Are your gym clothes wreaking with that sweaty smell and underarm odor? Use my super simple trick that removes the sweat smell from clothes each and every time!
My kiddo is a huge fan of activewear. I think all he wears is Under Armour and t-shirts from his high school team. The only time you will ever find him in a dress shirt or polo is on game day when he has to dress up. For some reason, dry-fit material shirts tend to hold on to the sweat and stink more than cotton clothes or those with natural fibers.
I am sure the fact that he has lifted weights in the clothes and left them in his locker or gym bag for a week or two doesn't help matters. Luckily, I have learned how to get the smell of sweat out of clothes. If not, I would constantly be buying him new clothes. So if you have some sweaty clothing that you are having a hard time with, good news, there's a simple and quick solution! And if you are having trouble with
You can also see how I remove yellow sweat stains from the armpit area of white shirts using baking soda and peroxide. This is another great way to use natural products instead of a professional cleaner.
Why Do Workout Clothes Smell So Bad
For starters, your apocrine glands are releasing sweat to cool your body off. What your body doesn't soak back in, absorbs into your clothes. Most of the time, workout gear and sports bras are made from synthetic fabrics. Moisture-wicking materials are designed to pull moisture (like sweat) away from your skin and onto the fabric's surface, where it can evaporate more easily. This helps keep you dry and comfortable during physical activities. However, these materials can sometimes retain body odor for several reasons:
- Bacteria Growth: One of the primary causes of body odor is the growth of odor-causing bacteria on your skin. These bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments, which can be created when sweat is wicked away from your body but remains trapped in athletic wear. Over time, the bacteria can grow, leading to bad smells that really linger even after a wash cycle.
- Residue: Moisture-wicking fabric can sometimes retain traces of sweat and body oils even after washing. These residues can serve as a food source for odor-causing bacteria, allowing them to persist and continue producing unpleasant odors.
- Ineffective Odor Control: While moisture-wicking fabrics are designed to manage moisture, they may not always have built-in odor control mechanisms. Fabrics that include antimicrobial treatments or are specifically designed to combat odor are more effective at preventing odor buildup.
- Porous Structure: The porous structure of some moisture-wicking fabrics can trap odorous molecules, making it harder for them to be released during laundering.
How to Reduce the Smell in Sweaty Clothes
To minimize body odor when using moisture-wicking materials, you can take the following steps:
Proper Cleaning: Follow the care label for your moisture-wicking clothing carefully. Use a good-quality detergent and wash the garments after each use. Avoid using fabric softener, as they can reduce the fabric's moisture-wicking properties. You also don't want to leave damp clothes in the laundry hamper, because they will have a musty smell too.
Antimicrobial Treatments: Look for moisture-wicking clothing with antimicrobial or odor-control treatments. These treatments can help inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria.
Drying: Make sure your moisture-wicking clothing is thoroughly dried after washing. Damp clothing can promote bacterial growth.
Alternate Clothing: Don't wear the same moisture-wicking clothing for extended periods without washing. Rotating between different garments can help reduce odor buildup.
Personal Hygiene: Maintain good personal hygiene practices, such as showering regularly and using antibacterial soap. This can help reduce the number of odor-causing bacteria on your skin.
Undergarments: Consider wearing moisture-wicking undergarments or base layers. These can help manage moisture and odor, keeping it away from your outer clothing.
Deodorant: Apply deodorant or antiperspirant to your underarms to help control odor at its source.
What You'll Need:
- White distilled vinegar (I don't recommend using apple cider vinegar)
- Laundry Detergent
How to Get Sweat Smells Out of Clothes
STEP 1: Add sweat-smelling clothes to the washer and let it fill with the right amount of water.
STEP 2: Once it has finished filling, add a cup of white vinegar to the wash.
STEP 3: Allow the machine to run for a few minutes so the clothes are completely wet and the vinegar is properly mixed in.
STEP 4: Turn the washing machine off or pause it. Let the clothes soak for 30 minutes to an hour.
STEP 5: Add the laundry detergent and press start. Let it run through all of the cycles, including an extra rinse cycle.
STEP 6: Once finished, dry them as usual or let the clothes air-dry.
If the smell remains, you may need to repeat the process again.
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- Use the regular amount of detergent. Too much detergent can leave a residue and lock in that odor of the smelly clothes even worse.
- For best results, avoid using laundry boosters. These can do the same thing as excess laundry detergent.
- Air-drying clothes that are made from performance fabrics will help keep them from shrinking and ensure they don't lose their shape.
- Turn the garments inside out. This will help the vinegar penetrate through where the sweat odor starts to begin with.
- You can also use this method with your favorite clothes that have lingering odors, even if they aren't sweaty.
- If you aren't going to wash the clothes right away, dry them first before placing them in the laundry basket. This keeps the bad odors from transferring to the rest of your laundry and will prevent bacteria growth.
- The best way to get rid of those unsightly stains in the underarm area is to use my DIY solution to pretreat before washing the clothes. This will also help combat the perspiration odor. I like to keep a spray bottle nearby for armpit stains.
- Wearing garments made from natural fabrics makes it easier to remove the sweat smell.
- Even the cleanest people share the common problem that when a lot of sweat builds up in their clothing, the smell is unbearable. Using this simple technique and natural ingredients we can have fresh-smelling clothes once and for all, even if they are our gym wear.
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