Eliminate Under Arm Smell, Naturally
So naturally, everyone wants to eliminate that under arm smell. Have you been surprised after a nice shower to do a pit-check only to find there is a lingering body order? Well join the club.
I wanted to find a natural solution. (Yes I know there is no definition for “natural” so let’s just think non-toxic for now.) But first I wanted to know, just what is causing this stubborn smell.
Yes we have sweat glands – eccrine glands (all over the body regulating temperatures) and apocrine glands (mostly under arms, groin and around breasts) which secret a fatty substance that bacteria feast on. It really isn’t the sweat that smells, it’s the by-product of the happy bacteria. Some say its the acid from the bacteria that smells, some say it’s the actual …. poop from the bacteria. (double ick) Maybe they are one in the same.
This is not when you reach for the anti-bacterial soap. No, no, no. Remember those anti-bacterial chemicals not only partially kill the under arm bacteria (and the ones that survive become super bacteria – we don’t want that) but your body absorbs those chemicals, some of them cancer causing, and the rest goes into our water system, onward to kill good bacteria. (remember we need bacteria to bio-degrade things!) So 3 very good reasons to not use anti-bacterial soaps.
But before we talk about eliminating under arm smell (and we will), let’s talk about prevention. Bacteria love heat, so try to reduce the heat under your arms by dressing lighter, in natural fiber clothing, and/or trimming/shaving the under arm hair. And wash on a regular basis. That does not mean you have to waste water and shower twice a day. Try the old wash cloth at the sink (with low chemical profile soap) instead. This is all pretty simple, natural and very environmentally friendly so far.
Now for the magic solution. One word. Vinegar. The mother of all cleaning agents, including for that under arm, body odor pit smell. Vinegar has been used for hundreds, maybe thousands, of years to kill “things.” Recent research confirms its effectiveness at even killing tuberculosis. So in the shower, or not, even after washing with soap, if there is that lingering slight smell – pour a little, like a cap full, onto the corner of your wash cloth and rub the entire under arm area. (if you are shaving, I would shave after this) Let it sit and do something else (brush teeth? wash another body part?) then wash again with soap to clear the vinegar off. Voila. B.O. be gone. Be careful to not get any in your eyes.
Apparently the low PH of vinegar wipes out the bacteria/smell and kills a lot of the bacteria. What ever it is – it works. And the bonus is, it seems to have lasting power too, before your familiar smell returns. (I am sure some bacteria remain deep inside the skin crevices.)
Anyway, give it a try. Have a bottle of vinegar handy in the shower or bathroom (transfer to unbreakable container if you are a klutz) and make it part of your new bathing routine. Just remember to be careful too not get it in the eyes or open wounds – ouch! Have you ever tried it?