How Do I Get the Smell Out of My T-Shirt?

Over time, anyone can end up with a t-shirt that smells bad and resists your attempts to get the smell out of it. The smell can occur because of excessive sweat, the odor of food or the specific smells of the workplace. If the smells don’t come out when the t-shirt is washed with the rest of the laundry, there are several ways to get rid of the offensive smell.

One of the easiest things to do is to hang the t-shirt on a clothesline outdoors to try to rid it of the smell. If you don’t have one, simply hang the shirt over your patio or balcony railing and let the fresh in their blow through your t-shirt. This can go a long way toward giving the t-shirt a fresher smell. Once you have done this, there may be some lingering odors left. If so, you’ll need to soak the t-shirt in something that will lift the odor from the fabric. Using a regular, scented laundry detergent will not necessarily remove the odor. Often, detergents just work to mask the odor with a new fragrance rather than ridding the t-shirt of it. So, when the detergent fragrance wears off, the bad odor is left behind. There are several substances that will rid the t-shirt of its odor without simply masking it.

Vinegar is a good rinse for a t-shirt that smells. You can use vinegar to soak the t-shirt for a few minutes before washing it in the laundry, or you can add a little bit of vinegar to the laundry detergent in the washer. Vinegar is extremely efficient at stripping odors from fabric. It may end up with a vinegar smell afterward, and the t-shirt may need to be washed again after the vinegar has done its work.

Baking soda is another great substance that can be used to pull the smell from a t-shirt. When mixed with water, it can be used as a presoak for your t-shirt. The shirt should be soaked in a solution for about half an hour and then put into the laundry as usual. Another way to use baking soda is to add a cup of it into the laundry along with the detergent. This can be extremely effective at removing foul odors from laundry.

Another method is to use a fabric softener to absorb the odor. To do this, take the t-shirt and one or two fabric softener sheets, depending on how bad the odor of the t-shirt is, and seal them together in a plastic bag. Keep the t-shirt in the bag with the softeners for two weeks. Once you remove the t-shirt, the fabrics softener sheets will have absorbed most, if not all, of the odor from the t-shirt. If there is any odor left in the shirt, try this method again with brand-new fabric softener sheets. After two weeks, you’ll be left with a sweet smelling t-shirt that has not simply been masked with a fragrance. The offensive odor will actually have been absorbed by the sheets.

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