Deodorant stains are quite visible on fabrics that are light colored. For example a white t-shirt. Your sweat is composed of different kinds of salts and minerals that react with other chemicals in the deodorant and then stick to the fabric. This is how the deodorant stains start building up.
Although the stains are supposed to come off if you regularly wash the clothes, like once after every use, they tend to become sticky if you do not. The longer the sweat+deodorant mixture stays in the clothes the stronger the strain becomes. And then you need special action to get rid of it.
Some people are too generous in applying deodorants, thinking that it will reduce sweating. This helps the stains build faster and stronger. More-over, remember that lots of deodorant on your skin is not a good thing either. After all, its all chemical
The stains appear as a light yellowish colored patch that becomes visible only on close inspection. If it gets too deep then it might become visible from distance as well.
Here are some very easy to do home made solutions to work on the stains the get them away from your fabrics. However, before applying any of the following methods, you should first check the fabric type and the information on its label.
Delicate fabrics like wool and silk are not supposed to stand powerful chemicals like baking soda. They might loose color or even get damaged if the impact is very strong. You should also check the colorfastness of the fabric by applying any solution to a hidden part first.
1. Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is mildly acidic and can be used to remove deodorant stains from non-washable fabrics like linen, silk and wool. Mix about 1 part alcohol with 2 parts water and prepare a mixture.
Just dab the stains with this mixture and let it sit for few minutes or as long as it takes to remove the stain. Then wash as usual.
In case of silk first test the colorfastness of the fabric by applying the solution on some hidden part of the fabric.
2. Salt and lemon paste
Mix some lemon juice, and little in a cup or something and make a paste out of it. Try rubbing this paste on the stain area. Let it sit like that for 5-10 minutes.
Wash as usual. Light stains should be gone using this method. Let your clothes dry in the sun.
Since lemon juice is acidic in nature, you would need to be extra careful with fabrics like linen.
2. White vinegar
Vinegar is a powerful cleaning liquid that can be used to lift many different kind of stains from fabrics.
Mix 1 part vinegar with 2 parts water in a cup. Now rub this solution on the strains area using sponge or washcloth. Then wash as usual. Plain white vinegar contains acetic acid which works quite well on removing stains from clothes.
However, check the fabric type and information on its label before applying vinegar. Avoid using vinegar with linen because it might burn the fabric.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda is another powerful cleaning agent. However since its alkaline in nature avoid using it on fabrics like wool and silk.
Mix about 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda in 1/2 cup water and prepare a solution. Apply the solution to the stain using a sponge brush and let it sit for few minutes or more as the stain dies out. Then wash as usual with detergent.
4. Ammonia water solution
Ammonia is yet another household item that is a powerful cleaner. It is a strong alkaline chemical and so is quite reactive. Be careful when using ammonia on fabric. Avoid ammonia on linen, silk, wool and cotton fabrics.
Mix equal parts of ammonia solution with water and apply this solution to the stained area. Dab a little, and then let is rest for about 10-15 minutes. You can keep it longer if the stain is taking time to loosen up.
Once the stain is gone, wash as usual in cold water.
Before using any of the above methods, make sure to read the label on the fabric for washing instructions. Not all fabrics are supposed to be washed using all of the above methods.
Incase of colored clothes, always do a spot test first to ensure the colorfastness of the fabric. Otherwise you will remove the original color of the clothe along with the stain.
All the above mentioned method are simple techniques using household items, but they might not work always. Then you may have to use some commercial stain removal product.