I've been having a problem with deodrant staining some of my blouses. I don't mean when you put on a blouse or dress and deodrant gets on the garment; that's easy enough to clean by dabbing a wet washcloth against the stain. I'm talking about the more insidious permanent stains that don't come out even after repeated washings. It's especially a problem with colored clothing because I can't use bleach and I hate when a nice blouse is ruined because I didn't want to be stinky at work. Anyway, I was doing some research into this very serious issue as my favorite button down blouse was so afflicted and I found a potential cure: white vinegar.
So Friday, I mixed water and vinegar in some unknown proportion and then used a washcloth to dab at the stains on the blouse (which is red, btw). Then into the washing machine it went (cold water, regular soap) and then into the dryer. When it came out, I found that some of the stains were still there but for the most part, the vinegar/water mixture had broken the stain to a point that it is now actually wearable on its own -- no need to cover it up with a jacket or sweater any more. I'm going to try the vinegar/water thing again and hopefully the stains will be gone for good. For it's worth, the blouse is cotton; I have no idea how this will work on other materials. I just figured it's a pretty cost-effective and simple solution to a vexing problem and I don't think there's a problem with a vinegar-treated clothing being in the washing machine with other clothes.