No Febreze Needed: How to Freshen Clothes Naturally and Eliminate Odors

Try hanging clothing outdoors in the sun or spraying them down with vodka—really!

| September/October 2003

Q: I use Febreze to freshen clothes between washings, but it irritates my throat. What can I use as a substitute?
—Terri, via e-mail

A: According to the Procter & Gamble website, “Febreze is a product for use on household items and clothing that aren’t dirty, but don’t smell clean.” Though it can be used on clothing, Febreze was designed to eliminate odors on “soft” household surfaces such as mattresses and boxsprings, carpet and rugs, curtains and drapes, pet areas, and upholstered furniture. Febreze is made from ethyl alcohol (distilled from petrochemicals) with added fragrance. Either ingredient may be causing your symptoms. As I was looking for the Febreze website, I came across a posting on a message board from someone who worked in a pub, where his clothes picked up a lot of odors. He used an atomizer to spray vodka on his clothing, and the odors disappeared. Ethyl alcohol and vodka are the same ethanol—one made from petrochemicals and the other from grains. Even if you are sensitive to the petrochemical alcohol, you can probably tolerate the grain alcohol.

You can also try hanging clothing outdoors in the sun or simply tossing them in the washer. You can rinse away odors without soap by adding baking soda to the wash water.

Subscribe today and save 58%

Get the latest on Healthy Living and Natural Beauty!

Mother Earth LivingRedefine beauty and embrace holistic living with Mother Earth Living by your side. Each issue  provides you with easy, hands-on ways to connect your life with the natural world -- from eating seasonally to culinary and medicinal uses of herbs; from aromatherapy and DIY cosmetics to yoga and beyond. Start your journey to holistic living today and you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter