How?!: Perfume Smell OUT of Laundry.
October 5, 2009 12:12 PM   Subscribe

Is it possible to get cologne smell out of clothing? I kind of "inherited" a half-dozen nice sweaters that reek of perfume, and I'm allergic as well. I've tried mucho baking soda and soaking in the wash machine; haven't tried vinegar yet; past (somewhat related) threads suggest Ozium and Synthrapol, but they're really not for this purpose.
posted by Shane to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Could you tumble dry them? The heat might cause the perfume to evaporate faster. Though you then have the problem of clouds of perfume.
posted by Solomon at 12:16 PM on October 5, 2009

Best answer: Get them dry cleaned?
posted by zeoslap at 12:33 PM on October 5, 2009

Best answer: Two things: Vinegar works really really well--especially if you follow it up by another cycle with baking soda. Also: Oxyclean. I had a pile of clothes a cat peed on and after using Oxyclean the smell came right out.
posted by Kimberly at 12:36 PM on October 5, 2009

Best answer: Dry clean.
posted by Perplexity at 12:42 PM on October 5, 2009

Best answer: I heard sunshine will help with getting odors out. Can you hang them outside on a line for a couple days?
posted by chiababe at 1:13 PM on October 5, 2009

Best answer: I have had amazing perfume-killing results with Zero Odor. And I have what must be the world's most sensitive nose and most violent objection to perfume, so that's a pretty good recommendation.
posted by HotToddy at 1:34 PM on October 5, 2009

Best answer: I know you said you tried baking soda . . . but did you try the baking soda in the FINAL RINSE cycle? That's when it seems it's most effective for getting rid of smells. And dump like a cup of baking soda in.
posted by Sassyfras at 1:34 PM on October 5, 2009

Best answer: I am allergic to fragrances and often buy clothes for my kids at consignment shops. What works for me is to use baking soda and vinegar, with an extra rinse with vinegar, but also just to keep washing until the smell is tolerable/gone. It can be hard on clothes, so perhaps not what you want to do with your nice sweaters, but I regularly wash consignment-store clothes three or four times and then they're usually OK.
posted by not that girl at 2:47 PM on October 5, 2009

Best answer: Sun, breezes and time are your friends, and I say this as a person who shares your affliction.
posted by flabdablet at 4:04 PM on October 5, 2009

Best answer: Usually vinegar works, but I've had a couple of things that I had to wash with washing soda (use warm as it just clumps up in cold water.)
posted by x46 at 6:12 PM on October 5, 2009

Best answer: Can all the answers be best answers? 'Cuz I appreciate the help and I'm a softy. I'll mark mine best too, 'cuz I need to start respecting myself more.

flabdablet and HotToddy, it's nice to meet kindred spirits. My nose is so dog-like sensitive (and I have the big canine pores to prove it, heh) that sometimes, when driving, I'll bet the person in the passenger seat that someone two or three cars ahead of us is smoking a cigarette with the window cracked. And I'm always right, even about which car it is. Here, this is me, for you my canary compatriots.

Thanks, and I guess I'll start with vinegar and more baking soda (in the final rinse too), followed by fresh air dry-time outside (as the dryer would shrink these too small for me). Then it's off to Zero Odor eventually, just to have around the house. I'd do OxyClean, but it has some toxic stuff in it, and He Who Shall Remain Nameless (so I don't have to speak ill of the dearly departed) annoys the helloutta me.

Heh! "This is dead right. The perpetrators of this horror are quite anosmic, and they remain utterly oblivious to the foul and reeking stench that creeps octopus-like under your door while they are still fifty metres away down the corridor, and clings to all your furnishings for a good week while you shiver under three layers of cardigans with all your windows open." Classic and spot-on, flabd.

Cheers, all.
posted by Shane at 7:16 PM on October 5, 2009

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