How to Get Rid of an Ammonia Odor on Laundry

by Tiffany Silverberg ; Updated September 28, 2017

Ammonia is an effective cleaning agent. However, its pungent odor can set into fabrics, leaving behind an unpleasant aroma. An ammonia odor is also a characteristic of urine. Whether laundry has been soiled by urine, ammonia cleaners or another agent that causes a pungent odor, you will want to remove these smells before they take up residence in the fibers of your clothes. With a few added steps to your laundry routine, you can remove the odor and enjoy your clothes again.

Dab any wet spots with a paper towel. Avoid a cloth towel, unless it is disposable; otherwise, you will have to remove the odor from the towel as well. Discard the paper towel.

Fill the washing machine with the soiled laundry and warm-to-hot water. Add 1 cup of vinegar and ½ cup of baking soda. Let it soak for 20 minutes.

Add laundry detergent, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and run through a normal or heavy wash cycle.

Add another ½ cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle.

Smell the clothing after the washing machine is finished. Repeat the steps or dry as you normally would.


  • Vinegar acts as a bleach, so be careful using it on a dark clothing.

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About the Author

Tiffany Silverberg has written grants and copy materials for over three years. She graduated from the University of California Berkeley with a degree in linguistics. Silverberg has conducted research regarding language development in deaf children and worked as the lead reporter at the Kingsville Record and Bishop News in Texas.