Baking Soda for Washing Hunting Clothes The Ultimate Guide to Keeping Your Camo Scent-Free

Baking Soda for Washing Hunting Clothes: The Ultimate Guide to Keeping Your Camo Scent-Free

Are you looking for an effective, all-natural way to wash your hunting clothes and gear? Using baking soda to wash hunting clothes is a simple and affordable method to ensure they are scent-free and bright, helping you remain undetected in the field.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover baking soda for washing hunting clothes and everything you need to know about using baking soda for washing hunting clothes, including:

  • Benefits of Baking Soda for Hunting Clothes
  • How to Wash Hunting Clothes with Baking Soda
  • Tips for Storing Hunting Clothes Between Washes to keep them remaining scent-free.
  • Additional Scent Control Methods to Pair with Baking Soda
  • FAQs About Washing Hunting Clothes with Baking Soda

If you want your hunting clothes, base layers, boots, packs, and other gear to stay odor and scent-free this hunting season, baking soda is a must-have item for your laundry routine. Let’s get started!

Benefits of Using Baking Soda for Hunting Clothes

There are many reasons why baking soda is an ideal laundry additive for hunters:

  • Neutralizes Odors: Baking soda is very alkaline, with a pH of around 9. This means it neutralizes acidic odors from sweat, smoke, food, and other scents that cling to fabrics.
  • Baking soda naturally deodorizes and helps maintain a scent-free garment. As a scent-free odor absorber and eliminator, baking soda breaks down odor compounds instead of just masking perfume-like scents.
  • Acts as a Gentle Detergent: It lifts dirt and stains without the harsh chemicals found in many laundry detergents.
  • Brightens and Whitens: Baking soda brings back the brightness in hunting fabrics and camo prints without adding brightening chemicals.
  • Softens fabrics: Baking soda not only removes odors but it also makes your hunting gear scent-free by softening the fabrics. It prevents fabrics like wool and fleece from getting stiff, coarse or rough.
  • Anti-Fungal and Anti-Bacterial: Baking soda inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria in fabrics.
  • Non-Toxic and Hypoallergenic: Baking soda contains no dyes, fragrances, phosphates, chlorine or other irritants. It’s gentle enough for sensitive skin.

As you can see, baking soda offers a host of benefits for washing garments worn hunting. Next, we’ll tackle exact methods on how to wash whitetail hunting clothes with baking soda, maintaining them scent-free.

Baking Soda for Washing Hunting Clothes: Full Guide

Washing clothes, outerwear, and gear with baking soda is simple. Here is a step-by-step guide:

Supplies Needed

  • Baking soda
  • Unscented laundry detergent (fragrance-free/dye-free recommended)
  • Washing machine
  • Hunting clothes and gear to wash

Step 1: Check Clothing Tags

Inspect manufacturer’s care labels before washing to understand recommended water temperatures, cycles, and drying methods. This prevents damage, shrinkage or color loss.

Take note of warnings about using bleach or fabric softener, as these can leave lingering scents, interrupting your scent-free and clear hunting approach. Vinegar can be used as a fabric softener when needed.

Step 2: Pre-Treat Any Stains

Use a small amount of baking soda and water, or even borax, to make a spreadable paste for the pre-wash of hunting clothes. Gently rub a mixture of baking soda and water into stained and smelly areas of hunting clothes before washing them to ensure they stay scent-free. This helps lift odors trapped deep in fabrics.

Step 3: Wash Clothes in Baking Soda

Add 1⁄2 to 1 cup of baking soda along with regular unscented laundry detergent into the washing machine drum. Use whatever amount of detergent you would normally use for a medium/large load.

Then add hunting clothes and set the washing machine to a regular or heavy soil cycle using cold or warm water up to temperatures listed on garment tags.

Step 4: Add Baking Soda to Rinse Cycle

For extra freshening power, add another 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup baking soda to the washing machine dispensers for the rinse cycle. Vinegar can also be used in the rinse instead of traditional fabric softeners to wash my clothes and keep them scent-free.

Step 5: Line Dry Outdoors

Skip the dryer sheets. Once washed, hang clothing outside on a clothesline in the fresh air whenever possible. The sun naturally helps neutralize odors and avoids lint buildup from machine drying.

If line drying outdoors, turn garments inside-out halfway through drying time. This evenly distributes the freshening effects of air and sunlight when you wash your clothes using scent-free methods.

Tips for Storing Hunting Clothes Between Washes

To make baking soda washes more effective, take additional steps to prevent odors from accumulating deep in hunting fabrics when gear is stored:

  • Keep hunting clothes in an airtight plastic bin, duffel bag or vacuum compression bag between washings
  • Use scent-absorbing charcoal packs inside storage containers
  • Hang clothes in a ventilated closet or mudroom instead of stuffing into drawers or piles
  • Air out hunting layers outside after each wearing
  • Keep hunting clothes separate from casual clothing/everyday laundry
  • Store in cool, dark places away from heat and moisture
  • Make sure to wash your clothes after 1-2 wearings rather than letting odors build up to become a potent perfume.

Making efforts to reduce contamination and air out hunting garments using scent-free methods makes a big difference in keeping odors at bay.

Additional Scent Control Methods to Pair with Baking Soda Washes

While baking soda washing is extremely effective, you can combine it with other specialized hunting laundry products and practices for enhanced odor removal and scent control.

Specialized Hunting Detergents

After baking soda washes, periodically use a specialty hunting detergent that contains activated enzymes and microbial spores that “eat” odor. Examples are Dead Down Wind Laundry Detergent and Scent Killer Sport Wash.

Oxygen Boosters

Add an oxygen-based cleaner like OdorKlenz SportWash to a wash cycle with baking soda to boost odor elimination. The mix of alkaline baking soda and acidic oxygen is powerful on smells.

UV Brightener Removers are essential to ensure your clothes don’t give you away and perfume your hunting area when you’re trying to keep the wind in your favor during a hunt.

Soak camo in a UV brighteners eliminator such as Dead Down Wind’s Fabric Softener & UV Killer or Scent Killer’s Scent Remover before washing in baking soda. Brighteners make gear literally “glow” under UV light, so ensure to remove any UV brighteners from your clothing using soda to wash hunting clothes for a successful, scent-free hunt.

Activated Charcoal

Keep a plastic bag of activated coconut charcoal in your gear bags or tote for storage, working as an excellent scent-free odor absorber. Charcoal absorbs and neutralizes gases that cause scents to stay in fabrics, making it a great option for those seeking to use scent reduction methods.

Steam Cleaning

Use a handheld steamer on hunting clothes after washing in baking soda. The heat of steam helps release embedded odors and freshens gear.

Vinegar Rinse

Use white distilled vinegar in place of liquid fabric softener in rinse cycles to further fight odors and soften hunting clothes. It kills bacteria that cause smells.

Airing Out

Hang clothing outside to air out for 24-48 hours after washing and before wearing it on a hunt, you might also use scent-free deodorants to stay scent-free. Sunshine and fresh oxygen work wonders coupled with using soda to wash hunting clothes to ensure they stay scent-free. Turn inside-out and flip periodically.

As you can see, while a basic wash in baking soda delivers excellent scent removal for hunting clothes on its own, combining it with other specialized products amplifies the odor-fighting effects.

Why Baking Soda Works So Well for Hunting Clothes

You may be wondering…why baking soda works so effectively when washing hunting clothes and gear. There are a few reasons:

Alkalinity – With an alkaline pH, baking soda neutralizes acidic odors and inhibits bacteria growth that leads to unpleasant smells. It counterbalances sweat and dirt.

Absorbency – Baking soda pulls and absorbs odor molecules, trapping them so they can be rinsed away rather than leaving smells behind on fabrics.

Gentleness – With no dyes, brighteners or chemicals, baking soda lightly lifts odors and stains from delicate performance fabrics without damaging them.

Keeping to all-natural products and routines ensures your hunting gear is scent-free. – Made of just sodium bicarbonate, baking soda contains no synthetic fragrances or masking agents found in dryer sheets and fabric softeners. It allows true deodorizing.

Affordability – At only a few dollars per box containing many loads worth, baking soda is far cheaper than specialized hunting detergents to use with all hunting laundry needs.

Thanks to these innate characteristics, baking soda has a unique cleaning power on filthy and stinky hunting clothing that would overwhelm more delicate fabrics.

Next let’s look at some frequently asked questions about using baking soda specifically for hunting clothes.

FAQs About Washing Hunting Clothes with Baking Soda

Here are answers to some of the most common questions about using baking soda for hunting laundry:

How much baking soda do you add when washing hunting clothes?

For a medium/large load, add 1⁄2 cup to 1 cup of baking soda in wash cycles, and 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup to rinse cycles along with regular detergent. Adjust amounts based on load size and smell intensity.

What temperature water should be used?

Follow garment tag instructions for temperature settings, keeping the wash scent-free. Warm or cold water is best for typical hunting clothing materials. Avoid hot water as it can fade prints and damage fabrics.

Can I use fabric softener too? Or should I aim for a free and clear result?

Avoid traditional fabric softeners or dryer sheets as they contain fragrances. Use white vinegar instead during rinse cycles to soften and fight odors.

Is it fine for all hunting clothes materials?

Baking soda is gentle enough for most fabrics, including cotton, polyester, merino wool, fleece, and other technical materials used in hunting apparel, making it ideal to wash my hunting clothes with. Check clothing tags to be sure.

How often should I wash hunting clothes with baking soda?

Aim to wash hunting garments in baking soda after every 1-2 wears during hunting season for best odor removal, especially outer layers.

What else can we use to remove smells from hunting clothes and keep them free and clear of scents?

Along with baking soda washes, specialized scent-eliminating sports detergents, oxygen boosters, UV brightener removers, and activated charcoal provide extra odor-fighting power.

How should I dry-washed hunting clothes?

Line dry freshly washed hunting clothes in the sun and fresh air rather than machine drying whenever possible. The sun naturally neutralizes odors in fabrics.


Hopefully, this guide has shown that washing hunting garments and gear in baking soda is an extremely simple, affordable, and effective method to banish odors, brighten camo prints and keep clothing scent-free for stealthier hunting.

While basic baking soda delivers excellent results on its own, combining with targeted odor-removal products and practices amplifies the deodorizing effects even more.

Implementing the washing, storage and additional scent control tips covered here will result in crisply fresh hunting clothing free of any traces of human odor contamination for a more successful season.

So grab some baking soda on your next supply run, and work it into your hunting clothing laundry routine ensuring to use baking soda to wash my hunting clothes. Your nose and your game won’t know what hit them when you use baking soda to wash hunting garments.

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