Life is getting tougher for us everyday for various reasons be it the weather social problems or professional woes. How is this relevant to an article on perspiration? Well all these factors make you sweat big time. And a lot of us sweat much more than others causing us to face embarrassing social situations particularly with excessive underarm sweating. Even in normal circumstances underarm sweat is more of a problem than sweat in other parts of the body since it does not evaporate as rapidly. But when we sweat excessively (a medical condition that is termed as hyperhidrosis) the problem is exacerbated.
Why does excessive underarm perspiration cause more embarrassment than sweating elsewhere? Because we are talking about sweat that does not merely gather in the underarms but pools there and occasionally runs down a person’s sides. Needless to say such profuse sweating causes prominent stains that are visible to the world and his friend. Not only do these stains damage your clothes underarm perspiration stains can be hell to remove. Assuming you don’t want to keep these stains with you forever here are some tips on perspiration stain removal from articles of your daily wear.
Use a simple detergent: These days the market is full of liquid laundry detergents which claim to be specialists in treating tough stains. So as the first step in removing perspiration stains you can use any of these available liquid laundry detergents. It is better to use those that are labeled as containing oxygenated ingredients or those that claim to remove protein-based stains such as food and grass stains. Apply the detergent on the affected area and let it remain that way for 30 minutes. Then launder as usual and air dry.
Use solar power to remove stains: The sun can also help in removing perspiration stains hard as that may sound to believe. The only condition is that the sun’s rays must receive some help from liquid laundry detergents! Soak the affected garment in water and then use the liquid detergent in the stained area. After that lay the garment out to dry in the sun. However continue to wet the garment for some time by spraying water on it. After giving it a full afternoon of solar treatment launder on cool and air dry.
Use hydrogen peroxide: This is the best possible solution for removing perspiration stains from white fabrics. The chemical reacts with the proteins present in the perspiration residue and breaks them down thus helping to prevent the gradual darkening of the area over time. But you have to be extremely careful while dealing with colored fabrics because hydrogen peroxide possesses the same whitening properties as chlorine bleach. You can mix equal amounts of hydrogen peroxide and water and pour the liquid onto the stain allowing it to soak for at least 30 minutes. Launder on cool and air dry. If you find that the stain still remains you can soak it for another 30 minutes in a solution with a heavier dose of hydrogen peroxide.
Use vinegar and water: If you find that hydrogen peroxide is too harsh for your colored fabrics then you can use the safer option of a solution of vinegar and water. For best results mix one tablespoon of white vinegar with half-a-cup of water to clean out stubborn perspiration stains. Let the fabric soak for 20-30 minutes and then launder on cool.
Use cream of tartar and aspirin: This may seem a bizarre combination but it has been known to work wonders. Make a paste with one tablespoon of cream of tartar three crushed full-strength aspirins (they should be white and have no colored coating) and a cup of warm water and scrub in the stained region with an old toothbrush. Leave it that way for about 20-30 minutes. Rinse the affected area in warm water until the paste is completely removed. You can repeat this treatment-and-rinse cycle as many times as necessary but in our experience a maximum of thrice is enough.
Use baking powder: Sometimes the stale odor of perspiration persists on clothes even after you have washed them thoroughly. To get rid of this unpleasant smell follow this method. Add a ½-cup or so of baking soda to the liquid detergent when you are washing the clothes concerned. For eradicating both perspiration stains and odor you can try the following formula: make a paste with baking soda and water then rub it on to the problem area. Allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes and wash as usual.
Sometimes the fabric can suffer from yellowing which is an undesirable side effect of perspiration stains. If your fabric has yellowed and you can get hold of bleach that is safe to use for both your fabric and yourself wash it with the bleach. Remember; never ever iron a fabric that has become discolored by perspiration because the heat from the iron will further set the stain.
There is another way to remove the perspiration odor if it remains even after the stain has been removed. To remove odors after washing you can soak the garment in a solution of several spoonfuls of salt dissolved in one gallon of warm water.
However the best thing to do for perspiration stains is to figure out some preventive measures. Get hold of a good natural antiperspirant which can help in reducing the perspiration or wear inexpensive T-shirts under the outer shirt to protect the latter from getting perspiration stains directly. If you can manage it carry a change of shirts with you so that you can change at least once in the course of a working day.
Finally it is also important from the medical point of view to pay attention to excessive sweating if you develop the problem in adulthood after some surgical procedure or after you have completed the course for a particular drug because this can be a symptom of thyroid problems or other medical conditions that may need expert attention. You can therefore always go and visit your doctor if you feel that you are sweating too much.
Before you set out to implement the tips we have mentioned above and reclaim your favorite shirts by removing the perspiration stains we would like to impart one final word of advice: try to avoid chlorine bleach. It has a tendency to react with the proteins present in the perspiration and cause the stain to darken even further. So you may find that you actually end up making your collar and underarms brown while trying to make them white!