How to Remove Brown Humidity Marks From Clothes

by Darlena Cunha ; Updated September 28, 2017

Everyone has been there. Your crisp white shirts that once looked so chic are now tired and worn. The telling sign, of course, being the unsightly brownish stains creeping out from under the arms. You don't have to hang up that favorite shirt once and for all, though. Getting rid of those humidity marks takes just a little time and patience.

Items you will need

  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Shampoo
  • Water spritzer
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Aspirin
  • Cream of tartar
Step 1

Read the label and wash the clothing correctly with each use. If the clothes are dry-clean only, you'll do more harm than good trying to remove the stain by yourself. Take them to a professional. However, if they are washable, use a liquid detergent as opposed to powder. Apply some of the detergent to the stain directly before tossing the article in the wash. Shampoo will also work if applied directly to the clothing before a wash.

Step 2

Use extra soap and sunlight on vulnerable areas. To give those stains an added kick, after applying the liquid detergent or shampoo, leave the garment out in the sunlight for a few hours, flipping every 20 minutes or so. Spritz the article with water at each flip to keep the area damp and get the most out of the solar-powered cleaning. Then wash it in cool water and let it air-dry.

Step 3

Add hydrogen peroxide mix to the affected area if the clothing is white. Hydrogen will break up the proteins causing the stain and loosen them from the fabric. Use a diluted mixture of half-peroxide, half-water and increase the peroxide when necessary. If it is a colored fabric, try vinegar instead. That will be gentler and keep the original color. Use 1 tbsp. of white vinegar in a half-cup of water for the best results. With both vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, allow the clothing to soak in the liquids for a half-hour before washing in cool water.

Step 4

Try a baking soda and water mixture to loosen and lift the stain away. Glob the paste on the affected area and leave it for 20 minutes or so before washing. The paste will break up the stain and absorb it. For regular care and slighter stains, simply pour 1 cup of baking soda into the wash cycle as it begins.

Step 5

Scrub the stains with a paste made from cream of tartar and aspirin. Crush three full-strength aspirins and mix the resulting powder with 1 tbsp. of cream of tartar and 1 cup of warm water. Scrub the mixture into the fabric with an old toothbrush to be sure the ingredients sink all the way into the cloth. Let this set for a half-hour before washing in cool water. This can be repeated as often as necessary.

Photo Credits

  • Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

About the Author

Darlena Cunha has been a writer and editor since 2003. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Connecticut. Cunha is also completing her master's degree in mass communication.