House Cleaning Tips > Clothing > Removing Yellow Stains from Clothing

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How to Remove Yellow Stains from Clothing

Our clothes aren’t safe from anything. We spill things on them, we rip them, and we get all sorts of bodily fluids on them. I could go on and on about how to get all the different stains from clothing, but you probably don’t have the time or patience for that.

So, for the purpose of conserving your time and sanity, we’ll concentrate on removing those dreaded yellow stains.

Yellow Sweat Stains on Clothing

You would think sweat would be something that wouldn’t leave a stain, right? Well that’s not the case, once the minerals in sweat gets mixed with the components (aluminum salts) of the deodorant you use, it then binds to the fabric of your shirts and you get yellow stains in the underarm area of your clothing.

Let’s take a look at a few ways to remove yellow sweat stains:

Baking Soda

First let’s try a homemade baking soda paste. Simply mix baking soda together with water until it forms a paste with a consistency like toothpaste.

  1. Rub the paste into the yellow sweat stain and work it in with your fingernail.
  2. Let this mixture sit on the stain for 30 to 60 minutes.
  3. Rinse, check your work and repeat if necessary.
  4. Wash as usual.

Hydrogen Peroxide

For white clothing, you can also pour 3% hydrogen peroxide on the stain and let it sit until it has had enough time to work on the stain.

Note: Hydrogen peroxide turns to water when exposed to light, that’s why it’s in a dark bottle. To keep this from happening, cover the area you’re working on with a clean white towel.

The amount of time needed will depend on the degree of the stain. The worse and more set in the stain, the more time for the hydrogen peroxide to work. So, leave it on anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes.

After 30 minutes has gone by you can check the stain, if gone, wash as you normally would with other like clothing.

If it looks like the hydrogen peroxide is doing the trick but some of the stain remains, leave it for another 30 minutes and check again.

If you are using this on a washable, dye-stable fabric, this should be fine but if you are unsure, do a small spot test to the underarm area.

White Vinegar to Remove Stains from Older Clothes

If you are someone that likes to be thrifty and purchase some of your clothing, especially the vintage stuff you can’t find in stores anymore, from thrift stores and there is something you just can’t pass up but there is some yellowing under the arms, white vinegar just might help you out.

Although white vinegar is slightly acidic, it shouldn’t be enough to damage older fabric, but you may want to do a test in a small area where the yellow stain is showing as this method for removing embedded stains will require it to soak for at least a day.

After testing the fabric and everything is good to go, completely soak the entire area in white vinegar then use a soft bristled toothbrush to carefully rub the vinegar in the stained area, let soak for a day. You may need to repeat this method.

This can work for set in ring around the collar stains as well. White vinegar shouldn’t be used on wool items though.

For more sweat stain removal information, take a look at this article:

Removing Perspiration & Sweat Stains

How to Remove Urine Stains on Baby Clothes

Babies, you got to love them. They are so adorable, cute and fun to cuddle. Inevitably you will come across a leaky diaper leaving urine stains on their clothing items.

When this happens, you will start to notice yellowing on their clothes. You will probably start to notice urine odor if left to sit and has dried.

Don’t worry though; there are simple household remedies you can use to get rid of this type of stain.

White Vinegar

Vinegar is inexpensive, it’s a natural deodorizer, it absorbs odors and it doesn’t leave behind any residue.

  1. In the sink, a large enough bowl or whatever works for this purpose, mix together warm water and white vinegar (this will be a 2 (water) to 1 (vinegar) solution).
  2. Let the stained area soak for at least an hour.
  3. Rinse completely and let air dry so you can see if the stain has been removed.
  4. If yes, wash as usual.
  5. If not, repeat the steps above but try soaking in straight vinegar for 30 minutes. Rinse, air dry and wash as usual.

Do not put clothing in the dryer until you know the stain is gone or you risk a permanent stain.

Removing Rust Stains from Clothing

Rust can get onto clothing by rubbing up against a rusty metal surface, a tool, the washing machine, etc. Even though you think you might not get the stain out, you often can.

Juice of a Lemon, Salt and Sunshine

Because we are using the power of the sun along with the lemon juice, this method works best on washable white clothing. Colors may become discolored or fade. If you do try this method on colored items, test in an inconspicuous spot first. I would not recommend using this method on delicate fabrics.

  1. Thoroughly rinse the rust stained area in cold water. No rubbing, just rinse, or you risk spreading the stain.
  2. Place the stained area on a clean white towel or layered paper towels.
  3. Pour salt over the stain.
  4. Take a lemon and crush it a bit to get more juice out by rolling it under the palm of your hand on a hard surface. Then cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the salt.
  5. Let this soak a few minutes then use your fingernail to scrub the stained area, working from the outside of the stain in towards the center of the stain.
  6. Let sit a few minutes then rinse with cold water.
  7. Take it out to air dry in the sun.

If any stain remains, try full strength lemon juice, let sit in sun until dry.

Rust Remover

If the lemon does not get the stain out, a stain remover specifically formulated to work on rust will take it out. Commercial rust removers are Highly toxic, so read the manufactures instructions carefully. A couple of options you can try are: Whink Rust Stain Remover and Super Iron Out Rust Stain Remover.

These are just a few methods to try on your washable clothing items. If it’s dry clean only, it’s best to take it to the dry cleaners as soon as you can.


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Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Mrs Clean (Corina Wilson) is not only the owner of the company, but a very busy mother of 3 children.

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Mrs Clean realized long ago, that a clean home is a necessity, not a luxury when we are struggling to find the time in our day to cover the very basic levels of work and/or family obligations. The battle seems to never end... (but that's why we're here to help!)

When Mrs Clean is not busy managing her house cleaning company or running her kids back and forth to their events, she enjoys experimenting with natural and non-toxic cleaners and learning new techniques to remove stains.

She thoroughly enjoys sharing her valuable information with the readers of her blogs and various social media sites.

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