Jolie Kerr is a cleaning expert and advice columnist. She'll be here every other week helping to answer your filthiest questions. Are you dirty? Check the Squalor Archive for assistance. Are you still dirty? Email her.
My boyfriend is a classical musician, and has to go to a lot of auditions. This can be pretty nerve-wracking sometimes, so he ends up sweating a lot, and some of his dress shirts are really starting to smell. Recently he was in Italy for an audition, eating some local oranges, and got the idea that if he rubbed the orange peels on the armpits of his shirt, he'd smell citrus-fresh instead of like old BO. So now his good white shirt not only stinks, it also has big yellow-orange stains in the pits, and it's starting to get warm enough out that just leaving his jacket on the whole time to cover it up is becoming pretty uncomfortable. Is this shirt salvageable, or should I be sending him out to buy a replacement?
I have an answer to this question! I do, I promise.
But before I give it, I want to ask a question of you all: Do you think this question is fake? I honestly cannot decide! My first reaction upon reading it was, "Oh, come on." Well, wait, no. My first reaction was to howl like a loon, then to say, "Oh, come on," then to pause the episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta that Husband of Clean Person and I were watching so I could read him the question to get his take on whether or not it's a fake. He feels that it's real.
The more I considered it, the more I agree with Husband of Clean Person, and here's why: For all the ways this scenario makes the stain-removal expert in me curl up in a ball and go, "No no no no no no no nope!" there's also a part of me to whom the orange-rubber's logic makes utter sense. Like, I can completely follow the thought process here. Which is worrisome in and of itself, but we're not here to consider my mind; we're here to consider cleaning. So! With that stated, let's get to it.
Since it's early June, this is a good time to revisit my MONSTER POST on removing pit stains of the more general variety. There are a number of good options out there for eliminating those kind of crusty, yellow stains that blight so many of our lighter-colored shirts, among them an OxiClean soak, the use of sunshine, white vinegar (of course, of course), hydrogen peroxide, and on and on. Seriously, go read it! There's a ton of information in there.