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Getting Warmer? Here’s How to Prevent Unsightly Sweat Stains

May 26, 2018 3 min read

Getting Warmer? Here’s How to Prevent Unsightly Sweat Stains

Yellow. Embarrassing. Unsightly. Nothing ruins an outfit – casual or formal – more than a shirt sweat stain.

We’ve all been there. You’ve got your best buttoned-down shirt on, looking good. That is, until you lift your arms. All of a sudden, the confident cool guy is replaced by a self-conscious, embarrassed guy. The more nervous you get, the more you sweat. And soon, your shirt is ruined. That yellow stain now serves as a red (yellow) flag that tells everyone just how much you sweat – not really a hit with the ladies, nor anyone else really.

In the quest to stop sweat stains, many people slap on more antiperspirant to turn the taps off. Unfortunately, this makes the situation worse, not better. Sweat stains are not only caused by what's seeping out of your pits; they are caused by a reaction of the protein in sweat, the aluminum found in antiperspirants and the shirt's fabric. Before deciding to go sans deodorant, there are other ways to keep your dress shirts sweat-stain-free.

Create a Barrier

Creating a barrier between your body and your quality dress shirt is one way to help prevent sweat stains. Here are three ways to do this:

1. The Inexpensive Undershirt

This one is easy and inexpensive: just wear an undershirt that will absorb most of the sweat.  Sweat stains not only look bad, they compromise the strength of your dress shirt. This means you'll have to replace them more often – something that isn’t exactly easy on the wallet. Save your dress shirts – and your money – with an undershirt.

2. Baby Powder to the Rescue

Sprinkle some baby powder on the underarm and collar areas of the shirt (the main culprits) before ironing. The baby powder absorbs sweat, antiperspirant as well as other oils or grime, keeping your shirt's fabric safe. Sure, you will have to repeat this process after washing your shirt, but since it helps prevent stains in the first place, we say it’s worth the effort.

3. Disposable Shields

Or more specifically - disposable shields that adhere to the underarm of your shirt. The last thing you need is a shield slipping out of your shirt in the middle of your oh-so-important business presentation. These hold up pretty well, but can be obvious when worn with shirts that are a lighter shade. Sure, the point of all this isnot draw attention to your underarms, but we still think this is better than the ugly yellow stain. You could always wear disposable shields only with darker colored shirts or combine the undershirt with the shields for lighter colored ones.

Say No to Antiperspirant and Yes to Deodorant

Yes, they are two different things. Antiperspirantsprevent sweat by blocking your pores while deodorant just ads a pleasant smell to disguise the odor. “Antiperspirant it is, you say, that’s exactly what I need!” Well, the problem is that one of the active ingredients in antiperspirant - aluminium - makes those stains so much worse and long-lasting. Switch to deodorant or aluminum-free antiperspirant instead. You may sweat more but using a combination of the above methods of stain-prevention should help you feel more comfortable.

Step Away from the Bleach

As tempting as it may be to simply use a lot of bleach to fight yellow sweat stains on your white shirt, this is one sure-fire way to make the stains worse. Don’t try this  - you’ll regret it. Stay tuned for an upcoming article about how to treat all sorts of stains.

Choose Breathable Materials 

There are two main types of fabric when it comes to clothing: natural fibers and man-made fibers. Synthetic fabrics are made from man-made fibers and tend to trap heat, making you sweat more. They also hold on to moisture, so the sweat accumulates and the stain spreads even further. On the other hand, natural fibers (like cotton - hint, hint) allow air to circulate throughout the fabric, managing heat (and cold, for that matter) better.

Luckily, all our shirts here at Dandy & Son are100% cotton. How convenient!

White Extreme Cutaway Shirt for Men from Dandy and Son

Prevention ReallyIs Better Than Cure

When it comes to shirt stains, you are better off preventing them instead of trying to get rid of them. Prevention is often easier on your prized dress shirts than stain removal; allowing you to shop for dress shirts to your heart’s desire without worrying about embarrassing shirt stains.