Regular cleaning of clothes is a must. However, while stains are very obvious and most people know how to get rid of them, there is something else that you should regularly take care of in order to maintain your clothing neat and fresh. Odours can get stuck in the fibres of your garments and remain on them for a long time.
If you are done washing your clothes and you can still smell a heavy perfume, sweat, or another stubborn odour, you may need to take further action to restore the complete cleanliness of your clothing.
Most fabric odours may be eliminated with baking soda or vinegar, but certain stubborn smells may necessitate further cleaning procedures with heavy-duty liquid detergent or home ammonia. Choose a professional odour remover or use pantry products to remove odours from laundry following the methods mentioned below.
Get rid of odours without washing your clothes
To quickly eliminate smells, you can mix a 1:1 solution of water and vinegar with a few drops of essential oil added to the mix. Pour this into a spray bottle, and apply it to the smelly area. Allow the garment to air dry. You can also hang your garments outside and allow the sun’s UV rays to kill all bacteria and microorganisms causing the bad odours.
Before attempting any of the methods mentioned in this article, check the fabric’s care label. If your garment can be machine-washed, proceed with the steps below. If the label says ‘’dry cleaning only’’ you should bring it to a professional dry cleaner. They will be able to get rid of the smell. Do not attempt cleaning such clothes because you will cause permanent damage.
How to get rid of sweat odour from clothing
Once you clean your garment, it may look and smell fresh. However, once you put it on and wear it for an hour, the sweat smell will show up again. In a tub combine two cups of baking soda with two cups of lukewarm water. Add the shirts and soak them for at least 24 hours. Then, wash as mentioned below.
- Scrub the armpits – If you use deodorant a lot, the buildup left behind from it may cause the armpit area on your shirt to be stiff and hold onto sweat odours for a long time. If there is a heavy sweat odour present, mix a 1:1 solution of water and vinegar, sprinkle it on the smelly area and scrub well. You can use a soft-bristled brush to do that before soaking.
- Soak – Fill a big bucket or tub with warm water and add 1 cup of white vinegar.
- Submerge the garments – Place the garments inside and let them soak in for about 30 minutes.
- Wash as usual – Use a heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent and cool water to wash your clothes.
Get rid of the cooking smell from clothing
Any home cook who fries food or fast food worker will tell you that materials absorb scents quickly and retain them even when there are no stains. There are microscopic grease particles in the air from frying, and they embed in the fibres.
If you get stuck next to the fryer or grill while wearing dry-clean only items, notify the dry cleaner. If the odour is mild, hang the non-washable garment outside for several hours on a breezy day.
- Wash the garments – Use the hottest temperature mentioned on the care label of the fabric. Choose an enzyme-based laundry detergent like Tide or Persil. You can add 1 cup of baking soda or ½ cup of Borax to your laundry load to boost the cleaning power.
- Soak the clothing if needed – If you washed the clothes but they still smell of grease, mix hot water and 2 cups of baking soda. Soak the garment in this mixture for at least 2 hours, then wash it again.
How to get rid of smoke smell from clothes
If you like to go out after work or on the weekend, hanging out at clubs and bars may leave your clothes to smell. If you wake up and find your clothes reeking of cigarettes, use this method to make them fresh again. All you need is baking soda and your laundry machine.
- Load your washer – Place all your stinky clothes in the laundry machine.
- Use a heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent and 1 cup of baking soda – The baking soda will neutralise the cigarette smell.
- Choose the washing cycle – Choose a regular washing cycle. Use hot water (check the care label for the hottest suitable water for the fabric) because cold one may not eliminate the cigarette smell.
- Dry your clothing – Place the washed clothes in a dryer. Add dryer sheets (use scented sheets to help restore the freshness of your garments).