5 Tips For Treating Sweat Stains On Your Technical Apparel

If you're like me, I'm willing to bet you have no problems plunking down hundreds of dollars to have the latest and greatest technical apparel in your wardrobe.

Shirts, shorts, and socks are all pretty fancy nowadays. They wick away sweat, prevent chaffing and blisters, and some even have special fabrics to keep the stink off.

I can also imagine, like me, you might get a little pissed off when sweat stains start appearing on the technical apparel you have spent a small fortune on. You want these garments to last a long time and also want to keep them looking good.

Lucky for you, I have the secret solution to help prevent sweat stains and remove them if they do happen. Let's dive right in.

What Are Sweat Stains & What Causes Them?

What Causes Sweat Stains?

Sweat stains occur when a reaction between odorless, colorless sweat reacts with the aluminum found in the majority of antiperspirants.

Why Do Deodorants Contain Aluminum? If Sweat Is Odorless, Why Do I Smell?

Aluminum compounds block the pores to prevent bacteria from metabolizing the odor-causing proteins and fatty acids we excrete.

Sweat + Bacteria = STINK

Why Shouldn't I Just Use More Deodorant?

Our natural armpit bacteria population count is high, but the diversity is low. Research shows that using more deodorant modifies the microbial population, stimulating the diversity of foul-smelling, bacteria.

In short, increased deodorant = increased smell.

Solution? Shop for aluminum free deodorant

Do Different Clothing Materials Affect How Much I Smell?

where does sweat smell come from?

YES! Synthetic fabrics, such as polyester are notorious for getting permanently smelly.

The odorless bacteria that flourish on shirts (staphylococcus & micrococcus) are different from the bacteria that reside in our armpits (corynebacterium).

Meaning that your fabric of choice is directly related to your odor levels.

Odor levels and the notably foul bacteria, micrococcus, LOVES polyester.

Ranked Least Smelly To Most:

  1. Lightweight single jersey fabric (lycra, spandex)
  2. Cotton
  3. Wool
  4. Polyester
  5. Ribbed Materials (commonly used for sleeves and neckbands)

Tips For Treating Sweat Stains

Tips from treating sweat stains

Tip #1

  • Make a paste of equal parts baking soda and water. Generously apply to armpit area for 30 minutes.
  • Wash and line dry (or use low heat).
  • Alternatively, add 1 cup of baking soda to your washer.

Tip # 2

  • Mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water.
  • Soak clothing for 30 minutes.
  • Wash and line dry (or use low heat).

Tip #3

  • Crush 3-4 aspirin, add 1 tbsp. cream of tartar and 3/4 cup warm water.
  • Spread the paste onto armpit area and let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Wash and line dry (or use low heat).

Tips For Treating Sweat Smells

  • Fill a tub with enough water to cover your clothes entirely.
  • Add 1/4 cup white vinegar.
  • Soak for 30 minutes.
  • Wash and line dry.