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How to Get Perfume Smell Out of Clothes

Jennifer L. Betts
Man Spaying Perfume

How do you get rid of that perfume smell? That is a question everyone's asked themselves at one time or another. Thankfully, there are methods that you can try to remove that perfume scent both with washing and without washing your clothes. And don't worry, removing perfume smells from dry-clean only clothing is possible too.

Methods for Getting Perfume Smells From Clothing

Did your aunt Franny give you a bunch of clothes that are just reeking of patchouli? Never fear! You can still wear that happening pants suit. But first you are going to need to grab a few supplies.

  • Laundry detergent
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Vodka
  • Lemon juice
  • Spray bottle

These methods are safe to use on all fabrics that aren't labeled dry-clean only.

Lemon Juice Pre-Wash

Lemon juice works as a great natural odor fighter. So, it can help to knock those perfume smells right out of your clothes.

  1. Create a 1:1 mixture of lemon juice and water.
  2. Spray the clothes down.
  3. Allow it to sit for about 30 or so minutes.
  4. Throw the clothing in the washer.
  5. Add laundry detergent as normal.
  6. Fill the washer.
  7. Add a half cup of baking soda and wash as normal.

Baking Soda Pre-Soak

When you have really smelly clothes, you might need to give them a pre-fighting soak in baking soda. For this method, you'll:

  1. Fill a bucket or sink with warm water.
  2. Add a half of a cup of baking soda and let it fully dissolve.
  3. Put the offensive article of clothing into the mixture and fully submerge it.
  4. Let it sit overnight, if possible.
  5. Wash as normal, adding a half of cup of baking soda to the wash.
  6. Repeat as necessary.
Baking soda, salt, lemon and cloth

Add Vinegar to the Rinse Cycle

Vinegar in the laundry can be a powerful scent fighter when you add it the washer.

  1. Load and wash your clothes as normal, adding the recommended amount of unscented laundry detergent.
  2. Pause the washer at the rinse cycle and add 1 cup of vinegar.
  3. Allow the washer to finish the cycle.

Hanging Clothes Outside

For each method, if it is possible, you'll want to hang the clothes outside in the sunlight to dry rather than throwing them in the dryer. The sunlight and plants will work to absorb any remaining odors that still linger.

Getting Perfume Smells Out of Dry-Clean Only Clothes

When it comes to dry clean only clothes, there are a few different methods that you can try to get rid of perfume smells. These might be from that night out you had, or it could be the harsh chemical smell clothes sometimes get at the dry cleaner. Either way, give these methods a try. Also, keep in mind this can work for fabrics that you just don't have time to wash as well.

Use the Fresh Air

Hang dry-clean only clothes on a line. If you don't have a clothesline, you might hang them on your porch on a hanger or even near a window that gets lots of sun. Allow them to sit in the sun for an entire day or longer if possible.

Grab the Baking Soda

Baking soda is a powerful odor reducer and can work in a couple of ways depending on what you have available.

  • If you have a wardrobe or enclosed closet, you'll want to sprinkle baking soda along the bottom. Seal up the closet and let the clothes sit like that for at least 24 to 48 hours. The baking soda will work to absorb the odors naturally.
  • If you don't have a wardrobe, you can sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of a paper bag. Place newspapers over the baking soda and neatly place your odorous clothes in the bag. Roll it tight and tape the top. Allow the clothes to sit for at least a day.
  • If you are in a hurry, you can also sprinkle some baking soda in a plastic bag and throw your clothes in the bag. Tie it shut and vigorously shake the clothes for about a minute. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Brush the baking soda off, and you are good to go.

Neutralize the Odor With Vinegar or Lemon Juice

For this method, you'll either add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to one cup of water or make a one-to-one solution of white vinegar and water and mix either in a spray bottle. Test the solution on an inconspicuous area to make sure color doesn't run or change. If you are okay to go, flip the clothes inside out and spray the entire garment.

Vodka for Victory

Vodka, the cheap kind, is better for odor removal than drinking. There is no need to dilute this concoction. You'll simply pour the vodka into a spray bottle and spray down the stinky areas. Check an inconspicuous area first to make sure it does not affect color. Allow it to air dry and say goodbye to that perfume smell.

Remove the Perfume

Perfumes or body sprays are a great way to make yourself feel a bit more attractive. However, there are a lot of people that can go overboard with the smells. Getting that smell out of clothing isn't impossible, but it might take a bit of ingenuity and a lot of baking soda.

How to Get Perfume Smell Out of Clothes