Body odor is one of those embarrassing things that people don’t like to talk about. Well, so what? It’s a real thing and we’re going to talk about it.
And what I’m about to describe isn’t regular run of the mill body odor. I’m talking about shirts with armpits that smell like onions even after going through several washes.
I’ve lived it, and it smelled like I just walked out of an onion burger joint.
Turns out the reason was two-fold: clothing material and hormones.
I mostly shop at thrift stores and paid no attention to the material, I was only concerned with the price tag.
Seemingly out of nowhere my shirt’s armpits would start smelling horrendous about midway through my workday.
My own armpits would smell fine at first, but by the end of the day the smell had transferred from the shirt itself to my pits. Trust me, it was pretty potent.
I work in tech support so I started troubleshooting and tracking my efforts over the course of 3 months.
Today, the smells are gone so I wanted to share my results.
- I started out by doing a lot of research.
- I bought Dial anti-bacterial body wash and used baking soda on my armpits.
- I then noted down when the smell happened (which is how I found out it was monthly-the hormone factor ).
- My research showed that deodorant residue can accumulate on the inside armpit area of shirts, and considering I bought them second hand I thought this was a good way to approach it. I began some experiments (see notes below).
- When my experiments weren’t getting the results I wanted I started looking at the fabric content of my shirts. The most horrible smelling shirts were made of rayon and/or polyester. Like I said I bought them at thrift stores and just trashed them.
- I then bought Dickies 100% cotton shirts on Amazon. I could not find 100 % cotton shirts ANYWHERE in brick and mortar stores. I still wash in vinegar and line dry.
The difference is night and day. There is no smell 3 weeks out of the month, and even at week 4 the smell is nearly non-existent.
I now have a newfound appreciation for cotton. I consider it my little miracle because I had no idea that clothing material would make the difference.
I hope this helps someone else who is struggling for a solution to rid their shirt’s armpits of that horrible onion smell.
Notes from my *many laundry experiments:
Major Trial #1
Scrub the armpits of shirts with orange cleanser (I used the GoJo brand that my husband uses for wash his hands after working on the cars)
Let sit several hours (3+)
Run hot water with 4 cups white vinegar
Put shirts in washer, let sit all day in vinegar
Line dry or tumble no heat
Results: The smell was gone for 3 weeks, but came back on week 4 when I was cycling. Some shirts smelled worse than others.
Major Trial #2
Rub pits with orange rub
Spray pits with ammonia water spray (3 to 1 ratio)
Let set 5 min
Washed, no soap.
Filled washer, added 2 cups vinegar
Let sit in vinegar water for 1 hr or so
Results: Same thing, the smell came back at week 4 but it was much weaker. Some shirts smelled worse than others still (fabric related)
*I did several trials, but they were all variations of the 2 major experiments I conducted. The results were all the same.