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January 31, 2022 6 min read

Yes! Perfume completes your outfit, but it can also stain your clothes if applied directly. This is true even for clearer perfumes. But worry not! We’re here to help you learn how to remove perfume stains.

On that note, let’s begin!

What is Perfume Stain?

Perfumes comprise alcohol and aromatic oils extracted from flowers, spices, leaves, and other ingredients to deliver the sweat aroma you enjoy. Some fragrances, like parfum, contain a huge concentration of essential oils compared to colognes. So, they have a stronger effect on your clothing.

If sprayed directly to your favourite cloth, the perfume can leave a residue behind. And over time, the residue can build up, ruining your cloth. Alcohol-based perfumes often leave oily-looking spots on the fabric. Besides that, some perfume contains dyes, which can stain fabrics. To prevent perfume stains, it’s wise to spray fragrances on your skin rather than on your clothes.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Remove Perfume Stains

Getting Rid of Stains from Cotton and Other Washable Fabrics

If you have perfume stain on your cotton, nylon, polyester, wool, spandex, or linen clothing, the methods below will help you get rid of the stain.

Apply A Few Drops of Water to The Stain

To get rid of a small stain on your cloth, pat at the residue with a water-soaked sponge or cloth. Ensure you don’t rub the stained area to avoid spreading and setting the stain on the fabric. The best way to handle the residue is to lightly pat the stain with the wet sponge, starting from the centre and working your way out.

This method works best for fresh perfume residue. The moisture will prevent the stain from spreading and setting in the cloth. The wet sponge or clean cloth quickly absorbs the perfume oils, therefore, getting rid of the stain.

Use A Liquid Dishwashing Detergent Solution

A light dab of water won’t cut it for stubborn stains. So you require something strong. In this case, you need a liquid dishwashing detergent solution. To create the solution, get the following:

  • Eight parts water
  • One pard dish-washing detergent
  • One part glycerin

Blend the ingredients by stirring thoroughly. If the residue is small, use teaspoon measurements. For instance, eight tablespoons of water, one tablespoon of dishwashing detergent, and a tablespoon of glycerin.

Once you’ve created the solution, apply a small amount of the mixture to the residue, not the surrounding area. Next, take a folded paper towel and place it on top of the wet area. Leave it there for about ten minutes.

The detergent solution works to lift the perfume residue and the paper towel will absorb it out of the fabric. If after ten minutes, there is still some oily stain, swap the paper towel with another one. Repeat this procedure until all the oily residue gets removed.

In case the moistened spot dries up, add more detergent solution to the area and place the paper towel to absorb the remaining old stains.

Use Rubbing Alcohol

Another alternative to removing aggressive perfume stains is rubbing alcohol. It works the same way as the detergent solution, but it’s more powerful.

Take a cotton ball and dip it in rubbing alcohol, then dab it over the residue. From there, take a tablespoon of the alcohol and apply it to a sheet of folded paper towel. Place the towel on the stained spot.

The alcohol breaks down the oily aromatic molecules, allowing them to dissolve into the white paper towel. After ten minutes or more, remove the towel and see if it has absorbed all the perfume oil. If the stain persists, dab more rubbing alcohol and replace the paper towel with a new one until all the stain gets absorbed.

After getting rid of the residue, rinse your fabric in water to remove the rubbing alcohol or detergent solution. After that, dry your cloth by hanging it outside.

Soak Your Garment in A Mixture of Water and Baking Soda

Baking soda is effective at getting rid of the toughest stains. If the above solutions have failed, then consider mixing one part of water with one part of baking soda. Next, soak your fabric in the solution for ten to fifteen minutes, then wash and dry the cloth.

Alternatively, you can make a paste and apply it to the stained region. Do this by mixing baking soda and lukewarm water in a small bowl in a two-to-one ratio. For example, mix 1 cup of baking soda with ½ a cup of warm water.

Baking soda is more aggressive compared to rubbing alcohol. This abrasive nature allows it to dislodge essential perfume oil in fabrics, thus removing the stain.

Removing Stains from Silk or Triacetate

Run Water Over the Stain

Silk and Triacetate don’t absorb water like cotton or other washable fabric. But you can still get rid of the perfume stain using water. Run water over the cloth until the stained area gets saturated. The cold water will stop the fresh stains from spreading throughout the fabric and setting in.

To expunge stains, add a few drops of glycerin to the saturated area and use your fingers to spread it until it covers the entire oily residue. Glycerin comes with solvent properties, which help soften and loosen stubborn stains. After that, rinse your silk garment under cold water to remove stains.

Use A Vinegar Solution

If glycerin failed to remove the residue, try a vinegar solution. Because of its acidity, vinegar makes a good stain remover. Most perfume stains are slightly acidic. As a result, they dissolve when they come in contact with another acid like vinegar.

Mix white vinegar and water in a ratio of one to one. Next, soak a sponge or cloth in the mixtures. Gently blot at the residue, starting at the centre of the spot and working your way outwards. Finally, flash with water to remove the stain and vinegar mixture., then dry your cloth.

Apply Denatured Alcohol to The Stain

If the aforementioned methods fail, don’t worry! We still have one method up our sleeves. Denatured alcohol has degreasing properties, meaning it can remove stubborn perfume, coffee, and other stains that soap, vinegar, or glycerin cannot.

Simply soak a cheesecloth pad in the alcohol and dab at the residue. Let the solution work its magic for ten minutes, then rinse your cloth in water. You can use a few cleaning agents to get rid of alcohol, then hang your silk fabric to dry.

Like oxygen bleach and chlorine bleach, denatured alcohol is poisonous when ingested. Therefore, you must take caution when using it. Also, keep it far away from your kids.

Stain Removal from Suede or Leather

Perfumes can also leave stains on Suede or Leather. But unlike cotton or silk, you can’t wash suede or leather. So, what can you do to clear perfumes’ stain?

Gently Bolt Excess Perfume

Find a dry wad of white paper towel to blemish the suede or leather. Make gentle tapping motions on the fresh stains until you completely remove them.

Use A Mixture of Soap and Water

In a large bowl, mix a squirt of mild soap with water and stir using your hand until foam forms or you create suds. Scoop the soap bubbles onto a clean sponge, then pat the stain gently. The soap suds will work to remove the stain. Afterward, wipe the bubbles from the leather or sue using a dry fabric or paper towel.

Cornmeal Can Do the Trick

If the stain is partially removed, sprinkle enough cornmeal to lightly cover the stained region. Cornmeal will lift and absorb the perfume oils from the fabric. Wait for the cornmeal to dry completely for about half an hour, then delicately brush off the cornmeal with a stiff-bristled brush. Repeat the process until the stain is completely removed.

Final Thoughts

Removing perfume stains might seem like a difficult task, but as you can see, it’s easy. You only need to understand which material works with which methods. But avoid the stains by spritzing your perfume and waiting for it to dry completely before dressing up.

That brings us to the end of our piece. If you accidentally apply perfume on your clothes or carpet, use any of these methods to remove the stain. Thank you for stopping by and all the best!