Sweat Smells Like Vinegar

Your sweat smells like vinegar and you’re about to throw in the towel because you couldn’t get rid of it. Fret not, because it’s a complex problem brought about by multifarious factors in your body. But – it’s not impossible to get rid of the odor.

In fact, the solutions are very simple.

Sweat is an odorless and colorless liquid that comes from your sweat glands. It becomes smelly only when microorganisms interact with it.

So, if you are confused with questions such as why does my sweat smell like vinegar or why does your sweat smell like vinegar? Learn the interesting truths about this occurrence and how to get rid of it.

Causes of Sweat Smells Like Vinegar

There are a number of reasons why your sweat smells like vinegar. Here they are:

1. Formation of Propionic Acid

This is the primary reason why your sweat smells like vinegar. Propionic acid is a breakdown product of the interaction of bacteria and sweat in the different parts of your body. It’s specifically the substance that gives off a vinegar-like odor.

The other waste product, isovaleric acid, is responsible for the cheesy odor of your body. When this acid accumulates because of poor hygiene, then people would smell you, even if you are a few feet away.


Since you know now the facts related to this problem, it’s easy to remedy it. What do you think would be the best remedy for this?

Your answer is right. You have to prevent your sweat and bacteria from interacting. How can you do this? By showering or taking a bath often.

When you have sweated a lot, take a shower, or a bath as soon as possible. This will prevent the bacteria from interacting with your sweat. Thus, no propionic acid is formed, and no vinegar odor is produced.

It’s simple, right?

2. Unhygienic Practices

Sweat smells like vinegar

Observe personal hygiene. Sweating is used as a cooling system of the body, and sweat is a waste product of this process. So, you have to wash it off from your body.

When you don’t, bacteria will ‘feast’ on your sweat, producing those smelly breakdown products.

Microorganisms want to stay in damp, warm places, such as the armpits, under the breasts, belly buttons, groins and similar areas.

Shave your underarm and pubic hair to prevent accumulation of microorganisms in those areas.


No matter what – if you want to get rid of your body odor – you must take a bath daily. If you sweat a lot (hyperhidrosis), you can shower twice or thrice a day, or as often as necessary.

Make sure you use mild, gentle soap and shampoo, so your skin won’t dry. You can also use a body lotion to prevent drying of skin.

3. Poor Diet

Eating a lot of spicy foods, fats and dairy products, sans vegetables and fruits can increase your chances of having a smelly body.

Spicy foods, namely: garlic, onions and pepper contribute to body odor, while fruits and vegetables contain fibers, chlorophyll and essential nutrients that help eliminate body odor.

Also, most fruit and vegetables enhance alkalinity in your body, thus reducing its acidity. Acid substances are usually the substances that emits bad odor. Most waste products are acidic in nature, and tend to be smelly.


Avoid eating foods that tend to bring out smelly odors from your body, as mentioned above.

Here are more healthy foods recommended to get rid of that nasty body odor:

4. Menopause

Because of hormonal imbalance, women can experience various symptoms. One of them is hot flashes. This will trigger the increase of sweat production. So, hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) results.

When the sweat is not washed off immediately, more propionic acid is formed, resulting to vinegar-smelling sweat.


Menopause naturally occurs in older women. When the symptoms are severe, estrogen may be given. Nonetheless, the best remedy is keeping the body’s temperature normal.

If hyperhidrosis still occurs, then taking a shower is a good alternative. Hydration (drinking lots of water) is advisable to maintain the body’s normal physiologic functions.

Here are home remedies of hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating).

Home remedies of hyperhidrosis

5. Underlying Diseases

There are diseases that can contribute to body odor, including sweat that smells like vinegar. Some of these are Diabetes Mellitus (DM), hyperhidrosis, AIDS, and HIV. One of the symptoms of these diseases is excessive sweating.

When you sweat a lot and don’t practice proper hygiene, you will become smelly.


In this case, the underlying disease has to be treated first. After treatment, the symptom of sweating will surely disappear. When there is no treatment for the disease (HIV, AIDS), then the symptom (sweating) can be managed through the following:

  • Use of deodorants
  • Use of deodorizing powders
  • Use of natural deodorizers (apple cider vinegar; vegetables and fruits; chlorophyll; baking soda)


I have answered the question: “Why your sweat smells like vinegar” Go over the remedies and implement them. You will surely get rid of your body odor.

What do you think about the remedies? They are worth a try, don’t you think so? I welcome your valuable comments.

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