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How to Get Rid of Onion Smell on Clothes? (5 Easy & Effective Ways)

How to Get Rid of Onion Smell on Clothes

Dealing with stubborn odors on clothes can be quite a challenge, and one particularly pungent scent that can linger is the unmistakable smell of onions. Whether you’ve been chopping onions in the kitchen or have accidentally brushed against them while cooking, the odor can cling to your clothes and seem impossible to eliminate. Fortunately, there are several simple yet effective methods to get rid of the onion smell from your garments. In this guide, we will explore five easy and reliable ways to banish the onion odor, leaving your clothes fresh and odor-free once again.

When it comes to combating onion smells on clothing, it’s important to understand the science behind the odor. Onions contain sulfur compounds that are released when the vegetable is cut or crushed. These compounds are volatile and can easily penetrate fabric fibers, leading to a long-lasting and unpleasant smell. Traditional washing methods may not be sufficient to completely remove the onion odor, requiring additional steps to effectively eliminate it. However, by following the techniques outlined in this guide, you can effectively tackle the onion smell and restore your clothes to their original freshness.

Does Onion Smell Go Away from Clothes?

Yes, with proper care and the right techniques, onion smell can be successfully eliminated from clothes. The key is to address the odor promptly and use effective methods to remove the sulfur compounds that cause the lingering smell. While onion smells can be stubborn, they are not permanent, and there are several approaches you can take to ensure your clothes regain their freshness.

The duration it takes for the onion smell to completely dissipate from clothes can vary depending on the intensity of the odor and the specific methods used for odor removal. However, by following the recommended techniques, you can significantly reduce and eventually eliminate the onion smell from your garments. It’s important to note that the quicker you address the odor and take action, the easier it will be to remove the smell completely.

What Kills the Smell of Onions Out of Clothes

To eliminate the smell of onions from clothes, you can try the following methods:

Baking Soda

Baking Soda

Baking soda is indeed a commonly used household ingredient that can help eliminate the smell of onions from clothes. Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, has natural odor-absorbing properties, making it effective in neutralizing unpleasant smells, including onion odor. Here’s how you can use baking soda to get rid of the onion smell from your clothes:

  1. Prepare a baking soda paste: Mix a small amount of baking soda with water to create a thick paste.
  2. Apply the paste to the affected areas: Gently rub the baking soda paste onto the areas of your clothes that have come into contact with onions. Focus on areas like collars, cuffs, and armpits, as they tend to absorb more odor.
  3. Let it sit: Allow the baking soda paste to sit on the clothes for about 30 minutes to an hour. This gives the baking soda time to absorb the onion odor.
  4. Rinse and wash: After the designated time, rinse the clothes thoroughly to remove the baking soda paste. Then, wash them as you normally would with your preferred laundry detergent.

Baking soda helps in neutralizing the odor by absorbing and trapping the sulfur compounds responsible for the onion smell. It’s a safe and effective method for removing odors from clothes. However, keep in mind that for heavily saturated clothes or strong onion smells, you may need to repeat the process or combine baking soda with other odor-fighting techniques for best results.


White Vinegar

Yes, vinegar is another household ingredient that can effectively help in removing the smell of onions from clothes. Vinegar, particularly white distilled vinegar, has natural deodorizing properties and can help neutralize and eliminate odors. Here’s how you can use vinegar to get rid of onion smell from your clothes:

  1. Prepare a vinegar solution: Mix equal parts of water and white distilled vinegar in a bowl or basin. You can start with a 1:1 ratio, adjusting the amounts depending on the number of clothes you need to treat.
  2. Soak the clothes: Submerge the onion-scented clothes in the vinegar solution. Ensure that all affected areas are completely immersed in the solution. Let them soak for 30 minutes to an hour.
  3. Rinse and wash: After the soaking time, remove the clothes from the vinegar solution and rinse them thoroughly with water to remove any vinegar smell. Proceed to wash them as usual with your regular laundry detergent.

Vinegar works by breaking down and neutralizing the sulfur compounds that cause the onion smell. It also has antimicrobial properties that can help eliminate any bacteria associated with odors. However, it’s important to note that the smell of vinegar itself may linger temporarily but will dissipate once the clothes are fully dry. If you’re concerned about the vinegar smell, you can add a few drops of essential oil to the final rinse cycle or hang the clothes outdoors to air dry, which can help eliminate any remaining odors.

Fabric Softener

Downy Fabric Softener

While fabric softener is primarily used to make clothes softer and reduce static cling, it can also help mask or diminish the smell of onions on clothes. Here’s how you can use fabric softener to tackle the onion smell:

  1. Pre-treat the clothes: Before washing, pre-treat the areas of the clothes that have absorbed the onion smell. Apply a small amount of undiluted fabric softener directly onto the affected areas, such as collars, cuffs, and armpits.
  2. Let it sit: Allow the fabric softener to penetrate the fabric for about 15-30 minutes. This gives it time to work on neutralizing the onion odor.
  3. Wash as usual: After the pre-treatment, proceed to wash the clothes in your washing machine using your regular laundry detergent. Add fabric softener to the fabric softener dispenser or during the rinse cycle, following the instructions on the product’s label.
  4. Dry the clothes: Once the washing cycle is complete, dry the clothes as you normally would, either by air drying or using a dryer.

Fabric softener helps by adding a pleasant scent to the clothes, which can help mask or reduce the onion smell. Additionally, fabric softeners often contain ingredients that can help break down and neutralize odors. However, it’s important to note that fabric softeners may not completely eliminate strong onion odors, especially if the clothes are heavily saturated. In such cases, it may be necessary to combine fabric softener with other odor-removal methods for more effective results.

Essential Oils

Essential Oils

Using essential oils is another effective method to eliminate onion smells from clothes. Essential oils not only add a pleasant fragrance but also have natural properties that can neutralize odors. Here’s how you can use essential oils to remove onion smell from clothes:

  1. Choose the right essential oil: Select an essential oil with a fragrance that you find pleasing and that can effectively mask or eliminate odors. Popular choices include lavender, lemon, tea tree, eucalyptus, or peppermint. Ensure that the essential oil is safe to use on fabrics.
  2. Create a diluted solution: Mix a few drops of the chosen essential oil with water in a spray bottle or a bowl. The exact ratio may vary depending on the desired strength of the fragrance, but a good starting point is around 10-15 drops of essential oil per cup of water.
  3. Spray or soak the clothes: Spray the diluted essential oil solution directly onto the clothes, focusing on the areas with onion odor. Alternatively, you can soak the clothes in a basin of the diluted solution for about 15-30 minutes.
  4. Dry the clothes: After spraying or soaking, allow the clothes to air dry. The essential oil will not only help eliminate the onion smell but also leave a pleasant aroma on the fabric.

Essential oils work by their natural fragrance properties and can effectively mask or overpower the onion smell. Additionally, some essential oils, like tea tree or eucalyptus, have antimicrobial properties that can help eliminate bacteria associated with odors. However, it’s important to note that essential oils should be used with caution on fabrics, as some oils may leave stains or discoloration. It’s recommended to test a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric before applying the essential oil solution to the entire garment.

Scent Detergent

Using a scented detergent specifically formulated to eliminate odors can be a practical and convenient way to get rid of onion smells from clothes. These detergents are designed to not only clean the fabric but also neutralize and eliminate stubborn odors. Here’s how you can use a scented detergent to remove onion smell from clothes:

  1. Choose a scented detergent: Look for a detergent that is specifically labeled as having odor-eliminating properties. These detergents often contain enzymes or other ingredients that break down and neutralize odors effectively.
  2. Sort and prepare the clothes: Separate the onion-scented clothes from other laundry items. Check the care labels of the clothes to ensure they can be safely washed with the scented detergent.
  3. Measure and add the detergent: Follow the instructions on the detergent bottle to determine the appropriate amount for your load size. Add the scented detergent to the washing machine, along with the onion-smelling clothes.
  4. Wash as directed: Set the washing machine to the appropriate water temperature and cycle for the clothes. Start the washing machine and allow it to complete the cycle.
  5. Dry the clothes: Once the washing cycle is complete, dry the clothes according to the garment’s care instructions. You can air dry them or use a dryer, depending on the fabric and personal preference.

Scented detergents work by using specific ingredients that target and neutralize the odor molecules, including those from onions. They are formulated to leave a pleasant fragrance on the clothes while effectively cleaning and removing odors. Using a scented detergent can be a convenient solution, especially if you regularly experience onion smells on your clothes. However, if the onion odor persists after washing, you may need to combine the scented detergent with additional odor-removal methods to ensure complete elimination.

How to Get Rid of Onion Smell on Clothes?

To get rid of onion smell on clothes, you can try the following methods:

  1. Pre-treat the affected area: Apply a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water to the onion-stained area of the garment. Let it sit for a few minutes before washing.
  2. Use baking soda: Sprinkle baking soda directly onto the onion-stained area and let it sit for a while. Then, wash the garment as usual.
  3. Lemon juice: Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto the onion-smelling fabric and let it soak for a few minutes before washing.
  4. Odor-eliminating sprays: Use a commercial fabric odor-eliminating spray designed to neutralize odors. Follow the instructions on the product for best results.

Remember to always check the care label on your clothing and follow the manufacturer’s instructions before attempting any stain removal or odor-elimination methods.

How to Remove Onion Smell from Clothes Without Washing?

If you need to remove onion smell from clothes without washing them, here are a few methods you can try:

  1. Air Outdoors: Hang the clothes outside in a well-ventilated area, preferably in direct sunlight. Fresh air and sunlight can help dissipate odors naturally. Leave the clothes outside for a few hours or until the onion smell has diminished.
  2. Odor Absorbers: Place odor-absorbing materials near the clothes to help absorb the onion smell. Options include activated charcoal, baking soda, or coffee grounds. Put the clothes in a sealed container or bag with the odor absorber, and leave them for a day or two. The materials will help absorb the odor without the need for washing.
  3. Vinegar Spray: Fill a spray bottle with white distilled vinegar. Spray a fine mist of vinegar onto the onion-scented areas of the clothes. Vinegar is known for its ability to neutralize odors. Allow the clothes to air dry, and the vinegar smell will dissipate, taking the onion odor with it.
  4. Freezer Method: If the clothes are small enough, you can place them in a resealable plastic bag and put them in the freezer overnight. Freezing can help eliminate odors, including onion smells. Afterward, take the clothes out and allow them to thaw at room temperature. The onion smell should be significantly reduced.
  5. Steam Treatment: Hang the clothes in a steamy bathroom. Turn on hot water in the shower, close the bathroom door, and let the steam build up. The steam can help loosen and remove the onion odor from the clothes. Leave the clothes in the bathroom for about 30 minutes before removing them.

Remember that these methods may help reduce the onion smell, but they might not completely eliminate it. Washing the clothes with detergent is the most effective way to fully remove the odor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Lemon Remove the Onion Smell?

Yes, lemon can help remove the onion smell from clothes. Lemons contain natural acids, particularly citric acid, which have deodorizing properties. The strong citrus fragrance of lemons can also help mask the unpleasant onion odor. When applied to clothes, lemon juice can help break down the sulfur compounds that cause the onion smell, effectively reducing its intensity.

Does Baking Soda Get Rid of Onion Smell?

Yes, baking soda is effective in getting rid of onion smell. Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, has natural odor-absorbing properties that can help neutralize and eliminate unpleasant odors, including the lingering scent of onions.

How to Get Rid of Onion Smell on Your Hands?

To get rid of onion smell on your hands, try washing them with soap and cold water while rubbing them against a stainless steel object like a spoon or sink. Alternatively, you can rub your hands with lemon juice or vinegar, which can help neutralize the odor. Lastly, applying a paste made of baking soda and water to your hands and rinsing it off can also be effective in removing the onion smell.

How to Get Rid of Onion Smell on Body

If you have an onion smell on your body, start by thoroughly washing the affected areas with soap and water. For stubborn odors, try using a solution of water and vinegar to rinse the skin. Lemon juice can also be effective in neutralizing the smell. Ensure that you rinse and dry your body properly after using these remedies.

How to Get Rid of Onion Smell in House?

To get rid of onion smell in your house, open windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate. Use natural odor absorbers such as bowls of white vinegar, coffee grounds, or baking soda placed strategically around the house. Simmering a pot of water with citrus peels or spices like cinnamon and cloves can help mask and eliminate odors. Clean surfaces, including countertops and cutting boards, with a mixture of vinegar and water to remove lingering smells.

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Lim Tony, an experienced author, provides practical cleaning guides and tips. With expertise gained from the cleaning industry, Lim empowers readers to achieve cleanliness and organization in their spaces. Simplify your cleaning routine with valuable insights from Lim's informative content.