How to Get Body Odor and Sweat Smells Out of Clothes

Body odor is natural but can be embarrassing. Learn how to get underarm odor out of clothes and t-shirts. Get rid of the sweat and armpit smell in your clothes.

You don’t have to see sweat stains to smell them, especially on lose fitting workout wear. But that sweat and perspiration can harbor odor causing bacteria. It can be hard to get these bad smells out of your clothes, especially shirts labeled “machine wash cold.” That’s where Clorox® Fabric Sanitizer Spray comes in. Use it to spot treat a single item before you add it to your laundry.

Got a whole load of stinky workout clothes with underarm odors? Wash them all together in one load and be sure to add Clorox® Laundry Sanitizer to kill 99.9% of odor causing bacteria. It’s not just for workout clothes — dress shirts, t-shirts, work shorts all can get sweaty and stinky.

Of course when you can see stains on your colored laundry, pretreating with liquid Clorox 2® for Colors 3 in 1 before machine washing puts the power of Clorox 2® to work right on the stain where you need it. These products give you lots of options for dealing with stinky underarm odors.

Pretreating underarms to remove odor

Odor-causing bacteria that makes the underarm area of shirts smell stinky isn’t always visible, but that doesn’t stop it from smelling. Pretreating with Clorox® Fabric Sanitizer Spray is the easy way to target problem odors directly.

What you need

Steps to pretreat underarms to remove odor

  1. Turn shirt inside out

    Make sure you can see the inside of the sleeves where the odor is strongest.

  2. Pretreat underarm area

    Spray Clorox® Fabric Sanitizer Spray onto both armpits until wet. It doesn’t matter if you can’t see any stains — just be sure to spray the whole armpit area.

    Tip

    After spraying the inside of the shirt, turn it right side out and spray the outside of the armpits, too.

  3. Machine wash

    Follow the instructions on the care label for water temperature, use a good detergent, and add Clorox 2® for Colors 3 in 1 for improved cleaning versus detergent alone.

  4. Dry

    If allowed, tumble dry following the instructions on the care label for dryer temperature. Otherwise, air dry.

    Tip

    Air drying is also recommended when removing stains to make sure they are all the way out before exposing an item to dryer heat.

Removing body odor from a load of laundry

When you have a whole load of sweaty workout clothes or other smelly laundry, adding Clorox® Laundry Sanitizer to the load lets you wash everything at once and get rid of the odors.

What you need

Steps to remove body odor from a load of laundry

  1. Add laundry to the washer

    Sort dark items and mixed colors into separate loads and wash them one at a time.

    Tip

    While you are adding your laundry to the washer, check for stains, and pretreat any you find with liquid Clorox 2® for Colors.

  2. Add the laundry sanitizer to the softener dispenser

    Use the softener dispenser for Clorox® Laundry Sanitizer. This ensures that it is added at the correct time in the wash cycle: during the rinse cycle, not during the wash cycle.

  3. Add laundry detergent and Clorox 2® for Colors

    Add laundry detergent and Clorox 2® for Colors 3 in 1 together in the detergent dispenser compartment. If using laundry pods, toss them in the washer before adding the laundry.

    Tip

    When using color safe bleach to improve detergent performance, always match product forms: liquid and liquid or powder and powder.

  4. Select the wash cycle and start the washer

    Select water temperature and cycle settings that follow care label instructions, and then start the washer.

  5. Dry

    If allowed, tumble dry following the instructions on the care label for dryer temperature. Otherwise, air dry.

    Tip

    Air drying is also recommended when removing stains to make sure they are all the way out before exposing an item to dryer heat.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get odor out of white clothes with spandex?

You cannot wash white clothing that contains even a small amount of spandex with Regular Bleach. Instead, use Clorox® Laundry Sanitizer or Clorox® Fabric Sanitizer Spray to remove odors from white clothing with spandex.