I remember my first date with my boyfriend like it was yesterday. We originally met at a bar and, after a few days of flirty banter via text, we decided to meet up for a bonafide date. We were going to grab drinks on the water after work so, in anticipation of my hot date, I put on my go-to first date outfit: a cute lacy romper I’d bought back in college.
I wore the romper to work then decided that because it was such a beautiful sunny day outside, I’d take the hour-long walk to our date location. It really was a sunny day. Perfect for getting drinks on the water. Unfortunately, the weather was not so perfect when it came to keeping my go-to first date outfit in pristine shape. It was about 90 degrees and humid outside so, yeah, to say I got a little sweaty during my 60-minute walk would be an understatement. Luckily, the sweat dried so it wasn’t necessarily visible. But I couldn’t help feeling a little self conscious about the fact that my sexy outfit might’ve smelled a lot like Fat Bastard from “Austin Powers.”
As my good deed for the day, I’d personally like to make sure no one ever has to worry about having a smelly go-to first date romper, lucky T-shirt, or turtleneck, again. In order to make this happen, I spoke to Patric Richardson, the owner of Mona Williams, a retail store in Minnesota, and the laundry evangelist (yes, that’s a thing).
When it comes to getting scents out fast, Williams has a pretty unconventional trick: Spray your clothes with vodka. No, seriously. “My trick, across the board, would be to just spray it with vodka,” he says. “Vodka will remove just about any odor from anything.” You see, vodka dries odorless, so when you spray it onto the smelly part of your clothing, it will dry totally smell-free.
Will it help with your pit stains?
While vodka will get out the scent of your smelly armpits, it won’t necessarily remove the stains left by your sweat.“The thing is, you might still have the pit stains,” he explains. “If the stain is there, you’ve got to get it out but, if it’s like you’ve been wearing it all day and you’re getting ready to go out, yeah, you just spray it with vodka.” So how do you go about getting the stain out? Unfortunately, it’s not going to be easy. “They are tough,” Williams laments. “You remove them with oil soap and bleach alternative, but you would then have to wash the garment and let it dry. I would probably spray vodka for the scent and stay in dim lighting — or wear a cardigan!”
So vodka dries scent-free — but how do you get it really smelling fresh?
“If you were running out in 20 minutes to get ready for a date, I’d spray it with vodka, and then I’d let it hang out the window while I got ready,” suggests Williams.
Can this trick help you for the morning after as well?
You can bet your bottom dollar it will. Even if the two of you had a particularly pungent meal for dinner and you wound up spending the night at your date’s place after, Williams suggests spritzing your outfit with vodka before heading to work the next day. “I guess if the date went really well, you could even wear it to work the next day and just spray it with vodka too,” he tells us. In fact, if you carry a purse, he suggests keeping a small spray bottle of vodka with you at all times for moments like these.
Is there a specific brand of vodka should you use?
Nope! As long as it’s real vodka you’re in the clear. And none of that flavored business.
How many spritzes should you be doing to get rid of a scent?
“It won’t take much,” he tells us. “It’s kind of an amazing trick.”
What if your entire dress was smelly?
For a larger item of clothing, like a dress, Williams suggests spritzing it six or seven times to create a “mist.”
What if it was just the crotch area of your jeans?
If the smell is coming from the crotch area of your jeans, Williams suggests finding somewhere you’re able to take your pants off for a moment and spritzing from the inside. You should especially do this if your pants are jeans because that particular fabric is so thick.
What if the problem area was just your armpits?
Williams notes that it would probably be better to spritz it from the inside like you would with your jeans. But because shirts tend to be much lighter weight, this isn’t a hard rule.
What if you get a stain on your outfit halfway through the meal?
Don’t worry. Vodka can help with that too. “The other great thing about vodka is you can spot treat with it,” Williams explains. “So, let’s say you’re getting ready to pay and you realize there’s a spot on it. You can put the vodka on a little towel and dab at the stain and usually it will come out.”
The one thing Williams strongly advises against is trying to mask any sort of odor on your clothing with perfume. “I would try to kind of dial it back,” he warns. “It’s gross when you meet somebody and they reek of perfume.” Besides, if you use his vodka trick, “your clothes aren’t gonna need it.”