7 Ways To Get Rid Of B.O. In Your Clothes Without Washing Them

Let’s not beat around the bush: The armpit bits of that top you wore yesterday reeks, even if you rock your trusty deodorant. We’ve all done the sniff test, with each whiff hoping that that one t-shirt you really wanted to wear that day but forgot to throw in the wash isn’t as smelly as you think it is. Sometimes, it’s not. Usually…it is, and you have to make a choice: Either say screw it, rock the top, and hope nobody notices how smelly it is, or launch it into the laundry bag where it belongs.

But there’s another option, too.

Sure, you can just do a load of laundry, but sometimes time is of the essence and you just don’t have time to do laundry. Or, maybe you’re living in a dorm and none of the washing machines are available. Or maybe the weather is garbage and you don’t want to walk to the laundromat. Or maybe you’re just lazy af and want a way to make your clothes smell a little less funky without dousing them in body spray (or, for the ultra desperate, Febreeze). Don’t worry, I’ve got you. Check out these X ways to get rid of body odor from your clothes without washing them. Whether you’re dealing with your favorite skinny jeans or your trusty crop top, there’s a solution that’ll work for you.


1. Vodka

The O.C./Fox

The O.C./Fox

That stench in your clothes? It’s all bacteria. Do you know what can kill bacteria? Some good ol’ fashioned vodka. If there’s any vodka (preferably cheap) around the house, mix with some water in a spray bottle until the contents are at least 70 percent vodka and 30 percent water. Spray on the stinky area in question and let it dry. You’ll be surprised by how much of the stench just disappears. Oh, and don’t worry about smelling like a drunk; vodka dries with virtually no odor, so you’re in the clear. Of course, you shouldn’t depend on this as your go-to way of getting rid of pit stank, but in a pinch? It’s a lifesaver. I’ve tried it, it really works!


2. The Freezer

A couple of weeks ago, my boyfriend was startled when he found a pair of my skinny jeans chillin’ in the freezer, rubbing shoulders with the frozen pizzas and ice cream. I laughed for a bit and then immediately explained the method to my madness: The freezer is a great way to remove odors from clothes. For denim purists, this is the preferred method of getting rid of odors from jeans; you’re, ideally, not supposed to wash your jeans that much, so this is a way of getting rid of the stink that might develop over multiple wears without risking your jeans shrinking or getting misshapen. This is also a good idea for dry-clean only pieces that you, well, don’t feel like dry cleaning right now.


3. Baking Soda

Baking soda isn’t just for baking, it’s killer for removing odors as well. That’s why some people keep an open box of baking soda in their fridge, because we all know that fridges can get kinda icky smelling too, right? When it comes to your clothes, you can put baking soda in a coffee filter or other porous material and stick ’em in your smelly shoes. In 24 hours your shoes will be a lot less smelly.


4. Cat Litter



Kitty litter brands rely on convincing you that their litter and their litter alone will eliminate the stench of a cat’s poop in a jiffy. Well, if they can get rid of the stench of cat piss, your smelly shoes are easy to tackle. You can pour a little in your shoes and check back on them in 24 hours, or you can submerge some of your stinkier clothes in the cat litter, too, if you’d prefer. Of course, if you have a cat, it’s probably best to make sure that your litter-fied clothes aren’t in its reach. You don’t want your shoes to become its new litter box. Yikes.


5. Coffee Grounds

Have you ever been to Lush and noticed that there are a bunch of coffee ground containers all over the store? They’re there for you to sniff in case your nose is overloading on all the different products. See, coffee grounds are excellent at neutralizing smells, good or bad. Of course, it’s the bad that we’re dealing with right now. If you can spare some of your coffee grounds, consider throwing some into a bag with the offensive smelling item of clothing and let it chill for several hours. Sure, it’ll smell like coffee, but that’s better than smelling stinky.


6. Dryer Sheets

Feeling embarrassed by some seriously nasty smelling shoes? Grab a few dryer sheets, give your shoes a rub down, and keep the dryer sheets inside each shoe overnight. This won’t get rid of the smell entirely, but it’ll do for the time being!



7. The Sun

We really underestimate the power of fresh air, especially fresh air with a big ol’ dash of sunlight. Yes, sunlight can get rid of odors; I’ve tried this once before on some gnarly smelling plastic food storage containers and the odor that all of the soap in the world couldn’t remove was gone after letting the containers sit in the sun for a day or two. If you can swing it, try this with a smelly top or stinky pants. Of course, you can’t rely on this to clean your clothes–wash them ASAP–but it’ll work if you don’t have immediate access to a washer machine.



Do you already do any of these things? Do you have any other methods of masking stinky clothes? Tell us in the comments!

You can follow the author, Ashley Reese, on Twitter or Instagram. Don’t worry, she doesn’t bite!

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