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How to Remove Fish Odor From Fabric

Updated February 21, 2017

Fish odours are one of the most repugnant of smells. Fish can come into contact with clothes while fishing or if a broken fish oil pill touches clothing. Fabrics absorb fish odours. Simple washing may not remove all of the lingering fish smell. Use a few simple techniques before laundering to remove those disgusting odours.

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  1. Sprinkle baking soda on the fabric with the fish odour. Lay the fabric in the sun. The baking soda neutralises odours and the sun's rays help to disinfect the material. Leave the fabric in the sun for two hours.

  2. Place the fabric into a sink of cool water. Pour one cup of white vinegar into the sink. Slosh the fabric in the vinegar wash, so the vinegar is disperses through the material. Allow the fabric to sit in the sink for 20 to 30 minutes. The vinegar breaks down any remaining fish odour.

  3. Place the fabric in the washer. Wash with washing powder. Smell the fabric after taking it out of the washer. If the fish odour remains, wash a second time. If not, dry the fabric in a clothes dryer.

  4. Tip

    If fabric is dry-clean only, allow the dry cleaner to remove the odour and clean the fabric.

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Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • Washing powder

About the Author

Constance Barker, located in the hills of southern Ohio, is the owner and writer of several financial, credit report and travel websites. She started writing in 1999 for private clients and began creating website content in 2004. She gained expertise in home improvement after she and her husband built their home themselves.

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