Sweat happens. For most people, it's a regular part of life. In the summer, however, soaring temperatures makes sweat even more of an issue. Between the sweat, deodorant, and antiperspirants — not to mention any outdoor grime that affixes itself to your sticky body — your clothing can really take a beating. As it continues to heat up outside, you may want to have some mind-blowing ways to prevent pit sweat and remove pit stains on hand to protect yourself all summer long.
Rings of wet sweat around your armpits can be embarrassing, even when everyone else is just as much of a sweaty mess as you. There are a number of things you can do, however, to prevent that excess sweat from happening in the first place. One way that's maybe not so mind-blowing is to make certain that you're following the directions on the box or applicator of your antiperspirant. According to The Verge, since antiperspirant works by clogging up sweat ducts in your armpits, you should be applying it at night so that there's time for it to settle in and become effective before your body begins to sweat. That will keep you from getting as sweaty the next day, which means no embarrassing stains or sweat marks.
If you can't avoid pit stains — because, hey, that's life — know that you can treat and remove sweat stains from your clothes. There are pre-wash stain treatments that you can buy, but you can also use some items from around the house. If you're looking for creative and inventive ways to prevent sweat or remove the resulting stains, you may not need to venture far from home to find the solution.
1. Make Use Of Menstrual Pads
Wait, what? "Pick the skinniest menstrual pads from your local pharmacy and stick a couple onto the pit part of your shirt," Olivia Joyce, cleaning expert at Move Out Mates, tells Romper by email. "The pads will protect the fabric from staining and will soak up the moisture, leaving your shirt dry." While it may not be as discrete with super thin fabrics, Joyce says it "works like a charm."
2. Spoon On Some Baking Soda
Baking soda works for both preventing armpit sweating and treating underarm stains. "Just dust half a spoon on your underarms on a daily basis and you will forget about all the armpit sweating," Lauren Haynes, a cleaning expert at Star Domestic Cleaners, tells Romper in an email exchange. To use it to treat stains, Hynes says you can make a paste by combining baking soda and water, gently applying it to the stain, letting it sit for about 10 minutes, and then rinsing it off with cold water. The best part? Baking soda is a pantry staple, so you likely already have some lying around. If not, it's often fairly inexpensive so you won't have to worry about expensive cleaners that may or may not work.
3. Pour On The Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is another potential sweat stain fighter. "Mix one part of dishwashing liquid with two parts of hydrogen peroxide," Harriet Jones, a former cleaner and current cleaning and maintenance supervisor for Go Cleaners London, tells Romper by email "Apply the solution and let it sit for an hour." Jones adds that you can up the strength of this mixture by adding baking soda for stains that just won't budge. Also, since dryers tend to set stains, Jones recommends using the sun to dry stained clothing, just in case.
4. Apply Natural Deodorant
Conventional deodorants and antiperspirants can wreak havoc on clothes. As a Stitch Fix representative tells Romper via email, however, natural or organic deodorants often tend to cause less damage to clothing. Try to avoid sweat stains entirely by switching to something gentler.
5. Use Chamomile
It might seem strange, but Haynes says chamomile can actually help prevent the excess sweating that often leads to sweat stains. "Chamomile is great for dealing with sweat, because of it’s antibacterial and deodorant qualities," she says. She recommends making a weak tea by steeping about one teaspoon of chamomile in hot water and drinking it daily or adding chamomile essential oil to your bath.
6. Whip Out The White Vinegar
White vinegar is a known cleaning and stain fighting superhero. Like baking soda, it's relatively inexpensive, and it's useful for so many things. Joyce says white vinegar is just the thing to remove those old sweat stains.
7. Pick Up Some Potatoes
As it turns out, those potatoes you have languishing in your cabinet may actually help you keep from getting too sweaty. "You can either rub with a potato slice or apply just the extracted juice with a cotton," Haynes says. "Let it dry completely and put your clothes on."
8. Squeeze On The Lemon Juice
You probably know at least one person who gave themselves beachy blonde highlights using lemon juice and the sun (or tried it yourself). Lemon juice can have a similar lightening effect on your sweat stained clothes as it does on your hair. According to Cosmopolitan, you can use a mixture of lemon juice and water to remove armpit stains. For tougher stains, add baking soda.
9. Stock Up On Sweat Shields
According to Women's Health, there are dedicated sweat shields that you can purchase to help prevent armpit sweat from reaching your clothing. These shields work in much the same way as thin menstrual pads, but were engineered specifically for this purpose. You'll never have to stress about noticeable sweat marks again.