How to Freshen Up a Jacket

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Often a jacket may be perfectly clean with no need for laundering or dry-cleaning, but it may have an unpleasant, stale or musty odor. An unpleasant odor is common if the jacket hangs in a dark closet and hasn't been worn recently or if the jacket has been exposed to strong cooking odors or stale cigarette smoke. In many cases, a simple freshening may be enough to restore a jacket.

Things You'll Need

  • Hanger
  • Scented fabric softener sheet
  • Baking soda
  • 1 cup household vinegar
  • Plastic spray bottle
  • 3 to 4 drops essential oil (optional)

Step 1

Hang the jacket where fresh air can remove stale odors. A safe spot outdoors is best if the weather is warm, but you can also hang the jacket on a covered porch or near an open window. Allow the jacket to air for several hours, or overnight.

Step 2

Remove stubborn odors by placing the jacket in the clothes dryer with a scented fabric softener sheet. Leave the jacket in the dryer for 10 to 15 minutes. Before attempting this step, read the garment care label to be sure drying is appropriate because some jackets are dry-clean only.

Step 3

Sprinkle the jacket lightly with baking soda if other methods fail to freshen the jacket. Baking soda is an effective odor neutralizer, especially for fabrics affected by cigarette smoke. Allow the baking soda to remain on the jacket for two or three days, then take the jacket outside and shake it to remove the baking soda. A second application may be necessary for stubborn odors.

Step 4

Make a simple homemade vinegar fabric freshener if nothing else seems to work, as vinegar is an effective odor neutralizer. Mix one cup of water with one cup of household vinegar in a plastic spray bottle, Spray the fabric lightly with the freshener. If desired, add three to four drops of essential oil in a fragrance that you like, such as citrus, cedar or lavender. Don't be concerned about the vinegar odor because it will soon dissipate.

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