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A Cleaner World Blog

The Impact of Antiperspirant on Your Clothes

Given how hot it is, you’re probably using this product more than once a day – antiperspirant.  It’s an important personal hygiene product in any season but especially during the summer months.  But did you know it could be damaging your clothes? 

Before we talk about how, let’s talk briefly about how antiperspirants work.  Most antiperspirants are made of aluminum chloride, which dissolves in the sweat at the skin’s surface of the armpit.  Once it’s dissolved, it fills the sweat gland, creating a seal near the top of the gland, and that significantly reduces the amount of sweat that is produced at the skin’s surface.  To remove the product from your body, you simply shower or bathe, and it’s gone – but it’s not as easily removed from clothing.  In fact, it can clump up in certain fabrics, but in all fabrics it never completely washes out and will build up after each wearing.  The result is that, over time, you may notice the underarms of your shirt changing color, and the longer it stays on the shirt’s fibers, the more damage it can cause.  In fact, it can slowly cause the fabric’s fibers to weaken, leading to tears and holes in the underarm area.

Obviously, I won’t suggest that you give up wearing antiperspirant.  So what else can you do to minimize the damage to your clothes?  We suggest trying these three things:

  1. Check the contents of your antiperspirant.  You might want to switch to a deodorant that is natural, has a neutral pH, and contains no aluminum to reduce underarm staining. 
  2. Always allow your deodorant to completely dry before dressing. 
  3. Wash your clothes immediately after wearing.  While it does build up over time, washing garments right after wearing does minimize the fabric’s exposure to the product.

While these tips don’t guarantee that you won’t have issues, they might help reduce the effects of a product none of us want to do without – especially in the summer.  As always, if you have antiperspirant-related garment care questions, or any garment care questions for that matter, feel free to stop by or call one of our locations.  We are always here to help.

sweat on clothes
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