I’ve discussed odors before, back when I covered how to get rid of them from bedrooms and carpets. But I felt it important to cover the topic of body odor and, specifically, how to get rid of it when it lingers on our clothes. There are plenty of natural methods to do that, and I will list them later. However, as an immediate solution, you will need a good, potent freshener spray.
So, if you want a quick way of getting your clothes to smell fresh, you’re in luck. I’ve prepared a list of the best freshener and odor eliminator sprays in 2020 that will work wonders with clothes. In addition, I’ve also provided some DIY sprays and other clothes freshening solutions you can try.
What Is Body Odor?
Most people would link body odor to sweating. Broadly speaking, they wouldn’t be entirely wrong, since sweat is a major component of body odor. However, sweat itself, i.e. the liquid we produce, is odorless. If you were to extract raw sweat from one of the millions of sweat glands in our body, you would get a clear liquid with no scent.
So, what is that unpleasant smell we often associate with sweat? Well, the sweat we produce reacts with the bacteria on our skin. To be precise, it’s the bacteria reacting to the sweat, multiplying at an exponential speed. These microorganisms thrive in moist environments, so the more we sweat, the more body odor we can expect to sense.
Factors like gender, health, our diet, and the medication we take can influence the scent of our body odor. And while we sweat everywhere on our body, there are specific areas where the odor tends to be most prominent. Those areas are:
- The armpits
- Genitals and the groin area
- Hair (anywhere on the body)
- Behind the ears
We wear clothes more than 90% of the time. So, it’s only natural that they will soak up the sweat and start to smell off. Not only is that unpleasant, but the odor can also be extremely difficult to remove. And the most immediate solution is a good freshener spray.
List of the Best Freshener and Odor Eliminator Sprays
1. Caldrea Fabric and Room Spray
Interestingly, Caldrea sprays are regarded as the best on the market, despite competing with some pretty strong brands, as you will see shortly. I was pleasantly surprised when I first tried Caldrea’s fabric and room spray, thinking that it was a little overrated. But I was wrong; not only did my clothes lose their nasty odor but the scent of the spray made them feel fresh and smell heavenly.
Caldrea sprays are made of natural ingredients, including neroli essential oils and lemon. There is nothing artificial about these fresheners, so they’re perfectly safe to use by anyone. In addition, the spray is transparent, so you don’t have to worry about any artificial color residue.
But the best thing about Caldrea is that it’s more than just a clothes freshener. You can use it on your furniture, pillows, comforters, and shoes. In fact, if you have a car, spray a bit of Caldrea inside. I guarantee you that any unpleasant odor will be gone before you know it.
While this might seem like a trivial detail, a lot of people I know have compared the scent of Caldrea to that of rooms at the Four Seasons hotels. It’s similar to another famous scent, the Williams Sonoma. In short, you can’t really go wrong with Caldrea as your first choice.
2. Febreze Fabric Refresher
Most of us have at least heard of Febreze. It’s that spritz bottle that lots of people use to freshen their rooms before they get some well-deserved sleep.
In fact, a study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that less than 50% of people are getting a good night’s sleep and that odors are one of the primary reasons behind it. Febreze sponsored the study, which goes to show you just how committed they are to removing odors and keeping the air around you fresh.
Of course, Febreze has its own line of fabric fresheners. A single bottle of spray can cover everything from pillows to carpets and comforters. Naturally, I had to test it out on my clothes to see if it works, and so far it hasn’t failed to remove any odor. More often than not, a product with as much hype as Febreze doesn’t perform well, but I’m fairly sure that this spray deserves all of the attention it gets.
3. Egyptian Cotton Linen Spray
No parabens, no synthetic colors, no artificial fragrances, no gluten, no GMOs, and zero animal products — that is Egyptian Cotton in a nutshell. It is also a list of reasons why you should definitely get yourself one 16oz bottle of this spray and test it for yourself.
Egyptian Cotton is a linen spray — when you use it, the scent of fresh linen fills the room. That’s why it’s great if you want to spray it on any furniture or carpeting, but it’s just as effective if you merely spritz it into the air. What I love to do is spray a little of the freshener onto clothing I’d just finished ironing. Not only does it keep any odors from lingering, but it also keeps the clothes fresh throughout the day.
Dozens of people I know praise the Egyptian Cotton as the best clothes freshener they ever tried. And considering it’s not as popular as some other brands on this list, I’d say that’s quite an achievement.
4. Bath & Body Works
Bath & Body Works sounds a little like the name of your local spa — a little cheesy, but to the point. However, B&BW is actually the name of a brand that produced a splendid freshener which I had the honor of trying out recently. It’s one of the few products that can actually help me catch some quality sleep. Due to its soft, alluring aroma, it’s guaranteed to have you snoozing in a matter of minutes.
Of course, I didn’t choose B&BW just to get some shut-eye. Some of my neighbors have suggested it as a good alternative to other fabric freshener sprays, so I figured I’d give it a try. After spraying some of my clothes and my bedsheets, I felt elated. The gentle vanilla scent mixed with some essential oils gave my room an air of tranquility, which was something I definitely needed after a hard day’s work.
B&BW’s spray is, in my opinion, perfect for rooms that don’t necessarily have a strong odor, but do contain stale air. With a few quick squirts of this spray, you can breathe new life into your bedroom, or any other room for that matter.
FunkAway is the perfect solution for anyone who works out or is into sports. I personally know at least ten gym-goers, and on more than a few occasions they told me that they simply threw away their old jerseys and shorts if the odor didn’t go away. Of course, at some point you should get rid of old clothes, but if you eliminate an odor quickly, why not use a freshener like FunkAway?
This awesome spray comes in a compact bottle that you can put away in your gym bag and carry around everywhere. Thanks to its OM Complex formula, it can eliminate the most stubborn odors, including those that don’t go away after the first wash. In other words, your old gym clothes can stay in your closet for another season — simply spray them with FunkAway, and you’re good to go.
While the scent of FunkAway is powerful, it’s actually quite soft and not overwhelming. I have to stress this point because most sprays that have overwhelming aromas tend to contain artificial ingredients. With FunkAway, you can rest assured that your clothes won’t smell like you just sprayed perfume on them to cover the odor up.
Aside from fabric, this freshener also works great on solid, hard surfaces. So, feel free to spray it on your car upholstery, sneakers, sports equipment, training and yoga mats, and even the pet areas in your home.
6. Hex Deodorizing Spray
With a tagline like “un-stink your stuff,” you can tell that Hex is one of the more fun options on the market. The light blend of citrus and fruity apple is a perfect replacement for any odor, as it is just strong enough to remove foul smells, yet gentle enough to feel heavenly when you give it a good whiff.
Hex is made out of completely natural ingredients that are biodegradable and safe for the environment. In addition, it’s strong enough to remove odors from hard surfaces like wood, carpet fabric, plastic, and even metal. That’s why you will see the good people of Hex advertise this freshener as a spray that removes smells from “anything that can’t fit into a washing machine.”
Naturally, the aroma that comes from Hex works just as well on clothing. Simply spray a little of the formula on the odorous item, and let it work its magic. But don’t forget to shake it before use or to allow the item to dry after you sprayed it. That way you’ll get the full Hex effect, i.e. a set of fresh-smelling clothes in mere minutes.
7. Sweat X Odor Eliminator
Rounding out the list is the powerful Sweat X Sport Extreme odor eliminator. And again we have the perfect option for anyone who loves a good kick-off or a solid workout. Sweat X targets the odor-causing bacteria, eliminating every trace of them instead of simply masking the smell. It’s both a freshener and a sanitizer, all in one action-packed product.
As is the case with all the products on my list, Sweat X is eco-friendly in every way. It doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients and you can freely spray it on your skin with no side-effects. Moreover, it’s biodegradable and non-toxic, the perfect combination for any sports buff on the go.
Can I Make My Own Freshener Spray?
Lots of people ask me about DIY options whenever I cover the topic of odor elimination. After doing some research, I actually found quite a few different homebrew freshener spray options that anyone can make. Of course, I made sure to provide only the options that use natural ingredients. None of these natural sprays will harm your skin or damage the fabric in any way.
Essential Oil Mix
When you visit your Whole Foods next time you’re in the mood for shopping, pick up some natural essential oils. Then combine the scent of your choice with one cup of water (around 5 drops of oil will do) and pour the mix into a spray bottle. Not only will this combination make your clothes smell great, but it’ll also kill off any odor-inducing bacteria. My pick is peppermint or rosemary oil, but you can do your own research and see which aroma fits you best.
There’s a good reason why people tend to use vinegar in nearly every DIY cleaning solution. After all, it’s a natural anti-bacterial liquid that can kill up to 98% of microorganisms on any surface. Of course, vinegar has a pungent smell of its own, so to combat it, I suggest mixing two cups of water, a single teaspoon of vinegar, and 10 droplets of essential oil.
Lemon Juice Mix
Most of the products I listed have a lemon aroma option, and with good reason. The acid within the fruit is great at neutralizing bacteria and keeping the clothes fresh. Therefore, a mix of one tablespoon of lemon juice and a cup of water will be perfect for your spray bottle. Also, if you want to keep the mixture fresh, store it in your fridge for later use.
Witch Hazel Mix
Witch hazel has similar properties to vinegar. The only difference is that its scent isn’t as strong, though you can still sense it. For that reason, I advise mixing 10 drops of essential oil with two cups of witch hazel. However, you can also buy scented Witch hazel, in which case you won’t need any essential oils.
Yes, you’ve read that correctly — vodka. And when you think about it, it makes perfect sense; vodka is alcoholic, so it kills bacteria without fail. Plus, it’s a colorless drink, so it doesn’t stain the fabric, and it dries without leaving any odors behind. But since it’s quite strong, I recommend mixing ⅓ cup of vodka with ⅓ cup of water.
Other Methods of Odor Removal
While I did focus on the best freshener and odor eliminator sprays for clothes, there are other inexpensive options for getting rid of nasty smells. Of course, I won’t delve too deep into the topic. However, here’s a brief list of methods that you might also find useful in case you don’t have a spray lying around:
- Dryer sheets between the clothes
- Old newspapers left in the sleeves overnight
- Steam the clothes while you shower
- Keep an open bag of kitty litter in the closet
- Wrap the clothing item around unused ground coffee beans
- Sprinkle baking soda on your clothing
- Air your clothes out and place them in direct sunlight
- Put them in the dryer for 10 to 15 minutes
- Put them in the freezer for a few hours
- Use activated charcoal
A Few Words In Closing
All of the fresheners and odor eliminators listed above have proven themselves to be the best. Of course, if none of the choices suit you, or if you can’t find any of them, feel free to get a different product. However, make sure that the spray you’re using is eco-friendly, biodegradable, and that it eliminates bacteria rather than masking the odor.