How to Remove Farm Smell from Humans


Tracy asked: How do I remove dairy farm smell from human skin and hair? My husband recently started working at a dairy farm. He comes home with this horrible smell emanating from him. We have tried bathing him in bleach and baking soda, using Clorox wipes, washing with regular soap several times and nothing seems to get rid of the smell. Please help.

A farmer will quickly tell you that the barnyard smell is one you just learn to live with, and with good reason.  Whether you’re dealing with cows, pigs, horses, poultry, or the whole menagerie, the scent is extremely hard to eradicate from not only yourself, but from clothing and other belongings. If you have day-to-day exposure to a farm and your senses are under assault, here are a few things you can try to neutralize or eliminate the odor.

You Will Need:

Things to Try to Remove or Lessen the Farm Smell:

  1. Scent-A-Way Scent Elimination Field Spray is designed for hunters to use in the field. It’s an odor neutralizer that destroys the source of scents on contact. Highly rated by users, this should work to eliminate odors in items that cannot or should not be thrown in the washing machine.
  2. Scent-A-Way Laundry Detergent can be used in top or front loading washing machine. It eliminates odors and leaves no scent behind.
  3. Febreeze and other fabric refreshers should eliminate or reduce the odors.
  4. Vick’s Vapor Rub can be rubbed under your nose.  It won’t help the scent go away, but it will give you something else to smell.
  5. Air fresheners or scented candles – especially strong natural scents such as pine – will help to hide barnyard odors.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Wear thick or impermeable gloves while working around farm animals or scents. This helps to keep odors off your hands.
  • When possible, wear two layers of clothing. Shed the outer layer, along with your shoes, before entering a home or office.
  • Don’t use harsh chemicals on skin. Chemical burns will make it difficult to scrub the cow smell away the following day.
  • Keep fabric refresher in your vehicle and spray yourself down before leaving the farm and heading home. This will reduce the amount of scent that you carry with you into the house.
  • Use the same fabric refresher on cloth seats and car interiors to help block the transfer of scent.
  • In colder weather, heavy canvas outerwear will help keep the scent off the clothes beneath.  Remove them before entering your house.
  • To keep those farm smells out of the home, shower as soon as you walk through the door. Any secondary smells will certainly be less potent than the originals.
  • Put smelly clothes into the washing machine and wash them immediately.  Don’t mix them with clothing or other items of the unscented variety, as the smell could transfer.


  1. Lynn says:

    My son recently started working for a dairy. One of the farm stores recommended “Grandma’s Lye Soap” to get rid of the smell. So far it seems to work.

  2. Justin says:

    Believe it or not, hydrogen peroxide takes the smell off your hands. Just take 3% peroxide and pour it on your hands, let it set for few seconds, then wash it off. Dries skin out a bit, but the smell is gone.

  3. Dawn says:

    I bought some tea tree oil 18-in-1 soap from CVS. My boyfriend washes with that and I put a TBSP in the washer. It gets rid of the dairy smell so far.

  4. Diane says:

    My son has started working on a dairy farm and came home smelling like, well, the farm. He took 4 showers and rewashed his hair 5 times; still smelled. I talked with my sister who is a hair dresser and she recommended vinegar .
    The next day after showering and rinsing his hair with white vinegar, he smelled fresh and clean.

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