So you have a funky sour-smelling pillow that feels like it has been doused in vinegar? And the odor persists despite changing the pillow cover, and it will not go away no matter how many fresheners you spray on it?
Yes, smelly pillows are actually common, having soaked up all the sweat and oils overnight. But having an unrelenting sour-smelling pillow can be an indication of a hygiene issue or even deeper health problems. Let us walk through a couple of ways to possibly fix this – Read on!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
|What Causes The Smell||Removing The Stink||The End|
WHAT CAUSES THE SOUR SMELL
So what in the world causes the sour pillow? Let us cover that with a little bit of science in this section.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE STINK
Even though sweat is believed to be odourless, the bacteria living in these places break down the ingredients of sweat and turn them into stinky molecules such as acetic acid (the vinegar sweat smell).
Long story short, the sour smell is the result of bacteria breaking down the sweat. But not everyone will have the same “level of sourness”, it really depends on the person’s diet and health.
DIET & EATING HABITS
Ever heard of the term “garlic breath”? Yes, what you eat does eventually get into the sweat as well. Certain foods contribute more to that bad sour smell, especially those that are generally rich in sulfur.
- Garlic and onions.
- Broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower.
- Red meat – Beef and pork.
- Seafood – Fish and shrimps.
- Condiments – Horseradish, mustard, ground ginger.
Of course, eating a single beef bowl or cabbage salad is not going to make you sweat buckets of vinegar. But while it may not be immediately noticeable, eating these foods in large quantities does slowly add up.
Bigger people generate more heat because they have to move more body mass, so that means more heat generated and hence, more sweat.
The modern-day disease, and sadly, our larger-sized friends do have a tendency to sweat more. More sweat, more bacteria action, and hence, more odor.
Another modern-day disease that is related to obesity. Diabetic people burn more fat for energy, rather than glucose. That releases something called acetone, which carries a sour vinegar smell.
When the body is reacting to an emotion, like anxiety, stress or excitement, sweat is released from the apocrine glands. While this type of sweat is initially odorless, it doesn’t evaporate as quickly and can develop an odor when it combines with bacteria on the skin.
Yes, don’t underestimate stress, sweating is probably the “lighter symptom”. When not addressed properly, it can lead to worse problems in the long term.
HORMONAL CHANGES (OR AGING)
The part and parcel of being human. A hormonal imbalance or aging can also lead to excessive sweat, and/or a change in the body odor.
- For the ladies, the common culprit is menopause.
- For men, it can be hypogonadism.
- For all humans, the “old man smell” or “old lady smell” is real. We will not go into the crazy science, but people who are past 40 years old commonly begin to develop a “distinct essence”.
HOT & HUMID WEATHER
Captain Obvious at your service, the summer days have come. It’s hot, it’s humid, and people sweat more.
Captain Obvious at your service once again – Not showering. Going to bed while hot, sticky, and sweaty.
HOW TO GET RID OF THE SOUR SMELL
Now that you know what causes the sour smell (the human), the effective way to remove it is to simply lead a healthier lifestyle. Don’t worry, here are just some home remedies that may help.
SHOWER BEFORE YOU SLEEP
This is probably one of the most common pieces of advice on the Internet – Take a quick shower and change into fresh clothes before sleeping. Being clean and fresh should help you to sleep better as well.
Before you scroll past this point, this is not a guide about “being vegan is a healthier and better choice”. So if you need to eat meat, go ahead. But the whole idea here is to control what you eat in the right amounts.
As you already know, certain foods and drinks will only worsen the “sour sweat”. So cut down on those onion rings, greasy fried foods, and alcohol. Eat more “clean fruits” and “fresh vegetables” instead. That will help to combat obesity as well.
DRINK MORE WATER
The Asian mom’s secret weapon, drink more plain water. Yes, it makes sense and it does work. Plain water helps to flush out toxins, and somewhat lessen the stinky sweat.
What the heck is an “internal deodorant”? Some of you guys may have already heard of external deodorant and perfume. The “thing” that we apply to make things smell less funky. So in simple terms, an “internal deodorant” is just a supplement to help the internals smell less.
Not going to plaster this post full of sponsored links, but internal deodorants mostly work on the basis of “internal cleansing” and “internal detox”.
- Chlorophyll Supplements
- Activated Carbon Detox Capsules
- Detox Teas
- Home recipes such as cucumber mint.
WASH YOUR PILLOW & USE A PILLOW PROTECTOR
If you are only using one pillow sheet, then consider adding another layer to it. Not just “any other pillow sheet”, but a pillow protector that is waterproof and hypoallergenic. That will prevent a stinky wet pillow from sweat. Also, remember to clean and dry the pillow itself too. As long as dirt and sweat are stuck on the pillow, it will continue to stink.
KEEP YOUR BEDROOM COOL
A hot and stuffy room will make sweaty humans. They will probably end up being stressed and frustrated from a lack of sleep too. So keep your room well-ventilated. Add a fan or air-conditioning to cool your bedroom down.
CONSULT A DOCTOR
Lastly, this is probably the best option. If none of the above works, then it’s probably a deeper health issue – Something is causing the bad odor, it is best to get a health screening and ask for professional medical help.
Thank you for reading, and we have come to the end of this short guide. I hope it has helped to answer your doubts. Good luck and have better nights of sleep!
LINKS & REFERENCES
- 10 Reasons Your Sweat Smells Like Vinegar – Healthline
- 8 Foods That Could Make Your Body Odor Worse – Men’s Health
- Don’t Sweat It: Tips for Heavy Sweating – WebMD
- Which Pillows Are Washable – The Daily Bed