The 9 Best Laundry Detergents for Odors in 2019

Banish sweaty and musty smells once and for all

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: HEX Performance Advanced Laundry Detergent at Amazon

"This hypoallergenic, unscented formula is eco-friendly, yet it works wonders on smelly, sweaty clothing."

Best for Body Odor: No Sweat All-Natural Laundry Detergent at Amazon

"The formula actually kills the bacteria that leads to body odor smells, leaving your clothing smelling fresh and clean once more."

Best Booster: OxiClean Odor Blasters Laundry Booster at Amazon

"This pretreatment and laundry booster helps get out stubborn stains and odors, even from pet beds and sports clothing."

Best Pod: Tide PODS Plus Febreze Sport Odor Defense at Amazon

"These 4-in-1 pods include detergent, stain remover, color protector, and odor defense, which work together to banish sweat odors."

Best Powder: Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent with OxiClean at Home Depot

"This powdered laundry detergent doesn’t contain bleach, so it’s safe to use on colors, and leaves behind a fresh, neutral scent."

Best for Sweat: Win Sports Detergent at Amazon

"This detergent is specially formulated for synthetic fabrics, so your workout clothes or sports uniforms are in good hands."

Best Stain Remover: Tide Ultra High-Efficiency Laundry Detergent at Target

"This popular laundry detergent comes in an extra-large container and boasts six times the cleaning power of normal detergents."

Best Green: method Free + Clear Laundry Detergent at Target

"If you prefer using 'clean' products, this detergent is dye-free, cruelty-free, and known to be effective on lingering smells."

  • 01 of 08

    Best Overall: HEX Performance Advanced Laundry Detergent

    Hex Laundry Detergent
    Courtesy of Hex

    One of the best detergents to cut through tough grime, sweat, and odors is the HEX Performance Advanced Laundry Detergent. The hypoallergenic, unscented formula is eco-friendly, yet it works wonders on smelly, sweaty clothing. 

    HEX comes in 35-ounce pouches, and its special formula actually eliminates odors instead of simply masking them—even on synthetic fabrics. It also effectively eliminates stains, and the formula works with all temperature cycles and in high-efficiency washing machines. Plus, the detergent contains no dyes, fillers, perfumes, optical brighteners, or phosphates! 

    Reviewers say that once you try HEX Performance Laundry Detergent, you’ll never go back to regular detergent. Many say it’s a total game-changer for workout and athletic clothing, as it removes all traces of sweat odors and leaves garments looking and smelling clean.

    Check out our guide to the best laundry detergents you can buy today.

  • 02 of 08

    Best for Body Odor: No Sweat Fragrance-Free All-Natural Laundry Detergent

    Do the armpits of your favorite shirts retain a stale odor? If so, you can get them clean with No Sweat Laundry Detergent, which is specially designed for athletic clothing. The formula actually kills the bacteria that leads to body odor smells, leaving your clothing smelling fresh and clean once more.

    No Sweat is a hypoallergenic, antibacterial detergent that you can use on all laundry, from your undergarments to your workout clothes. It comes in a 32-ounce bottle and contains a combination of cleaning enzymes that bond to bacteria and dirt, removing them from the fabric. The detergent can be used in all washing machines, including high-efficiency models, and it doesn’t contain any dyes, perfumes, fillers, or optical brighteners. 

    According to reviews, No Sweat works wonders on gym clothing, work uniforms, undergarments, and even smelly pet beds. Many say it removes musty smells that other detergents left behind and you only need a small amount of detergent for good results.

    Love the smell of fresh laundry? You'll love if even more when you're using a pick from our list of the best smelling laundry detergents.

  • 03 of 08

    Best Booster: OxiClean Odor Blasters Odor & Stain Remover Laundry Booster

    You can give your laundry detergent a helping hand at eliminating odors and stains with the OxiClean Odor Blasters Laundry Booster. You can use it either as a pretreatment for smelly clothes, in the wash along with your detergent, or both! 

    The OxiClean Odor Blasters Booster comes in a 40.5-ounce bottle, and the formula is specially designed for use on smelly socks, musty towels, sweaty clothes, and body odor. It’s color-safe and can be used in all washing machines, including high-efficiency models. Reviewers say the laundry booster helps get out stubborn stains and odors, even from pet beds and sports clothing, making it a must-have in busy households.

  • 04 of 08

    Best Pod: Tide PODS Plus Febreze Sport Odor Defense

    Laundry detergent pods are undeniably convenient, as they save you from having to measure out detergent. If you’re looking for a pod that’s good on odors, one of the best options is Tide PODS Plus Febreze Sport Odor Defense, which comes with 61 pods per container. As its name suggests, this product is ideal for workout and athletic gear, since the pods pack six times the cleaning power of regular detergent. 

    These 4-in-1 pods include detergent, stain remover, color protector, and odor defense in their unique multi-chamber design. The pods can be used in all temperatures and don’t produce excess suds, and reviewers say the detergent is ideal for getting the smell of sweat out of clothing.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Best Powder: Arm & Hammer Fresh Scent Laundry Detergent with OxiClean

    Detergent

    Under Armour

    Prefer powder detergent? Then consider the Arm & Hammer Fresh Scent Laundry Detergent with OxiClean, which comes in large 16.59-pound containers and will last for more than 200 loads. This powder laundry detergent doesn’t contain bleach, so it’s safe to use on colors, and it leaves behind a fresh, neutral scent.

    Because this detergent contains OxiClean, it helps white clothing to look brighter, and it helps remove blood, coffee, dirt, and food stains. Reviewers say it is an effective detergent for stain removal, and many note it leaves clothes smelling fresh and clean!

  • 06 of 08

    Best for Sweat: Win Sports Detergent

    If you exercise frequently, you may find that your workout clothes have lingering sweat odor or sweat stains. The Win Sports Detergent is formulated to combat sweat smells on workout clothes, making it ideal for fitness enthusiasts and athletes. 

    Win Detergent comes in a 32-ounce bottle and is ideal for synthetic fabrics like spandex and polyester—typically what workout clothes are made from. However, it can also be used on cotton and other common materials, and it is compatible with high-efficiency washers. The detergent works by breaking down the sweat oils lingering on your clothes, so it removes them instead of just covering up the smell.

    Reviewers say this detergent is one of the most effective ways to combat the smell of sweat, making it ideal for sports uniforms and athletic clothing that is usually tough to freshen up. However, several note that it is quite expensive, so they only use it on workout clothes—not their regular laundry.

  • 07 of 08

    Best Stain Remover: Tide Ultra Stain Release High Efficiency Liquid Laundry Detergent

    laundry detergent

    Tide

    Got odors and stains? Then you need a detergent like Tide Ultra Stain, which is widely acclaimed for its stain-removing abilities. This popular laundry detergent comes in extra-large, 138-ounce containers, and it boasts six times the cleaning power of normal detergents.

    This stain-fighting formula helps to remove 99 percent of everyday stains, including grease, food, and more. It even includes a unique pretreatment cap that has scrubbing bristles to help you loosen up stains before the cycle. This detergent can be used with high-efficiency washers, and reviewers say it truly does a better job than other detergents at removing both old and new stains, as well as odors.

    Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best laundry stain removers.

  • 08 of 08

    Best Green: method Free + Clear Laundry Detergent

    laundry detergent

    Method

    If you prefer “clean” products, the method Free + Clear Laundry Detergent is known to be effective on lingering smells. This naturally-derived formula comes in 53.5-ounce bottles, and it’s hypoallergenic, dye-free, and cruelty-free so you can feel good about using it.

    The concentrated formula works in both standard and high-efficiency washing machines, and the plant-based ingredients are effective at removing stains like coffee, red wine, and chocolate. There’s no added fragrance, so you can really trust that the detergent works to remove stains, not just mask them with added fragrance. Reviewers say this formula is ideal for anyone with sensitive skin or allergies to common soap ingredients, and many love that you just need to use a small amount since the formula is so concentrated.

    See more reviews of our favorite green laundry detergents available for purchase.

Our Process

Our writers spent 3 hours researching the most popular laundry detergents on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 25 different laundry detergents overall, screened options from 15 different brands and manufacturers, and read over 55 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.