How to Clean an Armpit Smell From Polyester

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If you wear polyester clothing when you exercise or perform other strenuous activities, you may smell armpit odor on your clothing. To solve the problem of unpleasant odors, launder your polyester clothing thoroughly and wear deodorant while being active.


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Why Do Your Armpits Smell?

You sweat when you're active because the body is trying to cool itself. As the perspiration evaporates, your body temperature decreases. There are sweat glands all over your body. However, the sweat glands in your armpits produce a thicker sweat than other sweat glands. When that thick sweat comes in contact with bacteria, the result is an unpleasant odor.


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How to Remove Perspiration Odor From Polyester

Step 1: Presoak the Garment

Add a nonchlorine bleach containing sodium perborate or sodium percarbonate to warm water. Soak the smelly clothing in the solution for half an hour.

Step 2: Wash the Garment

Run the clothing through the hottest washing machine cycle that's safe for polyester. Use laundry detergent and more nonchlorine bleach.


Step 3: Treat for Lingering Odors

If the clothes still have body odor on them, soak them overnight in a salty solution using 3 or 4 tablespoons of salt per quart of warm water. Rinse thoroughly.

Step 4: Use Hydrogen Peroxide

If the odor persists, apply 3 percent hydrogen peroxide to the smelly area of the clothing and let it sit for about 15 minutes. You may have to reapply the hydrogen peroxide several times to remove the smell. Then, launder the clothing in the washing machine to remove the hydrogen peroxide.



Read the clothing’s care label to ensure it is safe to use sodium perborate or sodium percarbonate bleach on it. Sodium perborate or sodium percarbonate bleach is commonly labeled as color-safe bleach or oxygen bleach. It is safer to use on clothing than chlorine bleach.

How to Prevent Body Odor

To prevent body odor, it is important to remove bacteria from your body by showering or taking a bath regularly. Use an antiperspirant or deodorant after your shower or bath. An antiperspirant prevents you from sweating, while a deodorant repels the bacteria that cause odors. You can find underarm products that contain both a deodorant and antiperspirant.


Choosing the right clothing can help too. Consider wearing breathable fabrics, such as clothing made from cotton or silk. Moisture-wicking fabrics made from synthetics, like polyester, are a good choice when exercising. Launder your clothes soon after exercising to eliminate odors. It's harder to get odors out of clothing if they sit a long time.


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