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Apr 14, 2021

WTF(Funk)? $%&*^!@

Raise your hand, okay maybe don’t raise your hand just yet. Nod your head if you’ve ever been sucker-punched by the stench in the air after peeling off your sweaty workout clothes?  Or have you ever reached into your dresser drawer to pull out your favorite workout top, put it on and wrinkle your nose and furrow your eyebrow because you smell funk? Slowly, you raise your arm, stick your nose deep into your armpit, and take a whiff. Nothing alarming there but when you go to smell the armpits of the shirt, you jerk back, offended by the onion-like smell emanating from the clean shirt you just retrieved from your drawer. How is this even possibleyou mumble to yourself. Perplexed, you toss the shirt into the hamper and move onto the next shirt. When that one reeks too, you scream out to no one in particular, “WTF?”

Stink. Funk. Stench. BO. No matter how you say it, it’s foul. When I was 46, I started experiencing excessive sweating. Of course, I sweat when I exercised but I was sweating when I wasn’t. I hadn’t sweat like this even in my prepubescent years. When the armpits of my clothes suddenly reminded me of Pigpen and the latest victim of the cancel culture, Pepé La Pew, I did some research and broached the subject with my doctor at my next annual gynecological visit.

Don’t take a torch to your cute workout gear just yet. There are some things you can try before taking this drastic step.

  1. If excessive sweating is suddenly a problem for you, talk to your gynecologist. It could be a sign of perimenopause.
  2. Wash your workout gear immediately after a workout. If this is not possible, turn the clothes inside out and pretreat with a DIY solution. Mix equal parts white distilled vinegar, detergent, and water in a spray bottle and saturate until wash day.
  3. Deodorant and antiperspirant are not synonymous. You may need an antiperspirant and not a deodorant.
  4. Every so often, saturate a cotton round with isopropyl alcohol and wipe your armpits. Deodorant residue tends to build up over time. You may be surprised to see the once white, fluffy material now frayed, dark and grungy.
  5. Keep a dollar store toothbrush in the shower and use it to lightly brush the underarm area with hot and soapy water. Make sure the area is completely dry before applying deodorant.

Sweat itself is odorless. Bacteria thrive in dark, warm spaces, e.g., underarms. Bacteria mixed with sweat get trapped in the fibers of your clothes and can be the cause of the offensive odor. If all else fails, sorry girl, you may be forced to toss your fav tee in the trash and go shopping for new gear. Although, if you’re anything like me, you don’t have to be forced to go shopping to add a new fab piece to the workout wardrobe! See you out on the pavement!

By: Danielle Barnes – @dannibsays (IG) @dannib413 (Twitter)
Danielle Barnes is a freelance writer based in Montclair, NJ. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations from Wayne State University. Her superpower is her ability to captivate audiences with her words whether it’s in person or on paper. Danielle enjoys devouring a good book, volunteering for causes she’s passionate about, staying active and traveling the globe to see the world in all its glory.