10 Home Remedies for Smelly Armpits

There are many home remedies for smelly armpits. Consult your doctor if the problem doesn't go away.
10 Home Remedies for Smelly Armpits

Last update: 26 May, 2022

You’re far more likely to sweat when you exercise during hot weather and wearing overly tight clothings o you might need some remedies for smelly armpits. In addition to the discomfort of having moisture on your body and stains on your clothing, the smell of sweaty armpits can be the worst thing of all.

Many people are unable to remedy it despite of it being a common problem. Note that it’s sometimes due to hormonal causes that have nothing to do with bacteria or poor hygiene. Thus, consult your doctor it you think this might be the case.

In this article we will provide you with some alternatives in case the bad odor comes from the latter. Don’t worry: follow the steps below if it’s just a temporary problem.

The key is to control the development of bacteria that give off the particular odor of this condition, known as axillary bromhidrosis. It has to do with the oily and viscous secretion of the apocrine glands found in the armpits, areolas, genitals and anus.

To counteract sweating, the cosmetic industry provides alcohol-based deodorants and antiperspirants. However, the ingredients in these products often include aluminum, shown to cause cardiac arrhythmias in some studies.

So, check out the remedies below if you don’t want to use deodorants or antiperspirants to keep the chemicals from irritating your skin.

1. Antibacterial soap is one of the most common remedies for smelly armpits

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 scented 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. Is hydrogen peroxide among the good remedies for smelly armpits?

Hydrogen peroxide is useful as a first aid treatment for cuts or wounds and everyone should have a bottle at home. However, it isn’t recommended as a deodorant as it can irritate the skin.

3. Lettuce

Someone cutting romaine lettuce.

As underarm odor may be due to the accumulation of bacteria, we need something to eliminate it. Some believe vinegar is effective for this purpose. There’s, however, a mention in the section dedicated to this plant in the technical data sheets of agricultural products of Universidad La Salle in Bogotá.

Proceed to the usage instructions if you want to try it.

What should you do?

  • 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. Be aware that its pungent smell could worsen the problem and cause some irritation in certain skin types. Always consult your doctor before beginning to use a new substance.

Here is how to use it if they give it a go:

  • Apply the vinegar with a cotton pad or clean cloth on the previously sanitized area.
  • In the morning, rinse well and wash with antibacterial soap.

5. Lemon is one of the best remedies for smelly armpits

Lemons can be used for smelly armpits

The acid contained in this citrus fruit reduces odors by eliminating the bacteria. However, it could also irritate you so we recommend caution when using it. Check how your skin reacts to this fruit first.

What should you do?

  • 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.

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. Be sure to verify that you’re not allergic to this tuber before you use it.

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. Cornstarch and baking soda

Some think that this ingredient might be effective at deterring funky smells. However, there’s no scientific evidence to back up such claim. Do the following if you still want to try it:

What should you do?

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

8. Tea tree oil

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.

What should you do?

  • Try to use it every morning and after you shower 0r bathe.

9. Aloe vera

No list would be complete without the addition of aloe vera. This alternative has antibacterial properties that could help against bad odor. It’s also a good moisturizer.

What should you do?

  • This is as easy as cutting open a stalk 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.

10. Sage

Bottles of sage essential oil.

Some believe that sage has protective effects against Streptococcus mutans bacteria, so you can try using the essential oil. Just apply with a cotton pad after you shower and let it dry on its own.

If you struggle with smelly armpits, try these different remedies until you find one that works best for you. Always verify that you’re not allergic to a given ingredient before applying it on your skin.

If nothing helps, don’t hesitate to see your doctor.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.