Save on trips to the cleaners by dealing with odors at home.

How to Remove the Perfume Smell From Dry Clean Only Clothing

by Michelle Powell-Smith

While many dry clean only garments don't require frequent cleaning, they may retain odors after you wear them. Perfume, in particular, has a tendency to linger. While these techniques will help to remove any residual perfume smell, they also work for chemical odors left from the dry cleaning process and other unwanted smells.

Hang dry-clean-only garments outside on a sunny day. Air garments for several hours to reduce or eliminate any perfume smell.

Cut a small opening for a clothes hanger in one side of the box with a utility knife. Hang the garments in the box.

Fill a container with approximately 1 cup of baking soda or wad up several sheets of newspaper.

Close the box and tape securely. Leave the garments in the box for several days. The newspaper or baking soda will absorb unwanted odors.

Items you will need

  • Clothes hanger or clothesline and clothespins
  • Box
  • Tape
  • Utility knife
  • Plastic container
  • Baking soda or newspaper


  • Use the same strategies to remove chemical odors left after dry cleaning.
  • Reduce perfume odors by applying perfume before you dress or before putting on dry-clean-only garments.


  • If your clothes return from the dry cleaner with a strong odor, consider switching cleaners. This may indicate ineffective cleaning or dirty dry cleaning fluid.

About the Author

With a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing professionally for more than a decade. An avid knitter and mother of four, she has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including education, test preparation, parenting, crafts and fashion.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images