How to Restore Your Shirts

Dingy yellow armpit stains. It happens to all dress shirts sooner or later. Yes, even if you use aluminum-free deodorant.

Here are the factors that produce or accelerate nasty pit stains:

  1. Waiting over a week to launder shirts
  2. Aluminum deodorant
  3. Over-application of deodorant
  4. Over-application of fragrance
  5. Diet high in fat (funky but true)
  6. Sweat production and composition overall

You can only do so much in order to avoid all of the above. Eventually your sweat and skin cells are going to have a negative effect on your shirt.   


The Method

  1. Make sure you have Oxiclean                              
  2. Soak your shirt in a bucket of hot water with a cup of plain white vinegar (not balsamic or apple-cider please). Gently agitate the shirt                                                                                                             
  3. Gently squeeze out the excess liquid from the shirt and rinse under cold water. Rinse out your bucket, too. 
  4. Make some concentrated solution of Oxiclean and hot water, and set aside. Two scoops of powdered Oxiclean to 4-6 oz of hot water-- enough to soak into your badly stained areas.

    DON’T TAKE THE BAIT: We’ve all seen embellished images of people “rubbing a stain out” by grinding the fabric onto itself… Don’t do it! This method is just going to wear out your shirt’s fabric and not much else.

    Ok, now:

    1. Apply the Oxclean concentrate to the worst areas. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, gently agitate the badly stained areas (n.b. for a badly pitted shirt, remember to use the toothbrush on the outside and inside of the armpit area). Be more vigorous on thicker fabrics like oxford cloth, and more gentle on thinner fabrics like poplin.  
    2. Put your shirt in a bucket of hot water, stains facing down                                            
    3. Let soak overnight
    4. Remove the shirt and fill bucket with fresh, hot water
    5. Rinse out the shirt of any concentrated Oxiclean solution                                              
    6. If the stain is still there: add two scoops of Oxiclean to the bucket and let soak overnight again. If you haven’t gotten all of the stain out, repeat steps 4-8 until you have. 
    7. When satisfied with results after first overnight soaking: Take your rinsed shirt and run through regular washing machine cycle to rinse out any remaining residue.


    Now it's time to dry and iron your squeaky clean shirt!


    Sebastian Ward’s mission is to make an accessible wardrobe that is as elegant as it is functional.

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