How to Get Sweat Smells Out of Your Clothing

Have you noticed a funky odor on your work clothes? Does everyone steer clear of your gym clothes? Does your hamper turn you green, and not with envy?

I’m just going to say it – everyone sweats. Glisten, perspire – call it what you will…it’s sweat. Some of us do it more than others, but sweat happens. To battle this natural occurrence, we reach for deodorants and antiperspirants to keep us dry. They do the job – but what do they do to our clothes?

All of us sweat, but if you’re noticing body odor on your clothes, you may feel self-conscious. Maybe you’ve already tried some deodorizing laundry detergents. If you still find you reek, even before you hit the gym, it may be time to learn how to get rid of sweat smell once and for all.

What Causes Body Odor?

Getting Rid of Sweat Smell From Your ClothesLet’s start by taking a look at what causes sweat and body odor. Sweat is actually good for you! It’s your body’s natural cooling-down system, and without it, you would be in big trouble!

Eccrine glands and apocrine glands all over your body produce sweat when you’re at risk of overheating and to cool you down. Sweat is typically odor-free, but when it mixes with bacteria on your skin and any other substances lurking there, things get smelly. Clothing is porous and tends to absorb not just sweat but also odor.

Several factors contribute to body odor, including genetics, diet, health and more. Some people find reducing strong-smelling foods like garlic and spices helps them keep body odor less strong. Staying hydrated can also help keep things smelling a little fresher, and so can antiperspirant.

Although, antiperspirants are acidic by nature and contain high concentrations of aluminum chloride. Naturally occurring salt in your perspiration, combined with your antiperspirant, can degrade fabric over time. It can damage and weaken the fabric. When garments are cleaned, the agitation can tear the weakened fabric. And, not only can the fabric become weak, but it can discolor, too.

To prevent this progressive damage, promptly clean fabrics such as cotton, linen, rayon & silk to avoid antiperspirant build-up. You can also switch to a pH neutral deodorant rather than an acidic antiperspirant.

How to Deodorize Clothes

Even if you take steps to make yourself smell better or step up your shower game, you still need to figure out how to wash your clothes to feel your best. Clothing care can help you minimize odors with these tips:

  • Don’t wait: If you get home from the gym or a workout with a bunch of clothes, don’t keep them crumpled in your hamper or gym bag. This will allow the sweat smell to set and become harder to remove. Letting your clothes sit also makes mildew more likely, which will not improve the situation.
  • Use warm water: Check the care tags for your clothes. If the clothing can bear warm or hot water, wash the clothing in the warmest water possible. Use an extra rinse cycle if you can, too, to really get clothes fresher.
  • Pre-soak: Soak your clothes in detergent for 10 to 45 minutes to lift off the worst of the odor before washing.
  • Try vinegar soaks: Add about three teaspoons of vinegar to a bucket of water and soak your clothes for thirty minutes before washing. You can also add another teaspoon of vinegar to the final rinse. Vinegar is a natural deodorizer.

Sweat Happens! We Can Help Your Clothes Last Longer

When you have special outfits with stains or odors, it may be best to leave it to the experts. That goes double for delicate fabrics.

Classic Drycleaners can help. Our wash and fold laundry services help get your clothing looking its best and feeling its freshest. We also have a range of solutions for your hard-to-solve laundry dilemmas. If you’re in the Harrisburg area, drop by to get assistance.