How To Get Korean BBQ Smell Out Of Clothes? (With Household Items)

Korean BBQ is a popular and delicious meal enjoyed by many. However, the aftermath often leaves a lingering, smokey smell on your clothes that can be persistent.

Removing this odor can be challenging, but with the proper knowledge and cleaning methods, it’s possible to get your clothes smelling fresh again. From using everyday household items like vinegar and baking soda to proper pretreatment and washing techniques, it’s time to ditch the BBQ smell.

Korean BBQ. Credit: canva

This article will discuss some tried-and-tested techniques for removing the Korean BBQ smell from your clothes. Let’s find out!

Soaking clothes. Credit: canva

Removing the Korean BBQ Smell from Clothes

Immediate Solutions

You can try a few quick fixes to minimize the odor when you notice the Korean BBQ smell on your clothes. One famous trick is using homemade lemon juice or vinegar spray.

Just prepare a spray bottle, fill it with 200ml of water, add 5 drops of lemon juice, and spray it on the affected clothing. Alternatively, you can use a mix of vinegar and water.

Washing Techniques

Some practical techniques and ingredients can help remove the Korean BBQ smell when washing your clothes. Vinegar and baking soda are two excellent options for removing odors from clothing.

To wash your clothes:

  • Soak the affected garments in a mixture of one-part white vinegar to four parts water for about 30 minutes.
  • After soaking, wash your clothes in the washing machine, but add half a cup of baking soda to the detergent.

Drying Techniques

Once you’ve washed your clothes, some drying techniques can help. First, ensure your clothes are thoroughly rinsed before drying, as any lingering vinegar or baking soda can cause a reaction and worsen the smell.

If possible, hang your clothes out to dry in the sun, as the sunlight and fresh air can help break down any remaining odors. If sun-drying isn’t an option, use a dryer sheet or fabric softener in your dryer to help remove any lingering BBQ smell.

How Korean BBQ Smell Sticks to Clothes

Korean BBQ’s unique aroma can easily latch onto your clothes, leaving you smelling like a barbeque even after you’ve left the restaurant.

This section will explain how the smells from oil, smoke, and food particles contribute to this lingering scent on your garments.

Oil and Smoke

When you cook meat on a Korean BBQ grill, the heat causes the fats and oils to vaporize. These vapors rise with the smoke and can easily permeate your clothing, causing the smells to remain even after your meal.

Additionally, cooking over an open flame produces more smoke, increasing the likelihood of the smell infiltrating your clothes.

Food Particles

During a Korean BBQ meal, food particles can become airborne due to the sizzling and splattering of the meats as they cook. These airborne particles can settle onto your clothes, adding to the overall smell.

Furthermore, cooking various types of flavorful sauces and marinades also contributes to the scent that sticks to your garments.

Vinegar spray. Credit: canva

Preventing Korean BBQ Smell on Clothes

As much as we love Korean BBQ, it’s not so enjoyable when the smell lingers on our clothes. By taking a few preventative measures, you can minimize the odor on your clothing and keep it fresh even after a delicious feast.

Choose a Well-Ventilated Restaurant

One of the simplest ways to prevent the Korean BBQ smell from soaking into your clothes is by choosing a restaurant with good ventilation.

Look for places with robust exhaust systems or open-air seating, which can help reduce the intensity of the smells in the dining area. A well-ventilated restaurant significantly reduces the chances of strong odors lingering on your attire.

Wear a BBQ Apron

Another helpful tip to protect your clothing is wearing a BBQ apron while cooking and dining. A long apron can cover many of your clothes, shielding them from smoke, cooking smells, and splatters.

Some restaurants provide aprons for customers, but you can always bring your own if they don’t. This way, you don’t have to worry about getting the smoky scent on your favorite shirt or dress.

Cover Your Hair

Finally, cover your hair when you’re at a Korean BBQ. Hair tends to absorb odors faster than fabric, and having a smoky scent in your hair can also transfer to your clothes.

You can wear a hat, a scarf, or a hair cover to keep the smell at bay. This simple precaution minimizes the chances of the BBQ smell lingering in your hair and reduces the odor transfer to your clothing.

Alternative Methods for Stubborn Smells

For that persistent Korean BBQ smells that cling to your clothes, here are some alternative methods to help with odor elimination.

Soak in Vinegar

Vinegar is a practical, natural deodorizer that can help remove stubborn smells from your clothes. Here’s how you can use vinegar to eliminate the Korean BBQ smell from your clothes:

  • Mix equal white vinegar and water in a large container or sink.
  • Add a few drops of essential oil for a more pleasant scent.
  • Submerge your clothes in the mixture and let them soak for an hour or two.
  • After soaking, rinse the clothes with cold water and wash them as usual.

Baking Soda Method

Baking soda is another useful household item that can help with stubborn smells. Using baking soda with regular laundry detergent can help neutralize persistent odors, making your clothes smell fresher.

Here’s how you can use baking soda to eliminate the Korean BBQ smell from your clothes:

  • In a large container or sink, add one cup of baking soda to enough water to submerge your clothes fully.
  • Allow your clothes to soak in the baking soda solution for at least an hour.
  • After soaking, rinse your clothes with cold water and wash them as usual.
Credit: canva


Can I use special detergents to remove the smell?

Yes. Specialized detergents like Tide Sport can help eliminate BBQ smells from your clothes.

Can any products be added to the washing cycle to enhance odor removal?

Yes. Adding scent boosters like Downy Unstoppables to your washing cycle can help eliminate stubborn odors from your clothes.

Is there a trick to remove the BBQ smell from clothes without washing them?

Some people use a vodka and water mixture to remove the smell. You can spray this mixture onto your clothes and let them air dry to reduce the BBQ smell.

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