Suggestions on how to remove odor from clothing

hedacotaNovember 18, 2006

We have a few clothing items that still have an odor after going through a wash & dry process. Now the odor seems to be "set" in the clothing. Does anybody have any suggestions on how to remove this odor? My wife is extremely sensitive to any product that has a petro-chemical base so we have to be very careful on what we use. Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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What kind of odor are we talking about? OTC products like Fabrez are sometimes effective. Vinegar in the rinse is also quite effective at nuetralizing odors. Isopropyl alchohol is also a nuetralizing agent.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 10:18AM
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You need to determine what type of odor, as the previous poster said. Some odors can be "set" into fabrics during the drying process, especially true for synthetic fibers.
I use borax as a laundry additive to try to remove any mildew type odors from towels, etc.
If this is perfume odor from accumulated detergents or fabric softeners, you could try washing the items without any laundry products.
You could also try calling your local public library and ask the reference librarian. They should have some books on cleaning tips.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 3:20PM
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If you mean body odor, then you should try a long presoak before the wash with something that will attack the source of the odor. Possible soaking agents include bleach, ammonia, and phenolic oil (lestoil or pine oil). - DR

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 5:34PM
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If it is B.O. on synthetics, I have found that cranking up the temp. to 140 degrees is much better than 120 degrees.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 8:56PM
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Jean Popowitz

Add 1/2 cup of Calgon to the wash water, let agitate a minute, then add your regular detergent. Calgon softens the water and makes the detergent more effective. Use the warmest water the items will tolerate. I've also used baking soda in the rinse water and then given an extra rinse (especially good on gym clothes....we are a houseful of runners!)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 12:19AM
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What about smoke smells? I just bought a pair of jeans on ebay and they reek of cigarettes. Not being a smoker, I do not know how to get the smoke out. Will just running them through the laundry work or do I need to add certain products? Thanks, Kathy

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 10:15PM
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Will just running them through the laundry work

Presumably the eBay seller washed them before shipping. You could try rewashing with lots of STPP, or a vinegar presoak, or a Borax and baking soda presoak, or an ammonia presoak, or all of these (at different times) - all work on smoke to a greater or lesser extent. - DR

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 12:31AM
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We buy most of our clothes second-hand. Nova Scotia has great second-hand outlets. Jeans for $5.00, tops for $3.75, it's worth the treasure hunt. But, most smell like (to me) of old Bounce sheets. The smell is like the oil or perfume is off. I'm a low-scent kinda gal.

I wash in hot, with a 1/2 cup (a cupped hand) of Arm & Hammer So Clean (used to be called Washing Soda). Works like a charm.


    Bookmark   November 23, 2006 at 9:26PM
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I use vinegar & baking soda and then pour the detergent and they are smelling fresher. The Maytag Neptune washer is a junker after 5years and the mold was out of control. They said to run the washer with bleach every so many days and I have seen a change alright, in my higher electric and water bill not to mention the laundry detergent supplies!Also have to leave my door open all the time and spray it down with tile mold and mildew remover after every use and still have mold. Is this the smell you are trying to get rid and did not realize it's the washer you have?? Back to your problem, the item I use works good.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 7:40PM
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My family owns a dry cleaners & we use Odorban(odoban) It is great stuff, it is a disinfectant as well and can be used for household cleaning and laundry.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 1:19PM
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