Why Your Balls Smell & What to Do About It

Why Your Balls Smell & What to Do About It

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Article updated: April 26, 2023

Help! My balls are smelly AF!

If you’ve ever wondered why your balls smell and what you can do to stop it, you’ve come to the right place.

The simple truth is sometimes balls smell, that’s just the way it is.

No matter how much cleansing and scrubbing is done, the fact of the matter is that every guy will experience testicle odor at some point in his life.

Women in a ball pit holding 2 balls

The reasoning behind it is really not that hard to figure out if you actually stop and think about it.

Just like your armpits and ass crack, your balls spend the majority of their day dwelling in a hot, humid environment with little to no air circulation. The perfect breeding ground for odor causing bacteria to thrive and multiply.

If you could ask odor causing bacteria where they would like to live, they would undoubtedly not respond because they can’t talk say either the ball sack, ass crack, or the armpits. Those 3 locations are odor causing bacteria’s dream destinations.

To help you understand the cause behind a smelly ball sack, you first need to understand how bacteria works.

Bacteria, Sweat, and Ball Odor

Bacteria is a strange thing.

Who would’ve thought that something so small and invisible to the naked eye could cause the balls to smell so much?

Better yet, how the hell do you eliminate and prevent something that you can’t see?

In order to rid yourself of odor causing bacteria, it’s important to understand why these microscopic organisms are attracted to your ball sack to begin with.

The answer: sweat.

Odor causing bacteria is attracted to any part of the body that is warm, moist, and sweaty, and the balls check all of those boxes nicely.

What most people don’t know is that sweat itself doesn’t actually have an odor that’s perceptible to the human nose. The stink that’s emanating from your balls isn’t actually caused by sweat, it’s really caused by thioalcohols.

Thioalcohols are released as a byproduct when odor causing bacteria is chowing down on your ball sweat like there’s no tomorrow. Thioalcohols have been known to smell a lot like eggs, onion, broccoli, meat, and even cheese. Yummy.

So basically:

Sweat = Bacteria = Thioalcohols = Smelly Balls

Now that you know that bacteria is the primary source of your smelly balls, it’s time to discuss how to get rid of those smelly balls once and for all.

Tips to Stop Smelly Balls in Their Tracks

Tip #1. Clean and exfoliate your balls

Cleanse your balls. Cleanse those fucking balls like there is no tomorrow.

Okay this tip sounds kind of obvious. But the truth is most men don’t actually do a very good job of cleansing their ball sacks in the shower.

The problem with the balls is that you can’t actually reach your nose down there and smell if you actually did a good job of cleansing them. And if you can do that, lucky you.

A public shower room

The key to making sure your balls are in fact clean is to actually exfoliate them. Exfoliating your balls will help eliminate as much of that unpleasant odor causing bacteria as possible, which will in turn help your balls smell fresher for longer throughout the day.

But wait, exfoliate the balls? That sounds kind of painful!

While the word “exfoliate” might sound kind of harsh, especially when talking about the ball sack, it really isn’t as bad as it sounds.

The simplest and easiest way to exfoliate the ball sack while showering is to use a washcloth or loofah while lathering up.

The textured surface of a washcloth or loofah does a far more effective job at sloughing away odor causing bacteria and dead skin cells than using your hand alone.

You should also consider using a soap or body wash that is specifically designed to deodorize and cleanse the ball sack and surrounding region. You can check out my list of best soaps and washes for the balls if you’re interested in updating your ball cleansing routine.

Tip #2. Powder your balls

If you’ve read any of my other articles pertaining to ball sweat and odor, you’ll have noticed that I am a huge advocate of using body powder on the ball sack and surrounding region.

Body powder is one of the most effective ways to combat ball sweat and odor throughout the day. It’s incredibly easy to apply, and one application really does keep you dry and odor free for most of the day. It’s also completely safe to re-apply throughout the day if you need to.

The reason why keeping your balls dry is so important, is because odor causing bacteria is attracted to moist skin. If you can keep your balls dry and sweat free, odor causing bacteria will be kept at bay.

One of my personal favorite ball/body powders on the market is Galaxy Dust Powder. Made in the USA, Galaxy Dust Powder is handcrafted using all-natural starches and clay minerals that absorb sweat, deodorize the skin, and help eliminate chafing and irritation caused by skin-to-skin rubbing.

Their powders come in a variety of excellent smelling scent options for men (they have an unscented option too) and I highly recommend checking them out if you’re interested in giving body powder a try.

A bottle of Galaxy Dust body powder for men
Galaxy Dust Body Powder

Tip #3. Adjust your diet

You may be wondering what the hell diet has to do with smelly balls, so I’ll tell you.

Did you ever hear the phrase “you are what you eat”?

Well this saying is actually very accurate when it comes to body odor.

The foods we eat play a huge role in the amount of body odor we produce and how that body odor smells.

Spicy foods such as peppers can actually make you sweat more, while the aroma of foods such as garlic and onions can actually be carried in our sweat causing exceedingly foul smelling body odor.

Other foods that are notorious for causing foul smelling body and ball odor are:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Asparagus
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Alcohol

If you’re dealing with very unpleasant ball stink, I highly recommend you adjust your diet, even if just temporarily, to see if it improves matters for you.

Tip #4. Wear clean underwear

This sounds like a no-brainer, but I’m pretty sure somebody out there needs to hear it.

The fibers of your underwear are really good at trapping and holding onto ball sweat and odors. If you make it a habit to wear underwear that is less than clean, you will absolutely be more susceptible to a funky smelling ball sack.

Man in a pair of white underwear

And even if you would never consider putting on a dirty pair of underwear, your underwear still might be contributing to your smelly balls. As you go about your day, your underwear is absorbing sweat, odor, and bacteria from your crotch region. It’s never a bad idea to have an extra pair of clean underwear on hand to change into if things start feeling a little moist down there. Not only will this help reduce foul odors, but it will also help you feel more fresh and comfortable than walking around in a wet, soggy pair of underwear.

Pro tip: sprinkle some ball/body powder on your underwear before putting them on to help noticeably reduce sweat and odor.

Smelly Balls Q & A (Reader Submitted)

Why do balls smell like vinegar sometimes?

The male body can be quite the mystery. Especially when it comes to the balls. If you’ve noticed that your balls smell like vinegar on occasion, try not to be alarmed. It’s actually not entirely uncommon. There are so many factors that contribute to body odor that it can sometimes be quite alarming when our bodies produce a smell that we weren’t expecting or haven’t experienced before. Skin odors can actually tell us a lot about what’s going on inside our bodies and what’s going on on the surface.

Some of the most common things that can cause your balls to smell like vinegar are the foods you eat, skin pH balance, and of course bacteria.

Why do my balls smell so soon after showering?

Taking a shower is supposed to rid our bodies of dirt, grime, odor, dead skin, and bacteria. So it’s completely understandable that you’re incredibly annoyed that your balls start stinking shortly after washing them.

While I can’t say for certain why your balls smell so quickly after washing them, I can offer a few tips that will certainly help keep your balls smelling fresher for longer after showering.

• Use a washcloth or loofah

When washing your balls, make sure you use a washcloth or loofah to help slough away dead skin and odor causing bacteria. Lathering up with your hand alone won’t do a very effective job of eliminating bacteria that can cause your balls to start stinking soon after showering.

• Use ball/body powder

If you’re serious about keeping your balls smelling fresh, I highly recommend you start using a ball/body powder. Dusting your balls with a ball/body powder after showering will make a dramatic difference in how long your balls stay fresh and dry throughout the day. My in depth list of best ball and body powders for men will help you get started.

Why do balls smell like cheese?

Cheesy smelling balls? Sounds pretty disgusting right?

Whether you like cheese or not, no guy wants their ball sack to smell like the stuff. The truth is, cheesy smelling balls is actually pretty common and the primary culprit is a certain type of bacteria called brevibacterium linens. This rod-shaped bacterium is commonly found on the skin and is often responsible for foot odor. But it can also be found on other parts of the body where it imparts its glorious cheesy smelling goodness including behind the ears, around the nose, between cracks and crevices of the skin, and yes, even on the ball sack.

The interesting thing about brevibacterium linens is that it’s commonly employed to ferment several types of cheeses including limburger and munster. If you think about it, your balls don’t actually smell like cheese. Cheese smells like your balls.

Have a question you would like answered? Feel free to leave it on the comment section below.