Armpit stains on white T-shirts are caused by the reaction between antiperspirant ingredients and the salts in human sweat. Most antiperspirants contain aluminum compounds to reduce wetness. It is the aluminum that causes the buildup and yellowing. The stains don’t appear overnight, but without proper washing after each wear, the stains will start to show.

You will need these items: Blue Dawn liquid dishwashing detergent, fresh hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and bristle brush

In a small jar or bowl, make a mixture of 1 part Dawn and 2 parts hydrogen peroxide. Protect your countertop or work area with a thick white towel. Fully saturate the stains with the liquid. Then sprinkle baking soda over them, and with an old toothbrush or bristle brush, scrub the areas well. Allow it to sit for at least an hour, and then launder as usual.


Place a folded white paper towel under the stained area, and then spray WD-40 lubricant directly on the stain until saturated.

Turn the fabric over, and spray the stain on the other side. Let the WD-40 work for at least 15 minutes to loosen the waxy part. Then use a dull knife or the edge of a credit card to gently lift any crayon solids from the surface.

Next, rub a bit of Blue Dawn liquid dishwashing detergent into the crayon mark. Work it into the stained area with your fingers or a soft brush. Allow the WD-40 and detergent to work on the stain for at least 15 minutes, and then launder as usual, following the care instructions on the label.

Mary invites questions, comments and tips at, “Ask Mary a Question,” or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of Debt-Proof Living, a personal finance member website and the author of the book Debt-Proof Living, Revell 2014. To find out more about Mary visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at


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