How to Freshen Sweaty Clothes Without Washing

by Dan Ketchum ; Updated September 28, 2017

Even on a time budget, you don't need to neglect hygiene.

BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

Although it may seem off-putting at first, most types of clothes -- with the exception of undies -- can stand a few wearings without the need for washing. Whether you're skipping the washer to conserve resources or you simply don't have access to one and still need to freshen up, you have plenty of options. In the case of sweaty duds, the process boils down to two key elements: applying a fresh scent and letting the clothes dry.

Items you will need

  • Spray bottle
  • Essential oils or vodka
  • Steam cleaner
  • Vinegar
  • Scented spray starch
Step 1

Give your sweaty clothes a refreshing spray. Aside from off-the-shelf fabric refreshers, you can turn to many effective and natural home remedies. Mix a few drops of essential oil -- fresh smelling scents include grapefruit, lavender, lemon or sage -- with water or make a half-and-half mixture of vodka and water. Vodka kills odor-causing bacteria and is odorless when dry -- go full vodka for an especially smelly piece of clothing. Focus your spray on troubled areas, such as the armpits of your blouse or T-shirt, and give the garment a nice even mist.

Step 2

Give your sweaty wardrobe a once-over with a steam cleaner. Add a couple tablespoons of white vinegar to the steamer's water supply beforehand. With this method, you'll not only get wrinkles out, you'll also deodorize your clothes.

Step 3

Hang your clothes out to dry. This is best done in combination with a quick misting, steaming or even a rinse in the sink, but even if you don't have time for the former, airing your sweaty apparel out goes a long way. Hanging up your clothes outside is most effective. Drape them securely out a window or spread them out in front of a an open window if you're in an urban environment. Turn your clothes inside out before air drying and make sure they're not clumped up or bunchy. When your duds are completely dry, they're ready to wear again.

Step 4

Turn your sweaty clothes inside out and leave them hanging inside your bathroom while you shower. The steam from the shower will help get rid of wrinkles and odor. Following your shower, leave the clothes hanging and open the bathroom windows to dry and air them out.

Step 5

Spray your stale threads with scented starch to make them smell spring fresh and remove wrinkles. Give your outfit an even spray and iron it for a fresh-smelling, put-together look. If you're really on the run, you can spray the clothes on your body and smooth them out by hand.

Photo Credits

  • BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Dan Ketchum has been a professional writer since 2003, with work appearing online and offline in Word Riot, Bazooka Magazine, Anemone Sidecar, Trails and more. Dan's diverse professional background spans from costume design and screenwriting to mixology, manual labor and video game industry publicity.