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How To Get Pit Stains out of Polyester

Unfortunately, excessive sweating can be hard on clothing, especially when it is made of certain materials, like polyester. Here is how to get stains out of polyester so you can stay stylish and stain free.
How To Get Pit Stains out of Polyester

The excessive sweating that comes along with hyperhidrosis can be hard on clothes. In fact, people who have axillary hyperhidrosis often report that soaking, staining, and soiling clothing is one of the hardest parts of hyperhidrosis they have to deal with.[1] This comes into play big time when it comes to polyester. There are certain types of clothing that are better for people who sweat excessively, and polyester is not one of them. This is because polyester is water resistant which means it won’t absorb sweat. When sweat has no where else to go it builds up underneath clothing which can cause discomfort and skin irritation. This applies to polyester blended to natural fibers too. Polyester has some great qualities as it is durable and hard to wrinkle, but people with hyperhidrosis need to weigh the benefits with the potential drawbacks.

For those times that you do choose wear polyester, there are ways to make sure that armpit stains aren’t permanent. Here is how to get pit stains out of polyester:

  1. Turn the shirt inside out so you can see the stain. Pour laundry detergent (full strength) onto the stain. Let it sit for about 30 minutes.
  2. Put the shirt in the washing machine like you normally would. When the wash is done look at the shirt. If the stain is gone, put it in the dryer and you are done. If the stain is still present then air dry the shirt. Don’t put it in the dryer as this will set the stain.
  3. To get a stubborn stain out mix: half a cup of water and a tablespoon of white vinegar.
  4. Apply this mixture to the stain and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then wash the shirt in cold water and air dry.

It is important to note that the sooner you treat a stain the easier it will be to remove it. This method should help you get a basic sweat stain out of a polyester shirt, but some stains are stubborn. If this is the case then you may need to be a little more creative in your use of vinegar. Try this method to get a stubborn sweat stain out:

  1. Mix vinegar with crushed up aspirin and make a paste. Turn the shirt inside out and apply the paste directly to the stain.
  2. Let the shirt sit for a few hours so the paste can sink in.
  3. Run the shirt through the washing machine and use cold water.
  4. Before putting the shirt in the dryer inspect the stain. If it is gone, put it in the dryer. If the shirt is still stained then try another method.

If your shirt is still stained after using both of these stain removal methods then you could try another method to get rid of armpit stains, but it may be hard to get rid of. Make sure you don’t put the shirt in the dryer if you plan on trying other options as this will set the stain into the shirt and make it almost impossible to remove.

If you struggle with armpit stains you, may also have issues with antiperspirant. There are effective ways to get rid of antiperspirant stains on clothes, as well as ways to remove antiperspirant from skin. Antiperspirant can control sweating and improve symptoms of hyperhidrosis, but it has its downsides.

Don’t let stains hold you back, there are many ways to get rid of them, and they don’t have to be a constant source of stress. Threre are also effective treatments for axillary hyperhidrosis and ways to stop excessive head and neck sweating which can be so damaging to a wardrobe.

  1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.
  2. Out, Out, Pesky Sweat Stains. (2011, May 11). Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 5, 2018, from
  3. A novel washing algorithm for underarm stain removal. (2017). IOP Conf. Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 254. doi:10.1088/1757-899X/254/8/082001
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