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Modular and Manufactured Homes

Readers Respond: Creative Solutions to Remove Odors From Fabric

Responses: 13


Fabric that has been in storage or given to you may have odors that are not pleasant. Those stored smells can surface when you least expect it. Share how you remove odors from fabric!

paint ordor

My mother had a really bad reaction whenever our house was painted. She would end up in the hospital. A painter informed her that there would be absolutely no ordor when he finished painting our entire house! She entered the house when paint was dry and there was no odor! He said, always add 1 tablespoon of artificial vanilla to the can of paint when stirring it". We have used vanilla extract ever since to remove strong ordors in everything! Nowadays, it seems that all companies offer vanilla as a fresh scent!
—Guest Terri

remove odors

best way i have found is to mix bicarbonate of soda with water into a paste like substance rub it into area that smells, it dries into powder and can be hoovered up/ or put on item and straight into washing machine...even shifts diesel smells
—Guest jk

Odors Removed

My son left his clothes in the washing machine so they sat there wet for a day. Couldn't get the musty smell out until we used a cup of ammonia and warm water in the next wash....
—Guest Laure

Before Febreze

Before all the new chemicals for removing odors came out, we used to use a spritz of 'Listerine' on the under arms to get a couple more wearings out of a blouse or jacket. It never seemed to affect the fabric.
—Guest Jacquiejg

odor remover

Try putting the fabric in a trash bag with a bar or two of Safeguard soap for a few days--must be Safeguard soap. I read this in a quilting book, have tried it, and it does work.
—Guest Michelle

Odor Solution

I use newspaper to remove any smoke odors, on jackets stuff in sleeves, put newspaper on hanger put jacket on hanger and put layer over jacket...bingo..it will be smoke free..just layer the paper between 'stinky' fabrics and it will remove the odor.
—Guest Brenda

Remove Stinky Oders from Fabric

I received a garbage bag of musty smelling fabric from a quilters family when she went to the Nursing Home. I washed the fabric in Dawn Dish Soap and White Vinegar. It did a pretty good job.
—Guest Lucinda

Odor removal

I like Febreze to remove odors. I have used the spray on a musty mattress, and the laundry additive in the washing machine on washables. For milder odors, borax or washing soda also do the trick.

Odor solution

Try Odoban available at Sams Warehouse. It can be diluted or used full strangth. Comes in One Gallon Jug!
—Guest Genzor

removing odor

I insert a Bounce Dryer Sheet or any brand in a cushion stuffing then I used that fabric to cover the cushion. Then I cover the pillow with a decorative fabric. I also insert the dry fabric and add it to a load of wet fabric with a dryer sheet in the dryer.
—Guest Carol


When fabrics are funky or stale I wash the fabric in cold water with a cup of vinegar. Gets the smell right out and after the final rinse, you won't smell the vinegar, either. If you do smell the vinegar, just put the fabric through another rinse cycle.


A friend of DH who works for a company that cleans after fires, etc, said they use vanilla. Not on surfaces, just in a bowl or other container, and that it absorbs the odors in the room. He said it would remove odors from furniture (fabric) as well. I am curious to try this one!
—Guest Therese

remove odor

sew or make a sachet with coffee filters and place dry coffee grounds inside. These will absorb all sorts of odors
—Guest LWright

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