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How to get the smell of sweat out of clothes: Tips and tricks

Sweat may be unavoidable but knowing how to get rid of the sweat smell in clothes means you can at least start every day fresh and fragrant.

Updated By Cleanipedia Team

A red gym bag with towel, water bottle, trainers clothes with a sweat smell
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Sweating is simply a fact of life. You may think it’s not easy to learn how to get sweat smell out of clothes, UK weather can be temperamental, and affect our ability to launder and get rid of sweat smell on clothes effectively. However, knowing how to get BO out of clothes in the UK is much easier than you think. Here’s all you need to know about how to remove the sweat smell from clothes. Read on to discover how you can start every day fresh and fragrant or give yourself a quick freshen-up if you're pushed for time.

Removing sweat smell from clothing is made simpler with good quality laundry products and care. We recommend you combine Comfort fabric conditioner with your trusty Persil laundry detergent, and air drying in a well-ventilated room.
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RequiredComfort Heavenly Nectar Ultimate Care
Comfort Heavenly Nectar Ultimate Care bottle
  • Plastic bag
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Fragranced dryer sheets
  • Laundry detergent
  • Fabric conditioner

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How to get a sweat smell out of clothes without washing them

If you're looking for how to get rid of sweat smell in clothes properly, the most effective approach will always be to wash them in a clean washing machine on your regular laundry cycle with a good quality laundry detergent and your favourite fabric conditioner. However, if you don’t have time for a full laundry cycle, are our top tips for removing sweat smell from clothing without washing.

  1. How to get sweat smell out of clothes: Air your clothes

    Did you know that simply hanging your clothes up outside and letting the breeze air them could be the answer you’re looking for? This is a quick and easy solution when wondering how to get the smell of sweat out of clothes. However, this may not always be a possibility with the unpredictable British weather, however, so we have other simple tips below too.

  2. Try removing sweat smell from clothing with baking soda.

    Baking soda isn’t just a fantastic ingredient for use in baking, it can also be used around the home as a cleaning product, or as a natural deodoriser. There are two options for using this natural home remedy depending on the time you have available. If you have time for your clothes to dry out, you could make a paste of baking soda and water, applying it to the smelly areas of your clothes and leave to dry; then brush off.

    If you're more pressed for time, simply put the offending garments into a plastic bag with a couple of tablespoons of baking soda. Close the bag tightly and shake them up together, then leave the bag alone for 10 minutes. Once you've let the baking soda do its work, open the bag and brush the baking soda off the garments, shaking off any remaining residue thoroughly before putting them on.

  3. Use dryer sheets to get rid of sweat smells on clothes

    If you have a tumble dryer at home, it’s likely you have dryer sheets sitting around too. These can be an effective answer to removing sweat smell from clothing without washing them. Pop your clothing into the dryer a couple of fragranced dryer sheets. We recommend using Comfort Intense Fresh Sky tumble dryer sheets as they are designed to give your clothes an extra boost of freshness and fragrance. This process will help you give your clothes a lift even if you don't have time to wash them thoroughly. Plus, as they help to reduce static and creasing in the dryer, your clothes will look like they've been freshly laundered, too!

Of course, you'll get a better result by washing and drying your clothes (and boosting their fragrance with Comfort). Once you're home, pop your clothes in the wash and use our tips (above) on how to get a BO smell out of clothes properly.

How do I get rid of sweat smell on clothes I’ve used to workout in?

While the above steps are a handy way to get the sweat smell out of clothes without washing them, clothes that you’ve worked out in may need a little extra attention. Workout gear may be harder to remove the scent from for two reasons. Firstly, you sweat more in gym clothes. Secondly, sportswear fabrics often require gentler, cooler washing cycles to preserve their quality. Luckily, there are simple steps for how to remove sweat smell from clothes, UK gym users will be happy to know! To counteract this, we recommend some simple steps to get rid of swear smell on clothes you’ve worked out in:

  1. Wash clothes as soon as possible after working out.

    To begin, ensure you wash your workout clothes as soon as possible, to avoid bad scents becoming more permanently embedded in the fibres.

  2. Pre-treat the worst affected areas.

    Start by pre-treating the worst affected areas with a white vinegar and water spray.

  3. Wash clothes as normal.

    Then place your clothing onto a normal wash, using the recommended temperature on the care label, and a good quality laundry detergent such as Persil. Combine with a concentrated fabric conditioner such as Comfort to deliver long lasting freshness and all day odour defence.

  4. Extra step: Use baking soda.

    A bonus way to get sweat smell out of clothes is to add a cup of baking soda to the detergent section of your detergent drawer or directly into the drum with your clothing.

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Although these tips will save you time, you should aim to wash your laundry as soon as you can to properly remove the odour from your clothing. Once you've got your laundry smelling beautifully fresh, you'll want to keep it that way! Here's how to keep that just-laundered smell on your clothes for longer. Ultimately the best way to get rid of sweat smell on clothes is to pop your clothing onto the hottest wash your care label allows with a healthy dose of a good quality detergent and fabric conditioner. However, don’t stress if you don’t have time. If you're freshening up in a hurry, the tips above will get you and your favourite items clean-smelling and ready for the day!

Frequently asked questions about how to get sweat smell out of clothes in the UK

How do I get sweat smell out of clothes which are dry clean only?

It’s always important to start by checking the care label of any item you’re planning to wash for cleaning instructions. Whilst most pieces of clothing can be sorted out at home, in your usual washing machine cycle, if you’re marked as 'dry clean only', then take your garment to the professionals.

How do I get sweat smell out of clothes with white vinegar?

Getting sweat smell out of clothes using white vinegar will not only banish body odour, but also remove sweat stains at the same time. Simply get some white vinegar and soak it onto a clean cloth. Dab the offending stain with white vinegar and leave it to soak for around 30 minutes. After this, pop your piece of clothing straight into the machine and wash as usual.

Why do my workout clothes smell?

The odour in workout clothing is usually produced by the bacteria living on your skin. It feeds on the sweat you produce during your workout, and one of the waste products is the recognisable BO smell.

How do I stop my clothes smelling of sweat after washing?

If your clothes smell of sweat after washing, a dirty washing machine could be the culprit, so make sure you keep it clean. Additionally, washing on a higher temperature is often a quick solution for how to get sweat smells out of clothes more effectively. Alternatively, turn your clothes inside out before you wash them to help the washing cycle get to inside of your clothes (where sweat will be more concentrated).

Originally published