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How to get rid of dreaded white stains on your clothes

Embarrassed? Annoyed? Frustrated? All of the above?

Yep it’s that feeling you get when you’ve had the day from hell and now you favourite shirt has white marks to boot.

You have good reason to give that antiperspirant/deodorant a piece of your mind.

A good old catch 22

White marks and stains have been a nagging problem for sweaters since the beginning of time, because usually the things that stop you from sweating and smelling are also white powdery substances. Catch 22.

Back in the day when aluminium-based antiperspirants were the only effective deodorant option, they definitely left behind white marks. But not only that - they left yellow stains as well. The aluminium would dry white on your skin which would rub off onto your clothes. The yellow stains were from the aluminium reacting with your sweat.

OK, so you’ve ditched the aluminium but the white marks remain

If you’re a Woohoo (or any other natural deodorant) convert but white marks are your dilemma, then we might be able to shed some light for you.

Deodorants like Woohoo still use white powdery things like clay, tapioca and bicarb to keep you fresh all day. So it is easy to jump it the conclusion that they are the naughty offender. But this probably isn’t the case.

Nothing is 100%, but usually Woohoo only marks your clothes if you are using way too much.

The most likely culprit is your own sweat.

Your sweat contains salt and a bunch of other minerals like chloride, potassium, urea, sugars, lactate, calcium, magnesium and zinc. These little rascals are what can leave your shirts with white marks which can be hard to remove.

It doesn’t happen to everyone because everyone’s sweat has different levels of salt and minerals. It’s just an unlucky few who have to deal with this.

So how do we get rid of the white stains?

So now that we know how those white marks got there, here are a few ways of saving your favourite black shirt.

Stain removing idea #1 – Pop an aspirin

No not for the headache the stains are giving you – the aspirin is to get rid of them. Aspirin contains Acetylsalicylic Acid which is great for removing stains

  • Crush and dissolve 5 aspirin into 2 litres of hot water.
  • Soak clothing for 4-8 hours.
  • Apply a few drops of full strength laundry detergent and massage.
  • Chuck it in the washing machine.
  • Repeat this process if needed.
  • You can also make an aspirin paste to apply directly to stubborn stains
  • Don’t use aspirin if you are allergic to it.

Stain removing idea #2 – Our friend Bicarb Soda

  • Make a paste of 4 Tbs. baking soda and 1/4 cup of warm water.
  • Rub the baking soda paste into the stain
  • Let it sit for 2-3 hours
  • Apply a few drops of full strength laundry detergent and massage.
  • Chuck it in the washing machine.

Stain removing idea #3 - It sounds weird but use some Meat tenderiser

Stick with us on this one. Meat tenderisers contain natural fruit enzymes called bromelain and papain usually from pineapple and papaya. They help to break apart protein stains so they can be gone from your clothes.

  • Moisten the stained area with water.
  • Work in a half-teaspoon of meat tenderiser with your fingers.
  • Let the solution sit for 60 minutes
  • Chuck it in the washing machine

Stain removing idea #4 – Don’t have the time? Use Sodium Percarbonate

Never heard of it? Maybe Napisan, Oxyclean or Vanish ring some bells as that is what they’re made of.

When mixed with water Sodium Percarbonate turns into hydrogen peroxide and soda ash. Hydrogen peroxide is very good at removing protein stains.

Many oxygen cleaning powders mix sodium percarbonate and washing soda together. The higher the amount of sodium percarbonate the better the cleaning power. So not all Oxygen laundry powders are equal.

  • Get some oxygen cleaner
  • Follow the products instructions
  • Chuck it in the washing machine

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