Brown marks on t-shirt

Im not sure if this should be in the "gear" forum or not. This is a genuine enquiry!!

 I find that my white technical t-shirts have brown marks on them after a very short while, and I cant get the stains out. I know its from sweat, and not anywhere else. How do I prevent it?? Is there a proper way of getting the stains out, or preventing them??

Shamefully, with my head down, I confess that I chuck my dirty t-shirts into the laundry basket when I come in from a run, where they stay til washed. This can be up to 48 hours after my run. is the answer to rinse them straight away??


  • Fresh sweat is acidic and is easy to remove by simply washing immediately. However, if you leave the stain, it will dry and turn alkaline – in most cases forming a yellow or green stain with a hard, “crispy” texture. This can be treated with a mixture of 1 tbsp of vinegar in half a cup of water, sponged onto the stain, which should restore the colour and also remove any perspiration odours. Another good stain remover is fresh lemon juice rubbed into the stain or an enzyme pre-soak product before washing as usual – however, do not use this on delicate fabrics like linen, silk and wool.* For more stubborn stains, try using a paste of baking soda and water which is rubbed onto the stain and allowed to sit for 15-20mins, before the garment is washed as normal. You can also add some baking soda to the wash cycle to remove any persistent odours. Choose a detergent which is labelled as having oxygenated powers or works on protein-based stains.

    Looks like we need to wash our stuff quickly then! Afraid I tend to leave stuff in the laundry basket a bit too long sometimes also image image

    Hope this helps!!

    * Thankfully our running stuff is not made of these fabrics!!!!! image

  • Kingfisher - you sure its not from your fake tan....image
  • speaking of this - i bought one of them nike run shirts about a year ago and had to stop wearing it as it STUNK real bad - yes, even after being washed (somtimes twice to try and get rid of the odd smell)...

    very strange...


  • Thanks for the responses, chaps (and chapesses).

    Thanks for the advice using the vinegar/ baking soda. One of those is acidic, the other alkali?? but as long as it works thats fine. I did try Vanish, but it did diddly squat. It could be that my old t-shirts are passed their best now, but I will try it the new ones.

    I sometimes feel a right dirty person, not washing my kit straight away, Im like that with my shoes too. The poor old trail shoes dont get washed or rinsed from the day they come out of their box til they are thrown away. The other week, there was grass growing out of them (I jest not) as I had left them wet and muddy in a warm place for several days.

    It is of great comfort that Im not the only person with revolting kit.

  • Buck - we've had that really weird smell too. I don't think it's just a question of getting them washed quickly, I think you have dry them lightning fast too or they develop a really peculiar odour.image

    Either that, or as my dad used to say "your nose is too near your bum"image

  • I get Mr LB to leave his "toxic waste" of a kit on the floor (in a bag) in the utility room so that it gets washed quickly. I spend my bloody life washing clothes....

    Too many people in this house run! image

  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    I did try Vanish

    phew - I read that as VARNISH and was going to suggest that was the reason for the brown stains.....


  • image FB - You crack me up!!
  • You might want to check you didn't tuck it in your pants....image

    Sorry....image Bad Liverbird! image

  • Yep, I was waiting for one of these, LB!! No offense taken, LB!!

    I did try and word my original enquiry so as not to get one of those "Edited on...." messages that come on some of the threads. I always want to know what the "Edited on....." original message was, (ie what it was before it was "Edited on...."). I look at the thread and it all looks entirely innocent. It must be my smutty curiosity.

    Oh God, I hope we dont "Edited on" now...........

  • just a thought, it's not rust is it? From safety pins, not suggesting you're built like C-3PO!

  • I've had the rust damage (to my very favourite, brand new, very expensive top) image

    I've not discovered a way to get rust out - other than to remember to take the pins out of your disgustingly sweaty race top and wash it as fast as you can! image

  • Nope, its not rust. I only wear my old manky t-shirts for races as the pins damage the top (they snag it)

    Ive also noticed it is far worse on my white tops than on coloured ones. The darker t-shirts have no marks whatsoever. Murphys law................ the whiter the t-shirt, the more dirty it gets. And the easier it is to pull/ snag on bushes etc.

  • Stop eating brown food as it's clearly coming through your pores? image
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