Removing BO Odors from Clothing

My 14 year old daughter has terrible BO. I just found a bunch of t-shirts that have been sitting in a pile for a long time. Most of them are black. I washed them with regular Tide detergent and they still stink terribly. Does anyone have any laundering advice? Will the vinegar take the black color out of these clothes? I need help. I have never had a BO problem, so I am at a loss. Thank you.

Kelly from Victoria, BC

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March 20, 20090 found this helpful
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The vinegar will NOT take the black out. My gram has used vinegar on my gramp's black pants for years and she says the vinegar actually keeps them black longer. As far as the smell, switch the vinegar to lemon juice. If you can't line dry, try not using dryer sheets because sometimes the scented sheets can smell sour. If you do use dryer sheets, make sure they are the same scent as the detergent.

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March 21, 20090 found this helpful
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Ditto on the baking soda. I use about a half a cup along with my regular detergent and it really does the trick. A bit of detergent and baking soda in a presoak also helps. Borax is great for odors too, though you might check for color fastness first.

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March 22, 20090 found this helpful
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Ammonia does take the color out of some materials. I used it on my kelly green bathroom towels, and now they are an olive color. DO NOT use ammonia on your black things. Baking soda should do the trick. Ammonia will take the smell out very well, but it does cause color fading, and don't believe anyone who says it does not. It is not as bad as bleach, but it will. Baking soda is much milder.

I have heard that vinegar in the rinse also works, but I have never tried it. Just don't use vinegar with ammonia or baking soda, as they neutralize each other, and all you will have is salt water.

Does your daughter have problem perspiration as well as BO? My sons did. One uses Mitchum as it works better than all the other brands, and another had to use a product called Drysol. Ask your pharmasist for advice.

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March 23, 20090 found this helpful
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I normally only use cold water to wash my clothes, but I have found hot water is sometimes needed to remove odors caused by the bacteria you are describing. Teens have extra oily skin and its more of a problem for them than for adults, imho. I'm sorry I didn't know about hot water to remove odors and grease when my kids were that age. It would have helped with their bedding. Good luck.

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March 20, 20090 found this helpful

I agree with Tannac. Vinegar won't hurt the color but will help the smell. I would use regular detergent and then vinegar instead of fabric softener. I would dry until I was SURE they were dry and then hang them up instead of folding. As much air as possible is a good thing. Some people wash with vinegar. I'd only recommend that if the clothes were already clean just as an odor remover.

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March 20, 20090 found this helpful

Use about a half cup of Fabreeze or some other odor remover in the wash water.

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March 20, 20090 found this helpful

Ammonia! My grandmother and mother both used it successfully to get out odors from clothing. You put a cup of it in your wash (full load) with your regular detergent. Your clothes will smell fresh, it doesn't cause colors to fade and it helps get out stains too.

It is VERY important that you NEVER mix ammonia and bleach! It creates a poisonous gas. I have safely used it in the wash with my regular Tide without any ill effects.

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March 20, 20090 found this helpful

I use a powder laundry soap and mix a small amount of baking soda in with my loads. It helps get the "ashtray" smell out of my husbands cloths. It hasn't messed up the color on his black work pants.

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March 20, 20090 found this helpful

I think these are all great ideas, but I have an idea for your daughter's problem. Shave underarms every day. Use deodorant that has an antiperspirant in it.

I have had great luck with the new deodorant/antiperspirants that say 'clinical strength' on them. But most importantly; take one tablespoon of straight apple cider vinegar in 8 oz of water three times a day until the smell goes away.

Or you can buy vinegar tablets - I get them practically anywhere; Walgreens, Walmart. Take 1-2 tablets three times a day.

This worked for me when my dermatologist was stumped, plus I had to pay for a doctor visit when she had no solution for me. I used to get BO right after I came out of the shower! I would get BO right after I put deodorant on!

I don't know what the problem was, but I do know that vinegar makes the blood neutralized, not acidic. I've read that viruses and bacterial thrive in acidic environment and cannot live in a neutralized one.

You might also want to get a travel size deodorant/antiperspirant for your daughter to carry in her purse just for emergencies. I keep one at work, one in my purse, and one in my car because sometimes I get so in a rush to get out of the house, I get dressed without it!

There are also so many good ideas on this website too. Good luck to your dear daughter. I know what a nightmare this is.

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March 22, 20090 found this helpful

I agree with Luna. Ammonia is the best things for stains or odors on clothes. Put a cup in a washer full of laundry and wash as usual. I go to the dollar store and buy window cleaner that has ammonia in it and use it for stain removal. Works great. After that is empty you can mix your own stain and window cleaner and use the spray bottle.

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March 22, 20090 found this helpful

I myself struggle with bad bo. I wash my stuff in white vinegar. I eat as much vinegar as I can tolerate. I take the pills a couple in the morning. I also dab a vinegar soaked cotton ball under arms. I do the cotton ball bit in the summer everything else I do as needed. It seems to work bombarding it from every angle.

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March 22, 20090 found this helpful

Vinegar is the key. it will not take color out in fact it helps set the color. I run 1/2 cup vinegar through my rince cycle for every wash. I also have a homemade laundry soap recipe on my blog and my clothes smell fresh every wash and my husband is a mechanic. http://itsmellsgoodinhere.blogspot.com

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