Antiperspirants use aluminum salts to stimulate the cells in the underarm to stop producing sweat. Although these compounds are effective, they also mix with the minerals in the body to cause stains on the underarms of garments. Remove these stains by pretreating using a mixture of ammonia and water.
- Mix the pretreatment solution
Mix equal amounts of ammonia and water to pretreat the stains; 1/2 cup of this solution is enough to treat several shirts.
- Apply the solution to the shirt
Put on rubber gloves to protect your hands. Apply enough of the solution to saturate the stains on the shirt.
- Allow time for the treatment to work
Wait at least an hour for the solution to dissolve the stains before washing. Check the shirt occasionally, and add more solution if it begins to dry.
- Launder the shirt
Wash the shirt in normal detergent. Do not add chlorine bleach or vinegar to the washing machine when laundering shirts that you treat with ammonia. Mixing ammonia with other cleaning agents releases chlorine gas, which causes sinus irritation, severe lung damage and possibly death.
- Check for stain removal
When working to remove stains, always check to ensure complete removal before drying. Many stains become more difficult to remove if heated.