As the heat wave hitting the UK continues, more and more people are struggling with unpleasant side effects!

Sweating is uncomfortable.

And when it is this hot, whatever clothes you wear are likely to be feeling grubby and sticky within just a few hours of putting them on. 

So if you don’t work in a building with air conditioning. Or have somewhere to change and shower part way through the day, what can you do to feel fresh and prevent those nasty armpit sweat stains from ruining your clothes?

Well understanding that isn’t the sweat that causes stains. The culprit is the oxidisation of sweat and ingredients in the deodorant, usually aluminium. And that sadly many underarm deodorants that are great at blocking sweat are well known to stain fabric.

So, It would appear we have a chicken and the egg situation.

We asked laundry CEO Louise from Distinctive Wash a luxury fragranced brand of washing powder for thoughts.

“Prevention of sweat stains is far easier than cure; try to keep the amount of sprays and deodorants to a minimum, Don’t be tempted to apply a roll on or spray whilst dressed by flapping your arms about and going in between the buttons or for ladies applying it to armpits once youve already got that lovely dress on. You’ll end up getting more on the fabric than your skin. and the heat of the day wil then encourage stains to set.

Many men swear by wearing a fine cotton or bamboo thread t-shirt underneath a shirt no matter what the weather to help absorb perspiration. 

And always use a quality washing powder and wash both skin and clothing frequently. This is the time of year when quick showers morning and night are not excessive.

When to wash clothes – The rule of thumb

We are all aware that there is a huge drive to encourage us to wash less often to reduce energy consumption. But, quite honestly, if your clothes are soaked in perspiration and you feel in need of a shower then the chances are your clothes do too. If on the other hand you feel fresh as a daisy on your return home then your clothes might get another wear or two. This is the same if you live in the City or the Countryside. Your clothes are picking up different types of dirt and dust on the outside but also from the inside layer next to your skin and if you want fabric to stay in good condition then like your skin – the dirt and oils need washing off.

How to avoid underarm sweat stains
Sweating is an issue faced by many – take simple steps to avoid ruining your clothes

Distinctive washing powders have clever enzymes for superb cleaning results on sweat at low temperatures, plus our designer fragrance smells better as your body temperature heats up or if you are sitting in the sun. This means the more heat you generate or if you are sitting in the sunshine your clothing will smell better We get letters from customers who haven’t missed having a perfume on holiday with them which is great.

When it’s as hot as it has been the last couple of days then maybe one solution to prevent sweat stains is to actually have a quick underarm wash mid-day. So if you have real sweating issues, take a bar of soap and hand towel to work.

Avoid dried in sweat stains

Frequent laundering means different things to different people, so for clarity Louise says, If you really can’t wash shirts every few days then drop sweaty shirts or dresses into a bucket of cold water as you take them off, that will be better than leaving them in the laundry bin for a couple of weeks to create the dried yellow stain effect in the armpit area.” 

So now we have a better idea of what to do moving forwards, what about those stubborn stains that our past bad habits have resulted in, can we save our favourite shirts and dresses with armpit staining? 

How to remove sweat stains

Louise laughs at this, saying, “If you Google how to remove sweat stain you will find a thousand and one differing ways of doing this, some more plausible than others. I would have to say white vinegar is a fabulous natural one, if you mix one tablespoon of white vinegar and a half-cup of water. Allow the affected area to soak and then launder on cool. Alternatively, a little Distinctive added to a sink load left to soak overnight before popping in the machine the next day should work wonders too.”

Is it right about hot washes being better for removing stains?

“No, a hot wash can be better for lifting a stain but unfortunately if it doesn’t lift it, the residual stain is then locked in even more than it was before. Washing cooler is still best as you can repeat the process if the whole stain doesn’t lift in one go.

For the reasoning mentioned above never iron a stain. And if you have a dress shirt or dress that cost a few hundred pounds you might want to take a visit to a specialist cleaner if you have specific staining. A £10 cleaning bill is worth the peace of mind.