How to Remove Perfume Smell from Clothes Without Washing Them

If only fragrance would last as long on our skin as it does on our clothes! It’s not always practical to launder everything we wear every day to remove the smell of yesterday’s perfume. You certainly won’t want to wash a coat or jacket after every use.

How to get perfume smell out of clothes is something many people ponder. If you’ve ever wondered if you can effectively eradicate fragrance from garments without putting them through a laundry cycle, yes you can.

Discover exactly how to remove perfume smell from clothes without washing them – 10 ways in fact!

When might you want to remove perfume smell from clothes without washing them?

Occasions do arise when you want to freshen up your clothes and eradicate a fragrance quickly when there’s no time to launder them.

It might be your own fragrance… or it might be someone else’s! There are a whole variety of reasons why you might need to banish scent from an article of clothing quickly and effectively.

How to Remove Perfume Smell from Clothes Without Washing Them: Man in suit being hugged.

Here are a few examples:

Change of perfume during the day

You might want to apply a different perfume to the one you put on at the start of the day and need to remove the scent of the first one from your jacket collar.

Sampled a perfume and don’t like it

You may have sampled someone else’s fragrance or tried on a few too many at a perfume counter. If you aren’t that keen on the scent, you may be quite keen to eradicate it.

Hugged a friend

A friend wearing rather a lot of perfume may have given you a hug and now it’s all you can smell. If you hate the aroma you don’t want to suffer it all day long!

Hugged someone you shouldn’t have!

Yes, this can be a problem… However and why ever it happened you might desperately need to eradicate a fragrance from your clothes to ensure you don’t end up in the doghouse when you get home.

How to Remove Perfume Smell from Clothes Without Washing Them: A fragrance selection

10 Ways to remove fragrance from your clothes without washing them

To remove perfume from clothing without washing, try out some of the following suggestions. For those that involve any sort of liquid, test a concealed area of the garment first to ensure it doesn’t stain or discolor.

Also, read the care label on your clothing labels first.

Peg outside to air

The easiest way to remove unwanted fragrance from your clothes is to hang them outside in the fresh air and sunshine. Pegging them on a washing line gets the best results.

The stronger the perfume you’re trying to remove, the longer you should leave your clothes in the breeze.

This may not be an option if you’re at work. In this case, take a walk to allow your clothes to air. If possible, hook your garment on a branch to blow in the breeze while you relax and read a book beneath it.

How to Remove Perfume Smell from Clothes Without Washing Them: Shirt on  a line

Buy an odor remover spray

There are numerous fabric freshener sprays on the market that are great for neutralizing the smell of fragrance on clothes.

Pick one that’s not too strong and that you actually like the smell of. An unscented one may be your best choice.

100% fragrance-free Febreze is an excellent choice and has been dermatologically tested.

Lightly mist on the areas of your clothes that smell of an unwanted fragrance and then air the item out for a while before putting it back on.

Rub with dryer sheets

Dryer sheets provide a perfect way to remove unwanted fragrances from your apparel. Just be sure you pick a pack with a perfume you can bear. you don’t want to eradicate one odor only to replace it with one that offends your nostrils more/

A quick fix is achieved by gently rub a dryer sheet on any areas of your clothes that smell of the fragrance you want to remove.

If you have the time, lay the sheets on the item of clothing and fold it over them. Leave as long as possible to allow the aroma of the sheet to infuse and mask the fragrance.

How to Remove Perfume Smell from Clothes Without Washing Them: Dress and dryer sheet

Pop them in tumble dryer

If you have access to a tumble dryer, even better! You can use it to literally evaporate the smell of fragrance from your clothes.

Obviously, you’ll want to check the garment is allowed in a tumble dryer in the first place and at what temperature too!

Set the temperature of the dryer to hottest allowed for the item, and tumble for 10 or 15 minutes. You could use one of your dryer sheets too.

Remove the item of clothing, and hang it up or put it on before it creases.

Use steam

For fabrics that are NOT dry clean only, steam can really help to remove the smell of lingering fragrance.

There are a few ways to steam perfume out of clothing. You can use steam from: steam cleaners, showers and boiling water.

The ideal way to use steam, is to hang clothing in a steamy room while you shower – ideal if you visit a gym.

If you have access to a steam cleaner, this can also be used – just make sure you only allow the steam to reach the clothing you are refreshing so you don’t end up soaking it.

Finally, steam from a kettle will work too. Boil a kettle and hold the item several inches above the spout to let the steam pass through it. keep yourself clear of the steam as it can easily scold you.

Apply alcohol

You’ll be surprised at how effective alcohol is at removing the scent of fragrance from clothing.

Pick a cheap, clear alcohol with the minimum smell: vodka is ideal.

Pour some in a small spray bottle and carefully spritz it over the area of your clothing that needs refreshing. Ideally, test an area that won’t show first – you don’t want to add any stains.

The alcohol will quickly evaporate, taking the fragrance smell with it – hopefully. You may need to reapply to remove stronger scents.

Sprinkle on baking soda

Baking soda is fantastic when it comes to absorbing odors, fragrance included. Simply sprinkle it onto the scented areas of any clothes you want to treat and leave it to do its thing.

Hint: the area must be dry!

When the baking soda has worked its magic, carefully shake it off. Don’t try to rub it as you’ll end up with white marks.

How to Remove Perfume Smell from Clothes Without Washing Them: Using baking soda
The baking soda does shake off!

Spray with vinegar solution

Vinegar is excellent or removing stubborn fragrances from clothes. especially if added to a wash cylce.

On those occasions where you quickly need to get rid of a fragrance smell without the use of a washing machine, vinegar can come to the rescue. Pick distilled white vinegar – not the malt variety!

  • Mix equal amounts of distilled white vinegar and water in a spray bottle
  • Turn the garment inside out
  • Spray liberally and leave until the vinegar has evaporated

Hint: test a small concealed area first, to ensure no staining occurs.

Give them some coffee!

We don’t mean in the liquid form! Ground, dry, coffee beans can absorb all sorts of odors quite effectively.

To remove the smell of fragrance from an article of clothing:

  • Place dry, ground coffee in a cotton bag or sock and tie it up
  • Place the bag or sock of coffee in a large bag with the article of clothing
  • Leave for as long as possible
How to Remove Perfume Smell from Clothes Without Washing Them: Use coffee

Spritz with diluted lemon juice

Another great way to quickly remove perfume from clothing that doesn’t involve washing them , is a lemon spray.

It’s easy to make – in a spray bottle, mix 1 tablespoon of pure lemon juice with 1 cup (8 fl oz / 240 ml) of water.

Turn your item of clothing inside out, spray liberally and leave to dry. Make sure you’ve tested it doesn’t stain or remove color first though.

Conclusion – How to remove perfume smell from clothes without washing them

If you need to remove the smell of perfume from your clothing but don’t have time to wash them, there are several ways to achieve this goal.

Some will work better than others depending on the type of fabric and the intensity of the fragrance.

Hopefully, one of these methods will tide you through until your next laundry session – or get you out of a sticky situation.

Can fragrance go bad? You might be interested to know.

Jane Pettitt

Hi, I'm Jane. I've had a passion for perfume since the age of 18. answers popular fragrance-related questions and contains guides to all sorts of perfumes, colognes, and fragrances for men and women. I write at home surrounded by cats (we have 4 at the moment) and also blog about these and other pets on

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