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How to easily remove perfume stains from clothing, carpet and upholstery

Regardless of whether you spill a little or a lot, perfume stains really stink! Unsurprisingly, these stains can appear just as easily on clothing as they do on upholstery and carpet. Fortunately, cleaning pro Leslie Reichert and carpet cleaning expert Dean Carter know exactly how to fight these fragrant spills. Read on as they share their stain-fighting expertise.

How to remove perfume stains from clothing

“Perfume is oil-based,” explains Reichert, “so you want to use alcohol to break down the stain-causing oil.”

First, blot up any excess perfume.

Then, using a white cotton cloth or a cotton ball, dab rubbing alcohol on the stain, then blot with a clean white cloth.

Continue until the spot disappears.

Next, rub a white bar soap (like Ivory) onto the spot. The soap will wrap around the oil and alcohol and work to lift out the stain.

Rinse and let the item air dry.

If the spot is still there, repeat the process. Don’t put the item in the dryer or apply heat until you’re positive the spot is gone because the heat will set the stain.

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How to remove perfume stains from upholstery

"The above process also works on sturdy upholstery fabrics," says Reichert. Just be sure to test the fabric in an inconspicuous place before tackling the stain.

For delicate silk or vintage fabrics, consult an upholstery professional.

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How to remove perfume stains from carpet

“The first thing you should do is blot up the excess perfume,” says Carter.

“Then, tackle the stain using a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon Dawn detergent, 1 teaspoon white vinegar and 1 cup of warm water. Dab the solution on the stain, then blot all liquid from the stain using a clean, white cloth. Remove the detergent solution from the carpet by dabbing it with plain water and blotting up liquid until all detergent is gone.”

This is an important step because detergent residue will act as a dirt magnet and produce an even bigger stain if not removed.

Lastly, blot dry.

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