How to get sweat stains out of shirts

It’s the eternal question: how to get sweat stains out of shirts? We’ve got the answer, along with some tips on how to keep your shirts looking fresh all day long.

To get sweat stains out of shirts, start by mixing a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar. Rub the mixture onto the sweat stains and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, rinse the shirt in cold water and gently rub the stain with a bar of soap or a stain remover.

Once the stain has been treated, wash the shirt in the washing machine on a hot water cycle with your usual detergent. If the stain persists, try repeating the process or using a stronger stain remover. It’s important to treat sweat stains as soon as possible to prevent them from setting in and becoming harder to remove.

get sweat stains out of shirts

Sweat stains can be a common occurrence on shirts, especially in hot and humid weather or during physical activities. These stains can make your favorite shirts look worn out and unattractive. However, with the right methods, you can effectively remove sweat stains and restore the freshness of your shirts. In this article, we will discuss several proven techniques to help you get rid of sweat stains and keep your shirts looking clean and presentable.

Soak in Vinegar Solution

One effective method to remove sweat stains from shirts is by soaking them in a vinegar solution. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Mix 2 cups of water and 1 cup of white vinegar in a bowl or sink.
  • Submerge the sweat-stained shirt in the vinegar solution and let it soak for approximately 30 minutes.
  • After soaking, remove the shirt and wring out any excess water.
  • Lay the shirt out on a flat surface and allow it to air dry.

The acidic properties of vinegar help break down the sweat stains and neutralize any odors. Vinegar is also a natural fabric softener, so your shirt will come out feeling fresh and clean.

Apply Stain Removal Paste

Another effective method for eliminating sweat stains involves creating a stain removal paste using common household ingredients. Follow these steps:

  • Mix baking soda, salt, and hydrogen peroxide to create a paste with a thick consistency.
  • Apply the paste directly to the affected area of the shirt, ensuring full coverage.
  • Allow the paste to rest on the stain for approximately 15-30 minutes.
  • Scrub the stain gently with an old toothbrush to loosen the residue.
  • Finally, machine wash the shirt in hot water to thoroughly remove the stain.

This method works well for both white and colored shirts, but it’s always a good idea to test the paste on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric first to ensure it doesn’t cause any discoloration.

Use Enzymatic Stain Removal Formula

For stubborn sweat stains, using an enzymatic stain removal formula can be highly effective. Look for products specifically designed for sports stains, such as Krud Kutter Sports Stain Remover or Zout. Here’s how to use them:

  • Before laundering, pre-treat the sweat stains on the shirt by applying the enzymatic stain removal formula according to the product instructions.
  • Gently rub the formula into the fabric, focusing on the stained areas.
  • Allow the formula to penetrate the fabric for the recommended time.
  • After pre-treatment, wash the shirt as usual.

Enzymatic stain removers contain special enzymes that break down protein-based stains like sweat. They are particularly effective in removing deep-set or old sweat stains.

Soak in Detergent and Vinegar

If you prefer a milder approach, you can try soaking the sweat-stained garment in a mixture of cold water and white distilled vinegar. Follow these steps:

  • Fill a basin or sink with equal parts cold water and white distilled vinegar.
  • Submerge the shirt in the mixture and let it soak for approximately 1-2 hours.
  • Use a soft brush to gently scrub the stain, focusing on the affected areas.
  • After scrubbing, wash the shirt using your regular laundry detergent.

This method is suitable for delicate fabrics or shirts with color-sensitive dyes. Vinegar helps break down the sweat stains, while the gentle scrubbing action helps lift the residue from the fabric.

Create a Baking Soda Paste

Baking soda is a versatile household ingredient known for its stain-removing properties. To create a baking soda paste for sweat stain removal, follow these steps:

  • Mix baking soda with water or hydrogen peroxide to form a thick paste.
  • Apply the paste directly to the sweat-stained area of the shirt.
  • Allow the paste to sit on the stain for approximately 15-30 minutes.
  • Use an old toothbrush to scrub the stain gently, working the paste into the fabric.
  • Finally, machine wash the shirt in hot water.

Baking soda’s natural absorbent and deodorizing qualities make it an excellent choice for removing sweat stains. It helps break down the stain and eliminates any accompanying odors.

Acting Promptly and Checking Clothing’s Care Label

While the methods mentioned above are effective, it’s essential to act promptly when dealing with sweat stains. The longer the stain sits on the fabric, the harder it becomes to remove. As soon as you notice sweat stains building up on your shirts, follow these steps:

  • Blot the stained area gently with a clean cloth or paper towel to absorb excess sweat.
  • Avoid rubbing the stain, as this can push it further into the fabric.
  • Refer to the care label on your shirt for any specific cleaning instructions, such as dry cleaning or temperature limitations.
  • Select the appropriate stain removal method based on the fabric type and the severity of the stain.
  • Follow the steps outlined above to treat the sweat stains effectively.

By acting promptly and using the appropriate stain removal techniques, you can prevent sweat stains from spreading or setting in further, keeping your shirts in excellent condition.


Sweat stains on shirts can be a nuisance, but they are not impossible to remove. By following the methods outlined in this article, you can effectively eliminate sweat stains and restore the freshness of your shirts. Remember to choose the method that suits your fabric type and the severity of the stain. Act promptly, be patient, and your shirts will look clean and presentable once again.


1. Can I use these methods for all types of fabrics?

Yes, the methods mentioned in this article are suitable for most types of fabrics. However, it’s always a good idea to test the stain removal solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric before applying it to the entire garment.

2. Are there any specific precautions I should take while using these methods?

When using stain removal solutions or pastes, it’s advisable to wear gloves to protect your hands. Additionally, read and follow the instructions provided by the product manufacturer to ensure safe and effective use.

3. Can these methods be used for older sweat stains?

Yes, the methods mentioned in this article can be effective for older sweat stains as well. However, older stains may require more time and repeated treatments for complete removal.

4. What if the sweat stains persist even after trying these methods?

If the sweat stains persist even after using these methods, it’s best to consult a professional cleaner or dry cleaner who can provide specialized treatments for stubborn stains.

5. How can I prevent sweat stains on my shirts?

To prevent sweat stains, consider wearing undershirts or sweat pads to absorb excess sweat. It’s also important to choose breathable fabrics and practice good personal hygiene.

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Camilo Kawas is a seasoned entrepreneur and expert in the field of commercial cleaning, with a specific focus on clothes, carpet cleaning and floor care. With a profound understanding of the importance of selecting the right products for effective stain removal from clothes, Camilo has established himself as a trusted authority in the industry.