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How to Get Odors Out of Clothing, Carpet & Fabric

Got a smelly chair, rug, or shirt? Get rid of those offensive odors with gentle cleaning products that you can find around the house.


  • Step 1: Add borax to your wash Add 1/4 cup borax to your regular laundry detergent and throw it in your washing machine with stinky garments or fabric. Run the wash cycle as usual.
  • Step 2: Add vinegar to your wash Add 1/4 cup white vinegar to the final rinse cycle of your wash to remove odors from clothing and other washable items.
  • TIP: If you have a front-loading washing machine, add the vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser before running a load of laundry.
  • Step 3: Sprinkle carpets with baking soda Sprinkle baking soda liberally over stinky carpets and rugs. Let the baking soda sit for 15 minutes to absorb odors.
  • Step 4: Vacuum Vacuum your carpets to remove all of the baking soda -- and the funky smells with it.
  • Step 5: Sprinkle fabric with baking soda Apply a thin layer of baking soda to fabric that has a less-than-pleasant aroma. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
  • TIP: If you are working with loose fabric, like curtains, place the items in a plastic bag with baking soda, shake it up, and let it sit.
  • Step 6: Shake or vacuum Shake the baking soda from the fabric or vacuum it from the surface of the fabric.
  • Step 7: Place charcoal briquettes near clothes Put a couple of charcoal briquettes in an open bowl or baggie and put it in your closet to remove lingering odors. Feel fresh as a daisy the next time you step out or invite someone in.
  • FACT: Humans can recognize as many as 10,000 different scents.

You Will Need

  • 1/4c. borax
  • 1/4c. white vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum
  • Charcoal briquettes
  • Bowl or baggie
  • Plastic bag (optional)

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