Why You Should Stop Dry-Cleaning and Start Steaming Smelly Clothes With…Vodka?

One consignment shop owner's secret to neutralizing odors.

Dress and Flowers

Make your clothes smell fresh in seconds. | Shutterstock.

Not enough time to run to the dry cleaner’s before your event? Got some vintage pieces that just can’t shake the musty, granny-closet smell? You don’t have to hide behind a cloud of perfume (or worse, Febreeze) to mask the not-so-fresh scent your clothes are carrying. I learned the easiest way ever to neutralize stubborn smelling clothes (and my inner party girl loves it): vodka.

Vera Fran Consignment Boutique owner Jadwiga Healey has seen smelled it all when it comes to clothes, and her secret is simple: Fill your steamer with a half-and-half solution of vodka and water, and steam away. The pungent scent will totally subside  –  and no, you won’t smell like a hangover.

Jadwiga first learned this trick during her daughter’s drama career, where the intricate (unwashable) costumes often carried the residual odors of previous actors’ nerves. Here’s how we see it: If this technique can work on years-old BO, it should take care of the mothballs. Have some of the solution left over? Mist jeans with them and put ’em in the freezer to cut smells and bacteria. Cheers to a cheaper dry-cleaning bill!