People Who Don't Wear Deodorant or Seemingly Bathe Regularly, Why?

Like, I travel around for work and I’ve met plenty of people from all backgrounds.

Why is there a demographic of people who don’t seemingly bathe regularly, or at the very least wear something to cover up their BO? I could understand if it’s an allergy, or even religious reasons (though the people I’ve met that smell bad are usually you’re average American young adult man) but recently (like in the past week, recently) I’ve met a concerning number of people who don’t seem to wear any kind of deodorant or possibly don’t even bathe regularly; it’s starting to become an issue for me, as I don’t even want to interact with them when I can smell them walking up from 3+ feet away yet I need to for work.

Does anyone have any possible insight?


I find the ones drenched in foul smelling deodorants smell far worse.


I was once a stinky man and while I don’t want to use this as an excuse, I had a not so great childhood and struggle with mental illnesses. I’m still not always the best at taking care of myself but I’m better than I was and I make sure I’m mostly clean.

MonkRome, (edited )

For much of my adult life I’ve smelled good with or without deodorant and rarely sweat much. Lately whether because of a hormonal change or something wrong I’m unaware of, my smell has changed completely. No amount of deodorant helps, no amount of showering helps. In fact, I often end up using deodorant as a last resort, because whatever bacteria is taking over seams to turn all types of deodorant into vinegar & onions in a matter of minutes, as if it’s feeding off the deodorant. The smell seems to be improving over time, according to other people, not just me. But it has given me additional sympathy for people going through this. When its bad, I can lather my body head to toe in the shower 4 times and come out smelling the same as I went in. Sometimes smells are hard to tackle. You shouldn’t assume it’s a hygiene thing.


Go to a doctor


First off, not everyone who doesn’t wear deodorant smells, and secondly, some people shower regularly and use deodorant and still smell.

The diet, genetics, and what kind of bacteria live on your skin will affect the body’s odor. I struggled with body odor for years before I discovered that I was showering incorrectly. I learned that after lathering the soap and getting covered by it, you’re supposed to let it sit on the skin for a while before scrubbing and rinsing; this discovery which many consider obvious was new to me, and it stopped my body odour completely to the point I don’t need deodorant at all by simply showering with a correct technique.


I’d take a bet you were a fast shower person. In and out in 5 min. I know I was just like that as a teen in a house of 7 people. Body odor problem was notable enough that I carried deodorant on me. I, like you, learned this simple trick later in life but shared it with my kids to help them through teenage years.

you’re supposed to let it sit on the skin for a while before scrubbing and rinsing

Part of this is due to the heat opening your pores on your body and the soap doing its job by cleaning out the bacteria and oils that cause the smells. Scrubbing also plays a big role too, lather and rinse using a scrubber!

Doing this has allowed for me to skip shower days and I just need to scrub my head/face to remove oils before bed. I still wear deodorant, but it’s lightly scented because otherwise I have a naturally strong orange(fruit) smell that can get overpowering (to me).

I know we’ve got some cold shower bros out there and don’t worry, this still works in cold showers, just over longer stretches of time. I know this because Mother Nature doesn’t often preheat her rivers while I’m camping, but I still stay fresher than my peers.


Oh yeah, I have been speedrunning my showers for most of my life, and no one ever told me I was doing it wrong. Only discovered the proper way to shower after seeing a professional car wash… Lol.


First off, not everyone who doesn’t wear deodorant smells, and secondly, some people shower regularly and use deodorant and still smell.

Yea… This is something people love to say, but it’s not true for 99% of the stank out there. Is there people like that? Maybe, probably, but it’s much more likely they just have poor hygiene.

It’s the same with people that have bad breath… Somone will comment, well actually there are people with this genetic disease passed down by Attila, that even if you brush 8x a day you still have bad breath!!

Yea… Ok buddy.


I shower when I feel like I need to. Usually every 2-3 days, unless I’ve been sweating or working in a dirty environment. Wife says I never stink and she has the nose of a god damned bloodhound. Guess it depends on body chemistry and the PH balance of the skin. I use gentle soaps. I do wear antiperspirant everyday though. So I dunno. But I did find this:



Thank you. I am a 2-3 day showerer as well. I do wash my face every day, wash my hands regularly of course, and wear antiperspirant deodorant. I tend to shower when my hair has finally become oily enough that it’s noticable, of if I start smelling bad, but my body somehow doesn’t produce much of a smell. It’s not that I’m just used to my own smell, I’ve had it confirmed by plenty of people. Even on day 3, I’m generally fresh. I do try to put a hard day 3 limit on myself, though. Times when I’ve pushed it to 4 days have not been so great lol


I didn’t use to either shower or bathe but it was a mental health issue: I went though both depression, which didn’t help, and I didnt have good showering habits due to being kinda aquaphobic. If water hit my face at all I would think I’d die (pretty dumb I know). Nowadays I bathe pretty much daily. Having a detachable showerhead helps a lot so I don’t have to deal with water on my face.

dylanTheDeveloper, avatar

I’m a Reddit moderator with over 2 million karma I don’t have time to bathe. When I do bathe it’s useing a garden hose because I weigh 450 pounds


450 pounds

So svelte! You must be the envy of all the other moderators!


I don’t apply deodorant at all. Maybe before I know I’m about to be active, but even without it, it’s fine, I shower after anyways.


So, I’m kindof an outlier, I guess…

I bathe regularly and I have always used Safeguard antibacterial soap. I work physically…construction, handyman, remodeling, woodworking, etc. I live in a tropical climate. In spite of all that, I rarely sweat (most likely due to climate because I sweated like a pig when I lived in SE US). When chatting with clients, I’d make an apologetic comment about my smell and they always respond with “you don’t smell.”

I assumed that this was just being nice and cordial, but my wife says “no, they’re right. You don’t smell”. I assure you that she is NOT trying to be cordial, and it turned into a conversation in which she insisted that I don’t smell. “I can tell you’ve been working, but you don’t smell bad or anything…”

So I would occasionally “forget” to wear deodorant. Eventually I stopped wearing it altogether. Same thing: not smelly. I HAVE to assume that it is because the soap killed all the smelly bacteria.


Some people also just don’t smell. I found that hard to believe, but my GF a) never sweats and b) even when she does, it’s not smelly.

Wahots, avatar

For me, it was because my mountain bike gear was being washed on cold as heat screwed up the Eva foam in the knee pads and body armor. The jersey also got washed cold, so bacteria never got killed off. When it got hot, the heat would activate the smell, but it’s hard to tell when you are going fast down a trail.

Once I started washing everything possible on hot, it stopped a lot of the smell.

I assume people are doing that with non-mtb clothing and getting similar BO results. So it’s quite possible it’s also not necessarily them, but their clothes.


This doesn’t make any sense…there is a huge movement to use cold water to wash clothes, and hot water unless it’s extremely hot, isn’t staying hot enough to kill off bacteria. Were you using detergent correctly?

Wahots, (edited ) avatar

Yup, always the same amount (Pods). The only thing that changed was the temperature of the water.

Nisaea, avatar

It doesn’t make sense if you think the heat is here to kill bacteria. However, heat helps detergents do their job, and most likely helps loosen biofilms given their composition.


I never talk to anyone so i have no incentive to other than my own comfort. I do feel more comfortable when i’m clean, but my mere comfort often doesn’t feel like reason enough when executive dysfunction makes a shower is a 1-hour affair, plus i have a weird anxiety around thriftiness so i don’t like to “waste” the warm water and soap.

Same reason why the house isn’t as clean as it could be. It would be cleaner if anyone came in here ever, but no one does, so the only reason to vaccuum is my own satisfaction, which isn’t worth the time and effort.

All told i end up showering every ~5 days in winter and once a day in summer, and i never touch the perfume bottles. I actually don’t really get the point of perfume or deodorant tbh, seems like the solution to BO is a shower.


I don’t get how showering is less than an hour affair for any women at least. Between washing my hair, washing my body, shaving under my arms, and shaving my legs, that’s easily 30 minutes. And then the whole applying moisturizer so my skin doesn’t totally dry out from the shower, toweling off, lying in front of a fan to actually feel dry, and semi drying my hair, that’s an hour (plus my hair is still wet for hours after). This does not include the time spent convincing myself to shower. I shower twice a week. Less if I don’t have anything going on that week/ I get to stay home.

I don’t, because my hair is naturally straight, but a lot of women also have to completely reset their hair with every shower too, blow drying, straightening, curling - whatever they do to look professional again.

I absolutely do use deodorant though, and I also clean under my pits with a washcloth between showers if I ever start to smell anything past neutral


Yeah but look at all the stuff you do besides showering, the shaving and hair care and such. I’m genuinely just talking about the shower itself. There’s convincing myself to shower, then there’s watching youtube videos with my clothes off, then there’s spending too long in the hot shower because i don’t want to step out into the cold bathroom, then there’s drawing shapes on the fogged mirror, etc

I think my expectation for quick showers comes from my upbringing? For a few years growing up we had the toilet, sink and shower all in the same bathroom, and that bathroom was being used by like 6 people. So every minute spent in the shower was inconveniencing someone else. idk


Not all that every shower though. Ponytail or shower cap. I shower as you describe twice a week, yes, but also each evening just jump in and wash underarms, crotch, hands, feet, face. Yes lotion, night cream for face (Retin-A) deodorant and sleep. It’s relaxing and sheets stay nice, I wake up clean enough to just dress & go.

You don’t have to do your hair or shave every time you shower.

focusforte, (edited )

The few people I know with this issue fall into one of two categories.

  1. Access issues. There are some kinds of road blocks accessing a quality shower/bath. Which makes showering/bathing is an uncomfortable activity for some reason. Maybe it’s that their shower is really small and cramped, with a low quality shower head. Maybe it’s an issue where the water quality is low in the shower they have access to. Low quality water can have an odor people find uncomfortable, or it can dry out their skin making their skin feel dry even while under the water. People naturally avoid things that make them uncomfortable even subconsciously.
  2. Mental Health. I suffer from this occasionally. I love showering, it’s extremely relaxing, but for whatever reason the process of getting into the shower is such a huge barrier to overcome. You feel like absolute dog shit. You know that a shower would make you feel better, but for whoever reason no matter how hard you try, you cannot push through the transition of wanting to shower, to taking that first step towards doing it. And it all compounds together to make you feel like an even bigger piece of shit for not being able to do something so basic. Until eventually you’ve doom scrolled the entire day away and now it’s dark out and you’re tired and you’ve got a stress headache because you’ve barely even ate today either while you just stewed in your own filth.
Chadus_Maximus, (edited )

When you live in the countryside, you have to spend several hours getting the bath house ready. During the summer you can go for a swim and it’s just as convenient as showering.

In winter however… Washing yourself takes effort.


Well written on both parts, and it’s often a combination of both. When you have mental health issues, it can also be harder to get stuff to make a shower or anything else nicer. Be it issues doing laundry, so you don’t have completely clean towels and/or fresh clothes to put on afterwards, or having shampoo, conditioner, etc.
I often get stuck because I haven’t showered, haven’t been able to force myself to do laundry, and/or forgot to buy products. Then you really don’t want to leave your home because you get anxiety over others seeing or smelling you, so you’re just stuck with that anxiety for days until you manage to do anything about it.

Melody, avatar

Personally; I manage my BO. If I can lift my shirt up, pull my head inside the shirt, and smell my own armpit odor, then I’m in need of some DO.

I’ve been using a Dove branded Spray-On (AP/)DO for Women and it’s effective. By combining the acts of applying DO, then, changing clothes; I don’t particularly sweat over much.

I Do Shower on an As-Needed Basis. That’s saying that I do shower, without committing to any specific showering pattern or timing basis. If you try to imply I don’t shower regularly you will look foolish.

If I stink, then it’s either uncommonly hot and humid or I have not yet had the opportunity needed to shower. The hows and whys of this are not important; but generally if I choose not to shower, it’s probably for a good reason.

I do suffer from some allergies and disabilities. I won’t comment on what they are specifically, but they do exist, so I keep my fragrances light and unobtrusive; and I try to shower only when I can manage to handle doing so. I’m not going to uproot or upset my health, focus, peace or routine just to take a shower to please someone arbitrary; but I do allow the people whom I live with and love to remind me gently should I forget about addressing my BO in the chaos of life.

This isn’t saying that I don’t care. It’s saying I’m imperfect, I have a life, and I do get overloaded sometimes.


My momma used to say that if you can smell yourself, other people have been smelling you for days.

Don’t know what your issues are, but I have aquagenic urticaria. There are waterless, alcohol based ‘soaps’ that I rely on heavily.

InvisibleShoe, avatar

Drought. When you live in the bush and only have tank water for everything, drinking water comes before showering/bathing. When things are bad, shower once per week and use a bowl of water and wash cloth to freshen up the rest of the time. Still end up with a smell though. You can smell the drought on the people in a rural areas when you go into town.


How do people not smell bad?

My clothes are drenched within a few hours, if I’m sitting somewhere then there is a puddle under my feet in less than 30 minutes

Even in the shower I’m dripping/have BO while using soap


Wait… what? Do you live in the Amazon or something? You should probably go see a doctor



I was told not to worry about it


Excessive sweating is definitely something you should worry about.


That’s irregular. Have it checked by a medical professional and get a second or third opinion if you already were at the doctor.

There is cases where the underlying reason can not be discovered. Those are usually harmless. Pretty much all cases where an underlying reason can be determined can be tested for and for almost all of them should get you medical treatment. They reach from not good to serious danger to your health.

Nisaea, avatar

That answer doesn’t mean shit when it’s actually affecting your well being. I hope you can find a doctor who takes you seriously.


Yeah the Amazon is a trip. I was down there for about a week, and except at night, there was no point at which I was not basically dripping with sweat. I’m told that your body eventually acclimates and it becomes less of an issue, but a week was definitely not long enough for me.


Try acne body wash. It made a big difference for me, before switching I was using aveeno. I use the Amazon brand version of this:…/6805370.html

Make sure you’re using a wash cloth, loofa, etc not just your hands. Scrub well.


Are you on any meds? I was once taking a medication (an NSAID) that caused excessive sweating, and it took me longer than I’d like to admit that my new med and my sweaty head were related.

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