Eliminate Body Odor from Clothes with These 3 Effective Methods


Start by sorting your clothes into separate piles for lights and darks. Delicate fabrics should also be kept separate from sturdier fabrics. For this method, you will need warm water, so keep in mind that some clothes may require cold water wash only. If this is the case, you'll need to try a different method to eliminate body odor from your clothes.


To begin, fill a laundry basin, sink, tub, or bucket with warm water. Make sure all your clothes are fully submerged before adding two cups of baking soda to the water. Stir the baking soda to ensure it’s dispersed throughout the water. Allow your clothes to soak in the water and baking soda mixture for at least several hours, or even overnight.

Alternatively, you can add baking soda and clothing straight to your washing machine. Once you begin filling the basin with water, add two cups of baking soda and turn off the machine. Allow your clothes to sit in the water and baking soda solution for a couple of hours.


After soaking, wash your clothes either by hand or in your washing machine. If you use a washing machine, switch it back on again and use a regular amount of laundry detergent. To wash by hand, you may need to change the water several times until all the soap and baking soda residue has been removed.

You can also use vinegar as an alternative method. Add one cup of vinegar to your laundry and allow it to soak for several hours. Keep in mind, however, that if you soak your clothes in vinegar, you'll need to wash them with bleach-free detergent afterward. Mixing bleach and vinegar will produce harmful fumes that pose serious health risks. [1]


Dry your clothes by hanging them outdoors if possible. Laying your clothes out on a towel indoors is another option if outdoor drying is not feasible. Before drying, make sure to wring out excess water. Lay your clothes flat and leave them to dry for 24 - 48 hours.

By drying your clothes using these methods, you can save on your energy bill while also eliminating body odors. Remember that if you don't completely remove the odor during washing, the dryer will lock it in place.


Identify the source of the odor on your clothes. This spot treatment method requires applying treatments directly to the area with the strongest odor. Typically, this is either the crotch area of pants or the underarm area of shirts.


When treating a specific area, use a commercial product or try making your own treatment using laundry detergent. You can also use a baking soda and water paste, spreading it on the area where the odor is strongest. An alternative is to crush up uncoated aspirin and rub it onto the targeted area. [2] [3] The salicylic acid in aspirin can help neutralize and eliminate body odor smells.

Step 1: Locate and Treat Sweat Odors on Clothes

Before you start, identify the target spots of your body odors and isolate them. This way, you can focus on treating those specific areas only. Typically, these areas will be the underarms, crotch, and collar.

Susan StockerSusan StockerSusan StockerSusan StockerSusan StockerSusan Stocker

Step 2: Eliminate Odors with Vodka

Using undiluted vodka, put it into a spray bottle and apply on the smelly spots until the areas are fully saturated. You can also choose to use isopropyl alcohol, vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide, but vodka is an effective and odorless alternative.

This method works even on dry clean-only clothes and saves you additional laundry expenses. The vodka evaporates quickly from your clothing, giving you the option to skip the laundry cycle.

Step 3: Dry & Air Clothes

After saturating the clothes with vodka, hang them outside to dry or lay them flat on a towel. Avoid using a dryer unless you are certain the smell is gone. Dryers have a tendency to trap the odor, making it harder to remove the next time you wash them.

Step 4: Reapply If Needed

Depending on the strength of the odor, you may need to repeat this process a few times. If the odor isn't gone entirely after application, spray the spots again and let them dry.

Bonus Tip: Tea Tree Oil

For an alternative and natural solution, add a few drops of tea tree essential oil to your laundry detergent. Tea tree oil is an excellent bacteria and germ killer, as well as a natural anti-fungal agent.


How can vinegar be utilized in the washing machine to eliminate unpleasant smells?

Susan Stocker, the proprietor of Seattle's renowned Susan's Green Cleaning Company, has gained an excellent reputation for her unparalleled customer service policies and unwavering commitment to green cleaning practices, earning her the 2017 Better Business Torch Award for Ethics and Integrity in the region. To alleviate mild odors, vinegar can be added directly to the washing machine basin during the rinse cycle, whereas in the case of strong odors, vinegar can be used in place of detergent during the wash cycle, followed by adding more during the rinse cycle.


Will baking soda cause any harm to my clothes?

Contrary to popular belief, baking soda, a substance often used in the house cleaning business, does not damage clothes; instead, it has been found to brighten clothes and remove odors effectively.

This piece was created in tandem by Susan Stocker, the proprietor of one of Seattle's most preeminent green cleaning businesses, Susan's Green Cleaning. Susan's customer service standards are renowned throughout the area, earning her the prestigious 2017 Better Business Torch Award for Ethics & Integrity, while her fervent advocacy for eco-friendly cleaning methods continues to impress. As of July 22, 2022, this article has been viewed 968,645 times and received contributions from 21 co-authors.

Susan Stocker

Categorized under the header of "Treating Laundry Odors," this article provides invaluable information on how to eradicate unpleasant smells from your clothing. One author recounts their personal struggle with long-standing laundry odors and details how they ultimately overcame them utilizing a combination of techniques over a period of six weeks. If you too have been grappling with this frustrating issue, be sure to peruse this page and see if it can assist you with your laundry quandaries.

Nick Meeks

And as always, a huge thank you to all of the authors who contributed to this page and helped make it such a valuable resource for visitors.

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