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Does Coconut Oil Deodorant Stain Clothes? (EXPLAINED)

Does coconut oil deodorant stain clothes? Well, coconut oil is theoretically the ideal deodorant ingredient. It smells great by most people’s standards, feels wonderful against the skin… but it has one fatal downfall: coconut oil deodorant does stain clothes.

But you don’t need to sacrifice your beautiful coconut oil stick in the name of your t-shirts. Fear not! There are ways to deal with the stains.

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What Is Coconut Oil Deodorant?

Coconut oil is so skin-friendly and good at odor protection that lots of people forego deodorant entirely just to use coconut oil.

That said, just imagine what a great deodorant ingredient it is. Paired with other helpful ingredients, it’s a scented home run. Commercial deodorants typically clog your sweat glands and may cause discomfort. On the contrary, coconut oil deodorants are gentle and moisturizing.

They’re an especially great option if you have rash-prone or easily irritated skin. Coconut has anti-inflammatory agents, and it’s also antibacterial, so it’ll ward off anything that might be the root cause of your skin ailments.

Unlike lots of natural deodorants, which have a reputation for their gritty texture, most coconut oil deodorants go on smooth. They’re a great introduction to natural deodorants if you’ve only ever used whatever the grocery store has to offer. 

Does Coconut Oil Deodorant Stain Clothes?

Coconut oil deodorant does stain clothing. That’s its fatal flaw.

Like any oil, it doesn’t exactly get along with fabric. Combined with your own sweat and bacteria, it’ll have a little houseparty in your pits, leaving behind the mess for you to clean up.

But, let’s be honest here, almost every other deodorant also leaves pit stains (if you wear antiperspirants, you also should know how to remove antiperspirants from your skin). Coconut oil just gets an especially bad reputation because it’s not yet considered a “normal” deodorant ingredient.

And there are plenty of ways to treat those stains, so you don’t have to give up all the benefits of coconut oil to keep your shirts looking nice. You just have to catch stains early and know what to do.

Best Way To Prevent Coconut Oil Stains In The First Place

Go light on the deodorant!

Most stains, caused by coconut oil or other deodorant ingredients, are often a product of using too much deodorant, leaving your shirt to soak up the excess. The easiest possible way to prevent most of the armpit stains you’re experiencing is to simply use less.

If you find that using less deodorant won’t quite get you through the day smelling good, consider reapplying rather than going heavy in the morning.

You can also try wearing an undershirt or trimming your armpit hair. Both of those methods keep the deodorant on your skin, where it belongs.

For a full list of ideas, visit our guide on how to prevent pit stains. The tips we cover there apply to coconut oil deodorant as well.

How To Get Coconut Oil Deodorant Out Of Clothes

The best strategy is to catch and treat any coconut oil stains early. Sometimes even just a spin cycle with some detergent can take them out, as long as you get that shirt into the laundry right away.

For those stubborn coconut oil stains:

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a shirt’s best friend. This will work with any stain, not just coconut oil:

  1. Dump a little bit of baking soda in a bowl. Exact measurements don’t matter, just eyeball a two-armpit sized pile.
  2. Slowly add water to the baking soda, stirring as you go. Stop once you have a paste. If it’s liquidy and dissolving, you’ve added too much water. If it’s clumpy and unyielding, you have too much baking soda.
  3. Get a toothbrush and apply that paste to your shirt, scrubbing at it gently. Then let it sit for half an hour or so.
  4. Rinse it out and check your results.

Baking soda will usually do the job, and since it’s unscented, it’s one of the better methods.

You can also start adding some baking soda to your laundry, if you don’t want to go through the paste ordeal every time you see a stain. It’ll brighten the color of your clothes and prevent stains all around.

White Vinegar And Water

White vinegar is a less fun ingredient to use on clothing because it will take a few washes to get the smell out completely. But it’s also more effective on heavier, permanent-looking stains.

Mix together water and vinegar at a 1:1 ratio, then soak only the armpits of your shirt in that mixture. If you soak the whole shirt, getting the vinegar smell out will be a nightmare. Leave your shirt pits in the solution for half an hour to an hour, then remove and rinse.

If neither the white vinegar nor the baking soda work…it might be time to wave the white flag. All good shirts come to an end eventually, be it pit stains, stretched necks, or holes. ‘Tis the circle of life.

Is Coconut Oil Deodorant Worth It?

If you have sensitive skin and are constantly suffering from deodorant-induced rashes, coconut oil deodorant is absolutely worth it. Treating the stains is relatively easy (really, it’s how you would treat any deodorant stain). And your skin will thank you forever.

For the rest of us who have “normal” skin…it boils down to a personal choice. Coconut oil deodorant is gentle, effective, and natural, but it will require slightly more clothing maintenance than other deodorants. 

I always recommend going with an all-natural deodorant (read this guide on what to expect when switching to natural deodorant), but if coconut oil is not the one for you, then c’est la vie. Guys with less-picky skin have many more options than those who are prone to irritation.

Also, keep in mind, if you’re careful and observant, you can prevent a lot of stains in the first place. Knowing how to keep your shirt armpits looking sleek makes coconut oil deodorant an easy first-choice.

Frank Edwards is a men's grooming & style expert who is "internet famous" for being able to simplify complicated grooming routines into easy, yet effective rituals any man can do. As a professional analyst, he has spent years researching the biggest brands, products, experts, best practices, and breaking news in the space. He takes this analysis, tests it out on himself, and then documents everything in his writing. As a result, his experience-based articles are considered by some to be the gold standard in men's grooming and men's style.