How to Remove Sweat or Stain on Shirt in Photoshop

Have you been to a Mediterranean Summer wedding? It can be so hot during the summer. Everyone suit up and dress up so beautifully, spent hours on the dress fitting, hair and makeup, we wouldn’t want the visible sweat to spoil the wedding photographs, would we?
A friend of mine was asked to do his sister’s pre-wedding photo shoot, the photograph came out great and the couple loves it, they want to print and frame it and place at the wedding reception. The only thing is the sweat stain on the groom’s shirt just too distracted, so he asked me to help out.

What’s in this tutorial?

Some people’s first instinct for removal or correct spots is using the clone tool or the healing brush. You can use those tools but that means you will spend moring to sundown to make it perfect. Because the shirt has strips, we want to keep the same pattern. This method only takes a few minutes.
First, we need to identify the problem, whether it’s colour or brightness difference, we need to tackle them separately. You will learn how to use Chromatic Abbreviation on Raw file to correct the colour and then use Photoshop to adjust the brightness difference in the area. It’s a very easy and useful technique, you can use this technique to apply to stains such as wine or coffee stain when you still need to have the texture or the pattern intact.

DOWNLOAD the sample files. (Please note the the files only for educational purpose.)


1) Open the image in Adobe Camera Raw.
First, I go to Adobe Bridge to find where is the image, if it’s a raw file, it will open up in Camera Raw. If it’s jpg file you can go straight to Photoshop to open the file. (Always shoot in Raw if you can)


2) In Camera Raw, go to the Lens Corrections panel, tick the box Remove Chromatic Aberration. The sweat stain still appears to be too much purple on the edges so I need to use the Defringe slide to remove more of the Chromatic Aberration. I add the Purple Amount to 4 and the purple colour disappears. That’s the job done in Camera Raw, next we click Open Image, it takes us to Photoshop.


3) For a better understanding of stain removal or correction, we need to identify the problem first. What is the colour and brightness difference between the shirt and stain? Is it only the colour difference or brightness difference or both? Identify the problem is a faster way to correct the stain rather than experimenting with the curve or colour adjustment for hours. I’ve done that before that’s why I show you a faster way to achieve the result.
I add and New Layer, create a blank space which we use the sample testing.
I use the Brush Tool, hold down Opt/Alt key to sample the stain and then use the sample colour to brush on the blank space. I do the same with the shirt colour and then we have these 2 colours to compare. It appears that there is a brightness difference, not much of colour difference. After we understand what is the problem we can delete this layer.


4) Use the Lasso Tool to select the stained area. You can use the Refine Edge area to get a better selection.


8) Add a Curve adjustment layer, the selected area will be automatically masked in the layer mask.


9) On the adjustment panel, click on the icon with a little hand on it. Use this tool to select the stained area, drag it up to brighten the stain colour until you find the closest brightness spot to the shirt and then release it. Use Brush Tool on the Layer Mask to refine details of the edges of the stain selection.

The Result:



1) Remember to zoom out to see the whole picture.
2) In some cases, there is a colour difference, you can adjust the RGB colours inside the Curve adjustment layer.

For video Tutorial:
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