Anyone who has hyperhidrosis, a disorder that causes a person to sweat excessively, has had to deal with the unfortunate effects the condition has on their wardrobe. This is especially true for those with axillary hyperhidrosis. In fact, one study of people with axillary hyperhidrosis found that 70% of the participants reported the need to change their clothes at least two times a day.[1] That is a lot of laundry. Another problem people with axillary hyperhidrosis run into are stains caused by antiperspirant, which can be notoriously hard to get rid of. Many people aslo don't know how to remove antiperspirant from skin which can lead to even more stains. All of this adds to the anxiety that comes along with hyperhidrosis in the first place. Luckily, there are some quick and easy methods people can use to get sweat stains out of clothes so they can enjoy their life and get on with activities other than constantly processing laundry.


Excessive sweating due to axillary hyperhidrosis can’t always be prevented, but there are steps people can take to keep it from destroying their clothes. First, there are medical treatment options for axillary hyperhidrosis that can help people to reduce the amount of sweat they produce and gain control over their condition. Here are some other ideas that can help prevent pit stains from causing problems:

  • Use antiperspirant. Many people don’t realize what antiperspirant is and how it differs from deodorants which can cause confusion. In fact, many people aren't even sure whether they need antiperspirant or deodorant. If you have hyperhidrosis you most likely need to use both. Antiperspirants contain an active ingredient that prevents sweat from forming on the skin while deodorants have antibacterial properties and fragrance to mask the smell of body odor. Unfortunately, antiperspirants can cause yellowish stains to appear on clothing but there are effective ways to get antiperspirant out of clothes so that this is not an issue.
  • Apply antiperspirant at night. This allows the antiperspirant to soak into the skin and dry so it is less likely to stain clothes the next morning.
  • Use garment protectors or wear an undershirt. These are absorbent pads that can adhere to the inside of a shirt. They can be used to soak up armpit sweat so that it doesn’t affect clothing.
  • Wear clothes that are good for people with excessive sweating. This means wearing light-weight fabrics like cottons and finding styles that allow skin to breathe. There are several ways people can use their wardrobe to mask, minimize and control sweat. There are specific ways to get pit stains out of polyester, which is especially prone to staining due to the fact that it is not breathable fabric.
  • Even with the best prevention pit stains happen. If that is the case then know that the quicker you can launder a stain the better the outcome will be.

    How to Remove Armpit Stains

    If you can launder an armpit stain before it begins to dry then it is very easy to get the stain out. Just run the stain under cold water and rub the area until the stain begins to fade. Once the stain is gone the shirt can be washed with the rest of the laundry like you would normally.

    Armpit stains that have had a chance to settle in are much harder, but there are ways to remove them. Often these stains tend to turn yellow because of the mixture of sweat, bacteria, clothing chemicals, and the products produced by the bacteria. Human sweat is actually odorless when it leaves the body. Here are a few methods you can use to get your shirt stain free.

    The Quickest Way to Remove an Armpit Stain

    This is a good method to use if you don’t think a stain has set in all the way or if you need a quick way to launder you shirt.

    1. Invest in a good stain remover. We recommend OxyClean spray as it is quick, easy, and effective, but any stain remover will work.
    2. Turn the shirt inside out and spray the armpit stain with the stain remover. Let it sit for about an hour.
    3. Once the stain remover has had some time to soak, put the shirt in the wash with the rest of your clothes and wash it on the hottest setting the shirt can take.
    4. After running the washing machine check your shirt. If the stain is gone then you are done and you can put your shirt in the dryer. If the stain remains, repeat the process until it comes out. Do not put your shirt in the dryer until the stain is removed as doing so may cause the stain to become permanent.

    There are also stain removers that need to be mixed in water in order to work. If you prefer to use one of these the process is still similar. Simply read the instructions on the product and mix the correct amount of stain remover with cold water. Then let your shirt soak for several hours until the stain begins to fade. Then you can wash your shirt and see if the stain remover worked. Remember not to put your shirt in the dryer if the stain remains.

    How to Remove a Serious Armpit Stain

    This method is best for people who have a shirt with a stain that has dried and set in. It is more work, but it is also more effective.

    1. Get Dawn blue dish soap, 3% hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and a toothbrush. Mix about a teaspoon to a tablespoon of each ingredient together in a bowl. Don’t use hydrogen peroxide on colored shirts, use cold water.
    2. Turn the shirt inside out and use the toothbrush to gently work the solution onto the stain.
    3. Let the shirt sit for about an hour.
    4. Put the shirt in the washing machine on as hot of a setting as the shirt can tolerate (read the label to find this out).
    5. After the load is done check your shirt. If the stain is gone then go ahead and put it in the dryer. If the stain remains, do not put it in the dryer, repeat the process again.
    6. Put the shirt in the dryer once the stain is gone.
    1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.