sweat smells like vinegar

A natural process by which the body excretes waste products in the form of water is called sweating. But sometimes this sweating process could be the reason for embarrassment among friends or colleagues, just because you are smelling like yuck, nobody wants to sit next to you.

Have you ever thought of why this happens if sweating is a natural process? If you have not thought about it yet, then you have arrived on the right platform as here I am going to discuss everything about sweating and why your body smells like vinegar sometimes or regularly. So, let’s start to know about it.

Body odor was a kind of recognition pattern for humans in preceding time but nowadays this odor is not liked much due to the awkwardness of the odor. But still, in an animal kingdom, this odor has a vital role as it helps the animals in finding their mates. It seems very interesting…Right? 

But here, in this article, we will discuss body odor of human species and why it smells so ugh sometimes.

Another interesting thing about sweating is that it has no odor. It’s the bacteria residing in our body which makes it awful. Yes…it’s true. So, let’s have a look at how this process occurs and the reasons behind it.

Sweat smell like vinegar:

Sometimes the reason for the vinegar smell coming from your sweat is related to various diseases. If you are a diabetic patient, the chances are higher that you may feel some vinegar type smell from your sweat.

This happens because of some chemical changes which occur in our body when we are diagnosed with some diseases.

There are some more reasons. Keep reading..

Why does my sweat smell like vinegar?

Next thing is kidney infection. If your kidneys have any kind of infection, the sweat coming from your body may change its smell and feel like vinegar smell.

Our body goes through many changes. These changes include both physical and hormonal changes. But sweat smell changes due to hormonal changes in our body.

Hormones play a crucial role in our body and if they are not able to maintain their balance, there are high chances that you may feel many bad changes in your body.

It affects your mood as well as other activities in which the smell of your sweat is also included.

Vinegar smell sweat:

Vinegar smell sweat is a sign that your body is not in its natural state and going through some different phase. 

Whenever you notice that the smell of your sweat has changed, immediately consult your doctor. It can be a sign of skin infection.

Sometimes eating a particular food is the reason for the vinegar smelling your sweat. Our diet affects the hormonal process of our body. It controls chemical reactions in our body. 

Night sweat smell like vinegar:

Sweating is totally a biological process and natural in its form. The smell and odor which comes from the sweat is due to a specific kind of bacteria. These bacteria are not harmful for our body. 

If you feel in the night especially while sleeping that the smell of your sweat is not like normally what it used to be. There is some kind of change in the smell of sweat and it turns to smell like vinegar in the night, then stop and think.

Alcohol consumption is one of the main reasons for sweat smelling like vinegar. Although there are many other reasons besides that only. 

Sweat smells like vinegar while sleeping:

You have heard the term menopause, especially when you are a lady. Menopause is the condition in which the hormonal changes are very common. 

The level of estrogen goes down and this change leads to your sweat smelling like vinegar, especially at night. 

Hyperthyroidism is also a condition in which your hormones get affected. Even this is the situation when one of the very important hormones of your body loses its balance.

Almost all medical conditions which include hormonal changes may become the reason for your sweat smelling like vinegar.

Why do my feet smell like vinegar?

Our feet are the most important part of our body and you don’t believe it, but this small part has a lot of glands which produce sweat. 

The main reason for sweating feet is the bacteria. Feet odor depends on the quantity of bacteria present on your feet. 

Proper hygiene and some tips can help you to get rid of this problem. Kindly read the complete article for getting answers to all your queries related to today’s topic.

Smelling vinegar symptoms:

If you notice that the smell of your sweat has changed then it could be possible that you are going through one of the above mentioned reasons and medical conditions. 

Little smell and rare smelling is digestible but if you feel it regularly and a strong vinegar smell comes from your body parts, you need to see a doctor and do a proper complete checkup of your body.

Why do I smell like vinegar?

Anxiety and depression also affect your hormones and now you know the hormones have a strong connection with all the chemicals released and changes of your body.

If you take a lot of stress and deal with anxiety and depression, the chances are high that you become the victim of the bad smell of your sweat. 

This smell is something similar to vinegar smell. It is not advisable to ignore this symptom and take it lightly because a small change can lead to a big problem.

Some common reasons for smelling like vinegar:

Here is the catchy thing that there is a scientific reason for being smelling like vinegar. The human body has sebaceous glands which are responsible for excretion of waste materials from the body through sweating. There are two types of Sebaceous glands: Eccrine and Apocrine

Eccrine glands: They are responsible to regulate the body temperature and are present in all areas of the body.

Apocrine glands: They are present primarily on genital parts, eye region, and armpits. They produce much thick sweat which is nutrition for bacterial growth.  

  1. Vinegar-like body odor occurs due to Propionibacterium which is located in Apocrine glands. These bacteria play a role in the degradation process of proteins released in sweat. This biochemical process produces propionic acid which comes under the family of acetic acid which itself is often known as vinegar.
  2. Diet: It is commonly observed that whatever we eat, our body reflects it. So, if we eat food that has some odor, our body throws it back in its way. Foods such as egg yolk, garlic, onion, red meat, etc. are associated with odor.

One thing here to note is that a person who intakes excess of sugar in any form such as chocolates, chips, candies, milk, etc. will smell like vinegar. Have you ever spotted a diabetic person’s body odor? He will always stink like vinegar and this is because bacteria act fast on sugary foods and produce acids as a by-product. So beware, if you eat more sugar and have noticed changes in your body odor, you need to consult your physician. 

  1. Hormonal imbalance in the body:  

A Person mainly undergoes hormonal changes twice in his life. First at the stage of puberty, when the secretion of certain hormones increases in the body and sweating starts under the armpits, under the breasts in women and genital organs. Thus, the body smells like vinegar often.

Another important stage of hormonal imbalance is menopause in case of females. Females suffer from hot flashes (warm feeling over intense areas such as neck, chest, etc.) in this stage. This leads to stress and excess sweating in women. Bacteria break down the excess sweat that generates an awkward odor. In the case of males, hypogonadism (a condition in which testicles functions improperly producing lower levels of testosterone) also leads to hot flashes similar to menopause and produces surplus amounts of sweat leading to body odor.

  1. Personal hygiene: 

It is a significant determinant of your body odor. If you shower once or twice a day, it reduces the bacterial growth and body sweat containing proteins and other constituents get washed away, thus you can fight with body odor and can keep it away.

Use of deodorant and antiperspirant can also work in their way. Composition of deodorants inhibit bacterial growth and thus the sweat does not get converted into acidic material. On the other hand, antiperspirant acts by controlling the production of sweat. But these are short-term means of reducing body odor.

Cleaning of genitals, armpits, etc. also reduces sweating.

Regular cleaning and changing of outfits also play a vital role in personal hygiene. 

  1. Medical conditions such as Schizophrenia can also make the body smell like vinegar.

As of now, we have discussed the causes of it smelling like vinegar. Now it’s time to treat this ailment. Few simple steps can keep you away from this pungent odor and people will not object to sitting around you in public. You can roam with your girlfriend confidently. Haha…just kidding. Now, come to the main part to cure and get rid of it. Some good practices and changes in your daily routine as discussed below can make you achieve your target easily;

  1. Use of medicated soaps: 

There are many soaps available in the market which promote the killing of bacteria and keeping you away from foul smell. As the only issue is to maintain personal hygiene, it’s very important to shower daily or twice a day as per your convenience. Use of warm water synergizes the effect of soap. It is important to clean the under areas such as armpits, genitals, etc. as a high level of bacteria resides in these regions.

Removing the hair of underarms can also prevent you from the foul smell as sweat persists in the hairs for a longer time, increasing the growth of bacteria thus producing more amount of acids.

  1. Improvement in lifestyle and diet: 

You can avoid the protein-enriched diet from your meal to figure out if the foul smell is just due to your diet or there is something serious about your health. Elimination of spicy foods, onion, garlic, etc. from your diet can work.  

Take as much water as you can. Dehydration sometimes also leads to the foul smell. Water itself is a natural detoxifier and secretes waste products in the form of sweat, but that sweat will not have a pungent odor.

Improve your lifestyle and try to wear cotton clothes. Cotton has a natural property of absorbing moisture, so whatever sweat is secreted by the body, cotton can absorb it, whereas on the other hand, clothes made of other fabrics such as crape, etc. are unable to do this, thus making you more sweaty. This increases the bacterial action and production of acids, thus pungent odor.

  1. Medications: Keep a check on medications you are going through as you may experience the pungent odor as a side effect of some medication. If it is so, you need to consult your physician. 
  2. Use antiperspirants: As already discussed above, antiperspirants can prevent your body from making sweat. Therefore, you may use them to prevent your body from smelling like vinegar.

If you have tried everything mentioned above, but still the problem persists, it means your body is warning you to see a dermatologist. He can prescribe you some medications which can maintain the bacterial balance of the body. You can scrape out this pungent odor from your body.


If your body is giving you signs about any chemical change happening inside your body through pungent odor, you need to fight against it instead of ignoring or hiding it. Do consult your physician to find out the underlying root cause for your problem.

By Caitlyn

One thought on “Sweat Smells like Vinegar! Reasons and How to Get Rid of It?”
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