Odor Control: 5 Tips For Dealing With Stinky Boys!

I am the owner of one teenage son.  There are days I am very thankful for this and other days that I would happily trade him in for 10 hormonal teenage girls.  For those of you who do not have your own teenage boy, there are a few things you might not know about them.  Teenage boys think potty humor is hilarious.  They apparently live to torment their younger siblings and think parents are about the most UNcool thing ever created.  Teenage boys eat constantly and are incapable of noticing the mess they create while they do it.  And the most important thing to realize about teenage boys is that they SMELL.  Honestly, I spend my days wrinkling my nose from one odor or another that is lingering in my home.  I seriously hope he grows out of this stage or he is never going to find a wife and move out of my house!  So, if you are suffering from the effects of a stinky teenage boy, I thought I would share a few tips that I have discovered to help with odor control,

easy odor control tips

Easy Odor Control Tips for Stinky Boys


1.  Fresh air is vital, even if it is 20 degrees below zero.  Honestly, every morning I walk into my son’s room and open a window, I don’t care what the temperature is outside.  Yes, I am wasting a little bit of heat and/or air conditioner money but it is worth every penny to help clear out the stank that invades overnight.  I am willing to pay a little bit extra on my utilities for odor control. Tuck an open box of baking soda into one corner of his room.   You can also try putting a plant in his room for odor control.  Just make sure you water it.  Teenage boys are probably not going to remember to water a plant!

2.  Fight smells in clothes with vinegar:  Regular laundry detergent does very little to get out armpit smells from a workout shirt!  Then, every time the teenage boy puts that workout shirt back on he is reactivating the smell that was already on there.  How do you get armpit smells out of a shirt?  Pure white vinegar is one of nature’s best methods for odor control. Keep a spray bottle of vinegar in your laundry room.  Place the stinky shirt flat on a towel.   If it is made of cotton, spray undiluted white vinegar directly on the underarm area. If it is any other fabric you should dilute the vinegar with an equal amount of water first. You can add a few drops of tea tree oil into the spray bottle to help fight bacteria.  Just make sure you shake it well before spraying.  Let the shirt sit for about 15 to 30 minutes and wash as usual.  If the smell isn’t gone, repeat the process again.

3.  Keep sneakers smelling fresh and out of closed closets:  I have found that the worst place to store sneakers is in a closed closet.  The odor from the sneakers just seems to linger in there and become toxic.  If you have a garage, basement, mudroom or some other out of the way room, make that your sneaker storage spot.  Make a sneaker sachet to store in his shoes.  This will help with odor control naturally.

4.  Combat stinky armpits with the right deodorants:  Not all deodorants are created the same.  I have tried to find a natural deodorant for my son and have been unsuccessful.  As much as I hate the idea of him using traditional deodorants I also don’t want him to be ridiculed by his friends for smelling bad.  Make sure you find one that says both antiperspirant AND deodorant.  And you may have to try a few different brands and formulations.  Solids, gels, and roll-ons all work differently for each individual.  If nothing seems to work, talk to his pediatrician.  There are clinical strength, prescription only deodorants that might work better for odor control.

5.  Dietary restrictions:  Some foods, as well as caffeine, may cause an increase in sweating and/or body odor.  A temporary (1 to 2 weeks) elimination of certain products may help with odor control.  The most common causes are caffeine (sodas, energy drinks, etc), fish, liver, eggs, legumes, and fried foods.   To improve digestion, consider adding in a probiotic into his diet.  Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that live in our gut and help keep things moving smoothly.  Teenage boys seem to be a lot gassier than girls, at least in this house.  Of course, maybe he just thinks it is funny to let one loose and giggle when everyone wrinkles their noses!

I may have to keep the KID but I don’t necessarily want to keep the smells he creates.
Do you have any other suggestions for odor control in stinky boys?

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About Diane

Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician with two teens, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She has a bachelor’s degree in Microbiology but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with Legos and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging full time. She currently deals with emotional tweens, suburban politics, and middle aged metabolism while sharing her opinions in an honest and down to earth fashion on her blog.


  1. Your post caught my attention because my toddler’s shoes are stinky! I am trying this!

    • i hope it helps! You can also use this combination to sprinkle on rugs to freshen them. Just let sit a few minutes and vacuum. No fake smells or nasty chemicals!

  2. As mom of three boys, I’m going to need this in the coming years. I wouldn’t have thought about spraying the nasty laundry with vinegar. And I agree sometimes dietary restrictions make all the difference.

  3. I knew it had a ton of uses but the shoes is a great idea I hadn’t thought of!

  4. Katie Smith says:

    oh man i should have my hubby see this. He has some nasty work out shoes that need to be cleaned out BIG time!!!

  5. Lol…as an UNcool mom of a smelly teenage boy your tips cold not have come at a better time! I’m so seriously at my wits end and am afraid that once I lose the odors from this one, my other one will start his own stink-athlon….taking notes!

    • I have a girl heading into her teens and she doesn’t always smell too fresh either but nowhere NEAR the stink of the boy child!

  6. I have a stinky 26 year old brother in law who lives with us….
    He likes to sit on the couch, sweaty from working all day. I am trying to battle that smell today, because our living room smells like dirty sneakers! My husband can work all day and still not smell anywhere close to this! UGH!

    • you can try sprinkling the baking soda, tea tree oil, essential oil mix on the couch if it is material? and then let sit and vacuum. You may want to do a small out of the way spot first just to make sure it doesnt mess up the fabric?

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