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Getting Perfume Smell Out of Clothing

My son has received some great hand-me-downs from a friend, but they have been washed in scented laundry detergent. He has allergies and asthma, so I always use unscented detergent and fabric softener. I have tried washing them in hot water with baking soda and my own detergent, but the smell is still very strong. How can I remove the detergent smell from the clothes?

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June 25, 20081 found this helpful
Best Answer

Target makes a product called "Smell Remover" you might try it.

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June 26, 20080 found this helpful
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I along with the other members agree that you should wash the clothes with a cup of vinegar. Another solution is to hang the clothes outside for a few hours and let the sun remove the odors for you. Launder as usual afterwards.

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February 4, 20110 found this helpful
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Try "Odor Disposers" It's a shampoo intended to remove the odor from dogs! Pretty appropriate, actually. I soaked cotton shirts in it and then tossed them in the regular laundry. No smell!

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 23, 20080 found this helpful

I want to point out that "fragrance" and "smells" are not the same, especially to people like me who think that clean is the absence of dirty ranter than the presence of a nice smell.

My whole family is allergic to fragrances, chlorine and strong chemicals. Like your friend we use all unscented and fragrance free product (no it is not the same thing, Dove Unscented soap is not fragrance free!)

For people like me I can just hang things outside or in the laundry room for weeks, it can't be in the house or I have neurological problems, my twins have breathing problems and skin rashes and it gets worse from there.

I agree that washing with at least a cup of vinegar and baking soda can take out some things, but as products get stronger or the longer they are used it seems to take more to get it completely out. I usually do the above on the first load, second I use the Scent Away hunters product, with my free and clear laundry detergent. It sometimes takes a few washes and some time outside to air out but most of it comes out eventually.

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The other thing to try is enzymes, you can put them in or on nearly everything in your home and it makes the best carpet cleaner! Just add to the water in your machine and rinse and leave it in over night and it eats the proteins, oils and odors out as you sleep.

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 4, 20090 found this helpful

I bought a sweater from Abercrombie and Fitch and couldn't even wear it. It was so strong of the perfume it gave me a headache. I tried everything to get it out. Until I got on here and tried the spraying the Fabreeze on it and then putting it in the dryer for a few minutes. IT WORKED! It was a wool sweater to be dry cleaned and it didn't hurt it. Thank you so much.

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January 4, 20110 found this helpful

Sometimes you can't get it out. Unless you want to devote your entire week to it. I had an easier time improving the smell of the clothes from an 80 year old chain smoker. My friend wears this icky perfume and then gives me hand me downs which smell to the bejesus. I washed this one shirt probably 10X with vinegar, tsp, baking soda, I kept it outside for over a month, simple green, borax- no deal. It still stinks more than the smoker clothes do.

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September 27, 20130 found this helpful

I have had some major experience with this issue after an innkeeper ruined by clothes with fabric softener (that I asked specifically for him NOT to use). That issue aside, here's what I've learned:

If the fabric has any spandex in it - toss it. You can't get any of the chemicals they use for "fragrance" out of spandex - period.
If the fabric is cotton, then multiple washes with vinegar and/or borax will eventually work.
If it is a cotton/poly blend it can be done, but it takes time. Wash it several times in hot water with borax/vinegar and then hang it up somewhere to air out (not in a closet) - for a year.
That's what I learned. Good luck.

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Anonymous
February 16, 20160 found this helpful

Hang clothing outdoors for a few days to a couple of weeks. Then use the steam setting on your washer or dryer if you have one, or possibly use a portable steamer on the clothing.

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