Imagine slipping on your favorite little black dress that you’ve been visualizing yourself in for weeks, only for your deodorant, whose label swore it would glide on invisibly, to leave a painfully obvious streak. Not only do you now have a billboard pointing to your underarms, you start second guessing whether you need to backtrack on your entire outfit. What’s worse is that you can count on both hands the amount of t-shirts you’ve lost to stubborn, sometimes discolored deodorant stains.
Your body reacts to the ingredients found in your deodorant or antiperspirant, which is what causes the stains in the first place (via The Spruce). As annoying as they are, you can completely avoid getting deodorant stains by getting dressed first, and then putting on your deodorant. Instead of applying right from the top, slip your arm under the bottom hem of your clothes (via Well and Good).
But if that ship has already sailed, most deodorant stains are not permanent and can actually be removed. Instead of taking your favorite top out of rotation and designating it your sleep tee, here’s how you can make your uninvited guest disappear.
Dish soap is great at removing fresh and old stains, if applied correctly
There are two types of deodorant stains, which will change your approach. According to the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Georgia, if you just threw on your clothes and noticed the stain right after, all you need is dish soap and water. Lucky for you, fresh stains are the easiest to remove. Grab a wet washcloth and apply a small amount of dish soap. Then, gently rub the washcloth on the stain until it disappears, rinse out your soapy washcloth, and wipe the area where the stain used to be for a final time. Et voilà! Give it a few minutes to dry and you’re all set (via PureWow).
Older stains require a little more effort. You can go the easy route and pick up a stain remover, or save money and DIY it using items you probably already have in your house. Get rid of stubborn stains by applying dish soap and hydrogen peroxide to the area and letting it marinate for an hour, before scrubbing away any last spots with baking soda (via Lifehacker).
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