Nothing is quite as unbearable as the foul smell of perspiration or sweat on clothes. Though perspiration is good for health, it is extremely damaging to fabrics. Armpit odor is caused by bacteria, and once that bacteria is embedded into clothing it's very difficult remove with normal washing. The secret to getting rid of the smell is to kill the bacteria in the cloth fibers. Luckily there are several home remedies that can be used to kill the odor-causing bacteria.
Pre-soak the article of clothing in cool water and wring out well. Make a paste by mixing 1 part baking soda with 1 part water. Generously spread the baking soda paste onto the armpit area and let it sit for approximately 30 minutes. Wash and dry as normal. As an alternative, mix 1 cup of baking soda into everyday laundry detergent and run the clothing through the washer as usual.
White vinegar is acidic and helps to cut grease and body oils. Fill a basin with just enough cool water to cover the clothing and add ¼ cup of white vinegar. Let the clothing soak for 30 minutes before laundering as usual. Alternatively, add ½ cup of vinegar to the pre-rinse cycle of the washing machine and wash the stained clothing in the machine.
Hydrogen peroxide works by breaking down the oils in the fabric deposited by perspiration. Soak the clothing in a mixture of 1 part water and 1 part hydrogen peroxide. Allow it to soak for at least 30 minutes, then wash as usual.
Aspirin and Cream of Tartar
Crush 3 to 4 aspirin tablets into a fine powder. The aspirin should be free of any hard coating and color. Add 1 tbsp. of cream of tartar and approximately ¼ cup of lukewarm water. Stir into a thick paste and spread on the armpit area of the clothing. Use an old toothbrush to work the mixture into the fibers of the fabric. Let the clothing sit for 30 minutes, then launder as usual.
Based in Washington, Heather Swanson has been writing since 2011. She excels in areas of home decor, gardening, home maintenance and repair and travel. She holds a Bachelor of Science in education from Western Oregon University.