What Causes Sweat Stains On Clothes

What Causes Sweat Stains On Clothes?

  Everyone should be able to enjoy the good things in life without having to worry about stains from sweat patches and deodorant on your clothes. Find out what causes white and yellow sweat marks as well as how our winning formula works.

What Causes Sweat Stains?

Ever had photos come back and you have embarrassing sweat stains? Or how about your favourite shirt has white or yellow marks on it? This is due to either not using strong enough sweat protectant or using one with ingredients that transfer. Learn all about how to reduce staining on your clothes and stay fresher for longer!


The white residue left behind on your favourite black t-shirt is mainly caused by the active anti-perspirant ingredients in your deodorant – the aluminium salts. White marks can appear form using different types of anti-perspirant. For an easy fix to your white mark problem, let your deodorant dry before putting on your clothes. This will make it less likely for your deodorant to transfer onto your wardrobe whilst getting dressed. For a more permanent fix, switch to NIVEA Black & White Max Protection Deodorant! With 48hr protection and anti-stain technology, you and your clothes will be protected for longer.


Yellow sweat stains gradually build up from wash to wash. These stains are based on a complex interaction between:
  • Your skin lipids
  • Sebum
  • Sweat
  • Active anti-perspirant ingredients
  • Laundry detergent
  • Water

This chemical reaction produces yellow-coloured deposits that remain stuck in the fibres of your clothes. Several factors are involved, including:

  • Frequency of application and changing clothes
  • Amount of anti-perspirant used
  • Your unique sweat composition
  • Minerals or trace elements in your tap water
  • Fabric composition

It’s important to note that yellow sweat stains may also occur without any anti-perspirant ingredients. Skin lipids and dirt particles in the air can alone cause persistent yellow stains.

Always read the label. Follow the directions for use.