I know it’s embarrassing, and no one wants to admit it, but I wear deodorant for a reason. The reason being that I sweat. I know girls are supposed to sweat strawberry juice that evaporates into lemon drops, but guess what? I sweat sweat that smells like sweat.
Boom. It’s out there. Of course, I can temper the sweating and neutralize the odor with my deodorant – natural or otherwise. Do I smell on a daily basis? No. So where am I going with all this?
Well, funny story. When you make the switch to homemade deodorant with no antiperspirant qualities, you quickly find that laundering becomes imperative after every. single. wearing. If you sweat in it, wash it. Go ahead – give me your excuses. Tell me you only wore that top for an hour at church. Tell me your pits still smelled fresh when you took it off. Tell me the shirt only had the tiniest sweat spots and no odor.
Give it time. Leave that blouse un-washed for another future wear, and by the time you come back to it – whether it’s one day or one week later – it will have accumulated a stench of epic proportions. Fresh sweat doesn’t smell (when treated with a good deodorizer), but you do not want to deal with stale, set-in sweat smells. That is one offensive odor that could blow a sea cow right out of the water.
So consider my new arch-nemesis: Dry Clean Only. Remember – there are certain garments you cannot simply wash, no matter how much you sweat in them. Plus, to make matters worse, I have read that dry cleaning can cause certain stains and scents to become set in your clothing, never to be removed again. Houston: We have a problem.
With my DCO items, I sweat, it sits, and I’m left with a $50-$100 un-wearable garment with a scent that could knock you out cold on your feet. But if Mother Nature has taught me anything, it’s that there is a natural remedy for everything, as long as you have the stamina for 4 straight hours of internet research.
First I tried baking soda on the sweated pits and met with only marginal success. Said “un-wearable garment” was stinking up my closet again in no time. And then I read about the antibacterial properties of hydrogen peroxide and lavender essential oil. And then I remembered that bacteria supposedly cause sweat smell. And then I grabbed a cotton ball.
Hydrogen peroxide can have bleaching properties, so I tested a small part of my garment first. That was rather uneventful, so I turned the garment inside-out and dabbed hydrogen peroxide all over the pits (but not heavily enough for it to soak through to the outside). I let that dry then repeated. Then I took a Q-tip’s worth of lavender EO and dabbed that on the pits. Then I hung the garment outside for a few hours. Then I demanded that my parents smell the pits of all my DCO items, at which time they gave a favorable review but began wondering aloud if I was actually going to go through this every time.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” I responded. “I’m going to fashion myself some real nice sweat-catcher pads to use in these dry-clean-only items.”