Funky in Franklin
Antiperspirants and deodorants are two distinct products, but in our everyday speech we tend to use the terms interchangeably and I have done so throughout this response as a way to help people using search find what they need.
You were on the right track when you tried switching deodorants. If you take a walk down the antiperspirant / deodorant aisle, you’ll notice quite the selection. Most of the antiperspirants / deodorants you see will all have the same active ingredient(s): aluminium chloride, aluminium chlorohydrate, aluminium-zirconium or a combination of thereof. Did you notice something about those three active ingredients? They all contain aluminum.
For most of us the aluminum in antiperspirants isn’t a big deal, it helps us stop sweating from our underarms for a few hours and we go through the day without offending our neighbors. Neat.
However everyone’s body chemistry is a little different, it’s the food you eat, the water you drink, and your genetics. You know how everyone likes to giggle about what eating asparagus does to urine? Well it doesn’t do that to everyone’s. Some people think cilantro tastes like soap -and I cry a little for all they miss. Your quirk is that something in your sweat, is making that aluminum show up on your shirts, lucky you.
Since we’re all special snowflakes the first tip is specific to people, like you, who have dark stains from their deodorant / antiperspirant.
Avoid the aluminum
Try switching to an aluminum free antiperspirants / deodorants I did a search on Amazon that will show you specific brands and labels to look for the next time you head to the store.
On a side note, some people avoid aluminum because they believe that aluminum is the cause of of Alzeheimer’s. That hasn’t been proven, what they’ve found is that people with Alzheimer’s tend to have more aluminum in their brains, this doesn’t mean that the the aluminum was the cause, it just means that it shows up in people’s brains when they have Alzheimer’s. It could be like the way ketones show up in the urine of diabetics, the insulin is absent so ketones show up where they normally wouldn’t. Just because something is there, doesn’t mean it is the cause. (I haven’t done a lot of research lately, but feel free to link to peer reviewed sources, if you want to discuss this point).
You didn’t mention where you moved from. Why do I ask? Well, if you moved from a cooler climate, there is a chance part of the problem is that you haven’t had to use as much antiperspirant as you do now.
Use less antiperspirant.
Antiperspirant works by blocking your pores -I’m simplifying here- once those pores are blocked an extra coat of the white stuff isn’t going to be helpful, it’s just going to rub off on the inside of your clothing. When your antiperspirant wears off and you begin sweat, you’ll have more aluminum hanging out on your shirt to react with your sweat and create that dark stain.
For those of us that don’t react to aluminum, this means we have to remove deodorant build up from our shirts. You can try to remove the dark stains with the same tips as in that article, but with the chemical change, it may be permanent.
Additionally, try to let your antiperspirant or deodorant dry completely before putting on your shirt. This will also help reduce the amount absorbed by the fibers of your clothing.
So your homework is to find an aluminum free antiperspirant / deodorant, use less, and try to let it dry before putting on your shirt to prevent future stains.
Submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.