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How to Get Perfume Oil Stains Out of Clothes

Does perfume stain clothes? It can. Learn how to remove perfume, cologne, and fragrance oil from clothes including perfume oil stains on colored clothes.

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How do you remove oil perfumes or regular perfume stains from colored garments?


If you have tried washing items with perfume stains and find that a little stain remains, then it would make sense that there’s a little residual oil that’s not coming out. Pretreating the stains with a little liquid dishwashing detergent (the kind you use for hand washing dishes) is a great technique for dealing with this problem. It’s important that when you first pretreat the stain that the fabric is dry — that is, you don’t rinse it with water first. To pretreat, apply a little detergent directly to the stain and wait 5 minutes, then rinse with a little warm water. Now you’ll want to machine wash the garment in the warmest water recommended on the care label using detergent and Clorox2® because you are washing an item with color. Let the garment air dry—you want to be sure the stain is all the way out before putting the item in a hot dryer.

If you get out the oil, then the fragrance should come out with it. I hope this helps — let me know if you have any other questions, and thanks for writing!

–Dr. Laundry

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