to apply directly to the stain. Note that you must use Aspirin, which has acetic acid properties like vinegar. Other pain relievers will not work.
The key to removing older stains is to extend the soaking time. The pre-treatment solution you use for new stains might work, but it also might require more soaking time to really break up that stain. So, be patient and give the stain time to disappear.
While sweat stains primarily occur in the shirt’s underarms, you might also find some discoloration on your French cuffs. These stains are usually even more evident because of their location, so you want to remove them as soon as they appear. Soak your stained French cuffs in a white vinegar-baking soda solution for at least 2 hours. Let older stains soak overnight. Machine wash your shirt after soaking it to eradicate the stain.
Once you’ve pre-treated and machine-washed your shirt, always check the stain to confirm it’s gone. Do not dry the shirt if it still has visible stains. Repeat the pre-treatment and wash cycle to eliminate the stain before drying the shirt completely.
Curating a luxury wardrobe begins with taking good care of your garments. Once you’ve refreshed your dress shirt collection, keep those shirts in top condition.
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