General Question

longtresses's avatar

Is sweat necessarily unclean?

Asked by longtresses (1332points) January 22nd, 2011

Is sweat necessarily unclean for everyone? Or does the clean factor vary according to individuals?

Some people prompt a shower immediately after a work-out session. I wonder if that’s always necessary. What if one consumes health-conscious food, drinks clean water, lives in air-clean environment, maintains high hygiene standard, has clear skin, has non-sticky sweat, and has no body odor to begin with?

I’ve read that sweat contains a trace amount of minerals. That can’t be all “dirty”, as in urine, which is purely the body’s fluid waste.

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9 Answers

nellybar's avatar

It may not be ‘unclean’ in terms of dirt, but it makes my hair greasy and armpits smell!
Plus, a shower feels really refreshing when you get hot and sweaty…even if the grease and armpit smell don’t appear…

cazzie's avatar

Great Question:

First part: Sweat is a body fluid and does contain some body waste, as well as trace minerals and, of course, salt. Sweat doesn’t necessarily smell (depending on diet). What does give us ‘body odour’ is the microbes that live on the surface of our skin that eat the sweat and excrete waste. We all have colonies on our bodies, and it even varies where on the body you look as to what type lives there. So, no. Sweat isn’t dirty, but the waste of the microbes is smelly.

Urine is cleaner than you think. It’s mostly water. Some people even suggest that drinking your own urine improves your health in some way, but ick. What makes pee stink is that it hits the air and oxidises and becomes ammonia. There are other dietary factors that make pee smell, like vitamin Bs.

hope this helps.

bunnygrl's avatar

I’ve always associated sweat with… get yourself into a shower. My nightly ritual every night I get home from work, hug hubby and fur baby and go straight into a shower then throw my work uniform into the washing machine and me into my fluffy jammies. Both morning and evening I LOVE my warm soapy shower, makes me feel lovely and fresh, and in the evenings I use my wonderful lavender shower gel which is just gorgeous, mornings I use dove which I adore the scent of.

CaptainHarley's avatar

What @cazzie said. : ))

Actually urine is “cleaner” than many water sources. It’s been filtered through the kidneys, which are very effective. It just smells strange because of uric acid and other waste byproducts.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Fresh sweat off a body that gets plenty of water and good food, no biggie because it doesn’t smell yet and tastes just a bit salty. Sweat that’s had a chance to mix with hair, lotions, fabric and more sweat? Icky.

zenvelo's avatar

sweat on a healthy clean woman is incredibly sexy for me…as
@cazzie points out, it’s the bacteria that makes it stinky.

Nially_Bob's avatar

Typically I find that the perceived lack of cleanliness that comes with sweat is strongly dependent upon the general health and attractiveness of the individual involved.

It can be seen in the media everyday. Nerdy unattractive teens who are sweaty are seen as uncouth and dirty. While muscular handsome men covered in sweat have an alluring shimmer to them. In this regard, sweat is very much affected by the Halo Effect.

Personally, I find that there are two types of sweat. There’s ‘recently exercising’ sweat which I find appealing both on myself and others for the most part, and there’s ‘lazy sunday afternoon sweat’ which is…different.

Whatever the case, it’s generally in our best interests to shower regularly to dispose of these smells in exchange for something more alluring such as the typically sweet or musky aromas of shower gels as this is what most others are doing, and so keeps us competitive, or atleast on an even-keel.

cazzie's avatar

any other questions about things that live on your skin? Try to think of them as pets.

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