Successful removal of odors depends on the source of the odor and the type of fabric, but the process can be a bit complex. Perspiration; mildew; smoke from tobacco or fire; urine; metallic or oily … there’s a process for each.
Not all odors can be removed, so the question is, if you can’t remove the odor do you disguise it with another product and a different odor?
For washable items:
- Soak the garment in detergent and/or color-safe bleach
- Add a few ounces of white vinegar to the mix
- Baking soda mixed with water can help neutralize odors (like in the fridge)
- Use a detergent for drip-dry sports gear that might help with body odor
- Mildew is a water-based odor that usually requires chlorine bleach, so be careful with colors
- You are somewhat limited with these fabrics because most odors are water-based, hence they may not “rinse-out” during drycleaning
- However, oily resins, which can be present in some odors, are often removed during the cleaning process, so it’s worth talking to your drycleaner.
- Point out odors, and do not be embarrassed!
If you have a very bad odor, that cannot be removed at home, ask your drycleaner about ozone. Some cleaners use this process for animal and smoke odors.