You're 3 Ingredients Away from a DIY Stink Eliminator

Publish date:
June 19, 2015
DIY, vodka

About a month ago, I received a letter from an old acquaintance who also happens to be an xoVain reader. Her inquiry was as follows:

I have been looking for a beauty product and can't find what I am looking for so, out of anyone, I thought you might. I, unfortunately, work in a job where people smoke in their homes, and I have to spend time in them. When this happens, I smell like an overused ash try. My solution is to spray perfume, but that makes me smell like I have been in a stale bar. Do you know if there is anything that can be used on clothes/hair to get the smell out while you are wearing the clothing?

A fair question. In fact, I'm going to assume that others experience a similar issue, no matter what the smell culprit is. Personally, I tend to absorb the smell of car exhaust in a matter of seconds (ugh), and everyone's dealt with sweat or other unsavory scent issues.

Sometimes you need a quick fix, like the reader above, and you don't have time to go home and change.

I did what anyone ought to do after being approached with a serious conundrum of a question: I polled a set of experts. In this case, it was xoWriters, some of whom have even smoked themselves and searched for the same fix years ago.

Over and over again, I got the same response: "Vodka!"

To keep things fair, I tried other products that promised to remove scents, as well. There was Febreze (I just can't get behind the scents, sorry) and plenty of gimmicky products that promised to banish odors. The clear winner really was vodka, hands down. It also happened to be the cheapest solution.

The Anti-Stink How-To

Combine one part water with one part vodka. It doesn't matter what kind of vodka you choose, but if you intend to use this DIY Stink Eliminator on the regular, I suggest a massive bottle of something cheap. I tried other ratios of water to vodka, but the 1:1 works.

Next, add a few drops of your preferred essential oil. You could also forego oil completely, but I do like a little fragrance. You could also try lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary or other really earthy scents.

Shake it up in a spray bottle (found in the travel section or a beauty supply store) and spray liberally on any affected clothing or textiles. If you happen to be wearing the clothing, yes, it'll be a little damp. However, as the vodka solution dries, it'll lift and eliminate lingering scents.

Realistically speaking, vodka isn't going to remove the scent of cigarette smoke or other foul odors automatically and with 100% effectiveness. However, you will definitely notice a decrease in odor, and like I said, it's the best solution I found. Plus Mythbusters did an episode on vodka's ability to nix stale smoke and even those smarty pants gave it a thumbs up.

  • Have you tried this before?
  • In your opinion, what's the worst smell in the world?
  • What other unconventional ways do you use vodka?