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Why Do I Have Yellow Stains on My T-Shirt?

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Summer is quickly approaching (we promise!) and many of us are eagerly waiting to shed off the remainder of our winter wardrobe in exchange for lighter summer clothes. You may already have started digging through your wardrobe in search of your favorite t-shirts and light tops. Then you notice the yellow stains on your t-shirts, especially on the light colored ones. There is no way to mask them. These underarm stains seem to be on all your light summer t-shirts and tops.

Don’t blame it on the sunshine

Most people believe these yellow stains are a result of sweat. After all they only occur in the armpit area. In addition to this, they seem to be ubiquitous on summer clothing. It just has to be the sweat that causes it. After all, we sweat more under the summer sun right?

The facts

Contrary to popular belief, sweat doesn’t cause the yellow stains. In fact, sweat is a colorless liquid. It therefore cannot possibly cause staining even on light colored clothes.

The stains on your t-shirts are as a result of a chemical reaction that only takes place because of the use of deodorants and antiperspirants. Many people use antiperspirants and deodorants during the hot summer months in a bid to stop sweating and therefore avoid bad body odor and staining of their clothes.

The truth is that the antiperspirants only block the sweat pores. They don’t stop the production of sweat but stop the sweat from being expelled from the body as it should be. This only lasts for a certain period of time.

Sweat builds up in the sweat glands in the armpits in the mean time. A large amount of sweat however can push through the pores and be expelled right onto the clothing. A chemical reaction then occurs between the deodorant or antiperspirant and the sweat. The urea in the sweat reacts with the acidic and aluminum components of the deodorant or antiperspirant and result in the yellow discoloration that shows up on light colored clothing.

The results

This yellow discoloration is not easy to remove even for those who maintain a rigorous laundry routine. The sweat stains attract unwanted scrutiny from others. They make you appear like you either have a low level of personal hygiene or are simply lazy. This can cause great emotional distress as it certainly doesn’t reflect the truth.

How to prevent it

Since you can’t stop your body from sweating, you must look for another solution. It is actually quite simple. You need to stop using antiperspirants and other commercial deodorants that are aluminum based.

This doesn’t mean that you have to give up using deodorant all together. First off, you need to understand that sweating is a natural process that allows your body to get rid of toxins. Your body needs to sweat. You should therefore stop trying to stop this natural process.

Secondly, you should understand the sweat on its own does not result in bad body odor or yellow staining.

Thirdly, invest in an organic deodorant. These deodorants are based on natural products that will work to kill bacteria in the armpit therefore preventing the development of bad odors. The deodorants allow you to sweat and are not acidic or don’t contain aluminum. There is therefore no chemical reaction that could cause the development of yellow stains.

Still not convinced?

If you think that you can simply switch to wearing darker colors and continue using the aluminum based antiperspirants and deodorants, be warned. There are significant health risks associated with the use of these aluminum based products. You may be avoiding a yellow stain but still be placing your health under considerable risk.



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