How to Get Vinegar Smell Out of Clothes Without Washing them

How to get vinegar smell out of clothes without washing

There are different techniques that we will discuss on how to get rid of vinegar smell out of your clothes, and no, you don’t have to go through the washing technique.

Vinegar—especially white vinegar—is used for making washing detergents. The issue with vinegar is that it has a specific odor that it fixes to the fabric. This issue can be gotten rid of by diluting vinegar with water.

You also should ensure that you do not work with other types of vinegar like white acid vinegar. That one is more concentrated, with a powerful odor.

The last way you can solve the musty vinegar smell is to add some fragrant oils to your washing solution. Some of these oils include lavender oils, grapefruit oils, lemon oils, etc.

However, you need to note that these oils can have very thick and concentrated smells. Dilute them with enough water before working with them.

If you forgot to take these precautionary measures while working with vinegar, let’s see some ways by which you can get rid of the musty smell without washing the clothes.

How to get vinegar smell out of clothes without washing

  1. Air-dry them

One of the techniques that you probably wouldn’t think will be able to get rid of stubborn smells is air-drying. When you hang your clothes in the air, they are exposed to sun rays and the regular air that blows around.

All of that exposure gets rid of the smells they have. You can do this immediately after wearing a cloth. Choose a spot in your living area with ample sunlight and then, spread the clothes.

The only time this technique may not be effective is when the humidity in the environment is high. You should also ensure that the clothes aren’t exposed to too much sun. That could cause the colors to fade over time.

  1. Vodka-spray them

This technique is what you need if the air-drying does not work. For instance, if after spreading your clothes out for two to three days, the smell doesn’t go, try spraying it with vodka.

The vodka should be unflavored and clear. All you need to do is fill a bottle with vodka that has the above characteristics and then, spray the clothes lightly—especially the armpit area.

The spraying should also be done with the cloth set inside out. That way, the quality of the fabric is preserved. After spraying, proceed to air-dry. This technique also cuts out the washing palaver.

After spraying, you may have some vodka left in the spray bottle. Ensure that you staple a label to its surface. That way, it isn’t used unduly.

  1. Work with Lemon juice

Lemon juice is magical! Not only does it have the ability to get rid of stubborn smells. It also has a very rich and sweet scent that can neutralize the bad guys. All you need to get started is—lemon juice and water.

The recommended ratio for mixing is one tablespoon of lemon juice to one cup of water. If you’d be dealing with more clothes, proceed to increase the ratio accordingly.

To prevent discoloration or fading of your clothes however, spray lightly, with the cloth set inside out.

If you have to extend the sprays to the exterior part of the garment, test a corner before proceeding to deal with the whole surface.

  1. Steam-spray your clothes

The steaming technique is known for many wonders—eradication of wrinkles, brightening of fabric’s colors, etc. However, most people aren’t aware that it can help get rid of bad smells too.

Steam is a form of water at its highest temperature. The high-temperature helps to kill the bacteria behind the bad smell. If you do not have a steaming machine, here’s another catch for you.

When having that hot shower, hang the cloth along your cloth rack. The steam from the water usually would rise and then, kill the bacteria in your cloth.

The only issue with this latter technique is that it doesn’t kill the bacteria as efficiently as the steaming machine. Another issue is that the steam may not be able to penetrate materials like fur or suede.

  1. Baking soda’s magic.

Baking soda has always been known as the better alternative to vinegar. It leaves no smell behind after it has been used, but then, if you’d be using it on your clothes, you may have to do some vigorous scrubbing later.

Let’s see the reason for that. To work with baking soda, you have to make it into the form of paste by adding some water.

After applying that paste to the smelly parts of the clothes, it hardens against the fabric and would only be gotten rid of via a good scrub.

One way you can avoid that stress is to just sprinkle the soda on your clothes (while they are bagged, that is).

  1. Freeze them.

This option is the last and least effective. The reason for this is because you have to bag the clothes. The only thing that happens is that the clothes become really cold.

The low temperature kills some bacteria, but not all of them. Some species of bacteria can survive really low temperatures though.

Besides, after freezing the clothes, the clothes get moist—almost like you washed them—and so, you’d have to go through the process of drying your clothes again.


You may need to exercise certain precautions when using agents like lemon juice, vodka or any other strong freshener.

The reason is because they work like acids and may either bleach, discolor or cause the fabric to fade. Let’s see a couple precautions that you can take.

  • Dilute the agents with water.
  • Spray the clothes with those agents after they have been flipped inside-out.
  • If you have to spray the outer part of the fabric, spray one part first. Then, proceed to spray the rest if there aren’t any serious reactions.
  • Spray the agents lightly across the surface of your cloth.


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