How To Get Fabric Softener Smell Out Of Clothes

It is a common problem that folks around face fabric softener smell problems as sometimes they just can’t wash them out.

We have had some clothes that are quite stubborn despite using every trick in the book, including vinegar soaks, baking soda/borax/soap peeling, baking soda in the wash, vinegar in the wash, and outside drying. In certain cases, the lingering scent of washing detergent can be easily scrubbed away. Because it uses chemicals that are designed to remain on the garments, fabric softener is the most tenacious.

In this article, we will be discussing ways of removing the fabric softener smell from your clothes and some tips on the topic.

The procedure of Removing Fabric Softener Odor

A. Baking Soda Soak

When it comes to removing stubborn stains and eliminating unpleasant odors, baking soda is an excellent do-it-yourself cleaning product.

Cleaning your clothes with baking soda will:

  1. Baking soda and water to the tune of one cup each.
  2. Pour the solution into a container of cold water, such as a bathtub or sink.
  3. Put the cloth in the baking soda solution and let it soak in the sink or bathtub. You need to be able to submerge all of your stinky clothes in the sink.
  4. Make sure the garments are thoroughly drenched by giving them a good spin in the washer.
  5. To wash clothes, soak them in water for a while (ideally, a few hours or overnight).
  6. Care must be taken to prevent white residual stains from baking soda by avoiding pouring it directly over the clothing.

B. Odorless detergent 

When you’re done soaking your garments in the baking soda solution, throw them in the washing machine with some unscented detergent.

As a means of introduction;

  1. Take the clothes out of the sink once pre-soaked and separate them by color and material.
  2. Do the right kind of wash for your fabric. To properly care for your fabric, just do as the label says!
  3. To get a comfortable temperature, the water should be warmed to about a middle ground.
  4. Replace the scented detergent in the dispenser with an unscented one. A laundry supply store is a good place to look for one. In order to confirm that your detergent contains no compounds that would impart a scent, you need only check the label.
  5. Follow the machine’s loading instructions to ensure that the correct number of garments are loaded.
  6. Start the wash cycle by switching on the washer.

Fabric softeners are best washed in lukewarm water since it dissolves their chemical components and eliminates odors. But you can wash your delicate fabric and bright-colored clothes in cold water without damaging them.

C. White vinegar 

The chemical components responsible for the fabric softener’s odor can be easily broken down by using white vinegar, and the garments will still be left smelling fresh.

  1. While the load is in the washer, use half a cup of vinegar as the first rinse.
  2. Turn off the washer and let the garments soak for at least an hour before completing the rinse cycle.
  3. To eliminate any lingering vinegar smell, give it another rinsing with warm water.
  4. While washing, your garments may pick up a vinegary odor. But don’t worry; the vinegar odor will disappear after you air dry.

D. Air dry

The tumbling action of a dryer can cause the fibers of your garments to become entrapped in moisture. Mold and unpleasant odors may develop as a result.

That being said, follow these steps:

  1. Allow your garments to air out in the fresh air by hanging them outside. You can get rid of scents by putting them in the sun or near some green plants.
  2. For the greatest results, leave your garments out for at least 12 hours, preferably longer if the fabric softener fragrance is strong.
  3. To prevent colors from running or fading, keep clothing out of the sun. If you must hang them inside in a well-ventilated area.

Do it all over again if necessary

The smell of fabric softener might linger even after multiple washing. Repeat the steps if the fabric softener smell still lingers after the first wash.

Two Simple Ways Of Removing The Smell

1. Using hot water

If the buildup of soap in your washing machine or dryer is to blame, this should solve the problem. In order to remove all traces of detergent from your whites, you should wash them again in hot water.

2. Getting dried out in the sun

Clothes can be dried out in the sun to get rid of the fabric-softener scent. It’s effective against bacteria and dust mites, but it can also neutralize fabric softeners by neutralizing their active ingredients.


1. Keep out of the heat

To successfully eliminate the fabric softener odor from laundry or linens, cool water should be used at all times.

It may seem like a good idea to use the hot setting on your washer or dryer to remove the chemical coating left behind by fabric softener, but this is not the case. The truth is, though, that heat can improve the fabric softener’s connection.

Wash with cold water to remove most of the perfume, then switch to a warmer cycle to relax the fibers.

2. Remove the Cause of the Smell

You probably aren’t crazy if a faint scent of fabric softener lingers on your clothes after washing them. Fabric softener, as previously mentioned, is renowned for leaving a sticky residue on the inside of washing machines and dryers.

It’s a good idea to clean the washing machine and dryer after having guests stay there. Furthermore, most of us don’t clean our washing machines and dryers as often as is recommended.

We suggest checking your washing machine and dryer before committing to the time-consuming procedure of removing fabric softeners from your clothes. Distilled vinegar, once heated, is an excellent choice for cleaning either of these devices.

In order to clean your washing machine, it is recommended that you use the cleaning cycle as directed by the manual. A little deal of effort is required to clean the inside of your dryer (including the lint trap).

3. Use Extreme Caution

It’s important to keep in mind any fragile or non-color fast goods as you strive to remove the fabric softener from your clothes and other valuables. Please wash these items separately, and if the odor lingers, see a professional cleaner.

Final Words

In this article, we gave several ways of removing fabric softener smell from clothes. By following those processes you can easily remove any kind of odor coming from your garments after laundry. So don’t panic and start working on the process just remember to be cautious.

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