Sweat itself does not smell. But, when bacteria is present, it breaks down acids contained in the sweat produced by apocrine glands and produces the sour, vinegar-like smell in the armpits, breasts, and genital-anal area.

If your sweat smells like ammonia, check your diet. A high protein, low carb diet causes protein to break down into amino acids, producing ammonia that affects the way your sweat smells.


Sweat Smells Like Vinegar


Why Do I Smell Like Vinegar

Is Vinegar Smelling Sweat Normal?

Yes, this is quite common, especially after exercise or when you're feeling nervous, anxious, or stressed. This is mainly caused by bacteria breaking down the acids in your sweat.


Why Does My Sweat Smell Like Vinegar?

Sweat is mainly composed of water and sodium chloride. It also contains potassium, calcium, ammonia, urea, lactate, and ethanol in small amounts. Most of the sweat your body produces does not smell. There are different sweat glands in the body and it is the apocrine glands located in the underarm, groin, and breast areas that produce sweat that can smell.

When a certain part of your body smells sour, the most common cause is bacteria. When bacteria is present on your skin and it mixes with sweat, it breaks down the acid in your sweat, resulting in a vinegar-like smell.

What Does It Mean When Your Sweat Smells Like Vinegar?

Possible causes of acidic sweat smell could be health conditions, such as kidney disease or diabetes. If the kidneys are not able to break down urea, the body excretes this through urine or sweat, causing sweat to smell like vinegar. In the case of diabetics, the body produces ketones as it burns fat, making the blood more acidic. Metabolites are also released into the sweat, which can smell like vinegar.

Bacterial infections like Trichomycosis also cause sour-smelling sweat. A 2013 study found that 35.7% of Trichomycosis cases included odor as a symptom, specifically sweat that smells acidic like vinegar.


How Duradry Can Help with Your Vinegar Sweat Smell

Our range of products consists of deodorant, antiperspirant, body wash, and spray. Each contains active ingredients that help control excessive sweating and body odor. When used daily, all these combined will help you get the best results fast so you'll never have to worry about sweat that smells like vinegar.

Duradry 3-Step System

Duradry Wash deodorizes skin by removing bacteria that causes the vinegar-like smell in your sweat. Duradry AM protects from sweat and odor during the day. Duradry PM controls the production of sweat while you sleep.


Duradry for Vinegar Sweat


Duradry AM

Contains an enhanced performance version of Aluminum Zirconium Trichlorohydrex Glycine at 20% that effectively controls sweating. Consequently, Duradry AM prevents vinegar sweat smell, leaving you dry and odor-free all day.


Duradry PM

Formulated with Aluminum Chloride Hexahydrate at 15% to gently yet effectively control the production of sweat at night. Also contains Salicylic Acid that improves performance and protects skin from irritation.


Duradry Wash

This impressive skin deodorizer is the best way to prevent vinegar sweat smell on any part of your body. It deep cleans the pores, removing odor-causing bacteria and inhibiting its growth.


Duradry Body Spray

This natural odor neutralizer is what you need to stay confident all day. Clear and residue-free, it protects skin from vinegar sweat smell without leaving a sticky or oily feeling.


Duradry Body Spray for Excessive Sweating


Most Common Causes of Sour Body Odor

Sour sweat smell can be caused by several factors, the most common are the following:

1. Hyperhidrosis
2. Diabetes
3. Kidney Disease
4. Trichomycosis
5. Meat and Dairy
6. Spices and seasonings
7. Stress
8. Hormones

Understanding why your body smells sour is important so you can take the necessary steps to address it. Take a look at each of these possible reasons and determine which of these is actually causing your specific condition.




A person with hyperhidrosis suffers from excessive sweating caused by the eccrine glands so the body sweats more than it needs to. It can be extremely uncomfortable and embarrassing, as the abnormal amount of sweat produced can lead to a strong vinegar smell.

About 5% of Americans have hyperhidrosis. There are two types:
• Primary focal hyperhidrosis
• Secondary hyperhidrosis

Primary focal hyperhidrosis does not start from another health condition or medication. The sweating affects multiple areas of the body, including the underarms, hands, feet, and forehead.

Secondary hyperhidrosis could be a side effect of medication or caused by an underlying health condition.



How to Treat Hyperhidrosis

Aside from medical treatments, there are home remedies you can try to help you cope with sour smelling sweat. Apply Duradry PM antiperspirant to help block sweat pores and reduce the amount of vinegar smelling sweat that reaches your skin. Wear clothes that are made from natural fabrics that allow your skin to breathe, such as cotton, wool, and silk.

You can also try natural remedies to treat hyperhidrosis. Taking herbal substances like sage tea or chamomile, acupuncture, biofeedback, hypnosis, and relaxation techniques have also been suggested as potentially effective treatments against excessive sweating.

Check with your local physician in case any symptoms appear from natural remedies.




Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when your blood sugar is too high. There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2.

Some of the early signs of Diabetes, which can be indicative of both types, are:
• Hunger and fatigue
• Peeing more frequently and getting thirstier
• Dry mouth and itchy skin
• Blurred vision

Aside from these, unexplained weight loss or nausea and vomiting are symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes. Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes include yeast infections, slow-healing sores or cuts, and pain or numbness in your feet or legs.

Check with your local physician in case any symptoms appear.


How to Treat Diabetes

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you will need to keep a close watch over your blood sugar levels and keep them at a goal set by your doctor. Taking medications, regularly exercising, and eating your prescribed diet are all important to gain control of your health.


 Check out Our Solution to Stop Embarrassing Sweat Odor 

Diabetes is a serious disease and you cannot treat it on your own. You will need to consult your doctor who will create a treatment plan for you. Depending on your condition, you may also need the help of other health care professionals, such as a foot doctor, nutritionist, eye doctor, and an endocrinologist.


Kidney Disease

Diabetes is a serious disease and you cannot treat it on your own. You will need to consult your doctor who will create a treatment plan for you. Depending on your condition, you may also need the help of other health care professionals, such as a foot doctor, nutritionist, eye doctor, and an endocrinologist.

Chronic kidney disease involves a gradual loss of kidney function. Your kidneys' main function is to filter wastes and excess fluids from the blood, which are then removed through your urine. With advanced chronic kidney disease, dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes, and wastes build up in the body.

Here are some symptoms:

• Tiredness
• Difficulty concentrating
• Difficulty sleeping
• Dry and itchy skin
• You feel the need to urinate more often
• Blood in your urine
• Foamy urine
• Swollen ankles and feet
• Poor appetite

Check with your local physician in case any symptoms appear.


 Sour Smelling Sweat Solution


How to Treat Kidney Disease

Oftentimes, chronic kidney disease has no cure, but some types of kidney disease can be treated. Treatment options vary depending on the cause and usually consist of measures to help control signs and symptoms, reduce complications, and slow the progression of the disease.

Your doctor will work to slow or control the cause of your kidney disease. However, kidney damage can continue to worsen even after an underlying condition, such as high blood pressure, has been controlled.

There are several ways to treat complications, mostly including medications for high blood pressure, relieving swelling, treating anemia, lowering cholesterol levels, and protecting the bones. A lower protein diet is also recommended to minimize waste products in the blood.



Trichomycosis is a bacterial infection of the underarm hairs. While it is not life-threatening, Trichomycosis can cause some irritation and discomfort. This condition is not contagious and it typically produces no symptoms, but there are a few signs you can look out for:

• Sweat stains on clothing
• Yellow, red, or black sweat
• Sweaty and smelly armpits
• The appearance of thick armpit hair
• Small yellow, red, or black nodules on the hair shaft
• Hair loss from excess bacteria and destroyed hair shafts

Check with your local physician and seek treatment in case any symptoms appear.



How to treat Trichomycosis

Trichomycosis is a treatable infection. With proper management and good hygiene, it can clear up within a few weeks.

Your doctor may prescribe topical antibiotics, such as clindamycin or erythromycin lotion. Apply these creams to the affected area twice a day for up to two weeks. Shave the hair in the affected area before applying this treatment method. If the topical antibiotics do not work, your doctor might prescribe an erythromycin pill. You should take these supplements daily for up to two weeks.

Talk to your doctor about getting more tests and different treatment recommendations if symptoms do not clear up.


Hormonal Imbalance

Hormones are produced in the endocrine glands and function as your body’s chemical messengers, telling tissues and organs what to do. They help control many of your body’s major processes, including metabolism and reproduction.

Hormonal imbalance occurs when you have too much or too little of a certain hormone. Some of the symptoms are:

• Weight gain / weight loss
• Fatigue
• Muscle weakness, tenderness, and stiffness
• Vinegar smelling sweat
• Decreased sex drive
• Thinning hair

 Vinegar Sweat


How to Treat Hormonal Imbalance

Treatment for a hormonal imbalance will depend on what’s causing it, so consult with your local physician for the appropriate treatment. Some common treatment options are estrogen therapy, hormonal birth control, anti-androgen medications, and testosterone therapy.

Hormones are produced in the endocrine glands and function as your body’s chemical messengers, telling tissues and organs what to do. They help control many of your body’s major processes, including metabolism and reproduction.

Hormonal imbalance occurs when you have too much or too little of a certain hormone. Some of the symptoms are:

• Weight gain / weight loss
• Fatigue
• Muscle weakness, tenderness, and stiffness
• Vinegar smelling sweat
• Decreased sex drive
• Thinning hair



Other Causes for Vinegar Sweat Smell

There are many other possible causes of vinegar smelling sweat, like what you eat. Stress can also be the cause of sour sweat smell because, when you’re stressed, the apocrine glands are activated.

Generally speaking, foods that contain some types of volatile compounds can change the smell of your sweat. These include red meat and dairy products, including milk and cheese, as well as spices, seasonings, and condiments. The way the body breaks down vinegar, onions, garlic, curry, cumin, and other spices and seasonings can leave compounds that come through your sweat, resulting in sour body odor.


Types of Seasoning and Spices

Spices can cause sour body odor. If you don't want your sweat smelling like vinegar, avoid these:

1. Garlic
2. Onion
3. Cumin

Garlic and onions have high concentrations of volatile organic compounds. They typically contain sulfur, giving off a pungent body odor. VOCs are released as the body metabolizes foods that contain these compounds, then they make their way into the bloodstream, and eventually find a route out of your body through urine, breath, and sweat.

Aromatic spices like cumin can also leave a lingering odor on your skin. While the smells of spices can turn a bland meal into a savory dish, it can also wreak havoc on your body’s natural odor and remain in your pores for several days.


Spices that cause vinegar sweat

Red Meat and Dairy Products

Amino acids red meat leave a residue in your intestines during digestion. As intestinal enzymes break down that residue, it mixes with bacteria on your skin during perspiration and causes your sweat to smell sour. This can last for a few hours or as long as two weeks, depending on your personal body chemistry.

Vinegar smelling sweat also develops when lipids secreted in your sweat are digested by bacteria on your skin, releasing a bad odor as a byproduct. Lipids come from digesting dairy products, such as milk and yogurt. The toxic waste feeds the bacteria that cause sour body odor.



Your body produces more sweat during stressful situations. When you're under stress, your underarms release short, powerful bursts of sweat. In fact, a stressful situation can make you sweat 30 times more compared to when you are at rest.

This is because sweat glands are activated by nerves that are sensitive to emotions, hormones, and other stressors. And so, when you are stressed, your body temperature rises and you begin to sweat a lot. While both stress and sweating are your body’s natural response to a perceived threat, having to deal with sour smelling sweat can make the situation a lot worse.



How Control Sour Sweat With Your Diet

"My sweat smells like vinegar," is a common self observation that happens after eating foods with certain chemical elements that cause sour body odor. Some of these foods are healthy and should not be completely excluded in your diet.

Instead, you can avoid eating these foods before an important event. You can also eat foods or take supplements rich in chlorophyll, like a fresh sprig of parsley after a meal, to counteract the bad odor.


1) Eat More Vegetables

Chlorophyll, the chemoprotein that gives plants their green color, is known to contain vitamins, antioxidants, and therapeutic properties that have the potential to benefit one's health. Some of the benefits from consuming chlorophyll are detoxifying your blood and eliminating bad odor, including vinegar smelling sweat.

You can get chlorophyll from green leafy vegetables, such as parsley, lettuce, wheatgrass, and spinach, or you can take supplements. Regular intake of these vegetables will help increase antioxidants in your bloodstream.


2) Consider Fish as a Substitute

After learning that red meat causes sour smelling sweat, you might want to replace this protein source with fish instead. Aside from curbing the production of vinegar smelling sweat, consuming fish is known to lead to many health benefits. Fish is filled with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins such as D and B2. It is also rich in calcium and phosphorus. It is a great source of minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium.


3) Eat More Fruits

Eating fruits is also an effective, natural way to get rid of sour body odor. Some of the fruits that greatly affect the way our body's smell are citrus fruits. These fruits get rid of the bad odor of the body and replace it with a fresh smell. Oranges, strawberries, pineapples, and apples all fall under the citrus fruits family, so feel free to pick your favorite fruit to eat to make your body smell great.


Duradry for when sweat smells like vinegar


Say Goodbye to Sour Smelling Sweat, Once and for All!

Prevent sour body odor by choosing the right products. Duradry PM Gel gently yet effectively works as you sleep, controlling the secretion of sweat glands with prescription-strength active ingredients.

Duradry AM works to keep you odor free all day long, and Duradry Wash gives your pores a deep clean in the shower.

Together, Our 3-Step System works to combat sweat at the source, eliminates odor like vinegar sweat, and keeps you feeling dry and fresh.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why Sweat Smells Like Vinegar Under My Breasts

The sour smell under your breasts is mainly caused by sweat and bacteria. Sweat smelling like vinegar is actually very common. It is caused when sweat is unable to evaporate when skin touches skin, such as the case for the area underneath your breast.

Body odor is the result of bacteria on the skin. As bacteria breaks down sweat produced by the apocrine glands, the waste products that are excreted causes the vinegar smelling sweat.


My Sweat Smells Like Vinegar When Sleeping - why?

One of the most common concerns of wives are, "My husband sweats at night and it smells." This is because men generally have more hair on their bodies. And so, as they sweat, bacteria present in the hair follicles feed off the sweat released from the body. This is why their body smells sour.

While sweating and body odor from activity and exercise is absolutely normal, excessive sweating at night may be caused by secondary hyperhidrosis — excessive sweating due to a medical condition. Consult with your local physician to determine the actual cause of sweating and the appropriate treatment.


Why Do I Smell Like Vinegar After Eating Curry?

Your diet affects how your body and your sweat smells. While spices like curry are essential in savory dishes, this can leave a lingering odor on your skin. This is because, when your body breaks down spices like curry, sulfur-like compounds are produced, causing bad breath as well as body odor when these compounds react with sweat on your skin. This can last for several hours and also cause vinegar smelling night sweats.


Why Do My Feet Smell Like Vinegar?

Vinegar sweat smell on feet is a byproduct of bacteria breaking down the sweat on your feet and producing propionic acid, which smells like acetic acid or vinegar. There are many self-care methods you can try to reduce or eliminate the sour sweat smell on your feet. If you’re worried that your foot odor may be an indication of an underlying condition, such as diabetes or a thyroid condition, consult with your doctor.


Why Does My Sweat Smell Weird?

The most common reason your sweat smells is the bacteria present on your skin. Sweat, for the most part of your body, does not really have any smell. But the sweat produced by your apocrine glands can smell. These glands are located in the underarm, groin, and breast areas, which is why you'll notice that these parts of the body are usually the ones that have bad odor.

Aside from this, other causes of body odor could be medical conditions, skin infections, food intake, or stress. If, despite applying antiperspirants and deodorants, you still have body odor, it would be good to see a doctor to determine what's actually causing this and how you can effectively treat it.