How to Get Perfume Smell Out of Clothing

How to Get Perfume Smell Out of Clothing

Maybe you sprayed when you should have spritzed. Maybe you doubted a dab would do you. Or maybe you inherited an old scarf, coat, or blouse with a lingering whiff of perfume clinging to it. However it happened, you’re now learning that getting perfume smells out of clothing is one of life’s more frustrating laundry challenges. Sure, we all enjoy stopping to smell the roses, but nobody wants people to stop to smell the clothes they’re wearing. Fortunately, we have a few quick, effective tips to combat unwanted fragrances without relying on harsh chemicals. Read on to learn how to remove perfume smells from your clothes while still making sure they smell fresh. And remember for next time: less is more, especially when you’re following your nose. 

Why Perfume Clings to Clothes

Perfumes consist of essential oils, alcohol, and other fragrant compounds that are created to stick to surfaces — including fabrics and skin — even long after that initial spritz. Add to this, synthetics are frequently used to prolong the staying power of perfumes. All of which can make getting them out of your favorite garments difficult.

Methods to Remove Lingering Perfume Smells

Let the Clothes Air Out

One of the easiest and most effective ways to remove perfume odors is to let your clothes air out. Best of all, this option won’t cost you a penny. Just hang them outside on a clothesline or in a well-ventilated area indoors, preferably by an open window. Fresh air and sunlight can help dissipate strong smells naturally. If you can’t hang them outside, an open window will help to improve air circulation and get perfume smell out of clothing.

Use Baking Soda to Remove Perfume Smells

Baking soda is a fantastic natural deodorizer, making it a convenient option when you’re dealing with overpowering fragrances. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on your clothes and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, or preferably overnight. Afterward, shake off the baking soda and wash the clothes as usual. For particularly strong odors, you can add half a cup of baking soda to your washing machine and proceed as usual.

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Soak in a Vinegar Solution

White vinegar is another excellent natural deodorizer that works well on removing any odor from clothing. Fill a basin or a clean sink with cold water and add one cup of white vinegar. Submerge your clothes in the solution and let them soak for about 30 minutes. After soaking, rinse thoroughly with cold water and wash as usual. Don’t worry, the vinegar smell will disappear as the clothes dry, leaving them fresh and odor-free.

Create a Lemon Juice and Water Spray

Lemon juice is a powerful natural cleaner that can brighten whites and remove synthetic fragrance. Lightly spray the mixture onto the areas of your clothes with the strongest perfume smell. Allow the clothes to air dry completely. The acidity in the lemon juice will help break down the perfume molecules to help pull out excess odor.

Mist with Vodka

Surprisingly, vodka can be an effective and convenient solution for removing strong smells from fabrics. So when you’re thinking about how to get perfume smell out of clothing, you can fill a small spray bottle with plain, unflavored vodka and light mist the areas of your clothes with the strongest odors. Afterward, you should let the clothes air dry. The alcohol in the vodka helps break down the odor-causing molecules and evaporates quickly — leaving no scent behind in the process.

Absorb the Odor with Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds have an abundance of uses around the house and garden, including absorbing unwanted odors from clothing. To begin, place the item in a plastic bag or airtight container with a bowl of dry, used coffee grounds. Seal the container and let it sit for 24 hours. Afterward, remove the garment and let it air out to make sure no coffee ground residue remains. This method is not only effective at neutralizing odors but sustainable and safe for most fabrics.

Turn to Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal effectively absorbs odors without relying on water or chemicals. As with the coffee grounds, place the scented article of clothing in a plastic bag or airtight container, adding a few pieces of activated charcoal. Seal the container and leave it for 24 hours or more if the smell is especially strong. After the waiting period is over, take the garment out, ensuring no charcoal residue is left.


With these simple and sustainable laundry tips, you’ll know how to remove perfume smells from clothing in a pinch. Best of all, you don’t need to rely on harsh chemicals or expensive products to do the trick. These eco-friendly methods are not only effective but also safe for you and the environment. Whether you choose to air them out or use natural deodorizers like baking soda and vinegar, simply pair any option with SaltyLama laundry detergent sheets for a fantastic clean — without any overbearing fragrance smells. 

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