How to Get Sweat Stains Out of a Dress Shirt

We all know how annoying it is to find a sweat stain on our favorite shirt. And often, we don't even know how to remove the stains correctly, ruining the shirt entirely. But don't fret! This guide will show you some easy and effective methods to remove sweat stains from your shirt so you can continue wearing it without worry.

First, it's important to note that sweat stains on shirts are normal and happen to everyone. But that doesn't mean you have to get rid of your favorite shirt and buy a new one every time a stain appears. With a bit of care and the correct method, you can easily remove sweat stains from your shirt and keep wearing it for years.

So, what are you waiting for? Get rid of those pesky sweat stains once and for all with our helpful guide. Below is a complete guide on cleaning your favorite dress shirts.

Treat New Sweat Stains Straightaway

You must remember that if you have discovered sweat stains on your favorite dress shirt, you must treat it immediately. Attempting to eliminate new sweat stains compared to older ones is much easier, allowing the sweat less time to damage or color your shirts permanently.

However, if you believe that a sweat stain may develop, or there is a chance of one developing, you can treat your shirt before they appear. Either rinse the at-risk area with cold water or add a small amount of distilled white vinegar before washing your shirt.

Avoid Bleach At All Costs

Using bleach to rid your shirt of annoying and off-putting sweat stains might work perfectly. You actually could not be more wrong. Not only does bleach tend to worsen sweat stains. But, if you try to use bleach to treat stains on colored shirts, you may ruin the color beneath the stain and render your shirt unwearable.

You may think that bleach might be a cheap solution to your staining problems, but it will cost you more money in the long run. And you do not have to pay for any expensive stain remover when you may have the perfect solution in your kitchen cupboards.

Treating White vs. Colored Shirts

While there are a few differences between treating a sweat-stained white shirt and a colored shirt, the method is not identical. Finding those discolored, sometimes yellow, stains on a white shirt can be deflating, as they are much harder to hide than colored shirts. Not to mention the temptation to throw the shirt away. But, before you act too hastily, here are the two general techniques to get rid of sweet stains depending on the color of your shirt.

White Shirts

This is what you will need to do to get rid of sweat stains from your classic business or white dress shirt. First, rinse your dress shirt in warm water. Then you will need to target the sweaty spots with either a combination of your washing detergent and white vinegar or baking soda mixed with water or hydrogen peroxide.

Once you have applied the concoction to the necessary areas, leave the shirt to rest for 20 minutes, allowing the mixture to soak into your dress shirt. If the stains are either old or quite large, you may wish to leave the shirt overnight if possible. Once the waiting period is over, wash your shirt as usual (as instructed by its label). You may repeat the process if you do not get the required results.

Colored Shirts

Whereas with colored shirts, you can follow mostly the exact instructions as the white shirt section. However, you may wish to avoid the use of hydrogen peroxide. Use this chemical when treating white shirts due to its natural properties that can lighten the applied material.

So, if you try to use hydrogen peroxide on a colored shirt, it could ruin the area you are treating for the stain by lightening it more than the rest of the shirt. Instead, when creating the formula that will remove the stain, opt for the white vinegar and washing detergent or baking soda and water concoctions. Aside from this change, follow the same method as the white shirt sweat stain solution.

How To Get Rid Of Sweat Stains From Your Shirt Collar

One of the critical places where most people may find sweat stains on their shirts is the collar area. And, because of the shaping of a collar, it can be pretty tricky to get rid of stains.

To eliminate sweat stains from your shirt collar, you must first lay your shirt on a flat surface with the collar facing upwards. Then pour either your dish soap or a liquid laundry detergent onto the stained area and then rub it in gently. Then after rubbing it in, leave the shirt for 30 minutes to allow the liquid to soak in thoroughly. Once the time has passed, wash the shirt as usual.

Alternative Sweat Stain Removal Methods

While the above methods are some of the most popular ones to use when attempting to rid your favorite shirt of its pesky sweat stains, they are not the only ones.

Lemon Juice And Water

Layout your shirt on a flat surface, squeeze juice fresh from a lemon onto the stain, and then add an equal amount of cold water. Then, scrub the area well with a concoction with a toothbrush or something similar. Once you have washed it thoroughly, try to leave your shirt in a sunlit place.

Soaking your shirt allows both the sun and the lemon to act as light-bleaching agents, which will not be too powerful to damage your shirt but effective enough to help the sweat stain fade away. Then, after leaving it for as long as possible, wash your shirt as usual.


Perhaps the most out-of-the-box method that you have heard about, but also the handiest, as most households will have a packet of aspirin. This method is probably the most effective if you tackle removing a sweat stain from a white cotton shirt.

All you need to do is take two soluble and non-coated white aspirin tablets and dissolve them in half a cup of water. Then apply the mixture to the stained area and leave it to soak in. You can also rub a small amount of your washing detergent into the stain before washing it as usual.

Salt And Warm Water

Yet another staple kitchen ingredient, salt, can make your food more enjoyable and help you get rid of any sweat stains that may appear. All you need to do is dissolve 4 tablespoons of salt into one liter of warm water.

Then, sponge the mixture onto the stain with a cloth (or something similar) until it disappears. Once you have finished absorbing, wash the shirt as usual. Feel free to repeat the process if you are still waiting for the desired result.

How To Tackle Silk Shirts

Please don't act in haste if you notice a sweat stain on your favorite silk shirt; it's time to take it to a dry cleaner. Do not try to clean or get rid of it yourself. Instead, take it to your local dry cleaner, explain the situation, and allow the pros to get rid of it for you.

How To Prevent Against Future Sweat Stains

The perfect solution to reducing sweat stains on your dress shirts, in the first place, is not to get them at all. And you may not know that there is a straightforward process you can undertake that will limit your chances of getting new sweat stains on your favorite shirts and keep them of better quality for longer.

To achieve this, all you need to do is purchase an empty spray bottle and white vinegar from your local store. Then, mix 50% water with 50% white vinegar in the bottle, and you have your own sweat stain prevention spray.

Every time you wear your dress shirt to work or for other leisure purposes, spray it after you have taken it off. Be sure not to add damp clothes to your laundry basket, as it would cause mildew to grow. And then, you can add your treated shirts with your regular wash.

Final Thoughts

That concludes our guide on how to get rid of sweat stains from your favorite shirts. If you need help preventing sweat stains from appearing or how to get rid of them once they have occurred, we hope that one of the above methods will help you.

With so many at-home methods available, you do not need to spend much money on a stain remover. And with most households having these ingredients in their kitchen cupboards or medicine cabinets, you should be able to tackle any stain straight away.

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