Why Does My White Shirt Turn Yellow?

There are a few reasons why your white shirt may be turning yellow. It could be due to sweat, body oils, or even certain fabrics. If you notice that your shirt is turning yellow in the underarm or neck area, it is most likely due to sweat. It can cause discoloration on your clothing, and it is especially noticeable on white shirts.

In this blog post, we will discuss why your white shirt may be turning yellow and how you can prevent it from happening and how to remove it from your shirt.

All the Reasons Why Your White Shirt Turns Yellow

There are a number of reasons why white shirts may turn yellow over time. Some of the most common causes include:

Sweat and Body Oils

One of the most common causes of yellowing white shirts is a build-up of sweat and body oils on the fabric. If you wear your shirt multiple times before washing it, this can happen quite easily. The sweat and oils will slowly start to break down the fabric fibers, and this can cause the shirt to be yellow.

Reaction with Other Clothing Items

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Another possible cause of yellowing white shirts is a reaction to other clothing items in your wash load. This is most likely to happen if you wash your shirts with other dark-colored items. The darker colors can transfer some of their dye to the white shirts.

Build-Up of Detergent or Fabric Softener

This can happen if you don’t rinse your shirts thoroughly after washing them. The detergent or fabric softener can slowly start to break down the fabric fibers.

Sun Exposure

The UV rays from the sun can break down the fabric over time, causing it to change colour. If you often wear your white shirts outdoors or in direct sunlight, this could be the reason why they’re turning yellow.

Food and Drink Stains Can Also Cause Yellowing

Finally, food and drink stains can also cause yellowing white shirts. Stains from coffee, tea, wine, and other dark-colored liquids can seep into the fabric and cause it to change colour over time. If you often find yourself spilling food or drink on your shirt, this could be the reason why it’s turning yellow.

How to Make Your Clothes White Again?

There are several things you can do to restore the whiteness of your clothes. You can use chemical-based cleaning solutions or prepare one yourself. These methods are effective and do not cause any harm to your fabric.

Use Warm Water with Oxygen Bleach

Oxygen bleach is a great way to remove yellowing from whites without using harsh chemicals. First, mix oxygen bleach with warm water according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then soak your clothing in the mixture for several hours. Afterward, launder your clothes as usual.

Use a Little Amount of Chlorine Bleach

If oxygen bleach doesn’t do the trick, you can try using a small amount of chlorine bleach. Be sure to use gloves when handling bleach, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Add chlorine bleach to your washing machine according to the directions on the bottle, then wash your clothing in the hottest setting possible.

Baking Soda: Water Mixture with Peroxide

If you’re looking for a more natural way to remove yellowing, try mixing baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and water together. Simply mix equal parts of each ingredient together in a bowl, then apply the mixture to your clothing with a sponge. Allow several minutes to pass before rinsing it and spinning your garments as usual.

Make a Solution of White Vinegar and Salt

White vinegar is another excellent natural option for removing yellowing. Simply mix together 1/2 cup of white vinegar with 1/2 cup of salt, then add the mixture to a gallon of hot water. Soak your clothing in the mixture for several hours before laundering.

Use Toothpaste Right to the Yellowed Areas

To remove yellowing from clothes, mix a drop or two of toothpaste with one cup of water and apply it directly to the stained areas. Then rub in with a towel. Rinse the region well and get your clothing dry.

In the Washing Machine, Add Some Lemon Juice to Your Clothes

Lemon juice is another natural option that can be used to remove yellowing. You can apply lemon juice directly to the affected areas or add it to your washing machine and your regular laundry detergent. If you use it in your washing machine, add 1/2 cup of lemon juice to the cycle and your detergent.

Use Denture Tablets

Denture tablets, when dissolved in hot water, can also be used to whiten clothing. Simply place a few tablets in a bowl of boiling water and allow them to dissolve. After that, soak your garments in the mixture for several hours before washing.

Hydrogen Peroxide Solution

Another excellent choice for removing yellowing is hydrogen peroxide. Combine 1 part hydrogen peroxide with 2 parts water, then use a sponge to apply the solution to the affected regions. Allow it to sit for several minutes before rinsing it away and washing your clothes as normal.

Take Some Aspirin and Dissolve It in Water

Aspirin can also be used to get rid of yellowing in textiles. Dissolve a few aspirin tablets in a pot of boiling water and soak your clothing for several hours. After that, wash your clothes as you usually would.

How to Prevent White Shirts from Turning Yellow?

There are a few simple things you can do to prevent your white shirts from turning yellow. Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to keep your shirts looking brighter for longer.

Keep Your Whites Clean and Organized

If you want to keep your whites looking bright, you need to store them properly. This means keeping them in a cool, dark place where they will not be exposed to sunlight or other sources of light. You should also avoid storing them in damp or humid areas, as this can cause them to yellow over time.

Washing White Clothes Properly and Frequently

Another important factor in keeping your whites looking bright is to wash them properly and frequently. You should always use a gentle detergent when washing white clothing and avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage the fabric. Additionally, it’s essential to wash white clothes separately from other colors, as this can help prevent colors from bleeding onto the whites.

Before Washing, Pre-Soak the Afflicted Garments

If your white clothes have become stained, you should pre-soak them in a gentle solution of laundry detergent and water before washing them. This will help remove any set-in stains and make them easier to clean.

Use Water in a Warmer Environment

When washing white clothing, it’s best to use warmer water temperatures. However, hot water can damage delicate fabrics, so if you’re unsure about the fabric of your clothing, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and use warm or cold water instead.

In a Sunny, Bright Area, Air Dry the White Garments

After washing your white clothes, it’s important to dry them in a bright, sunny area. This will help prevent any yellowing or discoloration that can occur if they are dried in a dark or shady area. Additionally, it’s best to hang white clothes up to dry instead of using a clothes dryer, as this can also cause damage to the fabric.

Following these simple tips can prevent your white shirts from turning yellow. With a little bit of care, you can keep your shirts looking brighter and whiter for longer.

Final Say

So, why does my white shirt turn yellow? The answer, as it turns out, is pretty simple. But don’t worry–there are plenty of ways to get your whites looking their best again. We’ve provided a few different solutions, so you can choose the one that works best for you. Have you tried any of these methods? Let us know how they worked for you in the comments section below.

Sifat Muntasir

Sifat Muntasir


I’m Sifat. I work as a lecturer in the Department of Textile Engineering at Port City International University. I’m fascinated by the latest developments in the world of fashion and clothing, so I spend most of my time writing about them on this blog.

I also enjoy singing and playing games on the internet in my free time – though I’m not very good at either!

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