The Science Behind Yellow Pit Stains

The Science Behind Yellow Pit Stains

Nothing ruins a good outfit like a pair of yellow pit stains. Anyone who has worn a white shirt has likely encountered the heartbreak of what we at Curie like to call "golden pits". 

The first step to stopping those pesky yellow sweat stains is to know the enemy.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not your sweat itself that causes the yellow stains. It's a chemical reaction that happens between your sweat and aluminum in antiperspirants 🤯. So, if haven't hopped on the clean deodorant train yet, here's yet another reason. Do it for your clothes!

Why does the combination of sweat and aluminum stain your clothes, you ask? 

Humans have different types of sweat glands. Eccrine sweat glands cover the entire body and are an important mechanism for temperature control. Eccrine sweat usually evaporates quickly and usually doesn't have an odor. Apocrine sweat glands, which cover your underarms, produce a different type of sweat that's packed with fats and proteins. It is the proteins in apocrine sweat that react with aluminum chloride to create those yellow stains on cotton shirts.

The solution?

Ditch the aluminum and detox those pits! We *happen* to know of a great clean deodorant that won't cause yellow staining on clothing and an Armpit Detox Mask to help with the transition. Hello Curie, goodbye golden pits 😊

If you have a favorite shirt with yellow stains you want to salvage, Brittany Natale over at Popsugar, gave a great recommendation in her article on the topic. She recommends mixing 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide with five teaspoons of baking soda, and a quarter cup of water. 

Do you have any other tips on removing or preventing yellow armpit stains? Let us know in the comments below!

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