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Author Topic: Why does deodorant stain the underarms of shirts?  (Read 11683 times)

Geoffrey Duffy

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Geoffrey Duffy asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Dear Dr. Chris
  
I'm on the verge of throwing out 21 business shirts which have become unwearable due to the formation of hard patches under the arms caused, I think, by a reaction between anti-perspirant deodorant and possibly washing powder and warm water.
 
I contacted the shirt-maker who advised that there was no remedy to this problem, other than to change my brand of antiperspirant.   I had in fact noticed a more rapid onset of this problem when using a 'sports' style anti-perspirant, but find that all brands will ultimately cause the same damage.
 
The shirts are well-made, hard-wearing, and otherwise fine.  They cost about £70.00 each.  All good reasons for not wanting to throw them out.
 
I think that any solution to this problem may be a potential business opportunity.
 
Thanks again
 
Geoffrey Duffy

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 19/06/2010 00:30:04 by _system »


 

Offline SeanB

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Why does deodorant stain the underarms of shirts?
« Reply #1 on: 19/06/2010 16:07:16 »
Try soaking overnight in a mild bleach solution ( not good if the fabric is dyed, but ok for white) and then wash for a long cycle with hot water without soap added. This may get the deposits out, or at least reduce them a lot. try the second soak with a mild solution of hydrogen peroxide and see if this will help

You could also change your detergent to a more expensive active variety as this may help too.

Other than that I have the same issue, and the hot soak helped a lot with the build up as well as using an additive to the wash water ( not going to give brands but the tip is to look for a very expensive for the mass product in a pink container that contains this).

 

Offline chris

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Why does deodorant stain the underarms of shirts?
« Reply #2 on: 20/06/2010 00:33:17 »
Mmm - I wonder what those marks are? Anti-perspirants contain aluminium zirconium compounds that gel when wet; it may be that this is forming some kind of adduct with the cotton in the shirt; we really need a chemist here...!

Chris
 

Offline tommya300

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Why does deodorant stain the underarms of shirts?
« Reply #3 on: 20/06/2010 05:48:20 »
You might think I am nuts, but give me a second here.
Pretreat the stain before it drys, best attack is the moment it is off your back..

Set hard material, has it become water proofed in that spot?
This will not help that hard spot.

This will help the initial pre-treatment.
Go to the nearest professional camera shop.
 Get the chemical called Hypo... Sodium Thiosulfate.
It is used in one of the stages in developing film.
Soak the shirt over night in, only using, this room temperature or cold solution.

The next day rinse it out if there is a noticable change do the same again in Hypo.
It works getting rid of blood stains, why not other stains caused by body fluids?

A follow up, you can use a scub brush and "Resolve", name brand, it is a teflon based pretreat solution.
 I guess the idea of this solution is to make the stain molecules slide out from the physical bonds of the material.


Hot or warm wash on stains usually cook them in to the point the stain is set in.
That is the end all to the shirt, with the forever staying of that stain.

 If you had Hot or warm Washed, doing this before trying my suggestion, do not go any farther, all is lost, you will be wasting time and money on the stain.
The shirt is now only good for washing windows, other then that, maybe a flag of truce!



« Last Edit: 20/06/2010 06:44:30 by tommya300 »
 

Offline Geezer

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Why does deodorant stain the underarms of shirts?
« Reply #4 on: 20/06/2010 06:47:06 »
I'd be tempted to try "mechanical removal" with soap and an old fashioned scrubbing board. The build up of antiperspirant might be acting as a sort of waterproofing agent that's preventing the washing detergent from doing its job.

BTW - I always try to let the stuff dry on me before I put on a shirt.
 

Offline tommya300

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Why does deodorant stain the underarms of shirts?
« Reply #5 on: 20/06/2010 07:46:37 »
I'd be tempted to try "mechanical removal" with soap and an old fashioned scrubbing board. The build up of antiperspirant might be acting as a sort of waterproofing agent that's preventing the washing detergent from doing its job.

BTW - I always try to let the stuff dry on me before I put on a shirt.

If I could use a sewing machine I would stitch a tee shirt together  made of Depends
I wanted to try this for a long time. Especially in the winter when I am exerting energy moving the snow and sweating in the cold. Never stop for a rest everything get messy.
« Last Edit: 20/06/2010 07:49:59 by tommya300 »
 

Offline tug

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Why does deodorant stain the underarms of shirts?
« Reply #6 on: 27/06/2010 18:37:28 »
i did a bunch of research on this topic a while back when a reader sent in a question about how to remove set-in deodorant and antiperspirant stains and found several resources online that offered up several different ideas.

over time, i've compiled a couple articles on my site that summarize the root cause of the stains, and the various options you can try to remove them. here's a link to the articles:
newbielink:http://www.undershirtguy.com/2008/05/16/how-do-you-get-deodorant-stains-out-of-your-undershirts/ [nonactive]
newbielink:http://www.undershirtguy.com/2008/05/24/how-do-you-get-deodorant-stains-out-of-your-undershirts-part-two/ [nonactive]

while many of those home remedy solutions may work for your shirts,others may not. i was just introduced to a new product called deo-go that is said to be 100% effective in removing deodorant, antiperspirant, and sweat stains.

i'm waiting for my sample bottle so i can test it out and write a review article on the product, so feel free to keep an eye out on my site for the post. in the meantime, you can go to the product websites to learn more.

usa & canada: newbielink:http://www.getdeogo.com [nonactive]
rest of the world: newbielink:http://www.deo-go.com [nonactive]

hope the information above helps everyone out!

best,
tug
 

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Why does deodorant stain the underarms of shirts?
« Reply #6 on: 27/06/2010 18:37:28 »

 

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