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How to Keep Deodorant From Streaking

How-To: Keep Deodorant on You, Not Your Clothes

No matter how careful I am (OK, sometimes I'm not all that careful), I still get those annoying white "zebra stripes" on my shirts caused by a morning application of deodorant. While animal prints can be done tastefully, unintentional ones are just the pits. (Sorry.)

To keep your deodorant on you, and not your new blouse, I've gathered together some tips on remaining streak free. Check them out when you


  • The culprit: Probably the biggest culprit of those blotchy white marks is an overapplication of deodorant. To prevent this problem in the future, apply a very thin layer before getting dressed, blot if necessary, and allow it to completely dry. Tip: Hold your arms high and get under a fan or use the "cool" button feature on your blow-dryer to speed the process along.
  • Dress first: Some people prefer to dress first, then apply. It works OK in a pinch, although you still run the risk of staining on the inside of your shirt, and you have to use a pretty steady hand. Somehow I'm reminded of the game Operation.
  • Check the label: Just because it says "clear" on the bottle, doesn't mean it actually will be. Sprays, gels, and clear/invisible formulations will most likely be less guilty of causing streaking. However, nothing beats checking out some reviews to see what kind of results others have had.
  • Crystal ball: It's inevitable. Some natural deodorants still leave residue behind, but many people have had success with crystals (aka crystal stones), such as Crystal Roll-On Body Deodorant ($4).
  • DIY: Make your own danger-free deodorant, or consider using an essential oil, like bergamot under your arms.
  • If worse comes to worst: Thankfully, most of these white stains will come out in the wash, but if you find yourself with the stuff all over your clothes, try rubbing it out with another part of your shirt over the stain to help lift it out in a pinch.
  • Cheat: The Dress Sure Deodorant Streak Shield ($20) is a temporary garment you wear that helps you avoid staining by covering up your armpits altogether while you get dressed.
  • Source

    emalove emalove 8 years
    If this ever happens to me, I also just rub it off with a towel or some kind of cloth. It always works.
    Mariannie Mariannie 8 years
    great tips!
    Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 8 years
    The first thing I put on when I'm out of the shower is deodorant, so it dries while I'm putting my underwear on.
    Countess827 Countess827 8 years
    Dryer Fabric Softener Sheets work too.
    Ellenora Ellenora 8 years
    I use a Shout wipe (the ones made for spills and stuff on the go) and poof! it's gone. It takes exactly one wipe across too.
    Sofia-Soubrette Sofia-Soubrette 8 years
    No no! Don't buy anything different! If you happen to get zebra stripes, take a piece of the exact same article of clothing, and gently rub. It work's EVERY time!!! I prefer to use the inside of garment.
    Merlin713 Merlin713 8 years
    Or, use a lint brush if it's on your shirt. Not the 'lint roller' type - the kind with the fabric that can only go one way.
    Dana18 Dana18 8 years
    I am famous for this. I just wipe it of with nylon stocking and it gets it right.
    anonymous333 anonymous333 8 years
    I discovered this little trick a few years ago and i've been doing it ever since: before you put ur shirt on, roll it up from the bottom, up to the armpits, put it on, and roll it down. i never ever get deodorant stains on my shirts when i do that. sure it takes 5 extra seconds, but its really worth the hassle and the embarrassment of those white marks on your shirt!
    snarkypants snarkypants 8 years
    rubbing a clean, inside-out sock over the fabric works well for any accidents
    aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
    My mom makes her own, I forget how but she swears by it. I tend to over apply but I just rub it off, no biggie.
    michlny michlny 8 years
    Since I switched to natural deo's I never get white streaks anymore.... nor do I get yellow staining on my white T-shirts!
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