Whether you sleep like a baby or toss and turn all night long, you can sweat a surprising amount at night. Pair that sweat with oils from your skin, dirt, and odors on your body and you can end up with a smelly bedding situation. Refreshing your bedding by washing bed sheets with vinegar can let you breathe easier and restore the relaxing oasis in your bedroom.
How to Remove Body Odor From Sheets
Step 1: Pretreat Sheets if Necessary
Spritz a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water on soiled sheets if you're unable to do laundry the same day they're removed from the bed. The vinegar may help absorb some of the odor in advance. Sprinkle baking soda on them in the laundry hamper as an alternative to the vinegar.
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Step 2: Put the Sheets in the Washing Machine
Place the smelly sheets in the washing machine. Select a soak cycle, filling the machine with the hottest water recommended on the care tag. Use enough water to cover the sheets. If the sheets take up the entire washing machine, divide them into smaller loads. If you crowd the washing machine, you might have trouble getting rid of the smell and it might cause wrinkling and pilling since the sheets won't have room to move around.
Step 3: Pour Vinegar Into the Wash
Allow the machine to fill, but stop it from running the cycle. Add one cup of white vinegar to the hot water, swishing it around a bit to mix it in. Allow the sheets to soak for at least 30 minutes.
Step 4: Drain the Washing Machine
Select the spin cycle to drain out the water, leaving the sheets inside. Choose the wash cycle and temperature recommended for the sheets, adding your favorite laundry detergent. Use the amount of detergent recommended on the detergent packaging.
Step 5: Add Vinegar to the Rinse Cycle
Add one cup of white vinegar to the washing machine as it fills for the final rinse cycle. Allow the sheets to finish the rinse cycle and remove them after the final spin cycle is done. It can be difficult to tell if the odor is completely gone, but smell the sheets to see if most of the body odor is out of the fabric before drying. If the sheets still stink, repeat the washing cycle.
Step 6: Line-Dry the Sheets
Hang the sheets out to dry in the sun if you have an outdoor clothesline in your backyard. This lets the sheets dry out and helps any remaining vinegar smell dissipate. Once they're dry, check the scent to make sure the body odor is gone. If it's not, rewash the load. If the odor is gone, toss the sheets in the dryer for a few minutes to soften them and remove any wrinkles after they dry outside.
Step 7: Dry the Sheets in the Dryer
Place the sheets in the dryer and dry them completely using the heat setting recommended on the care tag if you don't have a clothesline. Leaving freshly washed sheets in the washing machine for hours or days may cause them to smell musty. Dry them as soon as possible to avoid musty odors in the laundry and in the washing machine. Don't add fabric softener or dryer sheets to the load. These items leave behind an oil-like residue that makes the sheets somewhat water resistant, which means they'll come out of the wash without being completely clean.
Step 8: Check the Sheets
Remove the sheets once they're dry. Smell them to make sure the body odor is gone from the fabric. Repeat the washing process if necessary to remove the odor fully.