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rheanna 10-08-2007 04:22 AM

Getting perfume out of clothes
I'm bringing up an old topic (from Jan/Feb 2007) with a new thread. My original thread was at:
"Washing perfume out of clothes"

[QUOTE]Does anyone have any tips for speeding up the process of getting perfume out of clothes? I use perfume-free laundry soap, body soap, shampoo, lotion, etc. But all I have to do is go out in public and my clothes pick up really crappy perfume from bus and train seats, from restaurant chairs, from hanging my coat up at other people's houses, etc.

I've tried soaking clothes for several hours in vinegar-water and then washing them a bazillion times. But the vinegar destroys zippers and it fades colors quickly, and washing through a bazillion cycles really shortens the life-span of the fabric.

The only other thing I can think of is letting them hang up for several days or weeks to let the perfume sloooooowly disapate. This means that the clothes are unavailable for wearing for a looooong time. Hanging clothes outside on a warm sunny day seems to speed up the process, but sunshine is not a frequent occurence here in northern Germany.

So, any suggestions? No, Febreez is not an option. Have you ever smelled that stuff? Yuccch![/QUOTE]

So far the only thing that works for me is letting clothes hang up outside. For days. There are so many chemicals in perfumes besides the scents themselves -- chemicals to make them last for days, chemicals to prevent them from being washed out, etc. The worst ones are the expensive perfumes -- the manufacturers put more of these extra chemicals in them so that they require a much longer time hanging outside. I find that warm sunny days work the fastest -- I think it's the higher ozone level (which is bad for my breathing) which breaks down the chemicals faster. Temperatures below freezing seem to help as well.

I've tried soaking clothes in vinegar (as stated above it destroys zippers and plastic linings on jackets), baking soda (no help), and 8-12 washings in a row (a great waste of water -- not environmentally friendly -- and even after 12 washings the perfume is still there).

Any other suggestions are welcome. At the moment, I just expect that when I have been to some public event I will have to consign those clothes to the balcony for a week or so before I can wear them again.

What is amazing to me is that people will wash with perfumed soap and shampoo, put perfumed creme on their dry skin, use perfumed make-up or shaving lotion, put on their clothes which were washed in perfumed detergent and dried with perfumed anti-cling sheets, and then say, so which perfume shall I wear today??? Then I have to breathe their perfumed air (even outdoors!) and sit in their perfumed restaurant and concert seats and even sit next to them having difficulty breathing, and go home and have to treat my clothes and hope that I don't have another social engaement for at least a week. I really think that this is one of the reasons I have allowed my husband to be the primary bread winner in the family -- I just cannot face having to deal with all that perfume every day at a job as I used to when I was younger.


Nyxie63 10-08-2007 07:15 AM

Re: Getting perfume out of clothes
Have you tried any of those active enzyme products, like they sell for pet odors/stains? Spray the clothing, let it sit for a couple of hours and then wash. Don't know if it'll work or not, but its worth a try.

mkgb 10-08-2007 09:38 AM

Re: Getting perfume out of clothes
Baking soda in with the wash helps.. baking soda and vinager is volitile.. the old fashioned volcano mix from elementary school.. but it helps as well. The oxyclean powder in the wash helps me as well.


rheanna 10-09-2007 03:42 AM

Re: Getting perfume out of clothes

I've got some product that claims it's for removing pet odors, and is supposed to work even for human waste materials -- in diaper pails as well as colostomy bags (if I understand the German correctly). I'll give it a try the next time one of my sweat shirts is perfumy, so I won't mind in case it does something "funny" to it. It's called X-O Plus+, and has herbal extracts, fruits (???) and grain seeds in distilled water.


After informing my husband in no uncertain terms that he's not allowed to experiment in the microwave oven to see how much aluminum he can use in there before something [U]really[/U] sparks, I must admit to being curious as to just how spectacular it would be to mix baking soda and vinegar in the washing machine. :cool: But I shall refrain. It sounds like you have some first-hand experience with this scientific experiment.

My selection of perfume-free laundry detergent is limited here in Germany, and I'm not sure what they would call oxyclean powder here. I'll keep looking. I do have some enzymes from Spinnrad which are supposed to give extra power against protein, starch and fat stains. I'll experiment a bit more with them. Perhaps a mixture of Spinnrad laundry detergent, baking soda and enzymes? Science experiments here I come!

Thanks for the suggestions,


sammi2 10-09-2007 07:35 AM

Re: Getting perfume out of clothes
It sounds like you're as sensitive to perfume as I am. I have tried the baking soda & vinegar in the washing machine, & I only got a little fizz for a moment.
I haven't found anything that will take the perfume out if it's been in the clothes for awhile. When I get in an exposure of the "horrid fragrances" I put my clothes in the washing machine ASAP & use "Seventh Generation" free & clear dishwashing liquid as the detergent. I let them soak for awhile, then run them thru the wash cycle again w/o adding anything. II don't know if Seventh Generation is available in your area or not but they have a lot of free & clear products that are really fragrance free.

Good luck!

rheanna 10-09-2007 10:32 AM

Re: Getting perfume out of clothes

I am disappointed to hear that the experiment produces only a little fizz and not a wonderful explosion. Uh, I mean, I'm glad to hear that your washing machine is still functional and useable for washing clothes. :)

Dishwashing liquid in the washing machine? Hmmm -- why not? I use Spinnrad clothes detergent at the moment because that's one of the only perfume brands I can find here. But I do use Fairy dishwashing liquid without perfume, and I suspect that there are more perfume-free dishwashing brands around here than clothes washing detergents. I'll keep my eyes open for the Seventh Generation brand.



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