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How to Remove Clothing Odors with Vodka

How to remove clothing odors with vodka

Sometimes clothing can smell, not too fresh.  Dry Clean only pieces, vintage clothing and silk especially tend to hold on to those not so pleasant scents.

Sometimes even dry cleaning or laundering can’t eliminate odor.  It stays behind lingering, hiding deep in the fibers waiting for you to put the garment on again then rising like a Phoenix back to it’s full stank.

Whether it’s mustiness, cigarette smoke or if your favorite vintage piece smells like cumin that has been baking in the sun there is one sure fire way to ditch that stank, Vodka.

I learned this nifty trick of removing clothing odors with Vodka back in my Theater days, we used it all the time on costumes to get that “been around for decades, worn all night and sweated in by the entire cast” smell out. The alcohol works in pretty much the same way as sanitizing hand gels, killing odor-causing bacteria. Since vodka kills bacteria and dries odorless, when it evaporates so does the stink.

When selecting Vodka for this purpose you probably don’t want to use the expensive stuff just to freshen up your clothes.  I opt for something less than top-shelf but you can go with whatever you have on hand in a pinch.

There are two methods you can use Vodka to kill that smell: in a steamer cocktail or straight up with a spray bottle.

How to Remove Clothing Odors with Vodka

Vodka Cocktail Steaming Method

This method gives that stinky bacteria a double slap.  Not only does the Vodka kill bacteria, so does the heat from the steam.  Fill your steamer with a half-and-half solution of vodka and water, and steam away. The pungent scent will totally subside  – and no, you won’t smell like you’ve been on a drinking binge, the vodka smell with evaporate as well.

Vodka Straight Up Spray Deodorizer

You want to make sure you have a bottle of high proof Vodka.  It’s the high alcohol content that gets this job done.  Pour the vodka into an empty spray bottle for easy application. Make sure to use vodka only, as water will dilute the alcohol’s odor-removing power. Then spritz away.  I recommend using a spritzer that produces a fine diffused spritz (like a cosmetics type) rather than a strong directional one.  This will smell strong at first but both the clothing stank and the vodka smell will subside as it dries.

How to Reove Clothing Odors with vodka


How to Remove Clothing Odors with Vodka