A lot of us don’t think long and hard about our deodorant. At one point, we probably shopped thoroughly, sniffed a bunch of sticks and then settled on a a favorite after a test run. Many others just go with a popular deodorant and assume it works. That’s all well and good, but it turns out that most people aren’t getting the most from what they put under their arms, and it has a lot less to do with the brand. User error is the problem, so here are few secrets you didn’t know about using deodorant.

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Apply at Night

This holds truer for antiperspirants than plain deodorants. The primary difference between these two is that antiperspirants utilize aluminum to physically prevent sweating. You can check the ingredients on your stick to see which it is. That said, if you are using something designed to prevent sweat, it works better when you apply it before bed. Most people sweat a lot less when they sleep, and this allows the aluminum more time to penetrate to the sweat glands and do its work.

If you are going to try this method, you’ll want to exercise a little caution. You might already be aware that many deodorants can stain shirts and cloth. That holds true for sheets as well. If you give the deodorant enough time to dry before getting under the covers, you should be fine.

Follow the Directions

Have you ever actually read the instructions that come with your deodorant? Be honest. There are certainly some products that simply tell you to apply to your armpits, but many specially formulated deodorants have specific instructions. Ignoring them vastly impacts their performance. You might be paying top dollar for stuff that only fails to work because you haven’t read the fine print.

Some of the most common instructions will have you thoroughly clean the application area before you use the deodorant. In other words, it might work best after a shower. Other common guidelines suggest only applying to dry skin, and they might tell you how much deodorant to use. Here’s a hint: teenage boys aren’t the only group of people guilty of using too much.

Whether you’re sticking to a popular deodorant choice or you found your special niche goodies, make sure you’re using it correctly. Some very simple adjustments can boost your mileage, and you might find yourself smelling better, using less deodorant and developing some slightly better hygiene habits in the process.