How to Eliminate Body Odor From Clothing

by Melynda Sorrels ; Updated August 14, 2017

Body odor poses an embarrassing-enough problem without it hanging around after you take your clothing off. From stressful situations to warm temperatures, your clothing may be the unwilling victim when the odor becomes trapped within the fibers and can't simply be washed out. For the sake of being able to wear the affected garment again without the embarrassing smell, it's time to take action.

Place the affected clothing in the washing machine and turn it on, allowing it to fill up with warm water.

Add 2 cups of white vinegar to the machine.

Allow the clothes in the washer to agitate for 5 to 10 minutes before turning it off.

Allow the clothes to soak in the water for at least 4 hours.

Turn the machine back on and add a bleach-free detergent.

Remove the clothing from the washing machine as soon as the cycle is finished.

Hang the clothing outside to dry as the fresh air will help to kill off any lingering odors.


  • This method is safe for washable clothing. For wool or silk garments, consult with a dry cleaner on how to eliminate the smell yourself -- or arrange for them to do it for you.

Photo Credits

  • Zayra Miranda/Demand Media

About the Author

Melynda Sorrels spent 10 years in the military working in different capacities of the medical field, including dental assisting, health services administration, decontamination and urgent medical care. Awarded the National Guardsman’s Medal for Lifesaving efforts in 2002, Sorrels was also a nominee for a Red Cross Award and a certified EMT-B for four years.