Ever wondered why your shirts get those yellow stains in the armpit area?
If you check the label on your deodorant, it will likely read some type of aluminum based ingredient, usually aluminum chlorohydrate. The pesky stains are actually the result of a chemical reaction between your sweat and the aluminum contained in the deodorant. These type of stains are incredibly hard to remove (even with stain removers) and on colored shirts they can cause a permanent discoloration, resembling the effect of bleach.
The best way to protect your clothing is to act preemptively, which means buying an aluminum-free deodorant. Don’t be fooled by those “Invisible Dry” products found at the supermarket, if you look at the label you will still find aluminum listed.
Look strictly for products that read “aluminum free”, you’ll be able to find them at your local pharmacy from brands such as La Roche Posay, Vichy or Roc. Another option is to try other professional apothecary brands like Malin+Goetz.
(Photos from the brands’ official websites)
Be aware though, that despite causing stains, aluminum is the most effective ingredient against perspiration and body odor: therefore, when going “sans aluminum” you might have to try a few products in order to find the best match for your body chemistry.
PS: If you have an item with these kind of stains, try gently rubbing the area with an active oxygen based product and leave it on for a few minutes, prior to washing.