7 Ways To Remove Perfume Smells From Your Clothes Without Washing

  • By: Nathan Cherry
  • Time to read: 5 min.

We all know that perfume can sometimes overstay its welcome, especially if it’s been sprayed on your clothes. 

I’ve written about how to remove perfume smell from your clothes by washing, but what should you do if you’ve got no time to wash your clothes? 

Is that hot date or job interview coming up in thirty minutes going to be ruined by an overzealous application of Dior Sauvage? Will you be smelling Viktor&Rolf’s Flowerbomb on your dry clean only cashmere sweater for the next twenty years? 

Don’t sweat it. 

There are several ways to remove the smell of perfume from clothes without washing:

  • Leaving your clothes outside to dry
  • Rubbing with dryer sheets
  • Using baking soda
  • Using white vinegar
  • Applying lemon juice
  • Odor removal spray

Let’s take a closer look at what you can do to get rid of that pesky perfume – without having to run your shirt through the wash. 

1. Hang Outside

Perhaps the easiest method for removing the smell of perfume from your clothes without washing is simply by letting Mother Nature do her thing and hanging your garments outside for a few hours, or overnight. 

The fresh, constantly circulating air and the UV rays from the sun will eradicate that lingering perfume smell, leaving you with clean, more or less odorless clothes. 

This is a great option for dry clean only garments, but not the best choice for those in a time crunch. Be sure to let your clothes dry in the sun or in the dryer if you’ve left them out overnight, as the morning dew will collect on them and could leave you with another problem cut of an entirely different cloth – mildew. 

2. Use a Dryer Sheet

In the game of perfume, you win or you die. When it comes down to it, sometimes the only way to defeat that stubborn perfume odor on your luscious Shetland wool turtleneck is to fight fire with fire. Using a dryer sheet could be your weapon of choice. 

To use a dryer sheet to remove the smell of perfume from clothes, rub the sheet on the perfume affected area until the odor of the perfume is masked. For best results, fold the garment with the dryer sheet inside to allow the scent to seep in. 

Just be sure you choose a dryer sheet with a scent you enjoy, or an unscented dryer sheet. The only thing worse than a pesky perfume smell you don’t like is another pesky perfume smell you don’t like. 

3. Baking Soda

Ahh, baking soda. Is there anything you can’t do? You clean hard to remove stains, you whiten teeth, you make a mean quick bread, and you obliterate lingering odors with your incredible fragrance-absorbing powers. Can baking soda remove the smell of perfume from your clothes without washing? You bet your bottom dollar it can! 

To use baking soda to remove the smell of perfume from your clothes without washing: 

  1. Sprinkle baking soda on the perfume-affected garment. Be sure that the garment is dry, or else the baking soda will stick. 
  2. Let the baking soda sit on the garment for thirty minutes to an hour. The soda will absorb the smell of perfume. 
  3. Gently shake the soda off. Be sure not to rub or apply any pressure to the soda, or else it will leave behind white streaks. 

4. White Vinegar

Equally as titanesque in the arena of household cleaning as baking soda is the Adonis of acids, white vinegar. Removing stains? Child’s play. Getting pesky grime off of your bathtub tiles? No problem. Making a bangin’ chicken adobo? You betcha.

So it should come as no surprise that white vinegar can remove stubborn smells from your clothes as well. And don’t worry – you won’t smell sour if you use this method. 

To use white vinegar to remove the smell of perfume from your clothes without washing: 

  1. Blend equal parts white vinegar and lukewarm water in a clean, empty spray bottle. 
  2. Spritz on the affected area – not too much, or else it might stain or really start to smell. 
  3. Leave until the vinegar has completely evaporated and your garment is dry. 

5. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is another wonderful household cleaning staple that’s been used for thousands of years. Like vinegar, it’s an acid, and its sharp, zesty odor happens to be quite effective at deodorizing. In a pinch, lemon juice can surely get rid of that lingering perfume smell on your shirt. 

To use lemon juice to remove the smell of perfume from your clothes without washing: 

  1. Mix around one tablespoon of lemon juice with around one cup of lukewarm water in a clean, empty spray bottle. 
  2. Spray on the affected garment, but not too much – like vinegar, lemon juice can stain dark colored clothes. 
  3. Leave until the lemon juice has completely evaporated and your garment is dry. 

6. Toss It In The Dryer

Obviously this isn’t the best option for linen garments or other fabrics that have the tendency to shrink, but putting your overly-perfumed clothes in the dryer, even for just a little bit, could be a quick fix for your stinky problem. 

Make sure you refer to the item’s tag to determine the optimum drying temperature, then put the perfume-affected garment in the dryer and let ‘er rip. The heat from the dryer will aid the evaporation of the perfume on the garment, leaving it fragrance-free. 

And if you’ve got em’, why not throw a dryer sheet in for good measure? 

7. Odor Removing Spray

For those who want to cut to the chase and not mess with all those other methods, you might invest in an odor removing spray to solve your perfume problem. Odor removing sprays are designed to target, neutralize, and eliminate odors, leaving your garment fresh, clean, and free of shtank

If you’re looking for a great odor removing spray, try Fresh Wave Odor Eliminator Spray & Air Freshener. This all-natural product eradicates odors on your fabric instantly, and it’ll leave your house smelling fresh and clean, too. 

To use an odor removing spray to remove the smell of perfume from your clothes without washing, simply spray the garment liberally and leave to air dry. 

The Final Word

Spraying your perfume on your clothes is one of the best ways to get the most out of your fragrance, and I’d still wholeheartedly recommend it. However, lingering perfume on your clothes might become a headache, no matter how beautiful the smell. When it comes down to the wire, you might not be able to wash your clothes to remove the smell, or you might even have a dry clean only garment that can’t be washed. 

Luckily, if perfume lingers on your clothes, there are numerous ways to remove it without washing. Using a dryer sheet, baking soda, white vinegar, odor removing spray, or drying machine are all easy fixes, and leaving your clothes outside to dry is a great natural solution.