One of the most important steps in keeping your clothes human scent free is to wash them properly. Washing hunting clothes with baking soda is a tactic known to deodorize and completely remove scent for years.

This means don’t use the regular detergent you might use to wash the rest of the family’s clothes. Don’t stick them in a dryer with one of those dryer-sheet things. Don’t even store them with non-hunting clothes in the house.

Wash your clothes using baking soda. It’s a great option for three very important reasons:

  • It is completely unscented
  • It is a very effective deodorizer
  • It is extremely cheap

Baking soda is an extremely versatile product with a range of capabilities beyond baking in which it is used to promote leavening. In fact it’s the process of releasing carbon dioxide gas as a result of chemical reactions that is part of the effectiveness as a deodorizing agent.

We have come up with 6 different ways you might use baking powder as a way of washing hunting clothes scent free and keeping them deodorized.

Treat these 6 suggestions merely as a starting point. You can refine ways to use it, adding extra steps and introducing your own ideas to streamline whatever process you come up with.

At the heart of each cleaning process is the core ingredient – baking powder.

Idea 1 – The Machine Wash

Washing hunting clothes with baking soda is a very simple process: Sprinkle ½ cup (115 g) of baking soda in with your laundry load. Set your washing machine to a cold water cycle and put all of your hunting clothes inside.

Ensure that the only clothes you include in the wash are hunting clothes. Never was the hunting clothes with the rest of the family’s clothes.

Idea 2 – The “Dry Wash”

Another step to take if you haven’t the time (or, I suppose, the inclination) to wash your hunting clothes is to air dry them and then place them in a bag containing a cup of baking soda and giving them a good shake.

The process is effective at removing the sweat odor that may have built up during the day’s hunting.

When the process has been completed you should hang the treated clothes up to air overnight. Preferably you’d have a spot that’s outside the house to do the airing to ensure household odors aren’t permeating into your cleaned gear.

Idea 3 – Cold Hand Wash

Rather than washing your clothes in a washing machine you can try hand washing in cold water after first dumping a cup of baking soda into the water.

Give the clothes a thorough wash in the dissolved baking soda to ensure it gets completely into the weave wear it will neutralize any odor molecules.

Completely rinse the clothes when you’ve finished to remove any residual baking soda and then hang the clothes to air dry. Again, this hanging process should take place outside the house.

Idea 4 – Pre-clean the Washing Machine

The next idea adds a step to the first idea which is a basic washing machine wash.

With this step you’re giving the washing machine a clean out by running the wash cycle with half a cup of baking powder thrown in. The idea is to remove any residual laundry powder scent from the machine that may be hanging around.

Once the pre-wash is complete, add your hunting clothes, add another half-cup of baking powder and complete the wash.

Once again, once the clothes are clean, hang them up to dry outside in the sun.

Idea 5 – Storage after Washing

Once your clothes are clean and dry you’ll need to store them before your next hunting trip.

To do this, place them inside plastic bags (extra large Ziploc are ideal) and sprinkle some baking soda onto the clothes before sealing the bag.

This will firstly, prevent your clothes from coming in contact with your non-hunting clothing and, secondly, will keep the completely scent-free.

As an added measure you can add some items from the outdoors in with your clothes such as pine needles, sticks, grass…anything that will give your clothes a natural scent.

Idea 6 – The Rub

Take a bag of baking soda with you when you leave for your hunt.

You’re going to use this baking soda to rub into your clothes when you reach your hunting destination as a final cleanse to remove any last vestiges of human scent that may be clinging to your clothes.

Washing Yourself With Baking Soda is Also Effective

Baking soda is a product that has a myriad of uses and a lot of them can be applied to your body to remove odors caused by sweat or other things.

You can use baking soda as a deodorant under your arms and it will continue to work all day. It won’t just cover up the odor it actually eliminates it.

If you suffer from bad foot odor you can use it as a foot soak. Not only will it remove the smell but it will also feel good and leave your feet feeling more refreshed too.

Use it as a toothpaste. You can simply dip the toothbrush into some baking soda sprinkled on your palm and then you brush and rinse as usual.

Use a teaspoon dissolved in half a glass of water as a mouthwash to leave your mouth feeling and smelling fresh and odor-free.

How Does Baking Soda Deodorize Clothes?

I know many people don’t really care why baking soda works to remove bad smells, they’re just happy that they do.

But for those who are wondering why the magic happens, here’s a layman’s version of the science behind its effectiveness.

Firstly, the cause of unpleasant odors are acids and strong bases.

Baking soda is what is known as an amphoteric substance meaning it can act as both an acid and a base.

Baking soda reacts with both acidic and strong alkaline molecules, turning them, respectively, into neutral-smelling sodium salts.

As long as one compound comes in contact with the other the deodorizing effect can take place.

For a far more in-depth explanation about baking soda and its many uses, take a look at this paper produced by the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


The bottom line is you don’t have to spend lots on expensive “specialist” products to keep your hunting clothes scent-free.

Baking soda if extremely effective at removing any types of strong odors and you really don’t have to do anything particularly special for it to work.

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