How to Remove Sweat and Armpit Stains [Complete Guide]

By Marilee Nelson |

How to Remove Sweat and Armpit Stains [Complete Guide]

Sweat stains on clothing and household items can be annoying, unsightly, and a challenge to remove.

A complex combination made up of sweat (made up of mostly water and salt), sebum (an oil substance produced by the body), harsh ingredients found in aluminum-based deodorants (which we highly recommend avoiding), toxic conventional laundry detergents, dirt, and fabrics, sweat stains require proper attention and pre-treatment to prevent them from solidifying.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do any more online searches for “how to remove sweat stains” or “how to remove armpit stains”. In this article, you’ll learn about natural and effective stain removers such as mild dish detergent (like Branch Basics), baking soda, white vinegar, and even the sun!

Let’s dive in and explore how to use Branch Basics, and other natural DIY solutions, to break down, lift, and remove sweat stains.

Table of Contents: 

  • Here’s What You’ll Need 
  • How to Remove Sweat Stains From Clothes 
  • How to Remove Sweat Stains From Hats 
  • How to Remove Sweat Stains From Sheets
  • How to Remove Sweat Stains From Mattress 
  • How to Remove Sweat Stains Without Washing

Here’s What You’ll Need 

To remove sweat stains naturally and effectively, you’ll need to gather a few supplies.

For pre-made options: 

For DIY options: 

  • Baking soda 
  • White vinegar 
  • Distilled water 
  • Toothbrush, or a Natural Scrub Brush
  • Spray bottle
  • Bowl
  • Microfiber cloths

How to Remove Sweat Stains From Clothes 

Sweat stains on clothing occur for a variety of reasons. Yellow stains, for example, may form when aluminum-based deodorants mix with sebum, sweat, and conventional laundry detergents. But even without the use of antiperspirants and toxic chemicals, yellow stains can still form when sebum mixes with dirt particles.

To further complicate things, trace metals found in tap water can dull clothing and enhance a sweat stain. Even more, some fabrics are not sweat-proof. As a result, fabric dyes may bleed due to sweat, discoloring the garment.

Although the origins of the stain may be a mystery, removing sweat stains from clothing doesn’t have to be.

Using a pre-made concentrate like Branch Basics, or a natural DIY solution, here’s how to remove sweat stains from clothes:

Branch Basics Method

For white clothing:

  1. Spritz the sweat stain with distilled water.
  2. Treat the stain with a few drops of Concentrate.
  3. Sprinkle Oxygen Boost on top and scrub the fabric together until it gets soapy.
  4. Let it sit overnight so Branch Basics can work its magic.
  5. Wash as normal. If the stain remains, repeat the above.
  6. When the stain is removed, dry in the sun for extra stain-removing power.

For colored clothing:

  1. In a bucket of warm water, add 1 teaspoon of Concentrate and ½ scoop of Oxygen Boost.
  2. Soak the garment overnight.
  3. Wash as normal. If the stain remains, repeat the above.
  4. When the stain has lifted, dry in the sun.

DIY Method

Distilled white vinegar is the go-to hero for tackling sweat stains on clothing. It’s so versatile, that it can be used on most fabric types. 

Note: Before treating an entire stain, we recommend testing it on a small, inconspicuous area of the clothing item to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage or discoloration.

  1. In a bowl, mix equal parts distilled water and white vinegar.
  2. Dip a microfiber cloth into the solution and lightly dab the sweat stain.
  3. Gently rub the stain in a circular motion working outwards.
  4. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Rinse the area with water.
  6. Wash as normal. If the stain is still there, repeat the above steps.
  7. Dry the garment in the sun or by a window.

If the stains remain, give baking soda a try.

  1. Create a paste with equal parts baking soda and distilled water.
  2. Spoon the paste onto the sweat stain and gently press the paste into the stain.
  3. Let sit for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Rinse the area with water, ensuring the paste is completely removed.
  5. Wash as normal.
  6. Dry the garment in the sun or by a window.

Tip: If you haven’t already, consider switching to an aluminum-free, safe deodorant. Aluminum-based deodorants are toxic to your health and can leave behind yellow stains when they interact with your sweat.

For more tips and tricks on cleaning clothes naturally, check out 7 Safe Laundry Bleach Alternatives and How to Clean White Clothes Without Bleach: 6 Human-Safe Tips

How to Remove Sweat Stains From Hats 

Just like clothing, hats can become stained from sweat, too. But simply throwing your hat in the washer isn’t the route to take*. Instead, choose to pre-treat and handwash your baseball caps, straw and beach hats.

Reach for Branch Basics Concentrate, or some baking soda, and let’s get to work. Here’s how to remove sweat stains from hats:

Branch Basics Method

  1. Spray the stained area with Branch Basics All-Purpose.
  2. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, then gently agitate with a toothbrush or microfiber cloth.
  3. For stubborn stains, sprinkle with some Oxygen Boost and wet it with All-Purpose.
  4. Agitate until soapy and let sit for a few more minutes.
  5. Rinse in warm water.
  6. If the stain has been removed, set the hat in the sun to dry.

If the stain is still there:

  1. Soak the hat in cold water and add 1 tsp. Concentrate, and a scoop of Oxygen Boost.
  2. Let sit for 15 minutes or overnight.
  3. Periodically, gently agitate the hat’s fabric to allow the solution to work through the material.
  4. Rinse in warm water and set the hat in the sun to dry.

DIY Method

  1. Mix 4 tablespoons of baking soda with ¼ cup of distilled water.
  2. Using a toothbrush, gently apply the baking soda mixture to the sweat stains.
  3. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Rinse the hat with clean distilled water.
  5. Pat dry with a clean microfiber cloth and allow to air dry.

*Note: Before treating sweat stains, check the hat’s care tag for cleaning instructions. Do not wash a hat in the washer. The spin cycles of modern washing machines can cause irreparable damage to your hat. Keep hats in good shape and maintain their colors by hand washing.

Related Read: The Power of Sodium Percarbonate for Cleaning 

How to Remove Sweat Stains From Sheets 

The average person sleeps at least seven hours each night[source], indicating that the average person spends quite a bit of time in bed. Because of this, sheets often fall victim to sweat stains.

The key to removing sweat stains from sheets is to tackle them sooner rather than later. Stains that have been dried, or have set for a long time are harder to remove.

To do so, use a human-safe, fragrance-free, pre-made concentrate like Branch Basics, or a safe and chemical-free DIY solution.

Here’s how to remove sweat stains from sheets:

Branch Basics Method

To treat and clean sweat-stained sheets depends on the type of material they are made from. For example:

Cotton Sheets

  1. Spray the stain with All-Purpose, and agitate with a scrub brush. 
  2. Soak in water overnight. For extra stain-fighting power, add 1 teaspoon of Concentrate and ½ scoop of Oxygen Boost. 
  3. Wash and dry as usual.

Silk Sheets

As a rule of thumb, always pretest silk before treating stains.

  1. Wet the sweat stains with All-Purpose.
  2. Let it dwell, then gently agitate with a toothbrush until the stain lifts.
  3. Soak if needed, then wash according to the label.

Note: Do not use Oxygen Boost on Silk Sheets.

DIY Method

  1. Add ½ cup of white vinegar to a bucket of hot water and soak sweat-stained sheets for about 30 minutes to an hour.
  2. Wash and dry per the instruction label.

Or…

  1. Create a mixture of one part liquid dish soap, such as Branch Basics Concentrate, and two parts hydrogen peroxide.
  2. Rub the mixture into the stain with a microfiber cloth or a toothbrush.
  3. Let sit for 30 minutes or overnight, depending on how stubborn the stain is.
  4. Wash in a warm water wash cycle.

How to Remove Sweat Stains From a Mattress

Strip away the comforter, sheets, and mattress pad to find…sweat stains? Yes, mattresses can also fall victim to sweat while you sleep. 

In fact, the body has, on average, 2.6 million sweat glands found on almost every part of your body (excluding your lips). As you sleep, your body sweats to detox and adjust to the room’s temperature. And although sweating is natural, removing stains from a mattress can be challenging, but it isn’t impossible!

Branch Basics Concentrate and Oxygen Boost can do the trick. Or, give baking soda and vinegar a try. Here’s how to remove sweat stains from a mattress:

Branch Basics Method

  1. Spritz the stained areas with distilled water. Do not saturate.
  2. Apply a few drops of Concentrate to the sweat stains. Gently scrub with a damp microfiber cloth.
  3. Sprinkle Oxygen Boost on top and scrub again until the area becomes soapy.
  4. Let sit for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
  5. Spray with distilled water and wipe the stain clean.
  6. Set the mattress outside in the sun, or in a well-ventilated room, to dry.
  7. Repeat as needed.

DIY Method

  1. Fill a clean spray bottle with distilled water. Spray to dampen the sweat stains. Do not saturate.
  2. Sprinkle the stains with baking soda.
  3. Gently agitate the baking soda with a toothbrush, rubbing it into the stains.
  4. If possible, place the mattress outside in the sun to dry. If this is not possible, air dry in a well-ventilated room.
  5. Once dry, vacuum the baking soda from the mattress.

If the sweat stains are still visible, follow with some white vinegar:

  1. Fill a bowl with 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts distilled water. Apply the solution to the remaining stains.
  2. Use a damp microfiber cloth to dab the vinegar into the sweat stains. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Spray distilled water on the stains and wipe with a dry microfiber cloth to remove the vinegar smell.
  4. Place the mattress back in the sun, or in a well-ventilated room, to dry.

How to Remove Sweat Stains Without Washing 

On the go or don’t have time to pre-treat and wash sweat stained clothes? No fear. We have a few tricks up our sleeve for how to remove sweat stains without washing.

  1. Treat the stain immediately: The key to removing any stain is to act quickly. Otherwise, the stain could set into the fabric.
  2. Sunlight: After pre-treating sweat-stained items, dry them outside or by a window in direct sunlight. The UV rays from the sun help to break down and eliminate the stains.
  3. Make a paste out of baking soda and distilled water

Scrub the paste into the stain and let it sit for at least one hour. Rinse and dry it in the sun.

  1. Distilled white vinegar: Break up oils by blotting sweat stains by diluting white vinegar in distilled water. Rinse, then dry it in the sun.
  2. Mild dish soap and water: Dab the stain with a few drops of Concentrate, or another natural dish soap, and a damp microfiber cloth. Work the fabric in a gentle, circular motion until it becomes soapy. Let sit for 10 to 20 minutes. Rinse with distilled water. Dry in the sun.
  3. Lemon or hydrogen peroxide: Pour lemon or hydrogen peroxide onto the sweat stain. Let sit overnight, then rinse with distilled water and dry in the sun.

Remove All Your Pesky Stains With Branch Basics

You’re now equipped with the knowledge you need to remove sweat stains found on various items. 

With the use of natural products and everyday household products, such as mild dish soap (like Branch Basics), baking soda, white vinegar, and distilled water, your home and clothing will be stain-free for years to come. 

Interested in trying out Branch Basics for sweat stains, laundry, human-safe cleaning, personal care, pets, and more? 

No sweat (pun intended)! 

Check out our Premium Starter Kits (available in refillable plastic or glass) and discover more safe stain-fighting hacks in: How To Clean Wine Stains With Branch Basics and How to Get Oil Stains Out of Clothes Naturally 

Marilee Nelson

Marilee Nelson

Marilee Nelson is an Environmental Toxins expert who has spent nearly 30 years advocating for the chemically-sensitive and chronically-ill. She is a Board Certified Nutritionist, Certified Bau-Biologist and Bau-Biology Inspector and specializes in Food As Medicine. She has helped thousands of families and individuals identify, heal and recover from toxic exposures and is on a mission to revolutionize the way American families view their health.