yellow stains on white clothes after storage
Kristina Davis

How to remove yellow stains on white clothes after storage? Those yellow stains might just be your biggest enemy when it comes to keeping your white clothes in pristine condition.

White clothes look clean, fresh, and are a staple to our wardrobes but they are the easiest to stain too.

You can keep them stain-free from food, sweat, and dye but they tend to yellow over time as well just by being in storage.

Fortunately, it’s not game over for your whites.

There are a number of effective solutions, like using store-bought products or even simple home remedies that can remove the yellow stains from your white clothes.

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What Causes Yellow Stains on White Clothes After Storage

Clothes can get yellow stains from a variety of sources. One of the most common types is underarm sweat stains which happens through the combination of sweat minerals and antiperspirant or deodorant ingredients.

So, it’s not the sweat alone that can cause discoloration in the underarm area of clothing but the chemical reaction.

The more antiperspirant or deodorant you use, the more likely it is to have pit stains on your shirt.

For white garments, we often automatically assume that their color is natural, but the white dye is actually used.

When a garment is not being worn, the fabric is particularly prone to yellowing.

As a result, if white clothes are left in the closet for a prolonged period of time, the dye begins to fade and the yellow stains start to appear.

If they are worn regularly, taking care of them by cleaning it actually extends the longevity of the white dye.

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How to Remove Yellow Stains from White Clothes

how to remove yellow stains from white clothes

Since most of us are still advised to stay home, let’s start with home remedies to remove yellow stains.

These methods can be done by using items you may already have in your cupboard.

Using Hydrogen Peroxide and Water

Try mixing ¼ cup of water and ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide in a container or a bowl then soak the garments for 45 minutes.

Wash the clothes in cold water afterward and hang them to dry. If the stain was not removed, repeat the process before you dry the garment.

Using Baking Soda, Hydrogen Peroxide and Water

If you’re looking for a stronger solution a peroxide, baking soda and water mixture might be more effective. Add the solution to the affected area containing the yellow stain to help dissolve it.

In a small bowl, combine equal parts of peroxide, baking soda and water.

Now apply the mixture to the area containing the stain and rub it into the fabric with a bristle brush.

Let the mixture sit for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on how severe the stain is on the garment, then proceed to wash like normal.

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Use Baking Soda with Hot Water

If you want to remove the stain on your shirt, soak it first in a bucket of hot water mixed with two cups of baking soda before placing them in the washing machine.

Then, use an enzyme-rich detergent in the machine to help break down fats, oils, and protein chains. Tide strongly recommends this for stain removal.

Lemon Juice

This remedy can be less harsh compared to store-bought items. Try mixing one gallon of hot water and 1/4 cup lemon juice.

The hotter the mixture is, the better because the heat improves the chemical reaction.

Submerge the clothes into the solution for at least one to two hours. Then you can wring it out and hang it to dry under the sun.

Vinegar and Salt

In a bucket of water, combine half a cup of white vinegar and half a cup of salt. Stir the clothes in the mixture for at least thirty minutes. Remove the garments and wash them as usual.

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Vinegar and Water

Combine equal amounts of vinegar and water and put it in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto the garments with yellow stains then let them sit for around an hour.

Wash them in cold water before drying. If the stain is still present, do not hesitate to repeat the process before proceeding to dry.


Toothpaste is known to be an effective remedy to many things, from pimples to burns to yellow stains.

One of the quickest ways to do the latter is to apply the toothpaste directly to the yellow stain to help brighten it.

With a bristle brush, rub the toothpaste over the entire stained region before the stain is lifted. After removing the stain, wash the clothes to rinse the garment and remove the toothpaste.

Tip: Using toothpaste with whitening properties for optimal results and avoid colored toothpaste because it can worsen the stain.

Removing Yellow Stains with Products

If you have time to run to the store or already have these products at home, you can use them as well since they consume less time and could already have the chemicals strong enough to get rid of the stain.

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Chlorine Bleach

Cotton fabrics that have yellowed due to storage problems may be bleached with chlorine bleach.

Always read the instructions provided and do not use more than what is needed. An indicator that you are using too much is when you remove the wet laundry from the washer and smell the chlorine.

Reduce the amount of bleach you’re using and rinse the items again to remove as much residue as possible.

Regular Bleach

Any stain on white clothing can be removed with bleach. You can either apply bleach directly to the stain and let it stay before washing the clothes, or you can add bleach to the washing machine while it is running.

When the washing machine is full of white clothes, just apply bleach. Bleach can remove the color from clothes, but approach this with caution either way because some fabrics are too delicate for the chemical.

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An example of this is silk where bleach may do more harm than good.


Borax can be found in the laundry aisle of most supermarkets. Get 1-2 tablespoons of Borax and dissolve it in two cups of water.

Add the mixture to your washer’s rinse cycle afterward. Then, air dry the garments under the sun to achieve the best results.

Laundry Bluing Product

Laundry bluing may be an old technique, but it has been proven effective time and time again. It is known to make yellowed white garments look a lot brighter.

Bluing adds a trace of blue dye to the fabric, making it look whiter. Just be careful to follow the instructions provided with the product.

How to Prevent White Clothes from Turning Yellow in Storage?

Yellow stain on white clothes is not what one wants to see. Thus, you can follow these rules in your daily life to avoid ruining your beautiful clothes.

Wash Your Clothes Regularly

There are people who wash their shirts after using them once, but plenty of people also prefer to wear them several times before deciding to have them washed.

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Oils and perspiration from our bodies mix together and can cause discoloration on the fabric, even if they remain odorless throughout.

Washing these garments regularly will get rid of these added oils and keep them white.

Sort your Clothes Properly

White shirts are more likely to have stains when they are not properly sorted before washing.

Sometimes when we do not have enough whites for a complete load, we mix them with our other colored clothes.

Colored fabrics can bleed through and stain the white garments. To avoid this, keep your whites separate from the rest of your clothes, even if it’s not enough for an all-white load.

Take Care of your Items

Keep your clothes at cooler temperatures instead of humid ones. Keeping them in hot areas like attics can lead to eventual discoloration as a result of the temperature.

Clothing should not be stored in damp areas either since the dampness speeds up the development of mildew.

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People also normally put their clothes in plastic containers, but this can also cause yellow stains on white clothes after storage because it traps the chemicals from the clothing as well as the moisture.

You can opt for cotton sheets instead to preserve the color of your white garments.

Additional Tips

Tip #1. Before putting your shirts in the wash, unbutton them first and turn them inside out. This can preserve the quality of the items and reduce wear and tear.

Tip #2. If you’re putting your white shirt in the dryer, be extra careful. Excessive drying degrades the quality of cotton and can cause yellowing.

Drying for a shorter period of time or hanging the shirt to dry brings the best results.

Eliminate the Headache of Yellow Stains

Yellow stains are definitely a headache, especially to your whites. But with the help of all these techniques, you don’t have to worry too much. Your clothes will look new!

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