De-scenting clothes, how to get detergent and perfume smells out of clothes

Occasionally I get 2nd hand clothing from friends or family and until now I haven’t been truly successful at getting the detergent smells out of them, I am very sensitive to these smells and usually return the clothes, some detergents I even get an allergic reaction to.

Today I had success! Here is how I did it!

This is the same process used for stripping cloth diapers of smells, stains and build-up.

Soak clothes in hot water with dish soap until the water is cool- I did this is in the wash, so I switched my rinse setting to warm and let the cycle finish. I’ve read to use Dawn, but I decided to try seventh generation free and clear, since I want to get the smell out I wasn’t sure the smell of Dawn would make it worse. Best for a top load washers. For side loaders soak the clothes in the sink or bath tub.

Wash the clothes with just hot water. Rinse with warm, or hot if your washer has that option. Check the water during the rinse cycle, if there are any suds wash the clothes again, it took me about 5 washes for natural fibers, micro fiber will take another wash or two.

On every other rinsing I added 1/2 cup distiller white vinegar to the rinse cycle. This I realized after another trial load was a very important part, after doing the same load over 7 times w just water I still had suds, added vinegar and no more suds.

Prior to this I tried borax, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, bio Kleen oxygen cleaner, vinegar, etc. this was my first time using dish soap, I’m so excited that it worked!

I’ve tried sun washing too, but In my apt I haven’t been able to leave the clothes out long enough to make a difference, but I hear that is the best way.

Be warned if clothes are fuzzy they will get lint all over them. To me it was worth it, I’ll just get use some packing tape to get the lint off.


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