How to Remove the Perspiration Smell From Clothing

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By itself, perspiration doesn't make your clothes stink. When sweat reacts with bacteria on your skin, though, it turns into a foul-smelling acid. Once this odor embeds itself in the fabric of your clothes, it's challenging to get it out. Laundering sweat-soaked garments may help, but it isn't likely to get rid of the odor completely. To beat tough sweat stench, you'll need some powerful odor-fighting weapons. You can find an array of natural, chemical-free odor removers in your own kitchen pantry.

How to Remove the Perspiration Smell From Clothing
(Charley Steward/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda
  • Lemon juice
  • White vinegar
  • Aspirin
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Liquid dishwashing soap
  • Meat tenderizer
  • Large bowl
Step 1

Combine 1/4 cup warm water and 4 tablespoons baking soda. Rub the paste directly into sweat stains. Allow the paste to dry for two hours before laundering as usual.

Charley Steward/Demand Media
Step 2

Make a solution of equal parts lemon juice and water. Dab the sweat stains with the solution before laundering.

Charley Steward/Demand Media
Step 3

Blot sweat stains directly with undiluted white vinegar, then launder as usual.

Charley Steward/Demand Media
Step 4

Mix together 1/2 cup warm water and one crushed aspirin. Saturate the sweat stain with the solution for two to three hours, then launder the garment.

Charley Steward/Demand Media
Step 5

Combine two parts hydrogen peroxide and one part liquid dishwashing soap. Blot the perspiration stain with the mixture, then let it soak in for one hour before laundering.

Charley Steward/Demand Media
Step 6

Dampen the stain with a bit of water, then sprinkle it with a thin layer of meat tenderizer. Launder the garment as usual.

Charley Steward/Demand Media
Step 7

Turn the garment inside out and allow it to sit outside in the sun for several hours. The sun will freshen clothes and lighten stains.

Charley Steward/Demand Media
Step 8

Put the garment in your freezer for a few hours or overnight. This kills odor-causing bacteria.

Charley Steward/Demand Media
Step 9

Fill a clean sink or large bowl with hot water, then add 1 to 2 cups white vinegar. Soak the garment in the vinegar solution for 15 to 30 minutes. Launder as usual, but add 1 cup white vinegar to the washing machine during the rinse cycle. Use 2 cups for very strong body-odor smells.

Charley Steward/Demand Media

Tips & Warnings

  • To get rid of yellowing caused by sweat stains, combine 4 tablespoons of salt with 1 quart of hot water. Blot the yellow stains with the solution until they disappear.

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