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Removing horrible Febreze smell - HELP

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
My grandmother knit my dd 4 cute little sweaters. She handwashed them. Presumably she then spritzed them with Febreze (shudder), packed up the box, and mailed them to me. They reeked.

So I washed them. Three times. I hung them outside for four days. I took a token picture and then packed them away until they fit her.

So they're about to fit her, 6 months later. And now they may possibly smell worse. I washed them again. The whole load stunk and I had to re-wash the rest of the clothes. I washed the sweaters again, this time using Bac-Out. I soaked them in a sink full of water and baking soda. I soaked them in a sink full of vinegar. I soaked them in a sink with 6 dissolved aspirin (I found this tip online - doesn't work for this).

They still stink. My hands stink if I touch them. I can smell them across the room. I would like to use these sweaters but I can not stand the horrible odour. I hate Febreze.

Any advice? Drycleaning? Some odour-removing laundry product other than Bac Out?
post #2 of 17
Febreze is really freakin' hard to remove. I've had luck with a soak using Calgon (the laundry treatment). With as hot water (initially), a soak usually does the job. And then a double wash to remove the smell of the Calgon.

Have you tried milk soak? Water + dry milk powder. I usually use a cup or so dissolved in a bucket of waster.
post #3 of 17
Isn't Febreeze vile? I do what you do - repeated washings, vinegar, hanging outside. It will work eventually, but I have to say in all honesty I've washed things to the point of visible wear getting the damn.smell.out. How nuts is that?
post #4 of 17
Febreze has got to be the worst smell, IMO! Have you tried baking soda? I have had luck with baking soda getting smells out (not febreze in particular). Maybe just add some vinegar and baking soda to a sink full of water and let it soak. Then rinse it really well and line dry it. Worth a shot. Hope you get the smell out.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
thanks for the ideas! Right now I've got a sink with Calgon, soaking my sweaters. Maybe later I'll hang them outside and let tropical storm Fay blow the stink out!

I did try baking soda...no dice. But FYI, mixing baking soda and vinegar results (in addition to much fun for kids!) just water and salt, and a neutral pH, so you lose the effects of both in the chemical reaction. They have to be used separately...I just wish they would work on febreze! Vinegar works so well on most everything.
post #6 of 17
What about spritzing with vodka? I've heard that can remove odors.
post #7 of 17
I was also going to suggest baking soda. It seems to suck up odors.
post #8 of 17
I hate febreeze too... my MIL uses it and I always think she is using pesticides or horrible hair product when I smell it. I ask and she says... I sprayed Febreeze. Gross... how about cleaning instead if u wanted to smell nice.
post #9 of 17
Oh, I've stripped with simple green in an effort to remove febreze, too. I think a couple squirts in a hot wash. And dish soap has been tried, though I can't remember how successful it was.

I've stopped shopping at thrift stores because it's become too difficult to remove stink (detergent, fabric softener, febreze) from used clothing. I hate buying new all the time, but I get really sick from stinky clothes and it takes a lot of time and hot water to get rid of the fragrance.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jocelyndale View Post
I've stopped shopping at thrift stores because it's become too difficult to remove stink (detergent, fabric softener, febreze) from used clothing. I hate buying new all the time, but I get really sick from stinky clothes and it takes a lot of time and hot water to get rid of the fragrance.
I feel exactly the same way. I haven't quite given up on secondhand clothes, but I've been considering it, for that very reason. I find that I'm less and less tolerant of those nasty chemical odors.
post #11 of 17
Good Luck! That stuff is truly vile.
post #12 of 17
Urgh i hate the stuff. My Dh used to wear it as deoderant, and use it to spray his clothes and sheets rather than wash them. Pre me of course.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
...an update in case you were wondering...

After doing all of the things in my OP, I took some advice from here and soaked in Calgon and hot water. And then full strength vinegar and hot water. And then washed again in the washing machine. And voila! The horrible odour appears to be banished!
post #14 of 17
good to know, i'm going to try that w/ the coat ds got that stinks like moth balls, I've washed at a few time & it seems to get worse. & it was bought new (too bad it got put in the wash before we smelled it - thanks to someone who was "trying" to help). Anyone have experience w/ moth balls?

Febreeze & Fabuloso, my mom loves them, i often have a hard time just walking into her house, until I find the open bottle of fabuloso, close it & open the window. nasty stuff.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by consciousma View Post
Anyone have experience w/ moth balls?
You need two things to remove naphthalene from clothing: sunshine and fresh air. The ultraviolet radiation causes the crystals to sublimate, the breeze moves the gas away from your clothing so that it doesn't recrystalize. The stuff is not water soluble.
post #16 of 17
I'm glad you got the smell out! I hate the smell of Febreeze, I think I might be allergic to it. It makes my eyes and mouth itch.
post #17 of 17
You'd think after all these years that Tide would NOT be using Febreeze in its detergents! Going through h.ll trying to get the smell & itchiness out of 3 weeks of clothes! Grrrrrr! Hating Tide!
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