How to get rid of yellow stains on white clothes: 7 natural solutions

Hands showing yellow stains on white shirt

White clothes are a classic staple in any wardrobe, but they can easily become discoloured with yellow stains from sweat, deodorant, or prolonged storage. While there are many commercial products available, you might prefer to use natural methods that are gentle on your clothes and the environment. Here are seven effective natural methods to help you remove those stubborn yellow stains and restore your white garments to their original glory.

1. Baking soda and water

Baking soda is a versatile natural cleaner that works well for removing stains.


  • 4 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 1 litre of warm water

Method: Dissolve the baking soda in warm water. Soak the stained area of your garment in this solution for 1-2 hours. The baking soda will help lift the stains without harsh chemicals. After soaking, rinse with cold water and wash as usual.

2. Lemon juice and sunlight

Lemon juice combined with sunlight acts as a natural bleaching agent.


  • Fresh lemon juice

Method: Apply fresh lemon juice directly onto the yellow stains and spread the garment out in the sun for several hours. The citric acid in the lemon juice, enhanced by the UV rays from the sun, will naturally bleach the stains. After sun exposure, rinse with water and wash the garment as usual.
You can repeat as needed.

3. White vinegar and water

White vinegar is a powerful natural cleaning agent that can break down stains effectively.


  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of water

Method: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water. Soak the stained area in this solution for about 30 minutes. The acetic acid in vinegar helps to dissolve the residues causing the stains. Rinse with cold water and proceed with your regular washing routine.

4. Salt and white vinegar

Salt combined with white vinegar creates a potent natural stain remover.


  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 cup of white vinegar

Method: Mix the salt and vinegar to create a solution. Soak the stained area of the garment in this mixture for 30 minutes to an hour. The salt acts as a mild abrasive to scrub away the stains, while vinegar helps to dissolve them. Rinse with cold water and wash as usual.

5. Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda

Hydrogen peroxide, while technically a chemical, is a naturally occurring compound and safe for many fabrics.


  • 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide
  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of water

Method: Mix the ingredients to form a paste. Apply this paste to the stained areas and let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour. The hydrogen peroxide acts as a bleaching agent, while baking soda provides gentle abrasion. After treating the stains, rinse with cold water and launder as usual.

6. Natural washing-up liquid and baking soda

Combining natural washing-up liquid with baking soda can create an effective stain-fighting solution.


  • Natural washing-up liquid
  • Baking soda

Method: Apply a small amount of natural washing-up liquid directly to the stain, then sprinkle baking soda over it. Use a soft brush or an old toothbrush to gently scrub the mixture into the stain. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before rinsing with cold water and washing as usual.

7. Lemon and baking soda paste

Combining lemon and baking soda can provide a strong natural cleaning paste.


  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda

Method: Squeeze the juice of one lemon into a bowl and mix in the baking soda to form a paste. Apply this paste to the stained areas and let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour. The lemon juice provides natural bleaching properties, while the baking soda helps scrub away the stain. Rinse with cold water and wash the garment as usual.

Final tips

  • Always test: Before applying any solution to the entire stain, test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric to ensure it doesn’t cause damage or discolouration.
  • Avoid hot water: Hot water can set stains, making them more difficult to remove. Use cold or lukewarm water instead.
  • Patience is key: Some stains might require repeated treatments for complete removal.

By incorporating these natural methods into your laundry routine, you can effectively combat yellow stains and keep your white clothes looking fresh and vibrant. These solutions are not only effective but also gentle on your fabrics and environmentally friendly, making them an excellent choice for maintaining your wardrobe.

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