How to Get Fabric Softener Smell Out of Clothes (5 Methods)

The task of getting the smell of fabric softener out of clothes can be a difficult one. How you go about doing so, however, will depend on what is causing the smell in the first place.

Some people might find that there is no need to remove the smell at all, as they do not have any sensitivity to it.

How you treat the clothing after washing them will depend on the type of fabric softener that was used to wash them so that they did not leave behind a scent.

In some cases, it may be possible for you to launder your clothes repeatedly in warm water without using any soap and have the fabric softener come out completely

There are a few different ways that you can remove the smell of fabric softener from clothes without using chemicals and additives:

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What is Fabric Softener?

Fabric softener is a substance that is added to clothing and other household fabrics that makes them softer and less prone to wrinkles.

How to remove fabric softener from clothes

Here are a few ways that you can get fabric softener out of your clothes:

Using Baking Soda

how to get fabric softener smell out of clothes
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To get fabric softener out of clothes, you can try using baking soda. This should neutralize the smell and remove any lingering effect of the fabric softener.

For this, you’ll need a bucket large enough to hold your load of laundry, water, a bit of soap (like dish soap), and about 1/2 cup of baking soda.

Fill the washing machine with water, then add in all the clothes that have an odor from the fabric softener.

Add in some soap and the now-dissolved baking soda to make sure any residual odor-causing chemicals are neutralized.

Once this is done, turn on the washer and let it go through its cycle as normal.

Afterward, dry your clothes as usual

Soak the clothes before washing

Soak clothes into a washcloth or sink filled with hot water and diluted baking soda. Always be sure the bathing container is big enough to cover the smelly garment fully.

It’s generally sufficient time to stay overnight although some might say it could be several days.

Repeat cycles airing soaking bath water dry soaking several times and repeat repeated.

Using Baking Soda and Vinegar

Mix 1 cup of baking soda with ½ cup vinegar. Let it sit on the clothing for 30 minutes to an hour. Rinse off in warm water.

Wash the clothes with White Vinegar

Put 1/4 cup of white vinegar into the washing cycle and stop.

Wash your clothes for one hour before a full rinse. Vinegar helps eliminate fragrance-eating residues in the fibers.

If the clothes you are washing have had a good rinse then you should add an extra cycle of washing to ensure the wash has escaped effectively from the clothes.

Use non-scented laundry detergent to wash the clothes as normal in compliance with the product instructions.

Related: How to Get Avocado Out of Clothes

Using Ammonia to Get the Smell Out

Rinse clothes in ammonia. Let them dry in the sun or in a well-ventilated area.

Using Ammonia and Lemon Juice

Rinse clothes in ammonia and lemon juice. Let them dry in the sun or in a well-ventilated area.

Using Baking Soda and Vinegar or Lemon Juice

Mix 1 cup of baking soda with 2 cups vinegar. Let it sit on the clothing for 30 minutes to an hour. Rinse off in warm water.

Air out the clothes

The duration of letting air into a garment of clothing depends on how strongly perfumes.

That will take as little as some hours or even weeks to do.

If you cannot hang the product outside place the item inside a cool (you can use a fan) hot, sunny, and full of green leafy plants.

Plants help to absorb the odor. It’s not long enough to hang items outside.

You could use hot water to get rid of the detergent’s residue.

This will work if the problem is caused by excess soap build-up in your washer or dryer.

Simply run your whites through a second cycle with hot water only to bleach away any detergent.

Sunlight

One way is to use sunlight to remove the smell of fabric softener from clothes.

It kills germs and dust mites but can also break down the chemicals that are in fabric softeners, which makes them evaporate and dissipate

If your clothes have a strong ability to tolerate fresh water and sunshine hang them in the sun.

For someone who thinks the sun will blee out colors they might want to change up their wardrobe.

The fragrance can be faded if not completely by the heat of the sun.

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Using Scented Detergent

If the fabric softener smell has been coming from your clothes, you may find that using a detergent that’s scented will remove it.

This is because scented detergents don’t leave behind any odor.

For example, if you use Gain laundry detergent on your clothes, they won’t have any smell left after you’ve washed them.

This is because the scent neutralizes the smell and eliminates it entirely.

If you’re looking for a way to get rid of the smell of fabric softener on clothes while also keeping them smelling fresh, this would be a good solution.

Remove Fabric Softener with Scented Detergent

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Remove Fabric Softener FAQs

How do you get the smell of scented laundry detergent out of clothes?

The first thing that you should do is identify the source of the smell. Next, you should put your clothes in a bag and place them in the freezer overnight.

Alternatively, you can hang them outside to dry. This will help to get rid of the smell.

Once your clothes are dry, put them in a sealed container for several days, if you can stand it.

Make sure that you don’t use these clothes for anything important.

If you don’t have access to a freezer or sunshine/sunlight outdoors, try mixing together baking soda and vinegar.

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Can you wash fabric softener out of clothes?

This is a difficult question to answer. Many people will tell you that if you remove the fabric softener from the clothes then you can wash them again and remove the smell but this doesn’t always work.

I recommend adding an extra rinse cycle with no soap to help eliminate any residual odor from the clothes.

If this doesn’t work, try using other products and methods like baking soda or vinegar, instead of detergent.

How do I get the fabric softener smell out of my dryer?

Run a cycle with no clothes or just use hot water and vinegar to remove the smell

How do you get a strong smell out of clothes?

I would suggest using a laundry soap that is free of any fragrances, like Persil (or any other fragrance-free detergent). This will help eliminate the smell from your clothes.

After washing, add a box of baking soda to your empty washer (you can omit this if you have an HE machine).

Run through another cycle without any clothes in your machine.

Clothes that have been stored in fabric softener smell like it because the soap has dissolved the oils from the fabric softener and left behind only the scent.

Related: How to Remove Fabric Glue From the Clothing Easily and Quickly

How to remove underarm odor from clothes without washing

It is not a good idea to wear clothes with an underarm odor, especially if the smell is intense. In order to remove the underarm odor from clothes without washing, you should put a sachet of potpourri into your clothes and leave them overnight. They will be fresh and clean after removing the smell.

How to get perfume smell out of clothes fast

Launder your clothes in water with a small amount of vinegar. This will remove any traces of fabric softener from the clothes. Then, dry your clothes in a ventilated area that is away from anything that could trigger allergies or respiratory problems.

How to get fabric softener stain out of clothes

If you’ve spilled fabric softener on your clothes, I suggest using a bit of dish soap on the wet spot and add some water to dilute the soap before washing it as usual.

If your clothing still smells bad after this, put them in a bag with baking soda and shake it around for 24 hours.

Then, wash them in hot water with detergent to clean them.

How to get detergent smell out of clothes

If you have a problem getting the smell of detergent out of clothes, try adding a box of baking soda to your washer.

Run through another cycle without any clothes in the machine.

Then, wash them with detergent in hot water or just use a fragrance-free detergent like Persil (or any other fragrance-free detergent).

Related: How to Remove Embroidery From Clothing in Under 5 Minutes

Can you wash clothes with vinegar and baking soda?

It is not a good idea to wash clothes with vinegar and baking soda. Vinegar will react with the soap to create a sudsy froth that may damage your washing machine, so it isn’t recommended for use on clothes.

What happens if you mix vinegar and laundry detergent?

Mixing vinegar and laundry detergent can be dangerous, so it is generally not recommended. The products react chemically to create acetyl aldehyde, a substance that in large doses can cause dizziness, headaches, nausea, or even a coma.

What does adding vinegar to laundry do?

One of the benefits of adding vinegar to laundry is that it removes the odor from soda, vinegar, fabric softener, or other smells.

As long as you are using a good amount of vinegar and not too much soap, this can be a way to help your clothes stay clean and smelling fresh.

Can I add vinegar to my laundry?

Vinegar can be used to get rid of the smell of fabric softener in clothes. All you need to do is add a cup of vinegar to every load during the rinse cycle and then dry as usual.

Is fabric softener a waste of money?

Many people claim that using fabric softener is a waste of money. How do you know whether or not these people are right?

How much money would you be saving if you stopped using fabric softener? How much time and effort would it take for your clothes to get the same amount of softness from simply drying them in the dryer?

How much time and effort would it take for your clothes to get the same amount of freshness from just using detergent instead of fabric softener?

The cost of fabric softener varies depending on where you live, but it can be as low as $0.25 per load in Canada to $0.77 per load in India

Can I wash clothes without fabric softener?

If you want to wash clothes without fabric softener, then it would be best to use a fragrance-free detergent. This way your clothes will still stay fresh and soft.

How long the clothes take to get the same amount of softness from drying them in the dryer depends on how often you actually let your clothes air dry.

How long they take to get the same amount of freshness as using just detergent instead of fabric softener is largely dependent on how much you do laundry and if you air dry often or not.

What is the best homemade fabric softener?

The best homemade fabric softener is a water softener.

How can I make my laundry smell good without fabric softener?

If you are looking for a way to make your laundry smell good without including fabric softener, adding a small amount of white vinegar to the wash water can be an effective option.

You should also include a cup or two of baking soda in the wash load when you use this technique.

This method may not be as effective with darks due to the colorfastness of the dye, but it will still provide an enjoyable fragrance.

Another way that you can make your laundry smell good without using fabric softener is to use baking soda, borax, lemon juice, or vinegar in the rinse cycle.

Can I use hair conditioner instead of fabric softener?

You can use a hair conditioner instead of a fabric softener to make your clothes feel softer.

Just pour a little bit of it onto the fabric or spray it on right before you put your clothes in the dryer.

Is fabric softener bad for washing machines?

softener is not bad for your washing machines. It can actually help to prevent clothing from sticking together because it coats all of the fibers in the fabric.

The laundry detergent alone does not coat all of the clothing fibers, which is why you need a fabric softener in addition to laundry detergent to avoid this problem.

Can you wash clothes with just baking soda?

Yes, you can wash clothes with just baking soda. All you need to do is mix a cup of baking soda in with your wash and then use liquid fabric softener instead of dryer sheets.

Does baking soda remove odors from clothes?

Baking soda can help remove odors from clothes.

Does freezing clothes get rid of smell?

Yes, the smell can be removed by freezing clothes.

Is vinegar bad for washing machines?

No, vinegar is not bad for washing machines. In fact, it can help to keep clothes from sticking together because it coats the fabric fibers.

The laundry detergent alone does not coat all of the clothing fibers, which is why you need a fabric softener in addition to laundry detergent to avoid this problem.

Can you wash clothes with vinegar and baking soda?

You can use baking soda and white vinegar to remove the smell of fabric softener from clothes. Put 2 tbsp baking soda in your wash cycle along with some white vinegar, and then put 2 tbsp of white vinegar in the rinse cycle.

Conclusion

In summary, there are a few tips for getting the smell of fabric softener out of clothes. The first way is to wash your clothes in hot water to make sure that the smell doesn’t come back.

Another option is to pretreat your clothes with baking soda (not too much though!) before you do the laundry and then put them through a normal cycle. You can also try using vinegar in place of fabric softener when you do your laundry.

I hope you found this article helpful.

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