You pull out that great blouse you wore last month, ready to wear it out to dinner tonight. Then you see them--those awful yellow sweat stains you failed to notice when you hung it up last. What causes sweat stains and is there anything you can do to avoid them?
Cause of sweat stains:
There are two types of sweat glands in the body: eccrine, which are located all over the body and regulate body temperature and apocrine, which are in the underarms, genitals, face and areola. Body odor comes from the sweat from apocrine glands when it comes in contact with bacteria on the skin. Body odor is also affected by other body factors such as hormones, stress and diet.
Sweat is actually clear and does not directly cause sweat stains on your clothes. Sweat is made up mostly of water and small amounts of ammonia, urea, salt and sugar. The real cause of sweat stains comes from the salts in your sweat mixing with the chemicals in your deodorant or antiperspirant, particularly with aluminum.
How to avoid sweat stains from deodorant or antiperspirant:
The most important thing to do to avoid sweat stains when putting on antiperspirant or deodorant is to let it dry completely before putting on your clothes. Gel and roll-on antiperspirants tend to cause more staining since they have more water and take longer to dry. It is important to only put on a thin layer and cover the armpit completely.
Frequently, we are in such a hurry getting ready that we get dressed too early so the antiperspirant ends up drying on our clothes right in the area that will show the stain. Using a few blasts from your hair dryer to help the dry your underarms before putting on your clothes can help avoid this.
Using armpit shields when wearing special blouses or dresses will help protect the fabric from the moisture of sweat leading to stains. Another approach is a special undershirt made in Switzerland that was designed for those who have excessive sweating. Laulas makes a T-shirt that has a gusseted area under each armpit that a handkerchief can be placed in to absorb excess sweat. Laulas’ motto is to “let it flow” at www.nosweatstains.com