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How to get perspiration smell out of clothes

Updated February 21, 2017

Perspiration can linger on clothes even after normal washing. If perspiration remains, its digs deep into fabric fibres and creates a pungent odour. Normal washing often removes perspiration stains, but the perspiration smell can remain unless cleaners are used to break down and neutralise it.

Fill a sink halfway with cool water and 1 cup white vinegar.

Place clothes with perspiration smell into the vinegar solution. Swish the clothes in the solution to make sure all surfaces are saturated. Allow the clothes to remain in the solution for 30 minutes. White vinegar breaks down the components of the perspiration smell in the clothes.

Drain the sink and squeeze out excess liquid. Run cool water and rinse the clothes of the vinegar solution.

Fill a sink halfway with cool water. Squeeze the juice from the 2 lemons into the sink. Soak the garment in the lemon solution. Place the garment in the sun to dry. The lemon solution and sunlight neutralise and eliminate lingering odours.

Place garment in the washer and launder with regular detergent. Place in the dryer or allow to air dry.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 2 lemons
  • Laundry detergent
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About the Author

Constance Barker, located in the hills of southern Ohio, is the owner and writer of several financial, credit report and travel websites. She started writing in 1999 for private clients and began creating website content in 2004. She gained expertise in home improvement after she and her husband built their home themselves.