4 Ways to Remove Yellow Stains from White Clothes

LAUNDRY DETERGENT PODS

To erase yellow stains from white clothes, scrub them with a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, let them sit for 30 minutes, and rinse them with cold water.

 

You’re ready to rock a crispy white shirt, but when you pull it out of the closet there’s a nasty yellow stain staring you in the face. Turns out you churn out more sweat than you thought. Now what?

You might be tempted to run it through the washing machine or douse it with bleach, but those can make stains even more stubborn. Luckily, all you need is a few cheap ingredients and a little patience to oust those yellow stains for good. 

In this article, we’ll break down four effective stain-removal hacks so you can rock your favorite clothes with confidence. 

Pro tip: Always check the care label on your clothing before you try any stain removal method. To be safe, test the stain removal method on a small, inconspicuous area of the garment first to avoid any potential damage.

How to Remove Yellow Stains from White Clothes

Here are four ways to erase yellow stains from white fabrics. These techniques are simple, backed by science, and you only need a few household ingredients to do them.

1. Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide Method

Baking soda acts as a gentle abrasive, while hydrogen peroxide is a mild bleach with natural whitening power.

What you'll need:

  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide (3% solution)
  • A small bowl
  • An old toothbrush

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, mix equal parts baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to create a paste.
  2. Apply the paste directly onto the yellow stain.
  3. Gently scrub the stained area with an old toothbrush, using circular motions.
  4. Let the paste sit on the stain for about 15-30 minutes. This gives the mixture time to break down and lift the stain.
  5. After 15-30 minutes, rinse the garment with cold water.
  6. Check the stain. If it's still visible, repeat the process until the stain is gone.

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2. Dish Soap Method

Dish soap is a great hack for pre-treating stains on white clothes because it has properties that break down and lift stains from fabric fibers.

What you’ll need:

  • ½ cup liquid dish soap
  • 1 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • Baking soda
  • Mixing bowl
  • An old toothbrush or other short-bristled brush

Instructions:

  1. Combine the dish soap and hydrogen peroxide in the mixing bowl.
  2. Apply the mixture to the yellow stain.
  3. Sprinkle some baking soda over the stained area.
  4. Let the shirt sit for one hour.
  5. Gently scrub in baking soda with your brush.
  6. Rinse with cool water, then run a wash cycle with laundry detergent.

3. White Vinegar Method 

White vinegar is a natural cleanser and deodorizer that also breaks down yellow stains.

What you'll need:

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Water
  • A basin or sink
  • Old toothbrush

Instructions:

  1. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a basin or sink. (You'll need enough liquid to submerge the stained area.)
  2. Place the stained garment into the vinegar and water solution, ensuring the stain is fully submerged.
  3. Let the garment soak for at least 30 minutes, but longer is better. You can leave it overnight for tough stains.
  4. After soaking, gently scrub the stained area with an old toothbrush.
  5. Rinse the garment with cold water to remove the vinegar solution.
  6. Check the stain—if it's still there, repeat the process until the stain is gone.

4. Lemon Juice and Salt Method

Lemon juice contains natural bleaching properties, while salt acts as an abrasive agent to help lift the stain.

What you'll need:

  • Lemon
  • Table salt
  • Water
  • Old toothbrush
  • Sunlight (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Squeeze the juice from a fresh lemon into a bowl. You can also use bottled lemon juice if that's what you have on hand.
  2. Sprinkle a generous amount of table salt onto the yellow stain, making sure it covers the entire stained area.
  3. Carefully rub the stained area with an old toothbrush, using gentle circular motions. Be gentle to avoid damaging the fabric.
  4. Let the garment air dry in direct sunlight for a few hours. The sun’s UV rays have natural stain-removing properties.
  5. After the garment has soaked up some sunlight, rinse it with cold water to remove the lemon juice and salt.
  6. Check if the stain is gone. If not, repeat the process until the stain is completely gone.

How to Prevent Yellow Stains on White Clothes

Here are a few tips to keep your white t-shirts, dress shirts, and other clothes stain-free.

1. Try an Aluminum-Free Deodorant

Most people think yellow pit stains come from sweat, but that’s only partly true—after all, sweat isn’t yellow. 

Yellow stains happen when the oily proteins from your underarm sweat mingle with the aluminum salts that are often found in antiperspirants. They cling to the fibers of the shirt, and once it goes through the hot dryer, the yellow stains get baked in.

To prevent yellow sweat stains, look for antiperspirants and deodorants that are aluminum-free.

2. Wash Your Clothes with Cold Water

Washing clothes with warm water can set stains, leading to permanent discoloration. Instead, run your wash cycle with cool or cold water. It’s better for delicate fabrics like linen and will also save you a decent chunk of money since hot water runs up your energy bill.

3. Don’t Overload Your Washing Machine

It’s tempting to stuff your washing machine to save time on laundry day. But this prevents laundry detergent from dispersing evenly, leading to dirt and oils building up on the clothes, potentially causing yellowing.

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Having clean clothes doesn’t matter if they smell like synthetic goop. That’s why we infused our laundry pods with sophisticated scents like Australian Sandalwood, Egyptian Rose, Indonesian Patchouli, and Siberian Pine so you can stay clean and confident.

Start saucing your clothes to see (and smell) the difference for yourself.

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