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17 Ways to Take Smell Out of Clothes Without Washing


When your garments begin to smell, it is occasionally not possible to wash them. For instance, when you’re short on time. Alternatively, your clothing can only be dry cleaned. What can you do to eliminate the smell? How can you eliminate smells from garments without washing them?

It turns out that the amount of electricity and water used to wash and dry our clothes might be rather significant. Additionally, our garments will last longer if we wash and dry them less frequently.

Okay, so perhaps you’re certain that you’ll wash and dry your clothes less often. You might be thinking, “But what about stinky clothes?”

Well, my friend, there are many alternatives to washing your clothing that can be used to remove smell.

Here are 17 ways to take smell out of the clothes without washing. Of course, you’ll have to wash your clothes eventually, but using these suggestions will make it easier.

Why Do Clothes Get Smelly?

There are numerous factors that can contribute to smell in clothing. The principal wears them. Your clothes will be there wherever you are and whatever you are doing. When it comes to soaking in scents, fabric is like a sponge.

Your clothes will absorb any odours that are drifting around you, whether you are cooking your favorite dish indoors or using your grill outside. Long after you’ve finished eating that burger you made, you’ll still be able to smell it. Not to mention the flavor of the barbeque itself.

Even keeping your clothes in storage can produce a few odours. You stored those clothes while they were still moist, which is why they smelled musty. After a protracted work trip, your nicest pantsuit may begin to smell like your suitcase.

How to Get Rid of Clothes’ Smell Without Washing?

Here is a list of 17 ways for reviving your clothes. Many of these ways make use of typical household items. Probably by your grandparents or great-grandparents, the majority have been tried and tested.

In the past, individuals washed their clothes much less regularly than we do now. Continue reading to learn how they managed to keep their clothing odor-free and fresh-smelling.

1. Air Out Your Clothing

Air Out Your Clothing

This one requires almost no work from you. Sunlight and a pleasant breeze do all the work of eliminating odour. Even on the days that seem to be the quietest, fresh air has the ability to remove unpleasant odours from textiles. The sun is a natural bleaching agent that will get rid of the bad bacteria that is giving off those bothersome odours on your clothes.

There are two ways to air out your clothes: by hanging them outside or by airing them inside.

What you need:

  • A clear day with sunshine
  • Garment hanger outside
  • Pegs
  • Stand-alone fan
  • Inside drying rack
  • Clothing hangers

What to do:

Check your clothing’s fiber content. Precautions should be taken to keep anything that contains polyester, rayon, or nylon out of direct sunlight. Artificial and semi-artificial materials can become damaged by too much sun exposure.

Use pegs to hang your garments on your outdoor clothesline. For a few hours, leave your clothing outside. Your clothing will still smell lovely and fresh from the outside when you bring it inside.

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2. Use Charcoal to Soak Up

Use Charcoal to Soak Up

Beyond serving as a grill’s fuel, charcoal has other uses. It can absorb smells as well as contribute to the delightful aroma and flavor of those mouthwatering barbeque delights.

What you need:

  • Briquettes of unburnt charcoal
  • paper bag

What to do:

Adhere to these 3 easy steps:

  • A paper bag filled with unused charcoal briquettes should be placed on a flat surface. Keep the paper bag closed to prevent the charcoal from touching your clothing.
  • Your clothing should be folded and placed on top of the paper bag. For at least 12 hours, leave it on top of the charcoal-filled bag. It also functions overnight.
  • Take off your clothes and shake them out in the morning or after 12 hours. The charcoal ought to have absorbed every last bit of fragrance.


3. Roll Up Your Newspaper

Roll Up Your Newspaper

Using old newspaper for something useful is a great way to recycle it. Newspaper paper typically has pores in it. It absorbs odours so well because of how much it does. Smaller regions like shoes or underarms respond well to this technique.

What you need:

  • Newspaper

What to do:

Take these simple steps:

  • Grab your newspaper and roll one or two pages into a ball. Put it under the arms of your sweater or shirt. It can also be twisted into the shape of a sausage to fit inside your shoes. Leave for at least three hours, preferably overnight.
  • When the stipulated time has passed, take out the newspaper and add it to your recycling bin once more. Your shoes or apparel should be odor-free or at least smell better.


4. Brush Your Clothes

Brush Your Clothes

Brushing them out is an overlooked but simple way to get rid of scents. The fibres can be lifted by giving your clothing a fast once-over with a clothes brush, giving those strong odours a chance to leave. Brushing is especially enjoyable for wool. Velvet and suede also fit this description.

Your clothing will be clean after being cleaned with a good garment brush. A clothes brush will be more efficient than a lint roller at removing pet hairs because it can reach deeper into the fabric strands.

What you need:

  • A good quality clothes brush

What to do:

Follow these 2 steps:

  • Place the item flat on a surface, then use sweeping motions to gently brush the fabric up against the nap. The raised surface of the fabric known as the nap typically runs up the garment. So start brushing at the hemline and work your way up. Any embedded dirt that has been giving off the odour will be made to loosen by doing this.
  • Brush with the nap next. According to the garment, you brush down from the collar region to the hem or from the waistline to the hem for this phase. Any offensive odours will be carried away by the dirt that has been disturbed.


5. Apply a distilled white vinegar mist

Apply a distilled white vinegar mist

Our trusted friend, distilled white vinegar, is a different household favorite for cleaning and sanitizing kitchens. Additionally, it can be applied to your clothing and refrigerator to eliminate smell.

What you need:

  • Spray bottle
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Water

What to do:

  • In your spray bottle, mix 1 cup of distilled white vinegar with 1 cup of water. Shake the spray container after covering the top.
  • Spray the mixture on your clothing completely. Let it dry naturally. The vinegar will evaporate as it dries, carrying the scent of your clothing with it.


6. Use Lemon to Freshen

Use Lemon to Freshen

Lemon is a well-known kitchen cleaning that may eliminate odours while sanitizing work surfaces. Even better, it gives off a lemony scent thereafter. If you are careful about the fiber composition, you can use it on fabric.

The underarm region is where this technique performs best, though it can be used on entire garments.

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What you need:

  • Spray bottle
  • Lemon juice
  • Water

What to do:

  • Fill your spray bottle with 1 cup of water. The spray bottle’s cap should be replaced after adding a spoonful of lemon juice. Shake the water and lemon juice together thoroughly.
  • Spray the target area while turning your garment inside out. The clothes should air dry. Once dried, it ought to smell like lemons rather than strong odors.


7. Grab the Unused Coffee Grounds

Coffee Grounds

An additional common kitchen item that quickly gets rid of smells is coffee grounds. Although they are more expensive than baking soda, they will work in a pinch.

What you need:

  • Bowl
  • Unused Coffee grounds

What to do:

Unused coffee grounds should fill a dish halfway. Your shirt should be folded on top and let to air dry overnight. Make sure the fresh coffee grains don’t touch the shirt because doing so could cause a stain. Overnight is ideal for them to absorb the smells.


8. Use Essential Oils to Make a Spray

Use Essential Oils to Make a Spray

Why not develop your own perfumes if you like the concept of a spray to get rid of smells from garments without washing but don’t like the ones that are available commercially?

Any essential oil can be used to create a homemade odor-masking spray, including lavender, tea tree, and eucalyptus. The ones I’ve listed are merely suggestions. Make a genuinely unique temporary deodorizer with your favorite.

What you need:

  • Preferred essential oil
  • Spray bottle
  • Water

What to do:

  • Water should be added to your spray bottle until it is halfway full. The spray bottle’s lid should be replaced after adding two to three drops of your essential oil. Shake it a bit.
  • Your clothing should be sprayed, then left to dry naturally. Once the water has evaporated, the essential oils’ aroma will endure. Leaving fresh-smelling clothing behind. Even though only for short time.  Essential oils don’t actually get rid of scents; they just cover them up. They might, however, survive long enough for you to wear your clothes in-between washing.


9. Treat motor oil with Coca-Cola

Treat motor oil with Coca-Cola

The majority of us are familiar with Coca-Cola as a cooling soft drink. But did you know that you can also use it to eliminate grease-related smells? This technique works best for little grease splatters or the occasional spot on garments.

What you need:

  • Cotton Wool Ball or Q-Tip
  • Coca-Cola

What to do:

  • To the grease stain on your garment, use Coca-Cola. Use a cotton ball or q-tip to gently massage it into the area. The scent will leave the grease when the acid in the soft drink begins to eat away at it.
  • Let the clothing air dry. You ought to discover that all traces of the greasy scent are gone.


10. Freezer


The cold destroys the microorganisms that cause stinky clothing. For pants that you shouldn’t wear again, this technique works best.

What you need:

  • Big Freezer

What to do:

  • Your clothing should be placed in a large freezer bag and sealed halfway. For your clothing to be deodorized by the chilly temperature, place the bag in the freezer for a few hours.
  • Then remove the bag. Your clothes could be stiff when you initially take them out of the freezer. Before putting them on, give them some time to warm up so they are more at ease.


11. Baking Soda

Baking Soda

The baking soda is easy to use and is best to remove smell out of your clothes without washing.

What you need:

  • Water
  • Baking Soda

What to do:

  • With water and baking soda, create a paste. Apply the mixture to the areas of the garment that smell the worst. Then, let it completely dry by air.
  • You can also place the clothing in a plastic trash bag rather than using paste.
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12. Vodka


Unflavored vodka should be half-filled in a spray bottle. To prevent creating a second foul smell, choose vodka that has no flavors. Additionally, it prevents your clothing from getting stuck.

What you need:

  • Unflavored Vodka
  • Spray bottle

What to do:

Spray your garment before hanging it up to dry naturally. You can now good to go after allowing the vodka’ smells to disappear.


13. Use Dryer Sheets

Dryer Sheets

During the drying process, dryer sheets give clothes a fresh scent. Commercial dryer sheets are available where you purchase your detergent. These are a great way to get rid of odours if you need to freshen your clothing quickly and you have a dryer.

What you need:

  • Dryer sheets
  • Warm water
  • Dryer

What to do:

If you have a dryer, place the item you want to wear inside with three or four dryer sheets and let it spin dry. They only need to be in the dryer for 10 to 15 minutes to get rid of smells.


14. Steam your clothes

Steam your clothes

Your garments can be steam-ironed to remove wrinkles and smells. Water is quite heated when it turns to steam. Steam’s heat has the power to remove wrinkles and eliminate microorganisms that cause unpleasant smell.

What you need:

  • Warm shower
  • Steam Iron
  • Steamer
  • Coat hook

What to do:

Your clothing should be hung on a coat hanger inside out. You can steam garments using one of three devices. Regardless of which one you select, allow it to reach steaming temperature before directing the steam towards the garment. Steam away until you are satisfied with the outcome. Ten minutes ought to be enough.


15. Air fresheners

17 Ways to take smell out of clothes without washing 03

Commercial air fresheners are a great way to get rid of scents from your clothes. You can purchase these items from large-format retailers or internet merchants.

What you need:

  • Air freshener spray bottle

They can remove those unpleasant smells, leaving your clothing feeling fresh. They are specially made to eat odours from materials. or rather smelling like the air freshener’s scent.


16. Fabric Spray

17 Ways to take smell out of clothes without washing 02

There are many different scents of fabric sprays. Your garments will smell wonderful and the irritating odour will be gone!

What you need:

  • Fabric Spray
  • Clothing hanger

What to do:

Just sprinkle some water on your musty-smelling clothing before hanging it up to dry. Before using the spray, be sure you test the fragrance because it will linger on your clothes.


17. Perfume/Fragrance

17 Ways to take smell out of clothes without washing 01

If none of the aforementioned remedies work for you, it’s time to break out the fragrance.

What you need:

  • Perfume/fragrance
  • Aftershave

What to do:

It should work with your preferred aftershave or perfume. Simply mist some on your musty-smelling clothing to temporarily get rid of the odour until you have time to wash it.


Wrapping Up!

We hope that you find these “17 ways to take smell out of clothes without washing them” to be worthwhile.

It’s simpler than you might imagine to remove smells from clothes without washing them. The simplest method is sunlight and clean air. The smell will go away if you hang the item outside on a clothesline. Lemon juice and vinegar are also good at masking strong smells.

5/5 - (9 votes)

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