HR from work told me I have body odor
By - isthisnamealsotaken_
OP, what is your laundry and hygiene routine like? Are you wearing clothes multiple times between washes? Or maybe skipping showers if you don’t feel *that* sweaty?
As I’ve aged, I can’t get away with stuff like that. My body chemistry has changed, and I have to be more meticulous about those things.
Also, I have horrible stress sweat. In five minutes of interchange traffic, on an already stressful day, I am PUNGENT.
I keep deodorant and hand sanitizer in my car for long days. Sanitizer kills bacteria, and once it’s dry, I apply deodorant. It’s a great refresher for those times when you’re not too certain if you’re fresh enough for your destination, but there’s not enough time for a trip back home just to shower.
Edit: also, try not to be too hard on yourself. We often can’t help what our bodies do. Just do your best.
However, if you live in a hot climate, be careful about keeping that deodorant in the car. Learned that lesson the hard way when it melted all over my backseat.
I use a roll on, or a spray\^\^ Always have a small one one my purse
I too have pungent stress sweat. Embarrassingly, I sweat most in the downward areas. Any hacks to stop smelling like discharge+sweat?
I have tried ditching undies and it helped lessen the smell a bit.
Breathable cotton for undies. Some synthetic materials actually smell much worse when they come in contact with sweat.
I do have friends who go commando and say they experience less discharge after a while but doesn't help the sweat factor
Edit: wool panties also dont retain odor and dry fast. Patagonia makes some and i think rei.
Thanks for the suggestions. Your friends are right on the commando effect. Wearing loose pants without undies helped keep my privates airy, so it smelled less. But it never stopped the sweat when I keep sitting for long.
Lume deodorant works REALLY well! The adjustment period wasn’t much fun and took about 2 weeks, but so worth it!
I heard it wasn't a good idea to use deodorant there. But if it works well for you, okay will check out. Thanks.
I’ve seen several ads for Lume and watched them till the end, and they say that normally yeah you shouldn’t use deodorant there, but Lume is safe to use there / built for that. It’s just an ad so take that as you will, but it convinced me
Can confirm, it works well anywhere
I use hand sanitizer on my feet and rubbing alcohol spray in my shoes for odor. People think I'm crazy but it works!
I’m loving your tip about hand sanitizer and deodorant! I have a ton of stress sweat, too and may need to be commuting in the near future. Thanks for sharing!
I never thought to use hand sanitizer on my pits. I use antibacterial soap in the shower and the sanitizer makes so much sense. Thanks for the info
Baby/makeup wipes are also great to keep around for quick refreshes
In case Noone said it yet. Run vinegar into your washer unit. I had a problem I was aware of a funk but I couldn't shake it. I kept washing my clothes fresh and they smelt musty. Solved it with giving the apartments machines a clean. They get gross and landlord doesn't attend to them or air them out as needed.
I've found leaving the washer door open to let it dry completely helps a LOT, but no one in apartments does this unfortunately.
Some washers also have a thing to open and drain the water held inside. That should be emptied every once in a while.
At my old apartment laundry facilities, closed door meant in use by someone else, open door meant free game
It's like that here with the top loading ones but not for the side loading ones. The side loading ones have more capacity for the same price though..
>or air them out as needed.
I understand it's likely not possible in an apartment situation where you share machines, but for anyone else, leave the washing machine open when you're not using it.
My apartment complex has a big ol' sign saying to keep the washers open after use. Would never hurt to ask!
Just until the water evaporates after using it anyway. It doesnt have to be open all the time
This! I used to work in a group home for adults with disabilities, and they often couldn’t afford super high quality laundry soap (especially in the amounts they needed, as they often had soiled clothing and bedding). We were told to always add vinegar to their laundry when we washed it. I was told it helps sanitize and helps with the smell. Not sure if the sanitation part is true, but I do it to my laundry now as well. Works great, especially for towels and bulkier items in the wash.
Yes, it sanitizes. Because vinegar is acidic, it kills bacteria. The bacteria are causing smells, so by sanitizing the laundry it gets less smelly.
I use vinegar in place of fabric softener.
Cleaning soda added to the laundry soap also works great for sanitizing laundry and the washing machine, but it makes fabrics rougher instead of softer.
Like pour vinegar into your load of clothes?
I believe they mean doing a tub wash cycle with the vinegar to deep clean the washing machine lines. However, yes, also use white vinegar in with your clothing in place of fabric softener.
For a really stubborn funk (our washer, which is old, needed this), I needed to do a hot water load with a cup or so of bleach added in the detergent place (no laundry in machine). I usually do a non-delicate load of laundry after, like linens, something that wouldn't break my heart of there was any lingering bleach, but I've never had a problem with staining in the next wash so far.
I do this, followed by a vinegar wash (no laundry) to help flush out the bleach.
Yes, I use about half a cup. I do that once a week.
OP said they're not wearing deodorant. So... that could be it.
Don't know why this is even a discussion lol They said IN THE POST that they "could be showering more and wearing deodorant". I can tell I stink after missing one shower or not putting on deodorant. I get that not everyone is like that, but it is obviously common. Deodorant exists for a reason.
yeah. Pointless discussing ways to make your clothes smell better, when the basics aren't being done.
Definitely true, however, OP might want to consider the laundry issue in addition because if they’ve had BO their laundry might retain the smell even after they’ve fixed the problem. I’ve had issue where the pits of T-shirts I use to workout stay smelly even after a wash because of the build up of deodorant/sweat. Something to consider either way!
Yep, I agree there! That's one thing I had to learn with age that might not be obvious to some (though I thought showering and deodorant were obvious). If they aren't showering and wearing deodorant, they might not be washing their clothing either.
even if you can't smell yourself, I promise that other people can... you want to keep yourself clean before BO gets bad. Learned this the hard way when I was going through puberty....
Yeah exactly. If you smell yourself, it is too late lol
Seconding this! I had an issue for months with freshly washed clothes smelling off, and vinegar was the solution.
This might be dumb: when the cycle is finished running the clothes don’t.. smell like vinegar, do they?
If they smell a bit like vinegar, the smell will disappear when the clothes dry. Vinegar evaporates more easily than water, so it will be away even sooner than the clothes are dry.
You put it in the fabric softener dispenser, or just in the barrel?
I just pour it in the barrel with my clothes.
Silly question but just any vinegar? & how much, a capful? X
White vinegar. Same amount and place where fabric softener goes.
Vinegar can deteriorate the rubber parts in your washing machine so it’s better to use washing machine cleaner, which you can buy on Amazon
Nah you do not need washing machine cleaner tablets, you can use dishwasher tablets. They do the exact same thing.
No way! Thank you for the tip, I’ve got to try that.
What's in "washing machine cleaner"? Sounds like a recipe for itchy irritated skin.
The box actually doesn’t list ingredients, but I use it in an empty machine and then I wash my clothes with detergent, so I don’t think any of it gets onto my skin.
It’s not what anyone wants to hear but at least they’ve been kind enough to gently and privately tell you. You know now so it can and will be taken care of. Shocking in the short term, but long term it’ll be forgotten. I wouldn’t overthink it, you don’t need to address or acknowledge it at work, you just need to take action. So, to be practical:
1. Shower daily with a good quality shower gel. Sometimes I have to give armpits a bit of an extra scrub because deodorant is tough to removes with a regular body puff thing. Even if you don’t think you’ve sweated, a quick 5 mins minimum.
2. Laundry sanitiser for your clothes in addition to detergent. Often it’s clothes that harbour the most bacteria.
This is a great answer!
I’m in HR and have had to have this conversation with a couple of people before. No one wants to have the conversation, it’s hell on everyone involved, however there is no reason to feel shame or embarrassment. Thankfully there are ways to take care of the issue.
There are two conversations that NEVER get easier:
1. telling people they smell
2. telling people they are fired/let go.
Sometimes telling people they are fired [does get easier.](https://youtu.be/eyv4VumXsWo)
Not to hijack the thread, but hoping I can learn from OP and from those who have had to tell someone...
A teen girl I mentor has a BO issue. I think she uses "natural" deodorant, and we live in a hot, humid climate, so it gets more pronounced over the course of the day.
Her homelife is difficult and she would definitely take this as major criticism from her parents. Is there a way for me, as her mentor, to let her know and recommend a different deodorant, without hurting her self esteem?
Edit: Your responses gave me an idea- constructive input very welcome.
What if I made the conversation generic? And had samples for us to try together? Like, "hey, I want to try these and would like some input. Will you try them with me?"
And then we can use each one for a couple weeks at a time? Also, we like to walk together, and I could use this as a reason to walk together.
And it can be a learning thing (intrinsic) instead of me telling her what she's doing isn't working (extrinsic)?
I switched to natural deodorant about a year ago. I have constantly asked my husband and another dear friend (both who would frankly tell me if i smell) and they promise they dont notice. If your mentee is very serious about natural deodorant, I absolutely recommend Little Seed Farm- they even give free samples to try! They’re also a super sustainable company who aims uses as many recycle products as possible.
Someone else mentioned reapplying- I do find I apply at morning and at night to help control smell. Maybe encourage reapplying? (There is also a serious “adjustment period” when switching to natural deodorant. Did your mentee just begin using natural deodorant? It may get better with time, but you should absolutely mention it.
Little seed farm is the BEST!
Ah yes. I know Toms is a pretty popular brand when it comes to natural deodorant. I’ve been around people who use it, and it does NOT work.
I understand people want to stay away from harmful chemicals, but having BO is far more concerning for me.
Unfortunately for a lot of people (like myself) natural deodorants are the only thing we can use. I’ve tried every brand under the sun and they all give me a horrible rash/hives
Does the crystal/rock one break you out as well? I had issues with lots of brands (some developing over time), and this one seems very non-reactive.
I haven’t tried that as I was looking for just clear sticks. I actually just get the men’s Toms called Mountain Fresh or something. It’s not musky like Old Spice, it’s actually pretty clean neutral smelling. I live in the Devil’s Armpit of Texas and the deodorant does really well in the oppressive heat and humidity
I totally misread your comment but I just want to say if a company ever wanted to market insanely strong deodorant, they should call it "Devil's Armpit" for the effect
I live in Texas and use the salt crystal deodorant and it works well for a few hours/longer if I’m not active. Then I start to smell it on me but I’ve straight up asked my sister to smell my pits when I was overwhelmed by the smell and she said she didn’t smell anything. I plan on double checking soon to make sure but I’m not sure what to do if she says I smell, it seems like I’ve tried everything.
Oh yeah, Tom's didn't work for me but Arm and Hammer Essentials does. I particularly enjoy the rosemary lavender scent. I work all day outside in a thick-fabric uniform and I don't smell at the end of the day. I melt. I sweat. But I don't smell.
Arm and Hammer was great for me.. until it wasn't. I liked it because it was one of the only "gender neutral" scent options (I don't care about the "gender" of a scent I just don't personally like floral or baby powder scented deodorants, nor the very strongly woodsy or herbal, so basically any deodorant labeled "for women"). I believe it was the consistent use of essential oils that eventually built up a sensitivity which caused irritation similar to when I used to use antiperspirant.
I just use Old Spice now. It doesn't have EOs, Aluminum, or Bicarbonate.
I second the Arm and Hammer deodorant. I've probably tried a whole slew of natural deodorants and that is the only one that works for me (for reference, I live in a hot, humid, tropical climate). Worth a try to see if it works with your body chemistry!
I never found the natural ones to work, tried many. Now I put a small sprinkle (small! Or it burn) of baking soda on whichever natural deodorant and it works perfectly all day.
I just have a small salt shaker of baking soda next to my deo and sprinkle it onto the stick before putting it on.
I use natural deodorant and live in a hot humid climate. Some naturals don’t handle stress sweat well at all, maybe that’s part of the problem? Ones that work for me are Crystal (I like the roll on for ease, and the lavender scent is nice) and Primally Pure. Sometimes I have to re-up on the crystal, that’s when the roll on is super convenient. Primally Pure has NEVER let me down, but it’s a little more pricy and is not available in stores. I tried a few others, but these handle stress sweat the best for me. Hope this helps!
I have found that leading by example is often the best option. So it's not about putting her on the spot, but instead bringing up an issue that everyone has to deal with to one degree or another.
Often there's lots of context that can get lost, even "basic" stuff like what someone means by shower. For example some people see shower as meaning stand under the water and then towel yourself off. But other people see it as meaning water plus bodywash plus shaving plus exfoliating plus nine other things that they have stopped considering separate processes like automatically using deoderant after every shower, instead of in the morning. I've run into that with other people who prefer to shower before bed. So they shower and use deoderant and then go to bed, so at work it may have already been 12+ hours, and potentially they were sweating while asleep as well. If they're also wearing their favourite jacket or shoes the odor can easily be coming from those as well.
It's easy for there to be misunderstandings like that, such as if someone says they wash their hair once a week, but don't clarify if that means they shower including wetting and drying their hair every day, or if they just mean shampooing and conditioner and hair products.
Often the problem has actually nothing to do with what people suggest, like asking if she wears deoderant because the issue isn't the deoderant, it may be something like having 3+ days of deoderant layered on top of each other. But people might have a blindspot there because when they say deoderant they're mentally summarizing an entire hygiene process, and when the other person says deoderant they only mean the act of applying it to their armpits.
Same with brushing teeth. It's easy for someone to say they brush teeth when they wake up, but then they eat breakfast afterwards and that's why their breath smells because the person asking if they brush their teeth meant if they brush after eating breakfast.
Would you talk to someone because of one complaint? Or would it need to be multiple instances/different people reporting for you to address it? I’ve always wondered about this!
Usually takes me more than one instance. Hell, I’ve had days where I’ve had stress sweat so bad that I’ve used hand sanitizer, it happens lol.
The thing is, you have to check in if it’s ongoing. Strong BO can be a symptom of mental health issues, homelessness or insecurity, or an underlying medical issue. I care about the people I work with, I’m not trying to embarrass, just to help.
Gotcha, you sound very caring! I got an email from HR once for wearing too much perfume 🤦🏼♀️ it was definitely embarrassing but the rep did let me know that it was multiple complaints all from one person so I figured it just didn’t agree with someone (I’d also been layering products, like same shower gel, lotion, perfume all one scent) so as soon as I dialed it back to just one spritz it seemed to fix the problem. I did appreciate her telling me that though, so I knew it wasn’t like the entire office was talking about me or something.
Aw man when I was going through a really hard time, I had stress sweat constantly and had no idea it was a real thing and thought something was severely wrong with me.
I manage a restaurant and have had to have this conversation. It was the employees who complained & came to me . I’m sure HR was much nicer about it than fellow employees would be. And it was done in private. So take the advice and move on! No one will remember in a few weeks. I promise!
I don't remember where but I heard somewhere to wash armpits with a benzyl peroxide acne face wash, apparently it helps kill the bacteria and stop the smell. Bought some recently and will try it out to see if it works, especially now in the summer.
Be careful with that because it can bleach clothing
I use a toner with salicylic acid. Stridex pads would work
I heard it from Dr. Dray who's a derm on YouTube! I've been doing this and find that it works :)
It's not an antibiotic so bacteria can't get resistant to it they way they can to antibiotics, so you can use it for the long term
Benzoyl peroxide can be drying but even a short contact time is enough too make a different
YES! That's who it was thank yoU! Glad to hear it works. Will try it thanks!
(technically bacteria can become resistant to anything depending on the circumstances!)
Well, it's very difficult for bacteria to resist heat, alcohol, or radiation. Those kind of things cause cell death via mechanisms that would kill almost anything, and any extremophiles that would survive those conditions would have a hard time infecting people.
THIS!!!!!! I struggled with body odor for years and discovering this completely changed my life
Now the trick is, how do you do this with sensitive skin that can't handle even slightly harsh chemicals. Like anything beyond water and gentle fragrance free soap with lotion mixed in (like Dove) and baby laundry soap with like 4 ingredients is too much..
Body: use your regular soap but make sure to use a washcloth/loofah/some sort of scrubbing cloth. I like the nylon ones that you can get at asian supermarkets, because they dry quick and you can toss them in the wash. Make sure to scrub your armpits, feet and privates, as well as any parts of your body that tend to get sweaty and trap odor, like skin folds.
Laundry: dump a cup of vinegar in the wash with your regular detergent. It will defunk clothes (don't worry it won't smell like vinegar after)
Edit: also, make sure to wash your towels and sheets regularly, once a week is ideal. Funky towels or bathrobes will make you smell funky as you dry.
I would work with a dermatologist to find what works for your skin. In the short term, it may be annoying and cost more but long term, you'll be happy you went through the effort.
If you don't want to go that route, look into Vanicream. They make body wash, shampoo & conditioner, face wash, moisturizer, etc. and it's very gentle on the skin with no fragrance whatsoever (which is a common irritant for those of us with sensitive skin). It's strong enough to remove dirt and oil without stripping the skin or causing irritation for me.
As for laundry detergent, wash with a fragrance-free detergent and use the smallest effective amount (try using half of what is recommended and see if your clothes still get clean). If you are getting irritation from laundry detergent, it's from residue on your clothing and you might be using too much detergent. You can also add a vinegar rinse (instead of softener) to soften your clothing and remove as much residue as possible. You might need to [strip your laundry](https://www.maytag.com/blog/washers-and-dryers/what-is-laundry-stripping.html) if you've been using too much detergent for a long time.
>You might need to [strip your laundry](https://www.maytag.com/blog/washers-and-dryers/what-is-laundry-stripping.html) if you've been using too much detergent for a long time.
Wow I never heard of this before thanks
Thank you! You're right I'm just going to have to fix this issue. Will start using shower gel too
Another tip for deodorant removal, or basically destinking your pits even after a shower, in case everything's not quite removed... I have pure white vinegar in a spray bottle. Sometimes I spray my armpits with it and scrub them good. The vinegar smell dissipates once it dries, and I feel like that helps remove any residue that might have built up.
Also vinegar in your laundry. Great deodorizer and laundry booster
That's where the rest of my 1 gallon jug lives!
So good for towels that get a musty smell!
How much vinegar?
usually 1/4 to 1/2 cup. depending on the size of the load
I also sometimes use stridex on my pits as a quick odor killer when I haven’t showered in a couple days (drought where I live and I WFH) m.
Yup for really stinky after gym says vinegar is the only thing that will work for me.
What is laundry sanitizer? I have never heard of it
There’s Lysol laundry sanitizer, but I found oxiclean odor blaster powder plus Tide sport to really be the best.
Be careful with tide sport because sometimes it makes your clothes smell so much worse when you sweat in them. It hasnt happened with every batch but a few times to me so far to be noticeable
I have to add baking soda and vinegar to my husband's laundry because detergent alone won't do the job on removing odors from his clothes. He stinks much less since I started doing this. It's also a good regime for de-funking bath towels and for getting cat pee smells out of blankets.
make sure to dry your clothing right away too
I like to think of it this way. It you don’t scrub the hell out of your pits, back if your ears, back of your neck, your ass, and between your toes, you are doing it wrong.
There’s nothing nicer then showering everyday and getting every little spot nice and clean!
Add on, be sure to change undergarments at least daily. I probably go through 3 pairs of panties / thongs per day: change out of the ones I slept in, workout pair, post-shower workday pair.
I know this sounds weird, but I use an antibacterial soap on scrub gloves in my arm pits, rinse, and then use feminine probiotic wash. It’s helped a lot and I haven’t had to switch deodorant brands multiple times a year.
I ALWAYS pay extra attention to my armpits because generally I’m a super sweaty person and depending on which deodorant I’m using - sometimes I’m RIPE. I’ll usually give my whole body her usual exfoliating scrub and then ✨revisit✨ problem areas.
Speaking of deodorant - because I’m so sweaty, I tend to lean on aluminum heavy deodorants because they smell pretty. BUT in the summer months I tend to find that non aluminum (specifically Crystal brand) works best for me when I use it RIGHT after showering/exfoliating. I’m currently at n the desert where it’s 100°F at 10pm and not concerned. So, for anyone still reading my rant - don’t be afraid to play around with deodorant also! Deodorant (aluminum or not) tends to work better on exfoliated skin. 🙂
On the topic of the shower body puff, I actually keep a separate one that I use JUST for my armpits to remove leftover deodorant. I don’t like the idea of it building up on the one that I use on the rest of my body. Maybe that’s overkill? But I thought I’d share the idea anyways 😊
Also make sure you are washing your clothes and changing them everyday. They can hold odours as well. I'm sorry you've been dealing with depression, sending positive vibes your way. Take care of yourself ❣️
Thank you so much! Today has actually been a horrible day for me but I guess nothing else to do but hold on
Body odor happens to everyone especially in the summer please dont feel bad about it :) hopefully this makes you smile: ome time a really good friend noticed ghe smell of my laundry day outfit olus stress sweat and said they could smell a skunk :P what might help is watch a fun skincare or makeup video to get you in the modd to shower, treat yourself to some nice shower products I finh shaving helps with the odor try the venus spa breeze shaver it smells incredible! for soap dove pomegranate soap looks cute smells fresh, hydrates is ergonomic. Afterwards reward yiurself with something (like a funny video)
This actually happened to me in early college. I had just escaped abuse from my family and I wasn’t taking care of myself at all. I must’ve smelled a long time before I finally figured it out. No one ever told me.
But well I changed things up and I don’t smell anymore. Usually. If I do then I know somethings up lol. I also wear deodorant during the summer but not as much during the winter. I don’t have strong armpit BO.
Obvious recommendation here is showering daily and deodorant, but I’d say even more important is to make sure you’re ALWAYS wearing clean clothes. Clothes with sweat on them can smell worse than regular sweat and make it much more noticeable.
I had a coworker who usually smelled totally fine, unless she wore the same clothes two days in a row. Then she had a very noticeable BO smell, and I’m 100% positive it was coming from her clothes/shirts. Do laundry very regularly and try to not wear the same shirt more than once to work. And pay attention to your bras too, make sure they’re getting washed regularly as well!
>And pay attention to your bras too,
There's nothing worse than when a bra seemingly passes the sniff test, then a couple hours later you realize that it fucking smells. And now you're stuck with your own stench hoping no one gets too close to you.
Keep in mind that your nose is almost completely blind to your own weird smells, like how smelling a stranger’s gas is way worse than smelling your own.
If you can smell yourself… everyone else already has.
Aww man really? Because that sucks
Haha when your tits stink ain’t no one is having a good time!
this is really important. as a teen I would shower religiously for some reason I'd always still smell. then I discovered my washing machine was actually just super ineffective and the smell was stuck on my clothes. soaking them in diluted white vinegar for a few hours and then giving them a wash will remove any smelly bacteria and buildup
Ah yea. Smelling like mildew is something I’ve noticed on other people before. They don’t seem to notice it.
If people aren’t regularly leaving their washing machine open for ventilation, leaving their wet clothes in there for too long, you will most likely get nasty smelling clothes.
Yes!! Piggybacking on this comment because I used to have an issue with this and it was 100% my clothes. I used to go so far as to spray febreeze on the pits before and after washing, but it never helped :( I used to get terrible sweat stains as well.
The issue for me turned out to be the material my shirts were made of. I was buying cheap plasticky tees, the material made me sweat more and also held the smell forever. These days I try to avoid cheaper tops unless they’re also quite loose / sleeveless so my under arms can breathe. Even 15 years later with my stringent washing / strong deodorant, the smell still comes back instantly if I wear the wrong type of top.
Also, I buy most of my tops secondhand these days, so I can get nicer material without having to pay so much for them! I was so surprised how many $100 tops and dresses sell on eBay for like $15.
Those cheaper fabrics can be washed clean with something like Defunkify to remove the residue and stink. I def had that problem before.
Watch your fabrics too. Nylon and polyester reek to high heavens.
Clean towels too! Drying off after bathing with a dirty towel will cause the smell to rub off onto you.
And check even your clean clothes! I had one shirt that absolutely absorbed any and all BO, and I was never able to wash it out. I didn’t notice after wearing a time or two, but after the third time, and even cleaned, it still stunk. So, it could just be one of your shirts if hygiene isn’t helping.
On top of regular detergent I love throwing a scoop of oxiclean in there. It gets rid of anything stinky.
Ive used about 14 different deodorants and none have worked for me so I had to get a dermatologist prescribe me Drysol. Maybe that would help you? If it’s a regular deodorant you want, the only one that even slightly worked on me was the Love Beauty And Planet (rose scent) brand.
I also highly recommend a sugar scrub for your armpits. Sometimes smells and stuff just linger with regular soap and body wash. The brand Tree Hut is great. They sell it at Ulta and Walmart both. The one I got was called sugar fantasy, smells delicious and works so well for armpit smells.
It’s okay, sometimes it’s a hormonal thing too. Bodies are weird. Tomorrow is a new day! Good luck to you :))
I was thinking the same with getting a strong anti perspirant. Certain dri is avaliable in a lot of places and completely stops sweat. I would be lost without it. I use another deodorant as well just because I like the smell, but certain dri truly saved me from dealing with excessive sweat and smell
I’ve tried certain dri and sometimes it works perfectly, but other times it doesn’t work at all. Do you have any tips? Idk if I’m applying it right or whatever
So back when I started I used it every night before bed. It is kinda itchy and painful (some people think it's fine and don't feel much, but it usually was itchy for me) so it helps not to shave beforehand. After awhile the active ingredients kind of build up and you should be able to use it less often. At this point I only do it once a week.
The roll on is much more powerful so make sure you get that. And then just roll on enough to cover your armpit. I usually try and let it dry a little before putting a shirt back on or anything like that. I have heard it might take consistent use to work well but I can't remember what it was like for me since it was so long ago!
This has happened to me, too. It's humiliating! So I feel for you. I went to the doctor and it turned out I'm one of the rare people who gets rank odor from taking SSRIs (antidepressants) and of course I couldn't smell it myself. I've also reacted that way to some birth control pills. If you're on any medications at all, or have any chronic illness that can affect odor (hormone disorders, chronic yeast infections, BV, diabetes, etc.), it's worth talking to your doctor about the issue.
Other than that, I use a tea tree body wash to ensure any fungal-prone areas (pits, under heavy boobs) are sanitized. I use a dandruff shampoo every day for 8 weeks and now every week or so for maintenance (dandruff is often a fungal scalp infection, it can have odor). Showering in the mornings, using a strong deodorant/antiperspirant, always making sure your clothes are freshly cleaned. I really like Tide Hygiene detergent as it's antibacterial, so even clothes washed on cold come out smelling nice.
At my summer job in... 2010 I think, a new guy started. He had some BO issues. We asked the boss to talk to him. It got better.
Married him in 2015. It's not the end of the world, babe.
I think many people on this thread are saying "deodorant" when they mean "antiperspirant". If you are not aware of the difference here it is:
Antiperspirant blocks the sweat glands.
Deodorant covers or minimizes odor.
Choose accordingly. :) Many antiperspirants also are a deodorant.
I was looking for this comment! I was so shocked no one mentioned anti perspirent!
I got this tip from the skincare subreddit. You can use glycolic acid on your armpits and that will kill the bacteria that causes BO. I bought a large bottle of glycolic acid from The Ordinary for like $8 and it works like a charm. I apply it every morning with a cotton round and then wait for it to dry before applying deodorant.
I would also recommend an actual anti-bacterial soap or bar soap in the shower. You can always use body wash after the soap for your skin. Make sure you keep your loofah (or whatever you use) fresh too because bacteria grows on that really quickly. I switched from a loofah to an actual washcloth recently and found it works just as well and I’m getting more out of my body wash because it soaks into the fabric rather than rinsing through the holes in the loofah netting.
Ah I commented the same thing before reading your reply. Glycolic acid is everything when it comes to odor prevention. Never found a better deodorant and I doubt I ever will!
In addition to the great comments here, make sure your bedding is clean as well!
And also your towel from your shower! Make sure you’re hanging it up after you use it and swapping it out/washing it every few days.
I worked in HR and had this conversation with a ton of people. Its definitely not unusual and no one is judging you for it. Obviously right now its important to make sure the problem is addressed from your end. Most of the people we received complaints aboutmmm,no r t5 5⁵ twere?mmm??p the same people over and over.
showering consistently is a good general rule of thumb. you can try out different deodorants as well to see what works if your original choice isn’t quite cutting it. i’ve worked with people who had more noticeable BO and i don’t think HR ever said a word to them so i’m surprised you had to deal with that situation. don’t beat yourself up tho, everyone is human.
Yeah I'm definitely shocked but I also havent been taking care of myself that well so i understand. I'm just upset it's affected others enough to be a complaint/issue. Thanks for the kind words
I can promise that once the issue is fixed, it'll be forgotten. One of my coworkers had pretty bad BO for a while.. he was obviously going through some stuff. I don't know if he ever got talked to by HR or management. I read this thread and started wondering if I'd ever had a coworker with BO issues and only then remembered. It's not the kind of thing other people think about unless it's an active issue.
When you're falling down on taking care of yourself, it can be helpful to shift your perspective from "dammit, I don't feel like showering" to being about what you deserve: "You know what? I Ddeserve fresh clean skin and a steamy hot shower where my problems melt away."
My coworker picked his nose once when he forgot his camera was on. He was mortified but no one really cares or thinks about it today. My first office mate covered himself in cologne, my eyes would water in the same cubicle with him and folks would make excuses to leave.
In all of those cases I am way too busy with my own bullshit to keep worring about others when it's done. And I've had mental health issues of my own, I'd never judge someone who is falling behind on keeping up with everything. As much as you can just be nice to yourself and trust that folks really wont keep thinking about it. And that it's ok to get behind sometimes, lots of folks have been there.
Make sure you're also keeping up with dental hygiene too (flossing, brushing teeth morning & night, scrape your tongue too). Dental issues can also cause funky odors along with health issues.
Since you have great advice already, I’ll just say that I’m proud of you for posting this and asking for help! Sounds like taking care of yourself lately has been extra hard, but making this post is a great step in self-care. Sending you all the love and good energy!
One thing to mention- if you have a front loading washing machine, wipe down the door gaskets regularly. They can mildew and make your entire wardrobe smell funky.
It's a shocking, but I'm glad someone told you and you're taking steps to fix the situation. I worked with someone who had serious BO issues and NO ONE ever told him. He went off to a new job but sometimes the group meets up in larger or smaller meetups. I still avoid small meetings at people's homes if he's invited because it can be too much. At larger ones I can usually rotate and mingle and get away from it. At this point it feels like it's too late to tell him :(
Maybe you should tell him? I feel like he’d appreciate it. Poor dude.
Moving forward: hold your head high, your are doing well at work. Smells are easily fixable.
I am obsessed with smelling like nothing because scents good and bad cause migraines for me. Yes, I got a migraine because I smelled my own sweat.
Nature's miracle, the enzymes spray for pet smells is rather handy for taking care of sweaty clothes before they get washed. I use it on most of my clothes. Your other clothes might pick up funk if they share the same hamper before laundry day. Test it on a corner or inside seam for fancy fabrics
What are you eating? Are you sweating garlic? Are you gassy from foods? Are you willing to change your diet up a bit? Try an anti-inflammatory diet. If you are doing keto you probably smell a little funky if you don't have macros right.
Wear socks in your shoes or spray them daily.
Consider changing your antiperspirant for a deodorant. I use unscented Lume deodorant, currently, and it works really well for keeping smells away but still letting my body sweat. I also like deodorant towelettes for refreshing after a warm commute.
Netipot your nose. If you have congestion or perma-allergies, irrigating your sinuses will freshen your breath and help you breathe better. Consider something like Flonase to keep stuff clear.
Do you get tonsil stones? Little human pearls that cough up from your throat that smell like death? Either get into digging them out of your tonsil crypts or get a tonsillectomy. I got a tonsillectomy and life is so much better.
Brush and floss your teeth. Brush your tongue.
Try an antifungal body wash. You might have an infection that doesn't hurt but maybe alters your natural smell. It's also great after working out.
Get rid of old scented lotions. They might still smell okay out of the bottle but they can turn rancid on your skin. Don't put your hands, even clean, into the lotion bottle. That can affect the lotions' scent.
Perfumes have a shelf life.
If showering daily is hard, invest in hiking wipes. Give your privates and pits a swipe, wash your face.
Wash your hair once a week at least. Pay attention to hair products. Not all smell good together. I managed to smell like a skunk, once,, because my hairspray did not go with my gel and conditioner.
As others have said, more than likely this is coming from your clothing, not from you. Here’s some things to keep in mind:
- always wear clean clothes that have been freshly laundered
- consider hanging your clothes to keep them nice and aired out rather than folded in a cramped drawer
- hot water and heat kills odours (this is because odour is caused by bacteria and the heat is needed to kill the bacteria) - make sure you are washing them with enough heat
- some kinds of fibres hold more odour than others! In particular, anything synthetic such as polyester or nylon will hold onto odours much more easily. Natural fibres - cotton, linen, wool, silk - do not hold odours as easily. Semi-synthetics such as rayon, tencel/lyocell are somewhere in between the two. 99% of clothes sold in most stores these days is all polyester. :(
I see above you said that depression may be a factor.... I have read online (but not tested myself) that vodka in a spray bottle can be a great quick and easy fabric deodoriser. The alcohol in the vodka will kill the bacteria but apparently it dries scentless. Look it up online, there are suggestions from different blogs for mixing it up with essential oils, etc. In addition to everything above, this might be a nice option for just giving the armpits of your clothing a good spray in the morning just to make sure you’re all clear.
Good luck !!
Edits to add one more tip: BORAX is great for killing odours! It’s super cheap and comes in powder form in a box. You can add a bit to your laundry with your soap or straight up soak things in it overnight then wash them if you want to get hardcore about it.
Vodka in a spray bottle is what we use in theatrical costuming! When there's not time to wash costumes (like matinee performances) or for very delicate costumes vodka is your best friend.
We use a similar mixture in mascoting, 1 part vodka and 1 part listerine. I’m happy that others use similar stuff!
Seconding Borax, it's amazing at de-funkifying even the funkiest of smells
I use a clinical strength deodorant, just from the supermarket because I’m paranoid about having BO
Try Lume or Kosas deodorant. They work great for odor.
I second this - Lume has been a total game changer for me. With normal deodorant, after a few hours, I would smell like BO mixed with perfume. With Lume, my armpits just smell like nothing, even after hours in the heat. My boyfriend was so impressed that he ordered himself some!
I've been wanting to try Lume, but I get non stop ads from them and have been turned off from it. Like it can't possibly be the miracle product that I get yelled at about around 15 times a day
That’s fair! Their ads are super aggressive, and I always found it weird that everyone in them uses the word “coochie,” haha. This random Redditor definitely thinks it’s worth a try, though!
Yes! Lume is awesome! I'm sensitive to fragrances so I use the unscented kind and it's great. It really works.
Seems like you got a lot of good advice about deodorant and laundry. I wanted to mention using glycolic acid for the odor as well!
I get a bottle of glycolic acid from the ordinary (its cheap and a large size bottle) to use on my legs and arm pits. The acid kills the bacteria or something from your sweat and it stops it from smelling. You'll still sweat, but you won't smell it.
I haven’t read all the comments yet but I highly recommend stridex wipes (red box) for arm pits and boob sweat. It dries really quickly and then you can put on deodorant. For feet the no-show footie socks are a game changer when wearing flats.
I'm glad that you are not embarrassed, you really shouldn't be. It's a pretty common problem and it is always hard to tell someone that they have BO -- you can find *so* many Reddit threads asking for advice about how to go about it. I'm so glad they did it discreetly and gently! It has nothing to do with your worth as a person and you have no reason to feel embarrassed.
I straight-up carry scented hand sanitizer to use on my pits through the day (nothing too aggressive). I've also carried a tiny amount of body wash/soap (MARSHMALLOW PEPPERMINT, woo!) to freshen up during the day in the bathroom sink, hahah. I use deodorant and all of that, but some days are rough, humid, laborious/etc, so these methods work for me!
Everyone else has great advice. Want to add- if you have decent size to larger boobs well under boob sweat is a real thing lol my tactic is to fold up a couple paper towels and stick them underneath your bra. Then during the day you can go to the bathroom and throw them away and put new ones in. Trust me having a disposable “liner” helps to keep your bra from absorbing your sweat and starting to smell!
I had this happen at my job a few years ago.... turns out the culprit was my shoes. I had never been taught to wash them. :/
Thanks, childhood neglect.
Wait... Shoes are supposed to be washed???
Depends on the shoes. Most trainers can go in the machine in a bag, or pillow case, on a gentle wash. If you're wearing and sweating in the same leather shoes every day they won't have time to dry out in-between. Synthetics hold on to smells.
You can put bicarbonate of soda in them and leave them for a good 24 hours to help reduce smells.
I usually have to have a deodorant with antiperspirant. Keeps control underarm smell and wetness. I also apply it under my boobs during the summer and I keep an extra with me to put on extra when I need it.
I also take 1.5 sometimes 2 showers a day during my period. I think my hormones mess with my BO.
Although this applies more to laundry (which can also cause / contribute to) odor… may I suggest white vinegar in your rinse cycle? And maybe a double rinse?
Quite a many washers (especially the newer ones) don’t get *all* of the detergent out and it builds up and can start to funk even though we might not realize it. This happens with towels rather often because they’re meant to be absorbent.
Pour a bit (1/4-1/2 cup) white vinegar in where you’d normally put liquid softener (NOT where you put the bleach). Please note that vinegar and bleach are a big no no as together, they make chlorine gas ([science trends source: bleach and ammonia are a deadly combination](https://sciencetrends.com/bleach-and-ammonia-a-deadly-combination/)).
Always put the white vinegar in the softener dispenser and NEVER at the same time or in the same load as bleach.
Also, you can use a washer clean cycle with a cup of white vinegar by itself to clean the washer. Washers get a funk too because they clean clothes… but what cleans *the washer?* This also works with dishwashers - you just put the vinegar in a liquid measuring cup on the top rack and run it normally, to clean.
I found a while back that my shirts hold onto sweat smell, and eventually it builds up, so my shirt smells even if I technically don’t.
Using a scrub once a week or so on my underarms and changing up deodorant helps me, but the oxiclean stain remover spray, sprayed in the pits right before washing gets it out better than vinegar, baking soda, anything. I only need to do it once a month maybe in summer, probably less in winter.
Friend of mine told me the same 2 days ago. I'm a slob though, wasn't surprised, but did thank him for letting me know.
The part that bothered me is all those other people who kept silent.
You got a self improvement tip, run with it ;)
Oh mate, what a day! That can’t have been easy to hear or experience. But I’m glad by looking at your comments that it seems to have spurred you into action and taking more care of yourself. And like everyone else has said, it will totally be forgotten soon enough.
I do feel I should mention that ‘body odour’ could also refer to more than just your pitties. Make sure that your lady parts are all good too- some women can suffer from BV and not be aware of the…ahem…aroma. Just thought I’d mention as I couldn’t see it brought up anywhere in the thread.
You’ve got this! Put your cleanest big girl pants on and hold your head up high!
I know how it can feel to have someone make a comment about body odour one time it was laundry day and it was a stressful day of renovations (andstress sweat seens to smell stronger) I unexpectantly saw a good friend and they say oh my god what that smel....
Also check your shirts to see if there's build up deodorant there. I don't use the white/powder ones anymore because of that.
What’s your diet like? I don’t usually have body odour, but if I haven’t been keeping my food in check, I start to get a little odorous. Only mentioning this because everyone seems to have mentioned everything else!
Sometimes hormonal changes can change your BO. Sometimes my armpits are little stink factories no matter what I do. I learnt what works for me is to wipe my freshly washed and dried armpits with a bit of rubbing alcohol. The alcohol kills all the bacteria whose poop make the BO smell. I only have to do that every so often so it’s not too drying to my skin. Also try treating the underarms of your work shirts with a baking soda scrub before you throw them in the wash. Your detergent might not be washing away all the sweat and when your body warms up the shirt it warms up the smell as well.
If you wake up at some point feeling bad or embarrassed please remember that every human has to deal with this at some point and you’re lucky that you have someone in your life kind enough to tell you.
Shower daily and use some acne body wash with Salacytic Acid 2% for the pits and feet . Make sure to wash your butt with a gentle body wash I use Sebamed Face and body wash and throughly scrub your skin. Out of the shower you can put baby powder in between your butt to help keep fresh longer throughout the day. Make sure to use an anti-perspirant deodorant if you already don't or try clinical strength one if you do.Oral hygiene cheap electric toothbrush and some fluoridated mouthwash along with flossing as often as you can. Try to avoid wearing the same shoes in a row to let them air out. You may be unlucky enough that you can't rewear clothes a second day even after airing out a few days in between. This also includes bras you may want to have a few on rotation during the week to air out and swap every other day or more. If you have a friend at work your close with you can always ask for them to do a sniff test for odors. I like to keep an extra deodorant at work for the occasional day I forget to put it on at home, along with gum and mouthwash. Also sometimes people suffer from stinky wet hair if it doesn't dry properly they get that mildew smell so check to see if your prone to that. Last thing is your towels change them out often my bfs towels get a mildew smell and he gets nose blind to it and I'll go by him later in the day and smell it on his skin despite having showered that morning. So we change out his towel twice a week. Make sure your laundry machine isn't the cause either and if so vinegar can fix you right up. Oh and having a morning shower routine can make a huge difference especially if you don't change out your bed sheets often enough.
Heya! Smelly girl here, sorry this happened to you. Something that helps me is daily showers and keeping my underarms shaved. I find that when they're unshaved they smell a bit more.
Also recommend a t-shirt for commuting and changing at work. I live in a hot and humid place, and its sometimes impossible to help the smell, so i wear a t-shirt for my commute (train) and change in the office. Also gives me a chance to use scented wipes to help the smell.
Talcom powder after showers can also help.
Firstly I sympathise.
I have sweating problem. The most little effort make me sweat. If I am a little late on the morning I panicked and sweat a lot.
Clothes for work. I keep a t-shirt for the transport and change it when I arrive at work, and the same when I leave work. So my « transportation » t shirt can have yellow or white mark in the armpits because of sweating (stressed because I am late, crowned bus that makes air very hot, going to work by foot,…) whereas I can keep my working clothes clean.
And finally, don’t overthinking it. Your HR was very kind to tell you quietly like this. Don’t feel shameful. And I am sure that people that smelled it before will quickly forget. If they complain to HR, it’s surely because they don’t want to embarrassed you.
Lots of great advice in this thread, but also, don't stress about this too much. I've been the one to approach HR about stuff like this and it's because I wanted to make sure my coworkers were doing okay. If someone doesn't have access to laundry or bathing facilities, we can totally resolve that and help someone out. If a person is having issues with their mental health, we can get them the resources they need.
I've started to keep my "nice" work clothes completely separate from everything else, too. That way I don't have to wash them constantly (which keeps them looking newer for longer), and they won't absorb smells from other parts of the house. (Like garlic from the kitchen) Then two or three spritzes of body spray before I go in to work. (Not perfume, just cheap spray.)
If you're working somewhere that has it's own smells, like food service or a wood shop or something, a few drops of dish soap can help break up grease and odors. Also in this case, you will have to wash your clothes after every wear. You may need a heavier duty detergent.
Try to shower right before you go in, too. It sounds like you pretty much know how to take care of yourself, you just need to make it a habit. If your phone is water-resistant, take it with you to shower and watch an episode of your favorite show to get you hyped. Brooklyn 99 and Bob's Burgers are my go-to for before work, since both main characters are generally excited about what they do. It helps get me into the right mindset, lol.
You'll be alright. Likely, the person who initially made the report just had your best interests in mind, and it's probably already been forgotten.
Hello OP, I’m sorry you had to experience this. I’ve looked through most of the thread and it’s usually focused on laundry and showering. I would like to offer up two more suggestions.
First one is glycolic acid for your underarms. Straight after a shower. Kills the smelly bacteria under there. Better than any deodorant I’ve ever used because it leaves no odor to de-oderise. I am a huge fan of Nip&Fab’s Glycolic Acid Pads. Had trouble finding them for a bit in my country so I cut them in half and use them after every shower. Just run it under my underarms. There was a time before corona where I was sent somewhere with 34-40C heat with little chance of showering and I swear to you my clothes would still smell clean after a 3-4 days.
Second one might be a bit more difficult but it’s avoiding smelly foods. Less garlic, less onions, less spices. Whatever you eat is reflected in your body odor. I can tell when my close friends and family have recently eaten something “smelly” because their scent becomes less pleasant.
Hoping you can figure out this delicate issue soon.
Certain materials don't hold in stink as much as others. I'm a big fan of merino wool. Idk what kind of setting you're in or what the attire needs to be like
it’s important along with showering to keep your clothes washed. you’d be surprised at how much they can stink, and you could be used to it because you’re around it 24/7
Run your washing machine on a 60 C cycle at least once a month to keep it fresh. Kills any bacteria etc that might be living in it.
If you have a day here and there where you just can't drag yourself into the shower, wash your pits and your hoohah from the bathroom sink with a washcloth. It's better than nothing. Hang in there.
I personally shower twice a day. When it's hot it helps. Also shave and get a good deodorant.
Does shaving reduce the smell of BO? That might help too
While this may be tmi, it def answers the question. I have very hairy armpits and not only does it trap the smell, it keeps the deodorant/antiperspirant from working at it's full capacity! Waxing my armpits was the best thing I ever did for myself. Literally 10 seconds of pain per pit and weeks hair free. $15 for both pits (minus the tip) and the lady was so sweet even though I was really nervous bc it was my first time and my armpits were a straight up JUNGLE lol. Forget the embarrassment, they have seen it all and more, your armpits will be smoother than a shave :)
Shaving will get rid of the hairs that can trap odors.
I would like to add on that if you do plan on washing multiple times a day invest in a good shower cap!
I already commented but as I read more comments I want to add lume is also great, but kinda $$$. Layering scents is also incredibly helpful - by this I mean finding a lotion with a scent that matches your body wash and putting it on after you shower. Bath and body works has great scents that last all day. I love their aromatherapy line. But St Ives lotions and soaps are also great at a very accessible price point. I personally don’t like scented sprays because in my experience it just kinda masks smell and then combines with whatever might be coming from my clothes/pits/etc.
I’m sorry this happened, but as I read the other comments it seems clearer this a pretty routine yet uncomfortable HR convo so please don’t get too hard on yourself. Hugs to you!
I see a lot of good advice in here, but I'd like to add that you may need to swap to a different brand of deodorant! Sometimes the one you have just doesn't work, or stops working after a while
You don't have to be mortified and it's something that you can work on.
Along with the usual like showering blah blah also be aware of what you eat because certain condiments can influence your odour like garlic for example and I would recommend applying a perfumed body lotion that compliments your natural scent along with a deodorant. They're more likely to last long and tend to be less "over-powering" compared to a normal perfume. Idk if you have hair over there or not but shaving your armpits could help too.
Wash your laundry with baking soda too.
This brings back memories of being in the school nurses office at 12yo and them asking my mum to come in for a chat and telling her about my b.o which I struggled with for years.
I would bath daily and make sure I always wore clean uniform but within 10/20 mins of my day I would be sweating.
I used to use a product called driclor - I checked your post history and made an assumption you're American so not sure this is available to you, but it's marketed to prevent sweating and it helped a lot!
I belive you're supposed to roll it onto non shaved armpits before bed and wash it off the following morning, but this didnt work for me, so I wore it as a deodorant and stayed smell free for upto 2 days if I didnt have a wash/bath
I dont use it anymore, I still suffer with b.o if I don't shower daily (hello lockdown and isolation) but I do use sure women's maximum roll on deodorant stick which can be very good.
I also found some mens deodorants were better as men are "smellier" so their deodorants are made for that.
Please also remember you need antiperspirant, other deodorants will only mask the smell for a short while and in my experience actually make you smell worse.
Sometimes I find my body smell isn't just my armpits, I've gained extra weight and I am in the middle of a heatwave, so I've taken to using a roll on stick on my thighs and under my boobs too.
I've found it be to be trial and error to find the best products for me. Botox can be helpful if you sweat excessive and if this is a new thing, there could actually be a medical reason behind it. It's horrible to be told you smell. Especially if people you're close to don't tell you, but it can be resolved with some changes to your personal care.
Not sure which hemisphere OP is in but it’s been abnormally hot and humid lately and I’d reckon the current climate helps to soften the blow.
Will be burried but important one: hair prevents deodorant to get to your skin and get way more smelly way faster the longer it is.
Give your harmpits a shave / a haircut from time to time to be sure it s not too long.
I use a clarifying shampoo on a loofa to scrub my armpits. This makes sure you’re starting out with nothing on them.
Wash your hair with the same clarifying shampoo at least twice a week but make sure to wash really good in between those washes. You obviously work around people so a shower daily is needed. Skip any perfumes/colognes. All they will do is mess with your natural odor and cause more of a problem.
Antiperspirant (the stronger kind in boxes) will work really well with a clean slate since you have scrubbed your pits.
Make sure your clothes have been washed thoroughly. Put your softener and soap in like you normally would and then pour in white vinegar. Put your settings on “soak” and also “extra rinse”. It will run like normal but be extra clean.
If you need to wash your shoes, please do so. Take out the sole and let that wash with the shoes. Antiperspirant on your feet before you leave if that’s an issue with you.
You should carry a small bag with you and add antiperspirant, toothbrush, toothpaste, any type of dental floss, and a travel mouthwash.
Body odor happens. Don’t let it get to you!
Hopefully one of us has helped.
You just gotta cop it sweet and change up your regime, friend. Hope you're okay. It's a humbling experience and a bit embarrassing but you'll get past it. Try to laugh about it..
Change your bed sheets every 2 weeks (maybe every week if your body chemistry is a bit oily or it's hot where you are, or if you don't wear much to bed). Shower 2 x a day or at least in the morning before you face the world. Get a nice smelling shower soap that you like. Wash hair every couple days. Trial some deodorants. Keep the laundry cycle going.
don't know if you already replied in the comments but it would be helpful to know what your current routine is - you said in the post you "could be showering more regularly and using deodorant" but don't know if thats you agreeing or if that is what was said to you, it's a bit unclear. either way, would be helpful to know what you're doing at the moment so then we can see what you could change or do differently.
I have an issue where my BO can get pretty gnarly and I have to be on top of making sure I can control the smell. I keep extra deodorant with me in purse whenever I catch a whiff and notice myself I need more, or if I just happen to be a in situation where I suddenly feel the need to apply more. However, I noticed I had an issue where even after I wash (with soap + scrubbing) my armpits I can still detect a smell. I had been dealing with it by letting soap sit in my armpits for the whole shower + applying rubbing alcohol directly there, but I recently got served an ad from Lume for a new "acidifying" bodywash. I haven't tried it yet, but it just shipped, and on top of that I've been meaning to try Lume's deodorants as well. Try reading the reviews for Lume products and see if you're interested, because supposedly that's been helping a lot of people with BO issues, even in cases where it was a medical problem.
Anyways, something else that helps me tackle BO when it's an \~emergency\~ (like I notice I smell pretty bad but maybe I don't have extra deo, forgot to apply it, whatever) I try to get a hold of some hand sanitizer with alcohol in it, and apply it directly to my under arms and scrub a bit with my hands or a paper towel. BO happens because there is a bacteria on the skin that likes to eat the stuff inside your sweat, so I figured one day that if hand sanitizer/alcohol kills bacteria, it should help with BO. Tried it one day at school when I forgot to apply deodorant before leaving the house and it worked beautifully. You could also try quickly cleaning your armpits in the sink if you are able to but yeah. If I'm having the issue I mentioned before where I still smell even after washing I'll apply rubbing alchol on a cotton ball to my armpits. But I feel like putting straight alcohol, even hand sanitizer, on such a gentle area prob isn't great in the long run so I am hoping the Lume wash works.
I think there was some p good laundry advice already but yeah, adding vinegar into a load of laundry is great for breaking down smells. There's lots of laundry products out there and lots of ways to use them, so definitely do research into products that help break down enzymes (been getting ads on insta for "rocking green soap", dunno how good it is but maybe you could check that out), whether it's a specialized soap or just adding something like vinegar or some other household item into your laundry. I am someone who will wear things a couple times before I wash them and I don't think it's a bad thing, idk if you do that, but if you do, maybe stop and see if you're pushing certain clothing items too far past the time to clean them - I think we've all done it before but yeah. I do smell tests in the typical areas that get stinky and if I'm ever unsure, I just wash it. Even if you're freshly washed, if you put on clothes that smell funky, you're gonna re-activate that funk in the clothes and now you're smelling funky even after a shower.
- Shave your underarms ( body odour lingers in hair )
- Wash your underarms daily and use deodorant daily
- Shower at least every second day
- If you are going to wear an item multiple times before washing, do a smell test before putting it on.