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The 5 Best Deodorants That Don't Stain Clothes

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Bustle/Amazon
By Annie Davidson

Nobody likes white marks or yellow stains on their shirts, but all too many deodorants and antiperspirants leave their trail behind. But the best deodorants that don't stain clothes boast solid, clear formulas that are free of aluminum, the culprit ingredient behind discoloring.

Aluminum is enemy number one when it comes to deodorants and stains. As aluminum bonds with the fats and proteins in your sweat, it produces compounds that cause yellow stains, so avoiding aluminum in deodorants is the first step to finding a formula that won’t leave residue behind.

But keep in mind that even deodorants without aluminum can still leave marks if they contain baking powder and other powders. Unless your deodorant is completely free of aluminum and powders, it may leave white streaks behind. Opt for solid, clear formulas that dry quickly and won’t transfer easily. Still, it’s always a good idea to wait a few minutes after application and before getting dressed so that the deodorant has time to set.

Contrary to popular belief, deodorant and antiperspirant are not one and the same. Deodorant is designed to cover up the smell of sweat while antiperspirant prevents sweat using aluminum-based compounds to block sweat ducts. You can find natural deodorants, but because aluminum is the only FDA-approved sweat-inhibitor for antiperspirants, you won’t find natural antiperspirants. For that reason, all of the picks below are deodorants.

Ahead, you’ll find everything from a household name to a minimalist natural deodorant with just four ingredients. They’re all highly rated and will keep your clothes free of stains.

1. A Natural Deodorant With A Cult Following

With a 4.5-star rating on Amazon after more than 46,000 shoppers weighed in, this natural deodorant has a serious cult following. It’s free of stain-causing aluminum, as well as gluten and parabens. This pick does use baking soda and tapioca starch to neutralize odor-causing bacteria, but it’s a solid and clear formula that’s vegan and cruelty-free. Its ingredients also include moisturizing shea butter and coconut oil and it comes in six natural scents like coconut and vanilla (featured here) and lavender and rose, as well as an unscented option.

Helpful Review: “[...] I have tried several natural brands and this is by far the best, it smells good, it doesn't leave oil stains on my clothes, and it glides on with out feeling like its ripping my underarm skin. I love this stuff.”

2. The Household Brand Deodorant That’s Incredibly Long-Lasting

A household name you probably recognize, Secret’s aluminum-free deodorant promises to provide 48-hour odor-fighting protection, according to the manufacturer, making this the pick to consider if you want to feel confident that your deodorant won’t stain and will last throughout the day and night. In addition to its aluminum-free formulation, this coconut-scented deodorant is also free of baking soda and talc and the clear-solid formula applies dry. It has over 2,200 reviews and a solid 4.4-star rating, plus it comes in a pack of three.

Helpful review: “When I first opened this deodorant I was very pleased with the scent. It has a slight coconut scent mixed with light floral aromas. The scent does last so if you do not want fragrance this is not the deodorant for you. I personally love it. The deodorant goes on smoothly. It is not oily and does not stain clothing.”

3. An Affordable Natural Deodorant From A Company That Gives Back

Similar to the Native Deodorant pick, this natural deodorant is vegan with an aluminum-free formula, but it also contains no baking powder, artificial fragrance, or preservatives, nor is it tested on animals. This clear solid deodorant offers 24-hour odor protection, according to the manufacturer, and is made by a company you can feel good about. Tom’s of Maine is a Certified B Corporation, plus it donates 10% of profits to charities committed to children's health, education, and the environment. It comes in a money-saving pack of three — it’s the most affordable on this list — and it’s available in eight scents, plus an unscented option. This pick has a 4.5-star rating and more than 7,000 reviews.

Helpful Review: “This is very very good deodorant and it lasts a long time. Prior to this I [would] just use what was cheapest at Walmart[...]I love the fact that I am not paying more for something that is very good for my health. Because it lasts so long it's about the same price as the cheap stuff!”

4. This Minimalist Natural Deodorant With Just Four Ingredients

If your motto when it comes to deodorant is: the fewer ingredients, the better, this natural deodorant fits the bill with a formula made up of just four ingredients: magnesium oxide (which is the ingredient that combats odor), sweet almond oil, beeswax, and essential oils. You’ll notice it’s completely free of both aluminum and baking soda and is also cruelty-free. One container lasts four months, according to the manufacturer, and this is an ideal pick for anyone with sensitive skin. It comes in four scents: rose (featured), jasmine, lavender, and sweet orange. It has more than 4,000 reviews and MagSol noted it goes on with a powdery texture but dries clear and doesn’t stain.

Helpful review: “I've tried many natural deodorants and so far this one is my favorite! I've only been using it about 1 week, but I really like it. There are minimal ingredients in it, and none of them are caustic or reaction-causing. In fact, this is the first natural deodorant I've found with such few ingredients! It's amazing! I never would have thought of using Magnesium in a deodorant!”

5. A Deodorant Cream Made From Farm-Ingredients

Not only is this unique cream deodorant free of aluminum and baking soda so it promises to not cause stains, but it is made with organic ingredients such as magnesium, arrowroot powder, coconut oil and jojoba oil and is handcrafted on a sustainable family farm in Tennessee. This cruelty-, GMO-, and gluten-free formula is a silky paste that can be applied with a wooden scoop stick (which is included) or your fingers. It provides 24-hour protection, according to the manufacturer, and is especially ideal for sensitive skin. This deodorant can stain if you don’t apply it properly — only use a small amount and allow it to dry to a powdery finish before you get dressed. It has a 4.5-star rating and more than 3,400 reviews and comes in unscented (featured here) or seven scents like lavender, cucumber, and grapefruit lemon.

Helpful review: “I have spent countless $ and gone through a series of natural deodorants trying to find one that would work and not cause a rash [...] I put this product on at night and made it through 24 hours...completely. dry. It doesn't smell bad. It doesn't have a residue that gets all over your clothes. Once you get over that the application is not in a stick format, you will love it. That's what stopped me from taking the plunge. I use a pea-sized amount on each side. Not joking. Completely dry.”