Removing Odors from Clothing


February 8, 2018

How do I remove a bad odour from jackets, suits, trousers, shirts, etc. and in a room in the carpets, bed clothes, etc. Any ideas?



February 9, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try doing your laundry with your usual detergent and a 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar.

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February 10, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

You do not say what kind of odor and that could make a difference in what you will need to do.

  • If it from a smoking habit you may never be able to completely remove it unless you clean the walls, cabinets, doors - or another way to put it - everything that you can see or feel.
  • You can use a mixture of white vinegar and water (mix according to the strength you think you will need) and wipe everything you can. Especially cabinets and appliances. Change solution often and keep changing wiping cloths.
  • Wash everything possible in regular detergent and then a full cycle with a strong vinegar solution. Dry outside if possible.
  • You may have to spend money on dry cleaning for some of your coats and jackets as well as heavy spreads, blankets and comforters.
  • There are some products that will help but these can get very expensive if used on a lot of items and most will still need cleaning.
  • You can rent a carpet cleaner and use the cleaning solution recommended for removing odors.
  • Some of this will work for animal smells as well but maybe not all.
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15 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

October 1, 2006

How do you remove underarm odor from an article of clothing that can't be washed or dry-cleaned (a costume)?

Angel from Seattle, WA


August 6, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

I realize this answer is years later. My son is in charge of entertainment dept., dancers etc. Their costumes get very sweaty and are very elaborate so they cannot be just washed. Dry cleaning bills are very pricey for garments like this and sometimes dry cleaning damages them. The dancers swear by vodka. Spraying and just letting the item sit out in fresh air or even better the sun. I concentrate on the pits and blot with a white towel. High concentrate alcohol may also be used. The least water content the better, I found 91% alcohol at major dept store, but vodka is usually best. Cheap vodka is OK.

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February 23, 2017

Anyone know how to remove the stink of fragranced laundry soap/dryer sheets? It seems oily and vinegar (unless I didn't rinse it long enough) didn't work. The smell makes me ill. What would you suggest, please.


February 23, 20170 found this helpful

Hang outside. The fresh air and sunshine will get rid of the smell. You might want to wash one more time with unscented soap and then hang outside.

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February 23, 20170 found this helpful

Smells oily? Any chance that the smell is coming from your washer machine motor? Or did a work rag possibly get mixed in with the laundry? What kind of laundry soap or dryer sheets did you use? I would do as Judy suggested and hang outside on the line in the fresh air. Is it all the laundry or just 1 load?

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February 26, 20170 found this helpful

You will need to hang your already washed and dried clothes in the sunshine and fresh air to remove the present odors.
You will need to buy only unscented laundry soap (usually liquid is best) and never use anything but vinegar in your last rinse water. You can use baking soda with your soap when washing white clothes as none of this should leave any scents on your clothes.
I would also suggest that you wipe out your dryer tub with a solution of vinegar and water as the dryer sheets do leave a "film" on the tub.

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February 26, 20170 found this helpful

The best thing to do is to switch laundry detergent. I now use Nellie's which is a natural one without a fragrance. It removes all of the old film that you did not know that was on your clothes from detergent and fabric softeners. The clothes are fresh and do not need fabric softener anymore. You only need a tablespoon per load. It is does not damage the ecosystem. There are probably others that are similar. Look it up online. I bought the large one and I do not need to buy anymore for a couple of years.

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February 26, 20170 found this helpful

I agree with answers above. Definitely get fragrance free! It doesn't have to be expensive either, Arm & Hammer provides a fairly affordable FRAGRANCE FREE powder detergent, it comes in a smaller box than the others. They have a bottle of liquid FRAGRANCE FREE as well (it has a green band and green top).

Airing out the laundry is also a good way to air them out, but to avoid the problem, just switch detergent.

You can also make your own with borax, washing soda, and normal bar soap:

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November 19, 2015

With all the rain lately my septic tank overflowed and when it did it went into my washer when my laundry was washing. I had to rewash it three times and my brother said they smelled fine so I wore an outfit from it. Now I'm out in public and I smell like when the septic tank overflowed.

I sprayed perfume to hide it; also I won't be able to wash clothes cause I'm leaving to go out of town in few hours. I need advice on what to do.


November 22, 20150 found this helpful

1. Get your septic tank pumped. You waited too long to do it and that's why it backed up.

2. Don't bother with perfume. It will just smell like somebody crapped in a flower garden. Buy a new outfit to travel and wash your clothes in a laundromat while away.

3. When you get home, consult a septic expert about both pumping your septic and what to do about your washer.

If septic backed up in your washer, your tap water may not be safe. Be careful.

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December 15, 20150 found this helpful

I think what happened was the washer had no where to pump the water so it mixed with sewar water but didn't really leave the machine. If you live well away from the nearest neighbor, run a separate line out into the yard for your washer water just on top of the ground. It's grey water. Just move the end periodically where the water comes out with force.

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February 29, 2016

My child had an accident in his jammies and I hadn't noticed. I didn't do laundry for a few days and now I can't get the poop smell out of his pj bottoms. Any suggestions?


March 9, 20160 found this helpful

One-third cup of baking soda and 1 cup of white vinegar in your washing machine will take out odors in clothes. Make sure you let the washer fill with water first. This mixture will foam up for a few seconds. I've used this for many types of clothes (polyester, cottons, polyester and cotton, and it works great.

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January 9, 2015

How can you remove the smell of oil from bowling towels?

By Peggy S.


January 13, 20150 found this helpful

Try using white vinegar in the rinse cycle. It works great for removing oil, grease, and odors from clothing. Baking soda works great for removing odors as well.

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November 11, 2013

I am new to the harsh winters of Canada and am starting to get used to the idea of heavy outerwear like woolen jackets with inner linings, etc. I am also Indian, so our cooking stinks sky-high, unfortunately.

I need a solution to remove the smell of cooking/food from my heavy, outerwear without washing them. These are almost new stuff, but I hate that they smell of food whenever I go out to work or shopping.

Please help. I would like to have some solution where I can put some stuff in the dryer with these jackets and that takes out all the odor. No washing needed. Only deodorizing.


By Azmat


November 13, 20130 found this helpful

For starters, try airing them outside for a few hours. Choose a windy day if possible. Or .... if you have access to a dryer, use a home dry cleaner (ie: Dryel) that can be found in most grocery or department stores in their laundry detergent aisle.

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February 8, 2021

How do I get minced garlic smell out of my clothes? I used Pine Sol, lemon juice, and baking soda and I cannot get it out. It's bad.

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