11 Home Remedies for Smelly Armpits

November 22, 2019
There are a variety of home remedies that can help you with underarm odor. If the problem doesn't go away, don't hesitate to talk to your doctor.

When it’s hot out, if you’re exercising, or if your clothing is too tight, then you’re far more likely to sweat. In addition to the discomfort of having moisture on your body and stains on your clothing, the smell of sweat can be the worst thing of all.

That’s why in today’s article we want to bring you the best home remedies for smelly armpits. After all, no one likes to go about their day with clothes that are damp from sweat and underarm odor. 

The key is to control the development of bacteria that give off that particular odor. If you don’t want to use deodorants or antiperspirants that are full of chemicals or substances that can irritate the skin, we recommend the following home remedies.

See also: The Best Homemade Deodorants

1. Antibacterial soap

Natural antibacterial soap
It’s very important to maintain good hygiene in this area, and washing your underarms with antibacterial soap several times a day can definitely help. We don’t recommend perfumed soaps because they can have the same effect as deodorants.

Another good option is neutral soap. However, don’t forget to dry the underarm area thoroughly, in order to avoid a musty smell.

  • If you’re looking for natural options, buy soap that is made with goat milk and almonds, or, additionally, other natural herbs like calendula and lavender.

2. Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is so useful that everyone should have a bottle of it at home. In addition to it being a first aid treatment for any cuts or wounds, it’s also helpful if you want to combat smelly armpits and foot odor.

It can also remove the stains caused by deodorants or sweat. Soak a cotton ball in hydrogen peroxide and apply it to your underarms after showering.

3. Lettuce

Someone cutting romaine lettuce.

There’s a popular urban legend that lettuce can help with smelly armpits, but there’s no scientific evidence to back up the claim.

However, if you’re curious and you want to try it, follow these instructions:

  • First, wash two leaves of lettuce and then place one under each arm after you shower and dry the area.
  • Leave them on until the leaves reach room temperature. Don’t rinse.

4. Vinegar

Because the odors coming from the underarm area are caused by a build-up of bacteria, you need something to eliminate this problem. One effective way is with vinegar. To keep its distinctive smell from bothering you, however, only use it at night before going to bed.

What should you do?

  • First, apply a little vinegar to the area using a clean cotton cloth.
  • In the morning, rinse your underarms well and wash with antibacterial soap.

5. Lemon

Lemons can be used for smelly armpits

In addition to lightening underarm skin, the acid contained in this citrus fruit reduces odors by eliminating the bacteria.


  • First cut a lemon in half and rub each half under your arms. Wait for 15 minutes before rinsing with plenty of warm water.
  • If it burns, it could be due to some irritation in the area or an ingrown hair. Rinse immediately if this occurs.
  • Repeat this treatment every night. However, remember that lemon juice can stain the skin when it comes into contact with the sun.

Do you want to know more? Read: 10 amazing uses for lemons

6. Potato slices

According to several studies, potato slices can be used to reduce the odor caused by the overgrowth of bacteria. They should be fairly juicy to be effective.

What should you do?

  • All you have to do is cut a potato into medium-sized slices (about 1/2 inch thick) and place them under your arms.
  • Leave them on for 20 minutes or until the slices are dry.

7. Baking soda

A bowl of baking soda.

This is one of your best friends when it comes to health and beauty. Baking soda helps neutralize odors and is a great antiperspirant. You can use it instead of talcum powder.


  • Once you’re completely dry after a shower, apply a little baking soda to the underarm area and leave it on all night.
  • Then, in the morning, rinse with warm water, and wash with antibacterial soap.
  • You can also make a paste using a little water and apply it. Rinse with warm water after 20 minutes.

8. Corn starch

This ingredient has similar properties to baking soda and might be even more effective at absorbing perspiration. That being said, there’s no scientific evidence to support that claim.

What should you do?

  • Mix corn starch and baking soda in equal quantities and apply it to the underarm area every night.
  • Leave it on until morning.

9. Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil, a natural remedy for smelly armpits
Tea tree oil is well known for its antibacterial and antifungal propertiesWhen you combine it with lavender essential oil (equal parts), you not only eliminate any bad odors in the area, you get a pleasant and natural perfume that will last you all day.

Try to use it every morning, and after you bathe.

10. Aloe vera

No list would be complete without the addition of aloe vera. This is a tried and tested remedy for people who tend to sweat a lot throughout the year, especially when it’s hot outside. It has antibacterial and whitening properties.

What should you do?

  • It’s as easy as cutting open a leaf of the aloe plant and applying the gel to your underarm area.
  • Leave it on for a few minutes and don’t rinse the gel. You’ll feel fresher instantly.

Visit this article: 9 medicinal benefits you get thanks to aloe vera gel

11. Sage

Using sage essential oil is another great way to fight excessive sweating.

What should you do?

  • Apply the essential oil with a cotton ball after you bathe and allow it to dry.

If you struggle with smelly armpits, try these different remedies until you find one that works best for you. If nothing helps, don’t hesitate to see your doctor.

  • Bensafi, M., Pouliot, S., & Sobel, N. (2005). Odorant-specific patterns of sniffing during imagery distinguish “Bad” and “Good” Olfactory Imagers. Chemical Senses. https://doi.org/10.1093/chemse/bji045
  • Urban, J., Fergus, D. J., Savage, A. M., Ehlers, M., Menninger, H. L., Dunn, R. R., & Horvath, J. E. (2016). The effect of habitual and experimental antiperspirant and deodorant product use on the armpit microbiome. PeerJ. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1605
  • Egert, M., Schmidt, I., Höhne, H. M., Lachnit, T., Schmitz, R. A., & Breves, R. (2011). rRNA-based profiling of bacteria in the axilla of healthymales suggests right-left asymmetry in bacterial activity. FEMS Microbiology Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-6941.2011.01097.x