Why Does the T-shirt Turn Yellow When I Wash It?

T-shirts can be worn alone in the summer and used as an inner garment throughout the year in the winter.
It’s one of the most mainstream clothes in the world that everyone owns, but that’s why there’s so much to worry about.

Don’t many people suffer from T-shirts yellowing around the armpit? Especially when spring comes and the sweaty season comes, I think there are many people who get yellowish. You might want to wear a white T-shirt, but you can’t because of the stubborn yellowing that won’t come off when you wash it.

This time, I would like to introduce the cause of the yellowing and the countermeasures.

Why Do T-shirts Turn Yellow?

It’s important to know the cause first in order to deal with yellowing of T-shirts. The reason the t-shirt turns yellow is because “sebum stain”.

The sebum contained in the sweat secreted from our bodies adheres to and oxidizes T-shirts, resulting in stubborn yellow stains.

Therefore, the side and around the neck, which are close to the body and tend to sweat easily, tend to get yellowish. It can’t be helped that unwashed T-shirts get yellowish, but some people may say, “Even though I washed it properly, it turned yellow?”

Sebum is a “fat (oil)” secreted from our bodies, so naturally it repels water. It sticks to my clothes so much that you can’t wash it off easily by normal washing. Even if you think you washed it cleanly, there is some sebum dirt deep in the fabric that could not be removed, and it gradually oxidizes and becomes yellowish.

How Can I prevent Yellowing?

Sweating is a physiological reaction, so there is no way to prevent it. But with a little trick, you can protect your T-shirt from sebum stains and prevent yellowing.

Here are three things you can do to keep your T-shirts from turning yellow.

Wash Frequently

Basically, if you care about sebum stains, you should wash it frequently. As time goes by, sebum stains becomes harder to remove, so the dirt that cannot be removed will be oxidized and turn yellow.

You need to be careful because there are sebum stains that you can’t see even if you can’t see them by looking.

Also, to make it easier to remove sebum even a little, it is recommended to wash with hot water, which is easy to dissolve detergent and remove dirt. It’s especially effective if you wash it in 40 ° C hot water.

Washing with the hot water left in the bath tub, using a washing machine with a hot water selection function that can generate hot water with a heater, and partially washing the collar and sides with pinpoints before washing.

Use Items to Prevent Sebum Stain From Sticking to T-shirts

There are products to prevent sebum stain such as sweat stain prevention spray on the market, so if you spray it on the parts you are concerned about before wearing it, it will prevent sweat and dirt from being deposited on your clothes.

It is also effective to apply baby powder thinly. It is also effective to apply deodorant cream to the body to prevent sweat and bacteria from growing.

Where to Store Your T-shirt

In order to prevent yellowing, it is important to have good ventilation and a place that can block light.

If you put it in a drawer with high humidity and poor ventilation, it will cause not only yellowing but also mold and discoloration. I recommend putting your favorite white T-shirts on hangers and storing them in the closet.

How to Clean a Yellowed T-Shirt

If your favorite t-shirt turns yellow, you can’t give up on it so easily. Don’t worry. There are many ways to remove yellowed stains.

Using a commercial bleach or using a steam iron to remove or other chemical detergents is recommended, but considering the damage to your clothes, it’s easier and more reliable to use bleach. If that doesn’t work, I recommend you to consult a dry cleaner and leave it to a professional.

Use Oxygen Bleach

Oxygen bleach is safe and easy to use with less damage to clothes. If it’s a little yellowing or a moderate yellowing, an oxygen-containing bleach will do.

To use it, you can apply it directly to the part where you are concerned about the yellowing, or you can remove the yellowing by soaking it for strong yellowness. There are liquid and powder, but if you want stronger drifting action, use powder. After that, you just wash it in a washing machine and dry it.
Even if you say it is highly safe, the color will fade and damage the fabric if you are not careful, so it is strictly prohibited to use it for too long.

Use a Chlorine Bleaching Agent

I recommend using chlorine bleach, which has a strong bleaching effect, to remove strong yellowing that cannot be removed by oxygen bleach.

However, the effect is so strong that it causes color fading and damage to the fabric, so basically you can only use it on white T-shirts. It is generally used by soaking or washing in the washing machine. This bleaching method is recommended for those who want overall whiteness.

Be sure to follow the specified amount, ventilate, and use rubber gloves to ensure safety.

Leave it to the Professionals

If your favorite t-shirt you want to wear for a long time turns yellow, you can’t risk losing it.

In that case, I recommend leaving it to professionals. It costs money, but they can remove the yellowness with minimum damage.

Some stores can handle from severe yellowing to yellowing due to storage for a long time. If you really don’t want to give it up, I recommend you to consider asking a professional.

Let’s Go Out to Town Wearing a White T-shirt

How was it? I’ve covered everything from the causes of the yellowing of your t-shirts to how to prevent it, and how to handle it when it’s still yellow.

If you know all about it, you won’t have to worry about your favorite t-shirt getting yellow. It’s getting warmer and the season when T-shirts are useful is coming. Wear a pure white T-shirt and enjoy your fashion!