Stinky armpits. We’ve all been there. The scent can hit you after a grueling workout or in the middle of a nerve-wracking presentation. For some lucky people, a couple of swipes of deodorant are enough to cover the evidence.
But sometimes, no matter how much you shower, douse yourself in perfume or slather on deodorant, the underarm odor just won’t let up.
It’s hard to exude confidence when you always keep your arms down to hold back the stink. But we're here to help! In this article, we'll cover all the best ways to get rid of armpit odor.
What Causes Armpit Odor?
Contrary to popular belief, sweat by itself doesn’t smell. Armpit odor occurs when your sweat interacts with the bacteria on your skin, producing that unmistakable armpit smell — also known as B.O.
The medical term for chronic, excessive armpit odor is bromhidrosis. Body odor is sometimes the result of a medical condition that should be addressed by a doctor — but for many people, simple lifestyle changes and home remedies can help cure smelly pits.
Other causes of body and armpit odor include poor diet, gut health issues or digestion problems. For example, eating spicy and sulfurous foods may cause a nasty odor to emit through your pores. Bad B.O. can also signal an enzyme deficiency.
How to Get Rid of Armpit Odor
Here are the best and easiest methods for getting rid of armpit odor fast.
- Try home remedies for underarm odor
- Make a diet change
- Change your personal hygiene routine
- Wear an anti-odor undershirt
1. Try Home Remedies for Underarm Odor
These versatile home remedies for armpit odor can help combat armpit smell without breaking the bank – and you can find most of them in your kitchen or local grocery store.
Apply Witch Hazel to Your Armpits with a Cotton Ball after Showering
Witch hazel is a natural astringent, which means it contracts your skin’s tissues and reduces the production of sweat. Most commercial witch hazel extracts also include rubbing alcohol, which helps fight odor-causing bacteria that like to hang out in your armpits.
Fight back against armpit odor by dousing a cotton ball with witch hazel and rubbing it on your underarms after showering or bathing for an easy-to-apply home remedy for body odor.
Dab Apple Cider Vinegar on Your Underarms Twice a Day
Apple cider vinegar is naturally acidic and has antimicrobial properties. You can find this home remedy for armpit odor in the grocery store. It neutralizes the environment in your underarm area and destroys smelly bacteria. Using apple cider vinegar regularly can help prevent bacteria from accumulating in your armpits.
Dip a cotton ball in a small bowl of apple cider vinegar and apply it to your underarms twice a day.
Rub a Mixture of Lemon Juice and Water on Your Pits Once a Day
Lemon juice is another highly acidic ingredient that doubles as a home remedy for body odor. It reduces the pH of your skin and makes it uninhabitable for bacteria.
Take half a lemon and rub it directly on your armpits. Repeat once daily until you notice an improvement in your armpit odor. If you have sensitive skin, mix the juice of half a lemon with half a cup of water to dilute it.
Pro-tip: Be careful when applying strong acidic home remedies like lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and witch hazel, especially if you have sensitive skin. To avoid any burning or irritation, only apply to clean, dry skin. Never use them right after shaving or if you have any nicks or broken skin.
Wear Homemade or Natural Deodorant
Natural deodorant is a gentle, healthy home remedy for armpit odor. It’s a great alternative to standard deodorant options that contain potentially harmful chemicals.
Most natural deodorants are gentle on the skin and free of aluminum, parabens and phthalates. If regular deodorant makes your skin itch or burn, the natural deodorant route might be your best bet for fighting armpit odor.
2. Make a Diet Change
Did you know that certain foods can intensify armpit odor? If you’re prone to bad B.O., try laying off these foods for a few days.
Broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower contain sulfur, which your body absorbs and secretes through your sweat. Eating these veggies can impact your underarm odor for one to six hours.
Meat is harder to digest than other foods, so your body has to work harder to process it. The amino acids in red meat leave a residue in your intestines. Your intestinal enzymes break down the residue during digestion, which mixes with bacteria on your skin and intensifies your body odor.
Fish like tuna and salmon contain choline, a type of B-vitamin that produces a pungent fishy smell. Some people who eat fish can secrete choline in their sweat for up to a day.
People who experience armpit odor after eating seafood may have a metabolic disorder called trimethylaminuria. Underarm odor may develop a fishy smell due to the body’s inability to break down the chemical trimethylamine that’s naturally found in seafood. The odor will appear within a few hours and can last up to a day.
3. Change Your Personal Hygiene Routine
It might be time to take a good, hard look at your personal care routine. Practicing good hygiene habits can help reduce the amount of bacteria in your armpits.
Wash Your Clothes Regularly
Do you have a bad habit of re-wearing sweaty workout clothes between washes? Letting sweat sit on your shirts creates a breeding ground for sweat-causing bacteria. Wear a fresh shirt every time you go out or exercise, and wash your clothes immediately after a heavy sweat session.
Trim or Shave Your Pits
Underarm hair traps moisture and creates the perfect environment for bacteria to breed. Shave or trim your pits frequently to keep the armpit odor under control.
Shower More Frequently
Infrequent showering can cause bacteria to build up on your skin. Shower at least once a day (or every morning and night) and scrub your extra-sweaty areas with a scent-free, antibacterial bath soap. Stay away from strongly scented soaps, which can make your armpits smell worse.
If you exercise often, make sure to shower right after every workout so bacteria don’t have a chance to spread.
Wash With Benzoyl Peroxide
Benzoyl peroxide, a common ingredient in acne washes, doubles as a B.O. killer. Try using it to wash your pits, but do it before shaving so your skin doesn't sting.
4. Wear an Anti-Odor Undershirt
What’s the best way to guarantee your friends, family and colleagues never know you’re battling armpit odor? Wear the Thompson Tee anti odor undershirt!
This high quality, anti stink shirt is infused with our revolutionary Odor Shield™ technology, a natural non-toxic hydrogen peroxide-based solution that eliminates 99.9% of odor causing bacteria in the fabric! The Odor Shield™ technology is designed for daily use and stays put for at least 70 wash cycles.