Most likely by now you have experienced this mystery once or twice in your life and struggled to receive a proper explanation as to Why or How stains and a discoloration appear on underarms areas.

The Problem:

A discoloration, normally yellow or brown in color on or about the underarm area. Staining may appear as ring, streak, splotch or lightened areas. Some cases the fabric is weakened and yields to small hole or tears.  Blue fabrics will reveal a pinkish stain or discoloration, white or beige fabrics may reveal a yellow or gold discoloration.  Although the discoloration may not be noticed immediately after wearing, it does surface within days.  Tears may occur during cleaning as the weaken fibers are exposed to cleaning process.

What Causes Underarm Damage and Discoloration?

According to a study performed by International Fabricare Institute, Antiperspirants are the leading cause.  Antiperspirants remaining on the fabric for a period of time forms hydrocellulose (chemical degradation) hence creating staining and weakness in the fabric.  However, some Antiperspirants and Deodorants are harmless to fabrics.  Stick and cream contain a higher pH (less acidic) than liquid.  Liquid tends to penetrate the fabric quickly and thoroughly.

Understanding Deodorants and Antiperspirants

Purpose and Function

In early generation oils and perfumes were used to mask odor generated by perspiration.  Today, there are two common methods:

  • Deodorant which prevents the development of odor in perspiration through anti-bacterial ingredients and does not reduce the amount in which a person may perspire.
  • Antiperspirants act in opposite to deodorant as it works to prevent our body from perspiring.  Most antiperspirants contain the same odor killing ingredients with additional chemicals (Astringents) to plug the sweat glands. Most antiperspirants include Aluminum Sulfate or Aluminum Chloride.

Both methods are available in forms of liquid, cream, stick and spray in which consumers may choose based on preference.

Preventing Underarm Discolorations and Staining

With prompt and proper care the mystery and challenges can be easily concurred.

  • Always wash garment as soon as possible hence, removing any residue of Antiperspirants, Deodorants or perspiration.
  • Switch from Antiperspirant to Deodorant with a neutral pH.
  • Undershirts shield your body from outer wear…lets face it, its cheaper to replace an undershirt than an expensive silk blouse or shirt.