How to Clean Perfume Spills in Luggage

We've all been there. You open up your suitcase after a long flight to discover a battlefield involving your toiletries and your clothing.

And the toiletries won.

Liquids and creams cover everything, and you have no choice but to wash it all. It’s anything but the relaxing first day you had planned for your getaway, right?

If you're lucky, it was just a bit of shampoo or body lotion. But, of all the things to spill in your luggage, perfume has to be the absolute worst.

how to clean perfume spills in luggage

In small doses, perfume smells beautiful; in high doses, it burns the nose… gags the throat… and can linger not just for months, but years. If you've had a leaky perfume bottle in your suitcase or bag, you better hope you love the scent!

Not only that, but the oils can stain clothing and the fabric of your luggage.

While not easy, here are some tips for cleaning up perfume spills in your luggage.

Step 1: Blot Away Excess Perfume

If the spill is fresh and wet, first use a clean cloth or paper towel to blot up the excess perfume. This is for clothing and luggage fabric.

Once the majority of the perfume has been blotted up, you can start getting into the nitty gritty of cleaning both the stain and the lingering scent.

Step 2: Focus on the Perfume Oil Stain

Since perfume is oil-based, the method of removing any stain left in clothing or luggage fabric is to break down that oil. You can use rubbing alcohol for this process.

Simply apply some rubbing alcohol to the spot and then blot with a clean cloth.

After, you can trap the perfume oil and alcohol in a solid bar of white soap. Rub the bar soap onto the spots in question before rinsing with water and allowing to dry, but not in a dryer.

You can repeat the process as many times as necessary.

Alternatively, the fabric lining of a suitcase or backpack can be cleaned using a different mixture, such as ½ teaspoon dish soap, 1 teaspoon vinegar, and a cup of warm water. After wetting the stain with this solution, blot it dry.

Finally, remove all remaining residue by wetting with clean water and blotting that dry. Repeat as necessary.

Step 3: Dissipate the Lingering Perfume Scent

Even after removing the perfume oil and any stains, perfume is notorious for sticking around. There are a number of steps you can take to remove the perfume odor from your luggage.

  1. Set the luggage in direct sun on a hot day.
  2. Rinse and wipe down with a vinegar wash.
  3. Fill with activated charcoal, seal the suitcase, and let set for several days (or weeks).
  4. Fill the luggage with crumpled up newspaper, seal and let set for several days (or weeks).
  5. Fill with odor absorbing cat litter and seal shut for several weeks.

    If all else fails, invest in new luggage but only take solid fragrances, such as those found right here at Aroamas. Being liquid-free, they won’t spill or leak in your luggage. Win!

    You might also enjoy learning about packing liquid toiletries and all the solid toiletry options on the market these days.

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