How to Get Rid of Underarm Odor (Smelly Armpits)


Pits are the body’s detox pathway as they have a lot of active sweat glands. To sweat is a good thing as it is the body’s way of getting the bad stuff out. It is a natural process that everyone experiences on a daily basis. Underarm odor is linked to apocrine glands which help in the secretion of sweat in the underarms. Apocrine glands work primarily under stress, secreting an odorless fluid. These glands work after puberty.


There could be a number of other reasons for developing an underarm odor. These include intake of diet that consists of smelly foods like onions, wearing more synthetic clothes, having more sweat glands, fish odor syndrome, precocious puberty in children due to increase in the hormone called androgens, and some medical conditions like diabetes etc. Sweat by itself doesn’t smell. If the underarm sweat foul-smelling, then it is the result of a bacteria breaking down the protein (keratin) rich sweat. The medical term for chronic armpit odor is Bromhidrosis.

Home Remedies for Underarm Odor

There are a number of home remedies to get rid of Smelly Armpits. Simple lifestyle changes also help in a long way. The best way to keep the underarm odor from setting in is to wash the arm pits properly when you take a shower. The best way to keep the underarm odor from setting in is to wash the armpits properly when you take a shower. Just  wash the pits with plain water and a wash cloth or towel. One should try to avoid soaps as they trap the odors in and even Just wash the pits with plain water and a wash cloth or towel strips. If needed, use scent free, antibacterial bath soap. It is very important to shower right after every workout so bacteria doesn’t get a chance to spread.

  • Potato :- Cut small thin slices of potato and rub it directly on underarms. Let it dry and then apply your deodorant over it. Potatoes are known to control perspiration and kill the bacteria’s present in the underarms by lowering the pH of the skin. Potatoes possess antimicrobial properties and are slightly acidic in nature.
  • Lemon Juice:- Cut a lemon in half and rub it directly on the armpits. Leave the juice till it dries up and then wash it with water. Lemon juice helps to reduce the pH of the skin and makes it difficult for the bacteria to breed in. This can be done once or twice a day. Lemon Juice is highly acidic so if one has sensitive skin, they may mix lemon juice with water and apply with cotton ball.
  • Aloe Vera :- Aloe Vera gel may be applied directly on the underarms and left on overnight to be washed the following morning. This will kill the bacteria that causes a foul smell. Drinking Aloe Vera juice regularly is a good way to avoid body odor. Aloe Vera is known for its antibacterial properties and helps in detoxifying the body.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar :- Apple Cider Vinegar may be applied directly to underarms every morning after bath and every night before going to bed to get rid of odor-causing bacteria. Apple Cider Vinegar is acidic in nature and is known for its anti-microbial properties. It helps in neutralizing the environment in the underarm area. Using apple cider vinegar might be bit irritating for some.
  • Essential Oils :- like lavender Essential oil and Tea Tree Oil may also be applied using a cotton ball, to combat underarm odor. Coconut Oil also possesses antimicrobial properties and helps in restoring the pH of the skin. It can be applied using fingers, directly to the underarms.
  • Witch Hazel :- Witch Hazel may be applied using a cotton ball over the underarms after taking a bath. Witch Hazel is a powerful natural astringent and a natural antiperspirant as it contracts the skin tissues and reduces the sweat production. One may mix a few drops of witch hazel in water and use it every morning and evening for best results.  Witch Hazel can help lower the pH of the skin thereby killing the bad bacteria.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide :- A solution of hydrogen peroxide and water helps in fighting body odor. A spoon of peroxide needs to be mixed with a cup of water and applied on underarms using a washcloth. This helps to destroy the bacteria Hydrogen Peroxide is a widely used antiseptic and is a great way to kill the bacteria causing a stink.
  • Always apply moisturizer, body lotion, Planet Ayurveda Saffron Almond Body butter cream on underarms and dry skin to avoid burning or irritation.
  • It is highly recommended to trim or shave the armpits. Underarm hair traps moisture and creates the environment for bacteria to breed. So, in order to keep the stink under control, one should shave the armpits.
  • It is very important to wash clothes regularly and avoid wearing the sweaty clothes. The sweat sitting on the shirts creates a breeding ground for bacteria. One needs to wash their towels regularly too. Always opt for cotton, linen and wool clothes as these allow the body to stay cooler. It is good to wear loose-fitting clothes.
  • Practicing good hygiene surely helps to reduce the growth of bacteria in the armpits. Always keep your underarms dry so bacteria cannot breed in.
  • A slight change in diet is always recommended. One needs to avoid fatty foods, or strong-smelling foods like garlic and onions as they can seep through the pores and cause body odor. Some people who eat fish like tuna and salmon may secrete choline in their sweat, so it is better to avoid fish.
  • Stress management and anxiety reduction techniques like Yoga, Meditation, Pranayama also helps to modulate stress reaction and minimize the physiological sweat naturally.
  • Sweat is our body’s way of regulating temperature. It is not bad as is, but it becomes body odor once it meets the bacteria on the surface of the skin. Body’s musky odor is very normal and natural. It should not be suppressed by using antiperspirants filled with chemicals. The deodorants make one stink less throughout the day but using them is not a permanent solution. It is advised to apply an antiperspirant at bedtime so the product gets a chance to work while you sleep and not while sweating.

Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD - Ayurveda) is the CEO and Founder of Planet Ayurveda Pvt. Ltd. He is Author of the Book "Ayurveda – God’s Manual For Healing". He is an Ayurveda Expert Serving People worldwide through all the Possible Mediums, Operating from Main Branch in Mohali, India. With his Vast Experience in Herbs and their Applied Uses, he is successfully treating Numerous Patients suffering from Various Ailments with the help of Purest Herbal Supplements, Diet, and Lifestyle, according to the Principles of Ayurveda. For More Details, visit

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