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Removing Sweaty Smell in Laundry

I need some advice regarding my son's sweaty uniform t-shirts. They are 100% cotton. I wash them with my other laundry and everything comes out clean and stain free, except for the sweaty smell on the underarms of my sons t-shirts. I use Dash laundry powder which is very similar to Tide in the U.S.

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Can anyone suggest a solution in which I can soak them before laundering? They are turquoise in color so bleach isn't an option. Also, borax is impossible to find in my country so I can't use that either. They aren't stiff or stained, just very smelly, even when clean!

Please help. Thank you so much in advance.

By cettina from Malta, Europe

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August 22, 20110 found this helpful

Dear Cettina,

I've used white vinegar on white T-shirts. I put it on full strength, soaked them overnight in a bucket of tepid water, then washed in the machine. There was no more sweaty odor.

Hope it helps.

Ramona from CO

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August 22, 20110 found this helpful

Are you able to buy borax? Borax is a wonderful disinfectant and deodorizer. I think I would first try adding it to the wash load; and if that was not enough; then would try a pre-soak. I even used it with cloth diapers, with good results.

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August 23, 20110 found this helpful

Jilson, I've mentioned in my query that borax is impossible to get in my country because it is not available here. So that is not an option. I'm looking for alternative ways to eliminate the sweaty smell.

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August 23, 20110 found this helpful

Thanks Ramona for your suggestion. I'm just wondering if the vinegar would affect the color of the t-shirts? Have you ever tried it on a colored garment?

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August 24, 20110 found this helpful

I have never had an issue with vinegar changing the color of anything, although you could try it on the inside of the garment. I would try a cup of vinegar in the wash, and another in the rinse first. If that doesn't work, you could try full strength vinegar on the armpits. Another deodorizer is baking soda. Use in the same way as the vinegar. However, do not use them together they neutralize each other.

Ammonia is also a deodorizer, but I have found that it changes the color of clothing and towels, so I don't recommend it for this instance.

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August 24, 20110 found this helpful

Clorox 2 and vinegar.

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August 24, 20110 found this helpful

Thanks for your suggestions. I always use vinegar mixed with fabric conditioner in my rinse cycle but have never put it in with my laundry powder. Since my washing machine holds 8kg of clothes, which is a lot. I think it would be better to try the straight vinegar directly on the tshirts. Otherwise the vinegar would be too diluted in my machine. Plus the fact the none of my other laundry smells, just these tshirts.I had no idea that vinegar would remove sweaty smells. If it doesnt work, others have kindly given me other options which I will try. Thank you all.

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August 27, 20110 found this helpful

I would think that baking soda would work well to remove the smell. You can add a cup to your wash, or make a paste & rub it into the stained and/or smelly parts of the shirt.

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February 29, 20120 found this helpful

What I do is wet the armpit area of the garment then rub Sunlight, Fairy or in fact any block of soap before putting it into the washing machine. Sometimes I rub neat washing up liquid into the armpit area instead (make sure if you use this method that you do not overdo the laundry detergent or you will get an overly sudsy wash). Vinegar sounds great though.

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