How to Use Baking Soda to Remove Armpit Stains on Shirts

shirts cover

Wearing a shirt with yellow armpit stains can be embarrassing. It’s unsightly and just smells funny.

But don’t toss that shirt in the trash just yet.

Baking soda is effective in removing yellow armpit stains.

In this article, I’ll show you how I remove armpit stains from my shirts with the help of baking soda. Both whites and colors. These methods worked pretty well for my clothes.

Before starting, check out the shirt tags for laundry instructions just to be on the safe side.

Try these out and see for yourself.

For White Shirts

What you’ll need:

4 tsp. Baking Soda
4 tsp. Hydrogen peroxide
1-2 tsp. Water
Soft brush
A shallow container
Laundry basin or sink

what you need whites


1. Make a paste by mixing 4 teaspoons baking soda, 4 teaspoons hydrogen peroxide, and 1-2 teaspoons of water.

make paste for whites

2. Apply the paste directly to the stained area. Do both sides of the shirt. Leave the paste on for 1-2 hours, depending on the severity of the armpit stain. 

paste on stain whites

3. After that, scrub the area with a soft brush like a toothbrush. You can sprinkle a little more baking soda if you want. Keep brushing until the stain is gone. Don’t brush too hard, or you might damage the fabric.  

brush stain area whites

4. Rinse the paste off and launder as usual.

cleaned whites

For Colored Shirts

What you’ll need:

6 tsp. Baking soda
4 tsp. Water
Soft brush
A shallow container
Laundry basin or sink

what you need colors


1. Create a paste by combining 6 teaspoons of baking soda and 4 teaspoons of water. 

baking soda paste colors

2. Apply the paste on the armpit stain area. Make sure you rub it in there. Reverse the shirt and do the same on the other side.

armpit stain colors
rub in baking soda colors

3. Let it sit for at least an hour or more, depending on the toughness of the stain.

baking soda paste on stain

4. Brush the stained area. Use a soft brush when doing this. Don’t scrub too hard, or you’ll ruin the fabric. 

brush stain colors

5. Keep scrubbing until you remove all the stains, then launder in the washer like usual.  

cleaned colors

What Causes Armpit Stains?

Yellow armpit stains or “pit stains” form when the aluminum in your antiperspirant mix with your sweat. It is then absorbed by the fabric, leaving an undesirable yellow build-up.

7 Ways to Prevent Armpit Stains

Here are seven ways to prevent armpit stains from forming on your shirts. 

  1. Use an aluminum-free deodorant. There are tons of options out there. You can try organic roll-on or sprays.
  2. Keep your armpit hair trimmed. It will help keep your armpits cooler so you don’t have to use too much antiperspirant.
  3. Don’t overuse roll-on deodorant. 2-4 swipes for each armpit should do. 
  4. Wash your shirt immediately after you use them. It’s easier to remove armpit stains if you don’t give it time to settle.
  5. Wear an undershirt with your dress shirt. Undershirts provide an extra layer of protection between your dress shirt and armpits.
  6. Let your antiperspirant dry before wearing a shirt so that the excess won’t stick to the sleeves.
  7. Practice good hygiene. Change your shirt every day. 

Can I Use Baking Soda with Hydrogen Peroxide for Colored Shirts?

Hydrogen peroxide has bleaching properties, so I wouldn’t use it on colored clothes. You risk the color fading and ruining your shirt.

However, I know people who’re successful in removing armpit stains from colored shirts by combining the two.

I suggest you spot test first if you decide to try it.


Yellow armpits stains can be embarrassing but remember, all you need is a little baking soda to make it go away.

If you’re having problems with funky clothes, please check out my article on how to pre-soak smelly clothes with baking soda.

I hope that you try out the methods in this article on your next laundry day.

Thank you for reading!

-Baking Soda guy

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

For White Shirts:

  1. Can I use baking soda and hydrogen peroxide on colored shirts to remove armpit stains? Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide have bleaching properties, so it is not recommended to use this mixture on colored shirts. It may cause the colors to fade and ruin the fabric. Stick to using this method for white shirts.

For Colored Shirts:

  1. Can I combine baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to remove armpit stains from colored shirts? While some people have reported success using a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide on colored shirts, it’s best to avoid this combination. Hydrogen peroxide can have bleaching effects on colors, so it’s safer to use only baking soda for colored shirts.

General Questions:

  1. What other natural alternatives can I use to remove armpit stains from shirts? Apart from baking soda, there are other natural alternatives you can try. Lemon juice, white vinegar, and aspirin paste are some of the options that can help with armpit stain removal.
  2. Can I leave the baking soda paste on the armpit stains for a longer time to increase its effectiveness? While leaving the baking soda paste on for a longer time may seem tempting, it’s essential to follow the recommended times mentioned in the article. Longer exposure may not significantly increase the effectiveness and could potentially harm the fabric.
  3. Can I use baking soda to remove other types of stains from clothes? Baking soda is versatile and can be effective in removing various stains, such as oil and grease stains, coffee stains, and even ink stains. Always spot test on a hidden area of the fabric before applying the baking soda paste to the stained area.
  4. Are there any specific precautions I should take while using baking soda to remove armpit stains? While baking soda is generally safe to use, it’s essential to test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric before applying it to the armpit stain. Additionally, avoid scrubbing too hard, as it may damage the fabric. Follow the recommended steps and use a soft brush for gentle scrubbing.
  5. Can I use baking soda to remove other types of odors from clothes, such as body odor or mildew smell? Yes, baking soda is an effective natural deodorizer and can help eliminate various odors from clothes. You can use it as a pre-soak for smelly clothes or add it to your laundry detergent during the washing cycle to combat unwanted odors.
  6. Can I combine baking soda with other cleaning agents to enhance its stain-removing properties? While baking soda can be combined with some natural cleaning agents, such as white vinegar, to boost its effectiveness, it’s essential to avoid combining it with agents that may have adverse effects on the fabric, such as hydrogen peroxide on colored shirts.

Top Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels