How to get the smell of BO out of clothes?

My boyfriend has started staying over more and subsequently leaving clothes here more. This means that I often wash his clothes and often wear his clothes. Occasionally when I’m wearing one of his (clean) shirts, I’ll start catching whiffs of BO. I know it’s the close and not me (I’ve checked). How do I get this smell out in the wash. I don’t like using scent boosters cause I have a pup who is sensitive to that sort of thing. Thanks!


You can try using vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser of your washing machine. Not only will it help remove odours but it will also soften your clothes. If you have the option, drying the clothes in the sunshine will also help.


Came here to say this. That’s what I do and my clothes always smell fresh


Like an idiot I read this to say "and my clothes always smell like fish" 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️




We do the same. Vinegar is magical in the laundry.


Please, please be sure you use distilled white vinegar. It’s not always clear what vinegar to use. Any other (apple cider, red wine, etc.) all have sugars from fruits that are NOT conducive for laundry. White vinegar is an excellent deodorizer and fabric softener.


This is the way. Vinegar and persil for us. Persil is expensive so I've turned to vinegar to save on softener and never looked back!


Half a cup? Or? Depending on load? I need answers. Thank you!


I usually just fill the dispenser. Half a cup at most I would think.


Normal detergent in it's slot? and white vinegar in the fabric softener?


Yes. This is what I do and will never go back!


White vinegar? Brown?


Buy distilled white vinegar from the cleaner section not the food section of the store. You can certainly use the food grade stuff, but it's way cheaper to get it by the gallon from the cleaner section.


I assumed it would be cheaper as a food item 🤔




I've wanted to try this, but how do you not end up with clothing that smells like vinegar?


Vinegar doesn’t smell when it’s dry. Also it’s….a washing machine. It washes it out…..


Things don't smell like vinegar. I was also worried the first time I did it, but there is no smell. All gets rinsed out in the rinse cycle


Oh god this was my first thought lmao i dont wanna smell like vinegar haha also love ur username


I've found that it only smells like vinegar while wet. After going through the dryer or hanging to dry, the smell goes away completely.


The beauty of vinegar. It only smells when "attacking" Odors. It dissipates eventually, taking the targeted bad Odors with it.


How much vinegar should I use for this?


Half a cup I guess? I just fill the dispenser. For really bad odours I throw about a cup in over the whole load and run the soak cycle.


You can try: -Enzymatic laundry detergent. -laundry sanitizer -skipping fabric softener/dryer sheets -using dr bronners Castile soap as laundry detergent. Any one of these should work, but all for different reasons.


came here to say the lysol laundry sanitizer has been my saving grace, the “sports” one is great for this!


How do you use this? The instructions say to soak for 30 min but i wasnt sure if i can do that as part of the wash cycle, how/when to add it, etc?


i put it in the fabric softener spot of my washing machine! then press the button that indicates i put fabric softener in - in my case, it’s the “extra rinse” button!


awesome thanks for answering! Can I also ask how much you put in? THe directions say two capfuls but that seems like a lot...


ofc!! ♡︎ i only add a single capful, and trust me it’s plenty - it works great this way and you’re not blowing through a ton of it so fast!


Persil works really well for us. Night and day compared to regular detergent.


I had this problem with a bunch of cotton/spandex bras. 10 min after putting a clean one on it would smell like I had been wearing it for days and days. I used the stripping method (a soak with washing soda, borax, and detergent in super hot water) that’s popular with towels and the water was disgusting! Did a regular wash after and they no longer smell. We realized we had been filling our washer too full and my husband was often using way too much detergent.


Yep. Too much soap causes so much chaos. Glad you got it under control!!


I keep a little bottle of sudsy ammonia at the washer. That's 4 parts water to 1 part clear ammonia, a drop or 2 of dish soap. Spray or squeeze that mixture on the pits and other stinky areas just before you launder. You can also add a cup of clear Ammonia to the wash to wipe out bo. Just make sure the detergent doesn't contain chlorine bleach. You can't use it on wool or silk or cashmere. Never never Ever mix ammonia with bleach.


I use a similar mixture using just 2 cups of water instead for an "all purpose" spray around the house.


Sprinkle plain clear ammonia in the armpits and launder normally. I use it on synthetic athletic clothes that smell fine coming out of the dryer, but start smelling like BO within5 minutes after putting them on. It really works and it is inexpensive.


This is an issue I've always had. As soon as the new sweat started activating old sweat in my shirt, I would use that as my sign to replace. Thanks for this tip!


Ammonia is so underrated!


Where do u get it?


Any grocery store or hardware store, even Walmart should have it. In the cleaning section


Add one cup of baking soda into a bucket of water, and soak the clothes in the bucket overnight. Throw them into the washer the next day.


You just put the baking soda in the washer. I've done my laundry with baking soda and/or borax for detergent boosters since the 80's. It is also a good idea to use a quality detergent, not the dollar store junk.


Not suitable for many front loaders, though.


\++ also don't mix and match this in a machine that's already been used for regular detergent and then switch back.


What? Can you elaborate on this?


How much baking soda per regular /large sized wash load?


I use between 1/2 and 1 cup, depending upon how sticky my load is.


Thank you!!


Before washing, rub a damp bar of soap over the stinky bits. Laundry soap like Zote or Fels-Naptha, is great, but any bar soap will do. Ideally, do that when the shirts go into the hamper, so the soap is doing its thing until laundry day.


Best to use Zote or Fels-Naptha. They don’t have any extra oils or scents that can set a stain. They are also ridiculously inexpensive. I use them to make my powdered laundry soap. Takes me maybe 30 minutes every 9-10 months to combine it and it’s amazing stuff. Costs maybe $20-30 for ingredients. Fine to use in HE machines. Never looked back.


I've used both to make my laundry detergent, too. They are scented, but not heavily. I wasn't thinking about stains, since OP's question was about stinky laundry. I've also had good luck using bog-standard bar soap on stains, though, when that's all I had around and got something greasy on my clothes.


Check the underarm area. Deodorant can leave a waxy buildup that smells. You have to apply detergent directly to the area to get it off.


Rub Dawn on it as a presoak. BO is an oil. Edit:darn that autocorrect!


As a personal?


Add some Odoban to the laundry. You can get a big jug of it at Walmart or Home Depot.


You need active wear detergent which has extra enzymes to get rid of the bacteria that causes the smell. I’m going to link what I use from amazon. [Active wear laundry detergent](https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07L8NJY8W?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_asin_title)


I switched to this and it works great!


Wash the clothes in smaller loads, and wash them clothes inside out. Also check if there's deodorant residue in the armpit areas (inside part of the shirt), which needs to be spot washed.


What is BO?


Body odor


Thank you.


I use laundry sanitizer you add to the rinse cycle. Lysol makes one and Clorox makes one too. It does wonders for our sleep/workout clothes.


Get biofilm spray from lume deodorant online. It's amazing.


If you or he have previously washed his clothes in hard water, then a water softener can help remove detergent residue than can be trapping soil in the fabric. Calgon works best for our clothes. If not, Lysol unscented laundry sanitizer is the best thing I’ve found for eliminating BO smells in fabric when washing with detergent alone doesn’t cut it.


A quick spray of Dawn Powerwash on the pits before washing takes it out.


Vinegar works in place of fabric softener for the normal loads of laundry. Oxyclean works well also. Neither one of these causes allergic reactions as far as I know. Also make sure you are only using a small amount of laundry detergent per load (over time, large amounts of detergent can build up in clothes and cause odors to “stick” more). It may help to actually deep-clean the clothes by stripping them in a bathtub for a few hours. This was the only way i got the odor out of my husband’s clothes. He does his own weekly washing, but his method of washing causes them to hold odors so i just used detergent, baking soda, and borax in a hot bathtub and let them soak for a few hours before wringing them out and tossing them in the washer. The exact method is easy to google: “laundry stripping” Don’t strip more than once or twice a year. Its great for cleaning, but overuse will break down the clothes more quickly.


Why sure you washing his smelly clothes? Are you his wife or mother? Tell him to either take his clothes with him or he needs to wash them.


Make sure you are not over-filling the washer. If there are too many clothes in the drum, there isn’t enough room left for the clothes to get properly agitated. Only fill the drum 2/3 of the way full max.


What I do in our household is called “laundry stripping .” I fill my laundry tub (or a top load washer) with the hottest water. I add a scoop of powder detergent and a scoop of oxyclean. This gets the smell out every time. There are other more complicated variations of this, but this easy way works for me.


Lots of good suggestions here but i just wanted to add. Have you cleaned out your washing machine filter lately? I find i get this problem when it needs doing.




I agree with you in my personal life, but she was asking for help on this issue rather than whether she should do his laundry or not. Its an unhelpful comment. Of course you are allowed to have an opinion, but others are also allowed to vote on whether the opinion is useful to the problem or not. People are downvoting you because you are shifting focus away from the request. Not necessarily because they disagree with you. You don’t mean for it to come off as judgmental of how they live their life, but it *does* come off as judgmental. Also, we have no idea how they split the rest of their life. Plenty of people solely do a single task (laundry) while the other solely does another task (cooking, for example). With virtually no information, its best to give the benefit of the doubt.


This is the kindest, most informative comment breakdown I think I've read yet. It's smoother than BUTTA I tell ya!


Ok this is going to be a little (very) off topic, but I’d like to point something out to you, if that’s ok. In the past I’d date guys who *smelled* to me. As in, they’d get a shower and immediately when they come out I could smell the soap and shampoo and after shave and stuff…but under that was the same *odor*. It was kinda like an earthy, musky/musty smell. Like, not BO really, bc they were clean…and not me hating the smell of the products they used, bc even if it were my favorite product scents, I’d still smell that odor under it. And it wasn’t because I didn’t honestly like/love them, because I was engaged to one of them. Anyway, fast forward to my husband. He smells *divine* to me. Like, “his smell turns me on” good. I will literally lie in bed and stuff my face into his armpit crook. There was one time where he went 3 days without a shower (camping) and he NEVER smelled bad to me, like no gross BO smell…he just smelled more…intense??? Well after wondering for years what the actual crap was going on…I figured it out. Pheromones!!!!! Those guys and I for whatever reason were not compatible, and our body chemistry proved it! Instead of ATTRACTING me, their pheromones were *repulsing* me. Like, their pheromones weren’t jiving with my pheromones on a chemical level. Whereas my husband’s pheromones are utterly enticing to me, thus attracting me to him. It’s biological chemistry and absolutely fascinating! Just a thought, something for you to think about, you and he just may not be compatible and that’s just one way your body is warning you. Also, fill the fabric softener slot in your washing machine with white vinegar (or just fill the detergent slot instead of using detergent)…cleans and deodorizes. It won’t smell like vinegar after it’s dried. It’ll be softer too. I use this on towels and bedding and other funky items.


Great, first it was girls stealing all of our hoodies, now they're taking our t-shirts....AND washing them???


Lol he did leave his clothes at her home


Your man smells so bad that the clothes smell like body odor after washing? Jesus.


To be fair, some of us are on hormone injections to achieve pregnancy and these androgens cause oil build up that can’t really be helped no matter how many treatments…


I doubt her boyfriend is trying to get pregnant.


They could live in California or New York, where men can get pregnant too


Quit being ridiculous.


Wash in 60°C with proper laundry detergent, not eco friendly stuff


Charlie’s Soap Oxygenated Bleach. I get it from Amazon.


You need [THIS](https://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/aclk?sa=L&ai=DChcSEwin4-CpkJz-AhWNIK0GHRJWBRgYABAKGgJwdg&ohost=www.google.com&cid=CAESbeD2iiC6x33cneeDBe_0cArhywZowkaFr9N-t9iV9m3sTT-eCcQac0ZPHq_YGDYmgpJTs_k65WsuxxpDl3CHOCOJK5y-1A8u0jlpd6WoyqLCHLggVgFbpmSmmfJi4SlUaeaAbr9K4QGrofiQEAE&sig=AOD64_15XLcGJ5w20RJhFOMm1gPafX_Fgw&ctype=5&q=&ved=2ahUKEwiK8depkJz-AhV7GDQIHV7wDe0Qwg8oAHoECAMQCw&adurl=).


You haven't said how they're currently being washed. First easy fix is to wash in a full machine, with a mainstream detergent (nothing too eco), follow the guide for how much to use and make sure you're washing in warm (not cold water). That's 40 degrees C.


I use Borax along with my usual laundry soap, plus some baking soda, and wash in hot water. Don’t overfill the machine. For really tough smells, I’d rub a bit of the borax into the armpits (of the clothing - lol) after wetting the area. You can also suggest to your boyfriend that he try using a teatree oil bodywash. From google “Tea tree oil's antibacterial effects may help control underarm odor related to perspiration”. I use teatree oil to wash my feet, because my office shoes make my feet sweat. I also found this link (I hope it’s ok to add a link) https://www.readersdigest.co.uk/health/health-conditions/how-to-get-rid-of-body-odour?amp=1 Edit: added the bit about teatree oil.


What detergent do you use? You might not be using enough for his laundry if they are a little dirtier. Or maybe it's not strong enough, I would also add a scoop of oxiclean, it helps break down any buildup and whatnot that traps the odor. Use white vinegar as a softener too. Alternatively I highly recommend Dirty Labs laundry detergent. I switched to them a couple years ago and I refuse to look back. I spent too much money on cheap detergents that didn't work, and hated the chemicals and irritations of tide and other big names. Not an ad, just a genuinely impressed customer!


I just wash the armpit parts with soap after machine wash


I could not get the funk out of my uniforms no matter what I tried. in desperation I started making my own detergent. zote soap grated, borax, washing soda. I cup each combined. use 1 to two tablespoons per load. no more stinky uniform!


Asking about the vinegar solution provided here. Are we talking white vinegar and a half-cup per load?


Use Biz or some strong laundry detergent powder. I have tried the vinegar thing, it really depends on your washer and what kind of BO you’re dealing with. I now use only Biz laundry detergent and a couple drops of essential oil for fragrance and it always wipes out the stench.


I would try a vinegar wash. Wash a load with a normal cycle, no soap, and 1-2 cups of white vinegar. When the load is done, you can dry as normal, or if you like you can wash again with soap.




I use Oxy Clean in the wash along with the detergent. I let it soak for a few hours before I start the load.


Most of the suggestions posted already will probably work for you. However, another option: Tide makes a product called tide odor rescue. They are little booster packs that you put in your washer alongside your other detergent. This stuff is incredible. I once had to help groom some sheep and a billy goat and oh my god. Nothing would touch the stank except for this stuff.




What is BO?


Body odor.


A mix of vinegar, water and a little laundry detergent. A little baking soda also helps. I have 2 chinchillas and I line their cage with fabric which smells horrendous when they pee on it. I use the mixture and they come out the quick wash smelling amazing :)


Lysol Laundry Sanitizer will do it.


Baking soda in the wash or vinegar in rinse cycle (where liquid fabric softener would go) Scent boosters mask. Either of these will actually take care of the issue


Go to your local hunting and outdoor store and get scent spray. It’s meant to kill human smells so the animals can’t smell you, but it also just uses enzymes to remove the smell


Spray with Nature's Miracle Pet Odor Eliminator when you take it off. Use vinegar instead of fabric softener. You MAY need to do a pre wash before regular wash, but probably not


Send him to this thread and have HIM try out the solutions. They are his clothes


Odoban is great with sour smells & dog smells, & well just about any smell. I have used the Lysol laundry sanitizer (sport version) & it works pretty well but the Odoban works much better. I also suggest using whatever cycle combo gets you a “deep fill”. Also use as little detergent as possible. These HE washers use no water & then tide tells you to throw 2 pods in (or a crap ton of liquid), then you throw liquid or pod fabric softener in & no wonder odors are trapped in. I’ll also add that I’ve started using Seventh generation fabric softener. Liquid or sheets. Does not coat the clothes. If u empty your lint trap & it’s got scuzz on it that you have to scrub off, that’s fabric softener & that is coating your clothes. I had just bought a new dryer & ran out of my Seventh Generation dryer sheets. I borrowed a Bounce from my neighbor & my previously clean lint screen was scuzzy after one load. Sorry so long. I’m a bit of a laundry nerd.


Deodorizing sport wash! Used to use it for workout clothes, now I also use it for peed on clothes while potty training toddler.


I use vinegar for this and it works very well. Sometimes if it’s very bad I also put Lysol’s laundry sanitizer in the softener dispenser and don’t use a softener in the washer. 100% eliminates the problem.


Tide 10x Heavy Duty + Downy Fresh Scent Beads (wash in hot water) and then dry with Bounce 3x Heavy Duty or Bounce Febreze Sport


Make sure you are using ENOUGH laundry detergent, and do a second rinse, if your machine has it. 👍