How To Wash Hunting Clothes With Baking Soda

Baking Soda

The weather is cold, and the hunters are coming. You’re excited, but you don’t want to get sick from all the dirt and grime that gets touch during a hunting season specially the blood of deers wiped on clothes during deer hunting. So, here’s a quick guide on how to wash your hunting garments with baking soda for easy care.

Does baking soda kill scent?

Even though baking soda is a deodorizing agent, it does not destroy an animal or human scent. However, it does remove any odor-causing bacteria from your clothes, so you can take them back to the hunter’s store and have them restock their lines without having to worry about grime and dirt destroying their inventory.

Taking a load of clothes in to be washed and dried by anyone other than a professional cleaning service can be a waste of money, even if they are very cheap. The person that owns the business will probably not know how to wash clothes without fading, shrinking, or getting them tangled in a washing machine. If your hunting attire is expensive, then you don’t want them ending up in the hands of an amateur.

If you need to eliminate odors and dirt but don’t want to travel back home to do it, then it’s time for baking soda to come into play again!

How can I make my hunting clothes scent-free?

Wash them with baking soda and water.

Baking soda has been around for over 1,000 years. It was first used as a deodorizer in clothing in the 19th century when people started washing their clothes at home to save money on their laundry services. The ancient Sumerians came up with its first use, and it’s still used as a household cleaning product today.

Since then, scents have been added to almost every type of cleaning product that you can buy. Baking soda is a great way to get rid of smells from your clothing, and it’s also safe for your skin.

How Is Baking Soda Used for Washing Hunting Clothes?

Please don’t wash your hunting clothes when they are wet.

At least, not all at one time. You will make a mess and have to rewash the hunting clothes with blood the next day if you do. Hang each article of clothing up to dry so you can quickly tell which article needs washing.

You will need:

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • ½ gallon warm water (Not hot! You can melt synthetic clothing!)
  • Washing machine (optional)
  • Old toothbrush (optional)

Brush off all the mud.

After hanging up your hunting clothes:

  1. Take an old toothbrush and a bucket of warm water and gently brush off the mud.
  2. Start with the heavy-duty mud first, like boot bottoms, then move on to other areas of clothing as you see fit. Your clothing should be slightly damp now.
  3. If it is not damp enough, rewash with clear water until they are wet enough to soak up the baking soda solution.

Pre-soak your clothes with vinegar and baking soda.

Pre-soak your clothing with vinegar and baking soda solution. Baking soda is an excellent softener for clothing and can remove the strong odors that come with hunting. Vinegar also helps kill bacteria that could cause mold or mildew. The salt from sweat can also cause mold and mildew, so we’re helping to prevent that, too.

Mix the vinegar and baking soda.

Mix 1 cup of white vinegar with ½ cup of baking soda in a sink or bucket. It is not good to put the mixture directly on your clothing unless you are confident about what you are doing. If it smells too harsh, then add a drop of your favorite type of essential oil to give it that extra scent. Wear old clothes and rubber/latex gloves just in case it gets messy.

Soak your clothes for 15 minutes.

Put your clothes in the bucket or sink, give them a gentle stir, and let them soak for 15 minutes. You can put a towel over it if you want to keep the bucket from dripping on the floor.

Wash your clothes.

After 15 minutes, drain out the vinegar and baking soda mixture, but be sure not to pour it down your drain unless you want to ruin your pipes or septic system. If you have a washing machine, put your clothes in there and wash normally. If not, fill the bucket or sink with water and vinegar and let the clothing soak in that for a few minutes before washing in clear water.

Dry your clothes as usual.

If you have a drying rack, hang it up to dry. If you do not have a drying rack, put up some towels on your porch or by a heater so that they can dry without being too cold to touch.

Rewash your clothes if they smell.

If your clothes smell after washing, then add another ½ cup of baking soda and rinse it out before washing again with clear water. That is an excellent time to add some herbs or other scent killer in with the baking soda so that you can freshen up the hunting scent without having to wash it out thoroughly.

Repeat as needed according to the odor problem you have.

If you have a strong odor problem, wash your hunting clothes with a mild bleach from Walmart or the laundry soap detergent aisle.

Enjoy fresh, clean hunting clothes!

Enjoy fresh, clean hunting clothes without worrying about catching something!

How to Conduct A Scent Control Test For Your Hunting Clothes?

  1. “Wash” your hunting clothes.
  2. Fill a blank piece of paper with drops of water on it.
  3. Put some more drops of water on the other side of the paper, but don’t wet it entirely.
  4. Put the paper somewhere you will walk by it.
  5. Walk around for a few minutes, focusing on making as many footprints as possible.
  6. Go back to the paper and smell it.
  7. Don’t let someone else smell it before you do (so you can be unbiased).
  8. If your clothes have too much scent on them, try washing them with a bit more baking soda or vinegar to take care of the problem.
  9. If the smells are still bad, then you can bleach them with bleach water.
  10. Rub the bleach onto your hunting clothes.
  11. Rub it in well, but not hard enough to permanently damage the clothing.
  12. Put your hunting clothes on and go outside and walk around a bit, making more “footprints” if needed.
  13. After a few minutes of walking around, go back and smell your hunting clothes again.
  14. If the smells are still bad, try pre-soaking your hunting clothes in vinegar and baking soda again.
  15. Repeat steps 10 to 12 as needed.
  16. Once you find a combination of washing, pre-soaking, and bleach that works for you, then you can wash your hunting clothes that way each time before you get dressed.


Hunting gears are hard to clean, and because of the skin contact, you need to be extra careful. One of the best inventions for hunting gear is baking soda. Baking soda absorbs all the oils, bacteria, and harmful odors from your hunting gears, leaving them safe for years and years of use. Baking soda has a neutral pH, which is excellent for cleaning all types of surfaces and materials. It does not leave any residue behind. It is a non-toxic and environmentally safe product. The only thing left is the fragrance of the essential oil used previously. It gets rid of the stains and odors with vinegar while leaving your clothes clean and sweet-smelling for weeks, even after many consecutive uses.

Baking soda and sunlight are a natural combination. Baking soda is an excellent substitute for bleach and fabric softener, as it has bleach properties that are milder and safe for your skin. The essential oils used in the process prevent foreign odors from coming back over time.

For best results, clean your hunting gear before you get to the field or on weekends before you go out hunting.