How to Get Fragrance Out of Clothes: A Simple Guide


Unpleasant odors can cling to our clothes, making them unwearable and affecting our confidence. Whether it’s the lingering scent of perfume, cigarette smoke, or cooking smells, knowing how to effectively remove fragrances from our clothes is essential. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to get fragrance out of clothes, allowing you to enjoy fresh-smelling garments once again.

fragranceSeveral types of fragrances available:

There are several types of fragrances available:


Floral fragrances are the most common and popular category. They are derived from flowers such as roses, lilies, jasmine, and lavender, and offer a wide range of scents from light and delicate to rich and opulent.


Citrus fragrances are refreshing and uplifting, capturing the vibrant scents of citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits. They are often associated with a bright and energetic vibe.


Oriental fragrances are warm, rich, and sensual. They typically feature notes of spices, resins, and exotic ingredients like amber, vanilla, cinnamon, and musk.


Woody fragrances evoke the aroma of forests and include notes such as sandalwood, cedarwood, patchouli, and vetiver. They can range from earthy and comforting to smoky and mysterious.


Fresh fragrances are light, clean, and crisp, reminiscent of freshly cut grass or a cool breeze. They often feature notes like green leaves, aquatic accents, and marine elements.


Fruity fragrances capture the sweet and juicy scents of fruits like berries, apples, and tropical fruits. They can be playful, youthful, or even gourmand with dessert-inspired notes.


Gourmand fragrances are deliciously sweet and edible, often featuring notes of chocolate, vanilla, caramel, or coffee. They create a warm and indulgent aroma.


Chypre fragrances are characterized by a blend of citrus top notes, floral heart notes, and mossy or woody base notes. They are often sophisticated, classic, and have a hint of earthiness.


Aromatic fragrances emphasize herbal, green, and spicy notes, such as lavender, sage, basil, and rosemary. They can have a fresh and invigorating quality.


Leather fragrances evoke the scent of fine leather, combining a mix of smoky, musky, and sometimes spicy notes. They can be rich, luxurious, and have a hint of sophistication.

These are just a few examples of the different fragrance categories available. Within each category, there are countless variations and combinations that create unique scents. Ultimately, the choice of fragrance depends on personal preferences and the mood or ambiance you wish to create.

fragranceAssess the Cause of the Fragrance

Understanding the source of the fragrance is crucial in determining the appropriate method for removal.

Perfume or Body Spray: If the fragrance is from a strong perfume or body spray, the focus will be on neutralizing or breaking down the scent molecules.

Smoking Odors: Cigarette smoke can penetrate fabric fibers, leaving a stubborn odor that requires thorough treatment.

Cooking Smells: Lingering cooking smells, such as garlic or spices, can be effectively eliminated through proper washing techniques.

Air Out the Clothes

Before attempting any specific odor removal techniques, start by allowing the clothes to air out.

Hang the Clothes Outside: Hang the clothes on a clothesline or porch railings, preferably in direct sunlight and fresh air, to help dissipate the scent naturally.

Air them Indoors: If outdoor hanging is not feasible, hang the clothes indoors near an open window or in a well-ventilated area to allow air circulation.

Pre-Treat the Garments

Pre-treating the clothes prior to washing can help break down the fragrance and prepare the fabric for a thorough cleaning.

Baking Soda Paste: Make a paste with baking soda and water, and apply it directly to the areas affected by fragrance. Let it sit for 30 minutes before proceeding to the washing step.

Vinegar Solution: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the fragrant areas of the garments and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before washing.

Enzyme-based Pre-Treatment: For tougher fragrance odors, consider using an enzyme-based pre-treatment spray or liquid. Follow the product instructions for application.

Proper Washing Techniques

Choosing the correct washing method and using suitable detergent are key to effectively removing fragrances from clothes.

Sorting by Color and Fabric Type: Separate clothes based on color and fabric type to prevent color bleeding and ensure suitable washing conditions for each garment.

Hot Water: If care instructions permit, wash the clothes in the hottest water temperature suitable for the fabric to help break down the fragrance molecules.

Odor-Eliminating Detergent: Use a detergent specifically formulated for odor removal, which contains ingredients that target and neutralize lingering scents.

Extra Rinse Cycle: Consider adding an extra rinse cycle to the washing process to ensure thorough removal of fragrances and any residual detergent.

Drying and Additional Steps

Proper drying techniques and additional measures can further enhance the fragrance removal process.

Sun-Drying: Whenever possible, line-dry the clothes outside in direct sunlight, as UV rays can help kill bacteria and eliminate odors naturally.

Ventilation and Air Circulation: If machine drying is preferred, ensure there is proper ventilation to allow proper air circulation, reducing the chances of odor transfer.

Refresh with Dryer Sheets: If desired, toss a few fragrance-free dryer sheets in the dryer with the clothes to provide a fresh scent.

Reassess and Repeat: After washing and drying, assess the clothes for any remaining fragrance. If necessary, repeat the process for further odor removal.

Additional Tips for Specific Odors

Certain fragrances require additional steps to ensure complete elimination.

Smoke Odors: For stubborn smoke odors, consider using odor-removing sprays or placing the clothes in a sealed plastic bag with activated charcoal overnight.

Lingering Cooking Smells: Adding a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle during washing can effectively eliminate cooking smells from clothes.

Perfumes or Body Sprays: For clothes heavily scented with perfume, consider using alcohol wipes or sprays to spot-treat specific areas before washing.


Getting fragrance out of clothes is achievable with the right techniques and products. By following these steps for pre-treatment, proper washing techniques, suitable drying methods, and additional measures, you can successfully eliminate unwanted odors from your wardrobe. Remember to assess the cause of the fragrance, choose the appropriate treatment based on fabric type, and air out the clothes whenever possible for optimal results. With fresh-smelling clothes, you can confidently enjoy your attire without the worry of lingering fragrances.


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