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Sweat smells in clothes

(36 Posts)
Merlincat07 Mon 30-Sep-13 17:49:44

Does anyone have a good tip for getting sweat smells out of clothing (armpits)?

I've got a cardigan that smells even after I've washed it. It seems ok at first but after wearing for an hour or so and the armpits have heated up a bit, the previous sweaty smell starts to release. It's really disgusting and I'm sure there must be a solution involving bicarbonate of soda or vinegar or something.

I've searched on the Internet but don't trust random sites and the often contradictory advice I've read. Anyone have any tried and tested methods they'd be happy to share please? grin

Thank you.

racmun Mon 30-Sep-13 19:38:45

I have this problem with various of dh tops and shirts. As soon as you warm up you start to hum! The problem is the bacteria don't get killed off with normal detergent

I've just bought the dettol anti bacterial wash additive stuff and it is amazing!! Done 2 loads today and none and I mean non of the tops smell and I've just ironed them which is when I'd often notice it. You can use it at 30 and it still works and the best but is that you can just add to your machine and no soaking.

I've tried bicarbonate of soda, vinegar nothing worked. Used to used oxi hygiene but you had to soak for an hour which is a pain.

It's on offer at the Moment in waitrose for £3. I can't recommend it enough for this issue.

BCBG Mon 30-Sep-13 19:43:25

My teenagers both have tops that smell but I have found that if I spray inside armpits with Vanish then wash the smell disappears, even at 30.

NoComet Mon 30-Sep-13 20:00:43

And when you finish the vanish, put some dilute, perhaps 30% biological washing liquid in instead.

Putting washing liquid actually on the stench works wonders.

And now I need to throw DH in the shower, no don't ask, suffice to say teen DDs are far better at clean.

Queenofknickers Mon 30-Sep-13 20:01:46

So glad it's not just me blush

MousyMouse Mon 30-Sep-13 20:05:35

is it cotton?
if yes, wash it a bit warmer (at least at 40) with ^less* powder, ideally bio powder.
smelly workout clothes that can't be washed hot I wash with dettol disinfectant (there a a laundry one now, but the normal one works well, too)

Merlincat07 Mon 30-Sep-13 20:31:52

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply everyone. I really appreciate it. If I find myself near a waitrose tomorrow I'm definitely giving the dettol stuff a try. Otherwise, it'll be vanish. Fingers crossed it'll sort it as it's driving me nuts to keep washing when it makes no difference.

Thanks again gringrin

LippyDiDooDah Mon 30-Sep-13 21:08:03

Cool! I have always wanted to know the answer to this as hate the smell as I iron freshly washed shirts and STILL smell the underarm smell wafting up.

racnun can I ask, do you add that Waitrose stuff to your normal washing powder or instead of washing powder? Do you also use fabric conditioner?

MousyMouse Mon 30-Sep-13 21:30:52

the dettol stiff goes in the conditioner drawer for the last rinse (smells nice as well)

racmun Mon 30-Sep-13 21:33:46


Yep I put in normal soap powder and then the dettol goes in the fabric conditioner bit. I added fabric conditioner too for luck.

Honestly it's a revelation - I have bored my dh this evening with how wonderful it is.

vvviola Mon 30-Sep-13 21:37:03

MousyMouse - when you're using regular dettol (the one for first aid etc??) do you just put that in the conditioner drawer too?

My usual method of sticking a bit of tea tree oil in the conditioner drawer is failing with a couple of my tops.

MousyMouse Mon 30-Sep-13 21:42:15

yes, instructions are on the bottle.
just don't use the pine stuff on light clothes as it stains, but there are a few different scents.

dedado Mon 30-Sep-13 21:49:07

The Dettol laundry stuff is half price in morrisons just now - £2.29

Merlincat07 Tue 01-Oct-13 22:48:39

I've come to report back and I'm a bit disappointed. Bought the dettol stuff and it's made no difference hmm I did wash at 30 though (as the bottle made the point several times about it's effectiveness at 30) and the smell was still there when I ironed. I'm going to put them through again at 40 but wondered if I've done something wrong? (Or should be considering a trip to my GP about biological weapons-grade sweat!! blush)

Viviennemary Tue 01-Oct-13 22:53:15

I've got this problem with DS's shirts. It's even worse after I've ironed them sometimes. I washed some twice and he still complained. Then I put some Febreeze on and that helped but only a bit. Will try that dettol one.

MousyMouse Tue 01-Oct-13 22:59:46

merlin are the clothes cotton? or some poly stuff? do you use conditioner?
I find using less powder (I use about a third of the recommended dose) and no conditioner (somehow traps the smell) helps as well.
do you hang up to dry? do they dry quickly? if they take too long to dry I find they get smelly more quickly.

and last but not least does the mashine smell? maybe a service wash can help.

Merlincat07 Tue 01-Oct-13 23:25:20

Mousy mouse - thanks for your reply. Didn't use conditioner with this wash (but do usually), just the dettol in the conditioner's place. The clothes aren't 100% cotton. I tumbled them so they did try quickly and seemed ok at first but the iron test revealed it hadn't worked. I haven't noticed that the machine smells. Will check properly in the morning. Probably could do with a service wash though, thinking about it. Thanks for all your advice.

valiumredhead Wed 02-Oct-13 08:29:55

*Bio washing powder
*Hotter wash than 30, that's practically cold.
* Halo sports wash

HairyPorter Wed 02-Oct-13 08:34:44

I wash all gym and dc pooey clothes at 60! Dc pooey clothes are also Pre soaked in dettol... Don't have a problem with smell. I use waitrose essential non bio gel which is dead cheap and as good as branded stuff.

sugarplumfairy Wed 02-Oct-13 08:43:29

I use Halo sports wash on my DS's rugby kit, snd some of his t-shirts. It smells quite chemically, so I put the stuff through the wash twice, once with halo and then a quick wash with my normal detergent. It does the job.

BillyBanter Wed 02-Oct-13 08:48:45

I dip the armpits in boiled water with vanish for 30 secs before washing.

Also I wash my armpits in tea tree or other anti bacterial wash.

Sunnymeg Wed 02-Oct-13 11:08:24

I add white vinegar to the washing powder, about two tablespoons worth. It solves the problem and when the washing comes out, it doesn't smell of vinegar.

Playboxpony Wed 02-Oct-13 11:23:31

I just read recently on the "washing thread" (which is still active at the momen), that one poster uses Napisan to get rid of sweaty armpit smells. Can't vouch for it myself as I've never tried it but worth a shot maybe....

And yes, I am that bored at work that I am reading laundry threads! ;-)

SpiderStacy Wed 02-Oct-13 11:45:15

I have a spray bottle with half distilled vinegar, half water. Spray it on the offending area and leave for about 10/15 mins before putting the wash on.

Floralnomad Wed 02-Oct-13 11:48:48

I spray the armpits of all shirts /tshirts with stain remover before I wash them and that works here . I always wash them at 40 and use bold and a fabric conditioner .

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