The Ultimate Guide to Removing Sweat Stains from Sports Jerseys

Young soccer athlete sweating and drinking water

Sweat stains have the ability to be a silent killer of sports jerseys; especially the lighter colors! And we’ve all seen what some sweat can do the whites of the pits on everyday undershirts, and having to flaunt that same mess during game time is never fun. Don’t worry though, we have a few ways to work it out and save the day before the first ball is thrown or the whistle is blown.

Where Does the Stain Come From?

Before we dive into removing the stain, you may be questioning where the heck the stain even comes from! Our sweat is clear, right? That’s true, but in our sweat is a compound called “urea,” which is where the yellowing comes from after the fact.

Now, if you’re asking where those white stains on darker clothes come from, you can blame your deodorant from that. The aluminum found in most deodorants (when mixed with sweat) will cause those unsightly light marks.

Removing The Stain

Sweat stains can be tricky, annoying, and kinda gross too. Thankful, we’ve got, a natural remedy that may make it all better! Mix some white vinegar, water, salt, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda together.

You’ll pretreat the stains with this mixture before washing the uniform like normal.

You can also start out by running the stain underwater while making a “baking soda paste.” Baking you’ll just mix four tablespoons of baking soda and a quarter cup of water. Slather the paste on the stain, wait for 30 minutes, rinse it off, and then wash like normal.

For extra stubborn stains, grab some aspirin – and not for your headache. Instead, crush up three pills, mix the powder with some warm water and then submerge the stains for a few hours before washing. The magic behind this remedy is the salicylic acid found in the pills – it works similarly to acetic acid.

Removing The Smell

Sometimes the smells are just as hard to completely remove as the stains. But, we know how to rid you of those as well.

Firstly, wash them ASAP. Don’t leave the uniforms sitting in the laundry basket forever. The sooner you get it all into the washer, the better. And you won’t stink up anything else, which is a definite plus.

Pour in a cup of vinegar where you’d normally put your bleach. And then use your regular laundry detergent as well (you can even throw in some scent boosters if you’d like!). The added vinegar will help to remove the set in, strong odors.

Prevention & Quick Tips

  • Steer clear of storing the uniform anywhere near the rest of the sports equipment. Basically, keep it out of the ball bags where the stench is the worst.
  • Buy deodorant without aluminum. This may help with the yellowness as a lot of it can be caused by the reaction between the body’s sweat and the aluminum in the antiperspirant.
  • Add an undershirt. A lot of businessmen wear undershirts to keep the sweat stains at bay from those beautiful, white work shirts. The same can help out in the jersey department. Just add a light and breathable cotton undershirt to the uniform.

Don’t be afraid of air drying during a weekend tournament. Turn the sweaty mess inside out and hang it outside for a while and let the fresh air, well, “freshen” things up.