How to Remove Underarm Odor from Clothes

by Amber Rambharose in Natural Products

Switching to fragrance-free or natural deodorants is no easy task—but it is doable! One of the biggest challenges is dealing with an uptick in underarm odor on your favorite clothing as your body adjusts to a natural underarm product.

This can be frustrating if you don't know how to remove underarm odor from clothes or you haven't quite figured out the best way to remove underarm odor from clothing using only natural products. But don't fret! Whether you're switching from an antiperspirant to a deodorant that doesn't plug your sweat glands, or you've just gone fragrance-free and can't get the sweat smell out of your favorite t-shirt, we've got a natural odor-removing option for you to try.

how to remove underarm odor from clothing

It's White Vinegar!

Ever wondered what causes underarm odor in clothing in the first place? The answer is bacteria—specifically, the kind that thrive in sweat glands under your arms. They even have their own name: corynebacteria.

The good news is that white vinegar contains a compound known as "acetic acid." According to a study recently published in mBio, acetic acid is a powerful disinfectant, capable of killing this very bacteria in roughly 30 minutes.

There are a few ways to use white vinegar to remove underarm odor from clothing, depending on the severity of the odor and your laundry preferences:

  • Batch Method. Add about a half-cup of white vinegar to your regular laundry method whether it's hand washing or using a standard washing machine. Your preferred laundry detergent should counterbalance the smell of vinegar, but if you find that your clean clothes still smell a bit too much like vinegar, you can toss a wet rag or washcloth with a few drops of your favorite essential oil into your dryer to minimize the scent.
  • Soak Method. Simply soak your clothing in a bowl or bucket of white vinegar for 30 minutes before washing as you normally do.
  • Spot Treatment. If the item of clothing you're looking to deodorize is sturdy, you can also spot-treat it by saturating the affected area with white vinegar (a spray bottle works best here). Allow it to sit for 30 minutes, and then gently brush the area with a soft tooth or nail brush.

While knowing when to use deodorant vs. antiperspirant is one way to reduce underarm odor clinging to your favorite clothes, there are times when you're going to be rocking pit stains, like it or not.

When you find yourself panicking about how to remove underarm odor from clothes, remember that there is a natural product, probably right in your kitchen, that will keep your wardrobe smelling fresh.

Are you looking to switch to more natural products for your home and body? Check out the Naturally Good Products board by @tomsofmaine on Pinterest.

Image Sources: Pexels | Pexels

The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Tom's of Maine.


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