Making The Transition From Scented To Unscented
Steps Regarding Skin
- Stop using all skin products that contain a scent.
- Begin using only skin products that are unscented, this includes deodorant and make up.
- Scented skin products will often wash off the skin with one to four washings.
- Some scent is very hard to remove from the skin. Examples of this are perfume and hand sanitizers. To remove difficult scent, wash the area with 99% isopropanol alcohol, which will often cut through the scent; then wash with unscented soap.
Steps Regarding Hair
- Stop using all hair products that contain a scent.
- Do not use dye, bleaches, highlights, perms, straighteners, and other such products in your hair.
- Begin using only hair products that are unscented.
- After a number of washings, the scent from the previous hair products will disappear. You will know you are making progress if the scent smell lessens over a period of a number of washings.
- However, some hair products have scent that is designed to never wash out of the hair. The only way to get rid of that scent is to cut the hair off.
- Be careful what your hair touches. Scent can transfer to your hair from what it touches. If this occurs, this newly acquired scent will need to be washed out of your hair again.
- Therefore, your pillow, and any thing else that your hair will touch, should be unscented.
- Your hair can also pick up scent and other odours, such as cigarette smoke, from the air. If you will be in an environment where scent or other odours will be in the air, you might want to protect your hair by wearing a cap or wrapping your hair with a scarf.
Steps Regarding Clothing
- Getting scent out of clothes is just as difficult as getting it out of hair. Scent is usually made from a group of chemicals called VOCs or Volatile Organic Compounds. Heat makes the scent vapourize and leave the garment. Therefore, heat is usually a necessity, in order to remove scent from clothing.
- Consequently, the clothes are washed in hot water, with baking soda and unscented soap. The hot water helps get the scent out of the clothes; the baking soda absorbs the scent to prevent it from going back into the fabric; and the unscented soap helps prevent the baking soda from making the clothes stiff.
- When it is determined that there is no more scent in the clothes, then they go through a soap wash to remove any remaining baking soda. Optionally, an additional clear wash may also be done at the end, as an extra rinse cycle.
- The number of times the clothes need to go through the baking soda wash will depend on the degree of scent that needs to be removed.
- New clothing is often easier to make unscented than clothing that has been laundered with scented laundry products. The “new clothing smell” washes out easier than the smell of scented laundry products. Some new clothing is treated with formaldehyde and it takes approximately six baking soda washes to remove the formaldehyde. (follow the instructions of # 2 to 4)
- Never wash unscented clothing with scented clothing, as the scent will be transferred to the unscented clothing, and all of the clothing will become scented.
- Some laundry products are designed in such a way that the scent is permanent – it will never wash out. Garments washed with these laundry products can never be made unscented.
- To remove other odours from your clothes, follow the instructions of # 2 to 4.
- If the washing machine that is being used has had scented laundry detergent or scented fabric softener used in it, you will need to first removed the scent from the washing machine. If you don’t, the scent on the washing machine will transfer onto the clothes.
- First, using a cloth with clear water, wipe down the entire washing machine, inside and out, removing all soap residue.
- Next do a full load wash, using hot water (as hot as possible) and a cup of baking soda. Don’t put any clothing in this wash, as you are really washing the machine, and you want the baking soda to remove the scent from the washing machine.
- Check to see if the scent is gone.
- If the scent is still there, but diminished, it means you will probably succeed in your goal. Therefore, you need to just repeat step B until the scent is completely gone.
- If the scent is still there, and if it is just as strong, it probably means that the scent is not removable. The clothes will need to be have the scent removed using a different machine.
- It is advisable to hang the clothes to dry in a scent free place, rather than put them in a dryer. This is due to the fact that most scented fabric softeners and scented dryer sheets leave a scent residue on the dryer drum, which is extremely difficult to remove.
- Hanging the clothes outside in the summer hot sun, might also remove the scent, but it might take a few months to accomplish it. (There is also the possibility that at the end of the summer, some scent will remain.)
- Cotton is very absorbent of scent and odours, but it will also release the scent and odours in the hot water/baking soda wash.
- Silk and wool are less absorbent of scent and odours than cotton, and release the scent and odours faster than cotton. Sometimes they will release the scent and odours by just hanging them up and letting them air out in a warm location, with a breeze.
- Another option is to put clothes (it doesn’t matter the fabric) in a plastic bag. Sometimes, over time, the plastic will absorb the scent or odour – leaving your clothes scent and odour free. This method is more unpredictable in its results, but worth a try.
- Be aware that your clothing can also pick up scent and other odours, such as cigarette smoke, from the air. If you will be in an environment where scent or other odours will be in the air, you will need to check your clothes afterwards for scent or odours. If necessary, those clothes might need to go through the washes described in # 2 to 4.
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