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How to Remove Odors from Clothes

You may spend time in the laundry room removing stains, but there's more to a garment than how it looks. An unpleasant odor can follow you around and make people crinkle their noses when you approach. From stale cigarette smoke to sweat, most odors can be treated with the same process. Follow these steps to have your clothes smelling like new in no time.

Bag them

This is an easy and effective method that uses baking soda to absorb the odors. Put the smelly clothes in a sealable plastic bag and add dryer sheets and baking soda. Shake the bag to spread everything out. Leave this overnight, and then remove the clothes before washing them as usual.



Soak them

Another effective way to get odors out of clothes is to soak them in a mixture of baking soda and vinegar (a cup of each should work). You can do this in a sink, a bucket or even the wash basket of your washer. Let the clothes soak for at least an hour, or longer for strong odors. Afterward, wash the clothes as usual.



Wash them

After bagging or soaking your clothes, wash them with detergent at the hottest recommended water temperature. You can even add baking soda to the washer cycle for an extra odor-blasting kick.


Hang them

Instead of using the dryer, hang your clothes to dry outside on a sunny day. This will help air out any remaining smells.



Spray them

If you're pressed for time, you can always give your clothes a quick spritz with an odor-eliminating fabric spray. It might not be ideal, but sprays will work as a quick fix until you have time to treat your clothes properly. Some of them will simply cover up the odor with a different smell, so look for one that neutralizes odors.