Why do we wash our clothes?
Well, for sanitary reasons, number one. To get poop and urine stains out number two. But mostly to get rid of the nasty odor that comes along with soiled underwear.
The absolute last thing you want when putting on a fresh pair of underwear is to smell that same bodily odor/fluid smell that came to your nose when you took off your underwear in the first place.
So, how do you eliminate that nasty smell that continues to lurk in your underwear even after it has been thrown in the wash?
Before we take a look at the various ways to get that unpleasant lingering smell out of your underwear, let’s discuss why your underwear smells in the first place.
Why Does My Underwear Smell?
You may be wondering – is it normal for underwear to smell bad?
The answer to this question is that yes, it is completely normal, but there may be a few extra contributing factors making your underwear smell particularly unpleasant.
Let’s take a look at some common reasons why your underwear odor may be extra prominent.
Okay, let’s address the elephant in the room first – your underwear may smell particularly bad due to bad hygiene.
This could come down to not showering every day, not changing your underwear regularly, and/or not washing “down there” correctly.
We’re not here to judge.
The problem with bad hygiene is that it can lead to health problems, which can cause even more of an odor issue in your nether regions.
Therefore, practicing good hygiene is one way to avoid particularly stubborn odors that just won’t leave your underpants.
If you live in a particularly hot climate and/or find yourself excessively sweating, then odds are your underwear is not going to smell overly pleasant.
Excessive sweating is just as dangerous to your manhood as bad hygiene, as this can lead to bacteria, fungus, and just plain bad smells.
Practicing good hygiene in the ways we discussed above can reduce the smell of your sweat.
Plus, it’s a good idea to throw your underwear in the washer sooner than later so as not to let the odor from your sweat completely set in.
Oddly enough, even your underwear’s fabric can contribute to its smell, so you’re going to want to have a look at that tag to see what it is you’re trusting to control the smell around your nether regions.
While cotton underwear and polyester aren’t known for holding onto an unpleasant odor with proper hygiene, lycra and nylon can trap moisture, allowing bacteria to grow. And what causes the unpleasant odor? Bacteria.
Diet & Medication
Did you know that both your diet and medication can temporarily affect your body’s natural odor?
Anything you put in your body can cause your smell to shift, potentially affecting any area that tends to excrete sweat or bodily fluids.
Plus, certain medications can actually increase your body’s sweat, adding to this smelly scenario even further.
Last but not least, it’s no secret that bodily fluids like urine and feces are the number one culprit of smelly underwear.
Not wiping properly or accidentally leaking a small amount of bodily fluids happens to the best of us and can easily contribute to a lasting smell in your underwear.
How to Get Smell Out of Underwear
Now that we’ve discussed all the potential reasons why your underwear may smell, let’s talk about how to get the smell out of underwear once it’s already there.
Even if prevention is always the best solution, that ship has probably sailed if you’re researching how to get the smell out of underwear, right?
Let’s take a look at some effective solutions to get the lingering stench out of your boxers, boxer briefs, tighty whities, etc.
Add Baking Soda and Vinegar to Your Wash Cycle
Why do baking soda and white vinegar seem to be the cure for everything cleaning and laundry-related?
Well, it really just comes down to science. Baking soda acts as a pH neutralizer, so it can effectively kill smells that are acidic in nature (which is most smells).
Vinegar can also kill smells since acetic acid easily bonds with volatile molecules, thereby absorbing odors and neutralizing them.
Adding baking soda to your wash cycle on the regular can prevent smelly underpants before you ever have to experience them.
At the same time, white vinegar can be used in place of your regular fabric softener.
Heat Your Washing Cycles
While we would not recommend heating your wash cycles if you’re looking to banish stains on dirty underwear, it will not help you get good smelling underpants.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to completely banish underwear odor, you need to use warm or hot water with laundry detergent and use the highest possible setting.
It’s also important to make sure that you’re drying your underwear as quickly as you can, as odor-causing bacteria will quickly breed in a damp environment.
Add Lemon or Ammonia with Lemon
Have you considered adding ammonia to your washing routine?
This versatile laundry additive will not only get rid of stains and dissolve grease, but it will whiten whites, soften your bath towels, and of course, get rid of smells.
Ideally, you would use ammonia with lemon to banish bodily fluid smells from your underwear, particularly in the case of poop smells.
Adding lemon juice on its own will both help fight against bacteria entrapment and virtually eliminate the smell.
Instead of squeezing lemon over your undies in the washing machine, soak them in lemon juice and warm water before throwing them in the wash, and expect some pretty great results.
Follow the Instructions on the Label
Of course, one of the most obvious ways to steer clear of underwear odor is to follow the instructions on the garment label.
Garment labels carry instructions for a reason, and not all of them have to do with simply making sure your underwear doesn’t shrink.
While it’s not recommended to excessively wash any piece of fabric if you want to save it from wear and tear, you may need to if you’re continuously noticing an odor after wear.
If you want to go the extra mile and protect your new pair of expensive boxer briefs, purchasing delicate laundry zip bags can help.
These mesh bags keep your underwear separate from the rough and tumble of the machine while making sure they’re thoroughly washed. Plus, they’re incredibly cheap.
Check out these multi-use honeycomb mesh laundry bags here!
Ready to Get Rid of Smelly Underwear for Good?
If you’re ready to banish smelly underwear from your life for the long term, then you need to consider our preventative steps above.
Smelly underwear is usually the combination of poor hygiene, incorrect washing, excessive sweat, and/or bodily fluids.
It doesn’t have to be a thing in your life if you take the necessary precautions.
And if you don’t? There are plenty of ways to correct unpleasant odors that don’t involve throwing out your favorite underwear.
And don’t worry – we’ve got you covered for all of your style and clothing questions that you don’t want to talk about out loud.