I have a very embarrassing problem with my t-shirts. They start to smell under the arms even when they are freshly washed. I am using deodorant (tried lots of different brands) and shower everyday, so it cannot be me.
When I buy a new t-shirt I can wear it maybe 3 times (wash it always after one time wearing) and then it turns out stinky again. At the moment I really do not know what to do anymore as I just chuck all the t-shirts out and some of them are not even a month old.
When I wear them they start to smell a short time after I put them on and they really stink like I have worn the shirt for 3 days or so. I was reading already some comments here and tried the baking soda, but it did not work, maybe I done something wrong, no idea? Do I need to soak it together with water in an e.g. bucket or just put the soda powder over the smelly spots? For how long should I leave it on/soaking?
I also tried to find white vinegar, but I am living in the Czech Republic and I can only find the white wine vinegar here.
I would appreciate it to get some other tips and tricks how to prevent these issues. I am really starting to get fed up as I am spending lots of money on t-shirts, deodorants, different washing powders/gels, etc.
Here are the recent answer to this question.
Deodorant may be your problem if it contains an antiperspirant. I had this problem until I switched to a natural deodorant. Maybe try a deodorant without the antiperspirant for a while. That will also get rid of yellow stains on white shirts and white stains on black shirts. You could also try to wipe your underarms after bathing with vinegar, witch hazel, or coconut oil. Pretreat your shirt underarms with white vinegar before washing them.
By Danialle 06/18/2010
You may need to see a Dr. You may have some sort of medical problem.
By susan 06/18/2010
You may want to switch laundry detergents.
By Denise 06/18/2010
If all else fails, make some underarm shields (you could even use the body of old shirts). Then you can just chuck out the shield instead of the shirt.
By Grandma J 06/17/2010
Tossing vinegar into the rinse when washing.
By Spanish Girl06/17/2010
The problem needs to be tackled from two fronts: you personally and your shirts. If your shirts smell bad all the time, it's probably because you have a yeast overgrowth problem in your armpits. Cut out dairy and sugar from your diet. And then shave your armpit hair a little. Don't get rid of it completely, but just lessen the thickness. Less hair means less bacteria to grow. Then wash underarms with a paste of water and bicarb soda. Buy only cotton shirts or high cotton content blend shirts and when washing use the hottest heat you can. Add some white vinegar to the rinse cycle and bicarb soda to the washing powder. Then hang in the sunlight so the UV rays can kill any lingering bacteria.
By Louise B. 06/17/2010
I think that white wine vinegar will do the same job as white vinegar. Give it a try.
By PENNY K 06/16/2010
Try to have only cotton shirts, not cotton/polyester.
Polyester textiles are problematic for various reasons: odor, stains, hot to wear.
By Lisa 06/15/2010
I don't know how easily you will find this in your area, but this worked for me. I had an old shirt in storage, and when I put it on for the first time this season, after a while I noticed that smell. I'm certain I washed it before storing it away. So I sprayed some enzymatic cleaner on the underarm areas. I sprayed the shirt, let it sit overnight, sprayed it again, let it sit another day, and then I washed it. Voila! No more smell.
This brand is readily available in the US (although it's not the brand I used). If you read up on it, maybe you can find something similar locally. Try where you find pet supplies.
I hope you find something that works for you. This is not a common problem for me, so I was pretty surprised with my smelly shirt. It worked very well for me. Best of luck!
By Vicki 06/15/2010
White vinegar is about the best thing I know to use. It will even remove very old odor (like 2 years old). Surely you could obtain some somehow, order online or something. It might be expensive, but worth it.
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.
I know this is similar to some other questions, but I thought I would give it a go. I am trying to figure out how to get the underarm odor smell out of my t-shirts. Febreze does not help and no matter how many times I wash them, after a few hours they armpits of the shirt start to smell. Any ideas?
Secondly, underarm deodorants do not "mask" odors. They have at least one antibacerial ingredient (such as triclosan) that prevents odors by keeping bacteria from growing in the armpits. (Deodorant soaps help delay odor recurrence by the same means.)
I always wear permanent-press outer shirts with a 100% cotton undershirt. Since I'm allergic to the aluminum chlorhydrate in antiperspirants (I get a rash from it), and I find it is ineffective in any case, a good stick deodorant with antibacterial capability works quite well for me.
You might try a laundry detergent with baking soda in it, such as Arm and Hammer detergent (if it exists where you live), because baking soda can help get rid of odors in fabrics. If you can get washing soda (sodium carbonate) and add it to you laundry with the detergent, that can help, too. Follow the package directions on the washing soda as to the correct amount for your type of washing machine, and you may well be able to cut the amount of detergent you use in half, because washing soda softens the water. (I'm told washing soda is found in the U.K. and it has other uses, too, besides laundry.) (05/01/2008)
By Todd in San Francisco
For a white t-shirt you can try laundering with lime juice, but remember lime juice can whiten clothes if left on for a period of time, so do a test on an old shirt before proceeding! (06/25/2009)
Add your voice to the conversation. Click here to answer this question.