Several years ago I wrote a post summarizing my results of a year-long experiment in using homemade laundry detergent. One of the challenges I faced in using the detergent was the unpleasant odor of t-shirt collars once they met with a sweaty workout.
Since my original post I’ve read several online blogs where folks were complaining of the same problem and most of the folks were using commercial laundry detergent. Since the problem occurred when using commercial laundry detergent, this meant my homemade laundry detergent wasn’t the culprit, but I still didn’t know how to solve my stinky shirt neck problem.
Vinegar to the Rescue
In roaming around the blog-o-sphere I read somewhere (wish I remembered where so I could give credit where credit is due), to soak the offending shirts in vinegar for ½ hour and then launder as usual. So, I gathered a handful of stinky neck t-shirts, dumped them in a laundry basket and poured vinegar all over them and allowed them to sit for ½ hour. I laundered them as usual (using my homemade laundry detergent) and viola! No more stinky t-shirts! I couldn’t believe how simple the solution was. It only took one soaking and the shirts have remained odor free. If the odor begins to re-appear, I know how to neutralize it.
If you’re suffering from the same stinky t-shirt problem as I had, run to the store, pick up a gallon of vinegar and soak your shirts. The vinegar didn’t harm the clothing and the vinegar smell laundered out with the wash.
Note: If you soak your clothes for longer than ½ hour (as I did because I forgot to set the timer and it was over an hour before I remembered), you may have a hint of vinegar smell after you’ve laundered the clothes. That’s not a problem, just run it through the wash one more time and the smell goes away.