How to remove perfume smell from clothes without washing

You may have hugged someone and realized their strong perfume lingers on your clothes and skin. 

In another case, you may be sensitive to perfumes or air freshener scents that cause respiratory complications.

Whether you are sensitive or dislike perfumes and scents, they put you in an uncomfortable situation that requires you to wash your clothes. 

Luckily, there are ways to remove the perfume smell from clothes without washing them.

Materials you will need

  • White vinegar
  • Spraying bottle
  • Natural fabric freshener sprays
  • Essential oils
  • Baking soda
  • Plastic bag
  • Newspapers

How to get the perfume smell out of clothes without washing them

Despite many people enjoying perfumes and fragrances on their clothes, there are reasons why others don’t relish them as much. 

If this is you, here are some easy steps you can try to get the perfume smell out of clothes fast:

1. Using a fabric freshener and wool balls

Febreeze fabric freshener
Febreeze fabric freshener
  • Spray a scented or unscented clothes freshener, such as Febreze fabric refresher, on the clothes in an outside area to allow it to air out. The fabric freshener will trap the odor molecules and keep them suspended until the clothes are washed.
  • Leave the clothes to dry in the open air if labeled dry-clean only. If you can’t hang them outside, you can hang them in a breezy sunlit room with a fan and green plants. The green plants will absorb the perfume smell for a few hours or a week, depending on the scent saturation.
  • You can toss the odorous clothes in a dryer and let them tumble in three or four dryer sheets for 10 to 15 minutes. Add wool balls and natural and reusable fabric softeners that restore the cloth’s fresh smell.

2. Use baking soda

  • If the clothes are in a wardrobe or closet, sprinkle some baking soda at the bottom and close it. Let the baking soda sit for a day or two to absorb the odor naturally and remove fragrance from clothes.
  • If you don’t have a wardrobe, sprinkle baking soda at the bottom of a plastic bag and cover it with a newspaper.
  • Place the scented clothes on the newspaper and tape the paper bag shut. Leave the clothes to sit for 24 hours.
  • Alternatively, if you’re in a hurry, sprinkle baking soda in a plastic bag and add the clothes to the bag.
  • Tie the bag and shake it briefly before retrieving and shaking off the baking soda.

3. A combination of vinegar and baking soda

baking soda and vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar
  • Mix three tablespoons of baking soda and ¼ cup of white vinegar in a plastic spraying bottle. Shake until it is completely dissolved.
  • You can add two or three drops of essential oil to add a sweet scent to your clothes.
  • Spray a small amount of the solution on the clothes after turning them inside out to protect their fabric.
  • Let the clothes dry in an open place and in direct sunlight to kill the perfume odors.

Additional tips and advice

  • The sunlight and breeze from outside help remove odor. An alternative approach to hanging your clothes outside is by hanging your clothes next to an open window.
  • You can substitute white vinegar and fabric freshener with lemon juice. Add extracted lemon juice and water in a spray bottle and spray the clothes to get the perfume smell out of the clothes.
  • Spray the area with the highest concentration of perfume, both on the inside and the outside.
  • Check on the fabric instructions before spraying anything on the clothes to prevent discoloring and fading, especially if it’s been exposed to the sun for a long time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Commonly asked questions include:

What neutralizes perfume smell?

Perfume smell is neutralized by baking soda, lemon, and white vinegar, which are natural odor removers that work in many ways.

They are also household items readily available at home, so you should access them easily.

Essential oils, dry sheets, and fabric softeners also reduce the perfume odor while keeping the clothes fresh and fragrant. They are particularly convenient ways to get rid of perfume smell without alcohol.

How long does it take for the perfume smell to go away?

The perfume smell may take a few hours or a couple of weeks to go away, depending on its concentration and the fabric of your clothes. 

Fabrics such as cotton and wool hold perfume longer than synthetic fabrics such as silk and nylon.

Perfumes with higher concentrations of fragrance oils, such as parfum and eau de parfum are long-lived as opposed to eau de toilette and eau de cologne with lower concentrations.

The quality and the environment are also factors that determine the longevity of a perfume.

Can you get fragrance oil out of clothes?

Yes, you can get fragrance oil out of clothes by using alcohol, as the fragrance is oil-based; hence, the alcohol breaks it down.

Moreover, you can remove it by applying the stain with liquid dishwashing and laundry detergent and letting it rest for 5 minutes. 

Next, rinse the oil-stained area with warm water and let it air dry in the sun.