Summer might be coming to an end, but the heat is hanging around, which means we're still sweating through everything we own and smelling less eau de toilette and more eau de body odor.
Who has time for a daily load of laundry? Young people have proven to really not get the whole "washing clothes" thing, paying apps to get the job done for us. But there's a deodorizing trick lurking unexpectedly in our kitchens.
The lesser-known lifestyle hack, which recently popped up in the Wall Street Journal, is fairly simple: Spritzing some vodka on your clothes helps to remove odors almost instantly. How? Vodka kills bacteria and dries odorless. When it evaporates, so too does the stench of sweat and subways.
I had to try it. Thankfully, it doesn't require sacrificing Grey Goose or Belvedere; anything in a plastic bottle or with a name starting with an "S" will do (think Stoli, Smirnoff, etc). All that's needed is a spray bottle, which can be purchased for under $3 at most drugstores, and some vodka.
Brie Dyas, a writer who has covered DIY and the decor industry for the past decade, recommends a little dilution. "I go 1 to 3 with vodka and water in a spray bottle," she told Mic. "You can use it on most fabrics, but I wouldn't use it on dark or bright colors, or on leather. Alcohol is a solvent, and it could potentially discolor fabrics and harm fabrics."
Crappy clothes and sneakers, on the other hand? Great candidates. So I took a bottle of Smirnoff to a few different types of clothing to see how the technique holds up against an entire wardrobe.
Your work clothes can benefit from a refreshing cocktail.
Typically, I wear a traditional "business casual" work uniform consisting of slacks, skirts, dresses, Oxfords and work-appropriate cotton T-shirts. The fabric of these items, if we're getting technical, are mostly wool blends and cotton blends. I chose to experiment on my shirts, since they seem to accumulate the most, um, stench.
After work every day, I spritzed my shirt, especially the armpit areas, and let it air out overnight.
At the end of the week, it was clear: The vodka trick works on airy cotton T-shirts and cotton button-ups... but not as well on thicker cotton shirts. Sorry, guys.
Vodka is actually stronger than sneaker stench, amazingly.
I decided to see if this remedy would work on my sneakers, which spend quite a lot of time running through mysterious city street puddles and past piles of trash, accumulating lots of foot sweat along the way.
I expected that spritzing my sneakers would be a lost cause — those puppies can get pretty foul. However, I was pleasantly shocked when I went to sniff them out each morning.
Aside from my running sneakers, I've amassed quite a collection of "fashion sneakers," and I know I'm not the only one. For lesser-worn sneakers (like those wedge Nikes in your wardrobe), this hack is especially useful.
Gym clothes, on the other hand, may be too much for even vodka to handle.
Lastly, I tried out this trick on my workout clothes, which admittedly don't see the inside of a washing machine nearly enough. My workout regimen consists of spinning and running outside. For both of these activities, I wear Dri-FIT leggings, a sports bra, a tank top of some sort and socks.
Like my work clothes, I spritzed each item after each workout and let them air out overnight.
After a week, that vodka was still no match for workout sweat. It did make the smell on the socks and sports bra a bit more bearable, so it could work for dire situations. For workout clothes that are worn more for comfort than for the gym (aka all of us wearing "yoga pants" for anything but yoga), a quick vodka spray would likely keep unwanted smells at bay.
But for real sweaty gear? Some actual old-school laundry might be necessary. Hey, at least there are apps for that.