I sweat bleach?

Today witnessed a minor tragedy.

My “Team Zissou” Tshirt was ruined (maybe).

I got this shirt in the mail yesterday, and proudly sported it today. When I got home this evening and looked in the bathroom mirror, I noticed with horror that in splotches near the vicinity of my armpits looks exactly like I had perspired bleach.

Nothing else in my experience looks quite like a bleach stain.

Is this some bizzare effect my deodorant is having on a cheap (quality, not price sob) shirt? Anyone else ever noticed this?

Would washing the shirt have prevented this tragedy?

Were you by chance using any topical acne medication at the time?

I remember when I was in the Army, the combination of clearasil and brown undershirts resulted in most of the platoon running around in mottled orange and tan t-shirts. It was because the acne medication sweated onto the neck and chest.

Nope. The only medication I;ve taken lately has been Sudafed and allergy pills (that time of year again! :frowning: )

Unless I’m about to learn something very interesting about biochemistry, I don’t think it’s possible for a (living) human being to sweat bleach. That said, saltwater is corrosive and saltwater is precisely what sweat is composed of. I’m guessing ‘colorfast’ meant ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ as far as that shirt was concerned.

(In other words, beyond a seriously bad coloring job on the fabric I’m stumped.)

We sweat uric acid, which will stain a T-shirt I believe. I used to take a kung fu class which had quite a few long-time members sporting stained uniforms, apparently due to uric acid damage that wouldn’t come out in the wash. This is over years though, on garments worn for intense exercise. Just putting on a shirt and walking around for the day probably wouldn’t produce this effect though.

The concentration of uric acid in sweat is trivial:

In fact, it might be the case that you will abnormally retain uric acid if you are dehydrated and sweating in a hot climate because your urine production will be reduced.

Or anything with Benzol Peroxide (which is normally what’s in those creams that bleaches). I’ve bleached many shirts that way. On a slight hijack, if you get the creams with Salicylic acid instead, you get the same skin results without the bleaching.

I’ve had shirts “bleach” in the armpits and the neck area, precisely where my sweat accumulates. Could very well because I use benzoil peroxide topicals, which never occurred to me as being the cause until this thread.

It probably has more to do with the dyes in the T-shirt than the acids in your sweat. Sure, sweat “bleaches” fabric over time, but usually not with only one day’s wearing-- the dye is usually tougher than that.

I don’t think washing beforehand would have prevented it. Sometimes clothing is sprayed with a chemical to keep it “fresh” while in storage. (My mother used to call it “sizing” when she worked in clothing retail) but I can’t imagine that the sizing would have reacted with your sweat and dye in that fashion.

You have two options: you can try to “re-dye” the area using something like a fabric marker (sold at most craft stores) or you can give the shirt a decent burial.

This same thing has happened to me many times. I sometimes use acne medication with benzoyl peroxide, but on at least one occasion I’ve gotten out of the shower, not put any kind of lotion or cream on, and gotten into bed with a brand new pillowcase, and when I woke up in the morning the pillowcase had a big “bleachy” looking splotch where my neck had rested on it.

My towels, pillowcases, sheets, and shirts all have this kind of staining on them. My laundry gets done with the rest of my family’s laundry, and none of their clothes are ever stained like this. It’s seriously weird.

I’m more inclined to believe this is a result of the deodorant rather than my sweat. I do not take any of the medications you guys have mentioned, and the pattern of staining looks more like a DO stain than sweat.

Yeah, happened to me in my pimply teenage years . . .

I don’t get it though - did everyone in your unit use Clearasil or did you all share underclothes?

Since it was so new, why not contact the manufacturers and see if they have any idea about it or would be willing to replace or refund.

Bleaching in my armpits happens to me as well, but only with certain fabrics so far. I bleach out the armpits of specifically Psycho Bunny “ silky feeling“ fabrics only. These are expensive shirts “they did refund my money, props to them” but only this one certain fabric, I think it was a micro-fiber fabric. Psycho Bunny said it was the sports deodorant I use, and that switching deodorants will stop the problem. I switched from Gillett Hydra Gel to Mitchum Triple Odor Defense and the bleaching still happened. I have one of these shirts hanging in my closet now, and I just ordered a few “new” different deodorant to try with the shirt. I hope I can find a deodorant they can cancel out what’s happening. I’m in the research part of this project now. With this only happening with this one type of fabric I’m not killing myself finding the solution, but would like answers if this starts happening with more ‘different’ types of shirts. If I find answers I’ll keep posting.

Psycho Bunny uses pure cotton … a soft cotton called Pima Cotton aka Egyptian cotton.

So being a cotton, it can take up the anti-perspirant deep into it and affect the dye.

Anti-perspirants are based on aluminium hydroxide, and so it would seem that the dye reacted with that hydroxide. Basically when they chose that dye, they neglected the fine print “not to be worn”… It should never have been used on clothes… or other clothes that get dirty and will need to be washed.

That is why they refunded… its really a dud product, not fit for the purpose for which it was sold. (a reasonable number of wears and washes.)