The One Ingredient I Use to Get Rid of Sweat Smells in Clothes

published Jul 14, 2023
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I live in Yorkshire, England, so having sweaty clothes isn’t a problem I normally have to worry much about. However, we’re in the midst of a heatwave here, and everything is sweaty: My clothes are sweaty, my sheets are sweaty, and my running gear is especially sweaty.

Quick Overview

How to Get the Sweat Smell Out of Clothes

To remove the sweat smells from your clothing, all you really need is one thing: baking soda. Find out below how to use baking soda to safely and effectively eliminate this odor from your clothes.

Even after a full wash cycle, some clothes hold onto that distinct acidic sweat smell, and I’m getting sick of it. I know that baking soda is a known odor eliminator, as well as being laundry-safe, so in desperation I added a baking soda pre-wash to my summer laundry routine — and it worked. The smell was gone.

How to Remove Sweat Odors from Clothes with Baking Soda

Here’s how you can use baking soda to remove those sweaty smells from your clothing.

What You’ll Need

Step 1: Combine ingredients.

First, mix one cup of baking soda with a gallon of cold water in a large bucket or the sink or bathtub, until the baking soda has dissolved.

Step 2: Add in clothes.

Then add in your sweaty clothes. Give them a good mix, so that they are completely soaked and submerged in the baking soda water.

Step 3: Let it soak.

Leave your clothes to soak in the mixture. For regular summer-day sweat, I leave the clothes to percolate for around 15 minutes, but you can leave them overnight or for up to 24 hours to get rid of a really strong, baked-in odor.

Step 4: Drain it.

When you’ve finished the pre-soak, drain off the baking soda water and put your clothes into the washing machine — no need to rinse them in between. You can also add in additional laundry items that didn’t need the pre-soak if you need to make up a full load. 

Step 5: Wash and dry clothes regularly.

Then, put the laundry through a regular cycle in the machine with your normal detergent to completely remove that lingering acidic sweat smell. Hang dry or dry clothes in a dryer and voila! Fresh-smelling clothes all summer long.