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How Can I Remove Body Odor in Clothes?

Deodorant can help prevent body odor.
A washing machine.
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  • Written By: Emily Espinoza
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 08 April 2014
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You can remove body odor in clothes by using baking soda, using vinegar, or taking advantage of natural resources outside. Regular household baking soda can be used to form a paste that serves as an odor and stain removing formula when applied to clothes. Vinegar is another common household item that can be used in a couple of different ways to combat stubborn smells in clothes. An even simpler approach that is often effective in removing foul body odor from clothes is to let nature do the work by exposing the smelly clothes to fresh air and sunlight.

Baking soda is effective in cleaning and removing odors from a variety of surfaces and materials, including clothing. It is sometimes added to the water in a washing machine to boost the cleaning power of regular detergent. For body odor in clothes that is difficult to remove, you can make a paste of baking soda and water by simply mixing the two ingredients until the desired consistency is reached. There is no exact amount of either component, and different people may prefer different consistencies depending on the severity of stain and odor. For the most difficult odors, you can apply this paste directly to the affected area of the garment and let it sit for up to 24 hours before washing regularly.

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Vinegar can also be added to the water of a washing machine and works to neutralize many different odors that can remain in fabrics. Some people find this simple treatment to be quite effective in removing body odor from clothes. You can also use vinegar in place of chemical products as a pre-treater before washing. Plain vinegar can be applied directly to the area where the odor exists or a mixture of vinegar and water can be used to soak the entire garment. You should then wash the garment as you normally would to completely eliminate the body odor and to wash out the vinegar.

The simplest approach to getting rid of body odor in clothes is also the most natural and doesn't require any ingredients at all. After a regular washing, clothes that retain body odor can be placed outside to dry instead of in a dryer. Sunlight works well to bleach out stains from clothing without damaging the fabric and the combination of sunlight and fresh air can go a long way toward removing stubborn odors. In many instances, this natural approach will actually completely eliminate body odor in clothes as well as help to get rid of stains. This technique is often worth a try, especially when the ingredients needed for other approaches are not available.

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stoneMason
Post 3

@ddljohn-- Baking soda works best when the clothes are wet. So I just add baking soda into the washer and that seems to do the trick. Baking soda as a paste doesn't absorb if the clothes are dry.

Something else to keep in mind is that the longer the dirty clothes wait to get washed, the harder it is to get the odors out. Wash your clothes as soon as you get a load ready. If your son's clothes are the only ones with the odor problem, you might want to wash his separately. Soaking them in warm water with baking soda as soon as he takes the clothes off might be a good idea. That way, the odors won't have a chance to settle.

ddljohn
Post 2

@ankara-- I've been doing that but it hasn't made a difference. I still can't get the sweat odor out of my son's track clothes.

I've also tried vinegar and baking soda. To my surprise, the baking soda didn't work. Vinegar worked but then, it left a vinegar scent on the clothes that my son couldn't stand. So I'm back to square one.

bluedolphin
Post 1

I agree that exposing clothes to fresh air and sunlight is the best way to get rid of odors. That's why I let my laundry dry outside on a clothes line. I think that tumble drying tends to lock in odors. Anyone who has access to a balcony or or a yard should dry their clothes outside.

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