What Cleans White Shirts the Best? Head to Head Test!

Just a note, right off the top. This is not a paid ad. I have not been asked to do this test, nor did I get anything for free. This is straight up laundry science, yo.

I have quite a few white tee shirts, and just about all of them have some amount of discolouration in the armpits. It’s not because they’re dirty – it’s the reaction of my deodorant/antiperspirant with sweat on the fabric (https://www.thompsontee.com/blog/the-…). So, I set out to try a few different solutions to remove these stains. Thankfully, I have a whole bag of shirts – all the same brand, with similarly sized and coloured stains. I picked the four that looked the most alike, and set out to find the best way forward.

On shirt one, I combined dish soap and hydrogen peroxide. You might see other similar ideas floating around out there – some say peroxide, some say rubbing alcohol – but the dish soap seems to be the key. I mixed approximately half and half, dish soap and peroxide. On shirt two, I did nothing. This was the control. Shirt three got OxyClean Max Force spray cleaner (http://amzn.to/2xNPdkL). I should mention here, all of the left armpits were scrubbed with their solutions, while the right sides were simply soaked. All shirts sat for 24 hours. Shirt four got the dreaded bleach. I know, everyone says not to use bleach on armpit stains, but I wanted to see the results for myself. All four were washed separately, but dried together.

The results? Bleach, to no one’s surprise, was the worst. It left shiny bleach stains all over the shirt, and did little to reduce the yellowing. 0/5

The control, of course, did nothing. As expected. But at least the shirt isn’t ruined. 1/5

The peroxide and dish soap did a pretty good job, surprisingly. Had I done a better job of scrubbing the stained area, I think I might have almost completely removed the stain. What was left was somewhat lighter, but not perfect. I really wanted this to be the best result. 4/5

The OxyClean, in my humble opinion, did the best. The scrubbed area was almost completely white, and the rest of the stained area was a lighter shade of yellow. Again, more work with a better brush might bring about better results. 4.5/5.

Again, this isn’t a paid ad for them. Promise! So, now that I’ve found something that works, I have to spend a few hours, scrubbing and reclaiming old white shirts. Lucky me!

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