Bras are a close-contact clothing item, therefore the underarm area in particular is prone to stubborn sweat stains after a while. And more often than not, a simple wash in the machine, even on a high heat, may not budge them.
So does this mean it’s time to throw the bra out? Not necessarily. This article will show you how to remove sweat stains from your bra.
- How to Remove Sweat Stains From Your Bra
- Ways to Prevent Sweat Stains on/in Your Bra
- Other Tips on How to Look After Your Bras
- Hand wash
- Wash Immediately After Wearing
- Rotate Your Bras
- Avoid Using a Tumble Dryer
- Use Special Lingerie Wash
- Scrub Sweat Stains Gently
- Treat Your Individual Bras Accordingly
- What is Sweat?
- Why Are Sweat Stains Yellow (When Sweat is Clear?!)
- Why Do We Sweat?
- How To Reduce Sweating
- Causes of Sweat
There may be affiliate links in this article. You can read more about this in my disclosure.
How to Remove Sweat Stains From Your Bra
This step-by-step process will help you to remove even the most stubborn of sweat stains.
What you’ll need:
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Baking soda
- A clean sponge or toothbrush
- 2 clean, dry towels
- Large bowl of warm or cool water
Making a Magic Mixture
There are several roads you can go down to remove sweat stains from your bra, and one of the most powerful ways is with a combination of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.
Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful solution for your colored and patterned bras because it can lift stains without causing the dye on the fabric to fade or bleed, unlike bleach or other cleaning products.
For this method you’ll need to combine equal parts hydrogen peroxide and baking soda and mix it into a paste and saturate the stain.
Leave the paste on the bra for at least an hour to set, and once it’s dried, gently remove the paste off the fabric and hand-wash the bra with your detergent.
Repeat this process if you’re dealing with a particularly stubborn stain.
If you’re dealing with a white bra, you can also try applying a small amount of dish soap to the stain. Avoid performing this method on colored bras, as it could compromise the dye, causing it to fade, bleed, or smear.
Gently rub the dish soap into the stain. Avoid roughly scrubbing.
After you have completed the first part of the process, wash your bra as normal to remove any soap resin and dirt from the stain.
Conversely, you can also place the bra in a tub, sink, or basin of cool or cold water to soak. Let it soak for at least 30 minutes.
You may find that you need to repeat this process of applying detergent and soaking again if the stain is particularly vivid and doesn’t want to lift from the fabric.
Finally, rinse the bra until the water runs clear.
Whatever you do, don’t wring out the bra or put it in a dryer. Both of these actions will ruin your bra, particularly if it has underwire.
Instead, wrap it between two towels to eliminate excess water. Avoid hanging the bra by its straps, as this can stretch them out.
Instead, lay them flat to dry or hang them over a clothes airer or out on the washing line. Bras are more delicate than they look, and should be treated as such!
Always read the label on your bra to see what the manufacturer recommends for washing, as the above methods may not be suitable for all fabric types.
It’s best to treat and wash your bra as soon as you notice any sweat stains appear. The longer you leave them on, the more of a chore they will be to remove.
Ways to Prevent Sweat Stains on/in Your Bra
Avoiding perspiration is impossible as it is a healthy, essential way of our bodies regulating the heat they experience. A sort of built-in air-conditioning, if you will!
However, it can be embarrassing and inconvenient – especially on light or white-colored underwear, so if you would like to reduce potential sweat stains in your bra, here’s how:
- Make sure you are wearing the correct sized bra. 80 percent of women aren’t wearing the right sized bra. If this is the case and yours is too tight, you will be more prone to sweating into it.
- Wear the right style bra to suit the weather.
- Go braless!
- Particularly in hot weather, wear a fresh bra every day.
- Avoid allowing too many harsh chemicals (such as fabric softener or perfume) to come into contact with your bra. This is because these chemicals are likely to react with your sweat and cause unpleasant-looking stains and smells on your bra.
Other Tips on How to Look After Your Bras
Even if your bra isn’t stained, looking after it from day one is important and will preserve its longevity. Hand washing and air drying bras is always the best option when laundering because it is the least destructive.
It can be tempting to toss your bra in the washing machine with your other delicates after a long day, but this habit will eventually wear your bra out.
It can seem time-consuming and tedious to clean your bras this way, but it is the best option for preserving the life of your bra – especially if it is an underwire bra.
Wash Immediately After Wearing
If you sweat in your bra, make sure you wash it as soon as you can after wearing it. Nipping any potential stains in the bud before they set into the fabric will prevent any tedious stain-removal sessions.
Pre-treat stains on the heavily-worn or delicate areas of your bra, like your straps, underwire, or lace, with a stain remover. This is especially advisable with sports bras or other bras you’re more prone to sweat into, or any expensive bras you are particularly fond of.
Rotate Your Bras
Most women have that one favourite bra they are tempted to wear to death, but it is important not to wear the same bra every day.
This is obvious for general hygiene reasons, but also by rotating your bras, you get more wear out of them all as the elasticity in them isn’t being stretched every day.
If you only have a small number of bras, perhaps now is the time to treat yourself to a few new ones to add to your collection. Treat your bras the same way you would with your underpants.
This is especially important if you have an active job and are prone to sweating daily.
Avoid Using a Tumble Dryer
Tumble dryers are no friend of your bras. Or any other delicates really. As we mentioned earlier, hanging or air-drying your bra is the best option.
Use Special Lingerie Wash
Any special detergents that you would use with delicates will also work for washing your bras. You can also buy a special lingerie liquid soap that’s specially formulated for cleaning fine fabrics, such as delicate underwear.
These special washes will help prevent rips, pad deformation and bent wires, and you won’t need much of this detergent. A little goes a long way, and your bra will thank you for looking after it so well by lasting longer than it usually would.
Scrub Sweat Stains Gently
When removing any stains from clothing, sweat included, you may need to scrub a little harder. This is because liquids such as sweat are particularly potent and vivid.
But resist the urge to scrub and rinse too aggressively. Doing either will cause the fibres in your bras to break down, thus affecting the integrity of the cups and elastic. Easy does it!
Treat Your Individual Bras Accordingly
All bras are different. Bralettes or bras without padding/underwire will not require the same type of detailed upkeep a padded or wired bra would.
They can be washed in the washing machine (on a delicate cycle, of course) and don’t need to be hand-washed. Self-adhesive and sports bras need a bit more maintenance, and should be washed after each wear.
What is Sweat?
Sweat is mainly water, but it also contains other things, such as ammonia, urea, salt, and sugar. The reason we sweat is to regulate our body temperature and prevent us from overheating.
As the water in the sweat evaporates onto our person, the surface of the skin cools. If left alone on fabric, it will yellow in color and odorize.
It is clear in color and void of odor, initially.
Why Are Sweat Stains Yellow (When Sweat is Clear?!)
Yellow armpit staining can be caused by various factors, including an individual’s sweat composition (our sweat is different and various things factor in to make our sweat unique, such as food, hydration, general health, and environment).
As mentioned above, yellow staining occurs when the chemicals in our sweat react to the chemicals that may be on our clothing (such as perfume, laundry detergent, and deodorant, etc), causing a stale yellow color.
Why Do We Sweat?
The purpose of sweat is to cool our bodies down when they become overheated. This works when the sweat has been secreted onto our skin and cooled, thus lowering our temperature slightly.
How To Reduce Sweating
Sweating can be embarrassing and inconvenient, but we all do it and it serves an important purpose. However, it catches us out sometimes – as with cloth-staining, for example!
The good news is there are ways of reducing how much we sweat, or at least how odorous our perspiration is. Some things to consider are:
1. If you’re a nervous-sweater and you have a big event coming up, apply your antiperspirant or deodorant the night before, which will prevent discolouration of clothing because it will have a less potent effect when the chemicals collide.
2. Reduce the amount of caffeine and alcohol you consume.
3. Drink plenty of water. Hydration is key to reducing odour in perspiration. Sweat can cause us to dehydrate too, so any fluids lost by way of perspiration should be topped up by drinking water.
4. Avoid eating spicy foods, or junk food.
5. Use more natural, less chemical-based deodorants and antiperspirants. The more chemicals that meet your sweat, the more a reaction will occur.
6. Shower daily, paying thorough attention to areas you sweat most, such as underarms.
7. Wear fresh clothing and underwear every day.
8. If you’re finding that you are prone to over-perspiring and see no obvious reason as to why, talk to your GP as there could be a medical cause for this.
Causes of Sweat
- Hot temperatures, such as summer, central heating, and saunas
- Physical exercise/exertion
- Physical and emotional stress
- Physical pain
- Eating hot or spicy foods
- Fever associated with illness
- Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating not triggered by the causes above) – talk to your GP.
So, we have learned that bras are delicate things, and unfortunately, are prone to sweat stains due to the direct contact it has with concealed parts of the body.
There are methods of removing these yellowy stains that don’t involve reaching for a bottle of bleach. Making a simple formula at home of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda will be more effective, and will not cause a corrosion effect, similar to how bleach will.
There are many ways of caring for your bras to get the best out of them, instead of having to replace them regularly, which can be costly.
We’ve learned that as many as 80 percent of women are wearing the wrong size bra, so make sure yours is the correct fit. This will help support your bust, as well as preserve elasticity of the skin, and will mean you are more comfortable.
Tight-fitting bras are naturally going to cause you to sweat more, meaning your bra will be more susceptible to staining.
Sweat stains clothing yellow when it combines with other chemicals, such as the ones in laundry detergent and deodorant. Using a more natural deodorant will prevent some staining.
When caring for your bra, hand-washing it and air/line-drying it is the best way of keeping it clean and well-preserved. Most bras aren’t compatible with the washing machine and should always, always be kept away from the tumble dryer!
Underwire and padded bras require more maintenance than others. Sports bras and bras you’re prone to sweating into should be washed after every use.
Last update on 2022-08-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API