Deodorize your prom dress after wearing to keep it smelling fresh.

How to Deodorize a Prom Gown at Home

by S.R. Becker

If you have a secondhand or vintage prom gown, or if you've worn the dress before, deodorizing it before prom is essential. There's nothing worse than getting hot and sweaty on the dance floor and smelling old odors coming from your gown. If you can't have the dress dry cleaned, the next best option is deodorizing it yourself at home. It's not necessary to wash your prom gown to remove the old odors from the fabric.

Fill a spray bottle with 1/4 cup of vodka. Hang the gown on a hanger, hold the spray bottle 12 inches away and lightly mist the dress without getting it wet. Lift up the skirt and spray any netting underneath.

Fill a bathtub with steaming hot water and pour in 1 cup of white vinegar. Hang the dress from the shower rod on a clothes hanger and shut the bathroom door. Allow the dress to steam until the water cools.

Hang the dress outdoors in a sunny, breezy spot to air it out. Remove the dress from direct sunlight after a few hours to prevent fading.

Puncture an unused fabric-softener sheet with the curved end of a wire hanger. Slide the sheet down to the neck of the hanger.

Hang the dress on the hanger with the fabric softener sheet and cover it with a garment bag. Leave the dress hanging in the bag overnight.

Items you will need

  • Vodka
  • Spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Fabric softener sheets
  • Garment bag


  • If one of the steps removes the odor completely, there is no need to move on to the next.


  • Spray vodka on an inside seam of the dress to test for colorfastness before spraying the outside of the dress. Do not spray the outside of the dress until the inside seam is dry.

About the Author

S.R. Becker is a certified yoga teacher based in Queens, N.Y. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has worked as a writer and editor for more than 15 years. Becker often writes for "Yoga in Astoria," a newsletter about studios throughout New York City.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images