Polyester Pants Smell After Wearing a Short Time?

I wear work pants made out of 100 % polyester. The problem is my body heat makes them smell. They are washed with detergent, fabric softener and vinegar in hot water and dried all the way. They smell great afterward, yet a few hours into my day and they stink. Can they be saved? I really want to save them because we are issued pants through my job, but they are awful.


I found these pants that look exactly like what we are required to wear, but they are comfortable and no lint gets stuck to them. So far no one has noticed they are not issued pants and I've worn them for the last 5 years. I have about 14 pairs now, but the company stopped making them so I have to save the ones I have. they are in perfect condition except for the above issue. Thanks

By Laura from NY

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November 27, 20100 found this helpful

I've never heard of this but I'd experiment. Try soaking your pants in a bucket with warm water and baking soda overnight before washing.

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November 28, 20100 found this helpful

With the information you shared, here's my take on your situation. I hope it helps. Some people (me included) just can't wear 100% polyester. This is a human made fabric that does not allow (the fabric doesn't "breathe") natural perspiration to evaporate properly. Your problem is not your "body heat" it is that the fabric literally traps any perspiration between your skin and your slacks. Polyester won't allow the moisture to escape, so the odor sets in the fabric. It's worse for some more than others and in more severe cases, this can also cause skin rashes and ailments.


Obviously, you are getting these clothes clean enough (you said they smell great after cleaning) so the problem MUST be caused by actually wearing them. Again, you are not alone with this issue. I know of people that can't wear polyester at all and some that can wear such occasionally, but not on a regular basis. It's merely a personal reaction to a human made product.

Even if you have 14 pairs of these pants in "perfect condition" if they are causing you more work and you still have the discomfort of smelly clothes, they are obviously not working in your favor. What you need to look into is another pant made with at least a 50/50 polyester/cotton blend. The right style for your body and your work can be as comfortable as the 100% polyester and will offer you much more "breathability" than the 100% polyester.


I wish you much luck.

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November 29, 20100 found this helpful

I'm with KansasCindy on this one. I, too can't wear 100% polyester and have gone through exactly what you're going through. Don't know if there's a connection to not being able to deal with polyester and a tendency toward allergies: I'm allergic to bees and wasps and a whole bunch of green, leafy plants ( when I garden, arms and hands have to be covered or immediately washed after contact).

Whatever is in it, polyester and I have never gotten along :), you're not alone. If you can get along with the comfy uniform pants you've gotten on your own, stick with those, or also as KansasCindy already said, try that 50/50 blend. Those, I can wear with no excess perspiration, odor or itchiness.

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June 16, 20170 found this helpful

Same problem. I don't sweat and I work in a cool environment. Yet, there is still a funny smell at the end of the day.

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January 31, 20190 found this helpful

Freeze them!

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