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Remove sweat smell from clothes – 4 effective methods

When it comes to the smell of sweat, one thinks primarily of the washing machine and assumes that stubborn sweat no longer poses a problem after the wash. But the reality is different. Especially with sportswear or textiles made of synthetic fibers, sweat can stubbornly stick to the material. This creates a musty, very unpleasant smell.

Sweat smell has various causes and is based on the formation of bacteria that nest in the material of the clothing. This can lead to an unpleasant to penetrating smell. The sweat itself is odourless and would not pose a problem. However, it provides the breeding ground for the bacterium Corynebacterium jeikeium. Not only in clothing, but also in the washing machine, the bacteria find plenty of food and nest permanently. A wash cycle can even intensify the smell. The bottom line is that after washing the clothes smell more intensely of sweat and are practically no longer wearable. In this article, there are helpful tips on how to counteract the smell of sweat and how to remove it effectively from textiles.

Fight sweat with lemon

The solution to combat Corynebacterium jeikeium bacteria is found in a mixture that consists of 5% lemon juice and the rest water. The lemon does not cover up the scent, but removes the nutrient medium from the bacteria and thus leads to extinction. If there are particularly persistent sweat stains under the armpits of sports clothing or tight pullovers and shirts, it can be helpful to rub the affected areas intensively and use a brush for this.

Odour removal with vinegar

There are two ways to use vinegar. If there is a strong smell of sweat, it is useful to put the clothes in a bucket or bowl with water and vinegar before washing. Here you should soak them for an hour or two and then wring the water out. Careful handling of vinegar should be in the foreground, as too much can cause acidic odours that last longer and cannot be completely removed even when washing. Vinegar is a good home remedy for dark and coloured clothing because it does not discolor and thus leaves no visible traces of the treatment. A small amount of vinegar can also be added to the detergent in the wash cycle, especially if there are marginal sweat odours or after treatment of clothing already in vinegar.

Washing soda against sweat smell

Washing soda is available in the pharmacy and has proven to be a useful tool for controlling Corynebacterium jeikeium bacteria. A tablespoon of washing soda is sufficient for 10 liters of water, and the mixture should take about half an hour. Only then do you put the sweaty clothes in the bucket and let them soak for a night. After treatment with washing soda, the textiles are cleaned as usual and are freed from the unpleasant smell.

Soap and brush against stubborn sweat

While this method is not suitable for very thin and fine fabrics, treatment with curd soap has proven itself for thicker textiles, cotton clothing and, for example, training jackets. The soap is applied to the affected areas on the wet textile and then rubbed deep into the fibers with a medium-soft brush. To master the smell and to combat it effectively, the rubbed-in clothing should soak for about 2 to 4 hours and be put in a bucket with lukewarm water. A subsequent wash at 40 ° Celsius is sufficient to remove the residues of the core soap and to rinse the bacteria out of the clothing.

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Written by Content Team

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