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Tackling Perspiration Stains

By Jeff "The Stain Wizard" Schwarz

Dear Stain Wizard,

I keep getting Hawaiian shirts with perspiration stains on them. I am afraid of color loss, or fabric damage. What can I do?

Signed, A cleaner in Canada

You are right. Working on these type of shirts can be challenging, especially if they are silk. Color loss or fabric distortion can occur very quickly, even when you are testing the garment.

The safest, easiest method to avoid damage is to use 3% Hydrogen Peroxide (HP). First, turn the garment inside out. It’s important to do this for 2 reasons...that’s where the perspiration stains come from, and if there is a slight color loss, it won’t be as evident.

Spray on the HP and hang the garment in the boiler room. Reapply every 20 minutes. It may take 5-6 applications. Once the stain is gone, the HP is evaporated, and the garment doesn’t need to be recleaned.

Remember: Any bleach over 6% has to be neutralized.

On tougher stains that HP doesn’t work on, try using your digester. As long as the garment can be put in water, digesters are safer than many protein formulas.

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