General Question

dalepetrie's avatar

Is there any way to quickly lessen the smell of spilled cologne in a small, poorly ventilated room?

Asked by dalepetrie (18024points) November 16th, 2009

Here’s the situation. My bathroom is very small. I’d be surprised if there were 50 square feet including the shower, toilet, sink and closet, and probably less than 15 square feet of floor space in the whole room. It is completely tiled. It does not have any windows, and the exhaust fan is broken. There is a medicine cabinet above the toilet, which when I opened it today, a bottle of cologne fell out, hit the toilet seat, shattered into a gazillion pieces, most of the cologne went into the toilet and most of the glass went on the floor. I flushed, and I swept up the glass…the floor and toilet are dry, but the room smells like a Portugese whorehouse. I tried closing the door with a lit candle for half an hour, that did nothing. I’ve now had the door open for 2½ hours and the smell is as strong as ever. It gives me a headache to even walk within 10 feet of the bathroom. Is there anything other than time that would make it smell a little less powerful?

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25 Answers

virtualist's avatar

Odorzout (zeolite granules)

SpatzieLover's avatar

Dale, go to your local drug store and get a bottle of alcohol (or if you have super cheap vodka on hand you can use it). Dump a ton of the alcohol on the spilled area and wipe it clean. You may have to do this more than once to get rid of all the smell.

This will actually clean the smell out, not just mask it or absorb it temporarily.

virtualist's avatar

Take a piece of carpet from closet and patch the perfume spot (and maybe padding, too). <doh!> There is no carpet <doh!>

mowens's avatar

I use the drier sheets. You rub that in the carpet, it will probably take a few tries but it works. When I spilled beer in my parents house growing up… got me out of trouble every time. :)

dalepetrie's avatar

There’s NO carpet in this room.

JLeslie's avatar

You have to dilute the fragrance and clean it up. So take half alcohol half water in a bucket and super clean the area going over it several times with damp sponge, wring, soak again.

After I would use Fantastic or 409, somthing that breaks down fats and oils. The oils in the cologne are what keep the fragrance around.

It still might take a few days for the smell to completely evaporate.

dalepetrie's avatar

Barring a better suggestion, I’ll try the alcohol. I have isopropyl and cheap vodka, so I should be set.

JLeslie's avatar

Even if you don’t have a product like fantastic, maybe you could just use some dish soap, anything that will break down the oils.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@dalepetrie Douse liberally, then wipe. Give it time to dry, then do it again, even if you don’t smell the cologne anymore. It has a way of seeping out of the grout and cracks.

(People do this more often than you’d think in bar bathrooms;)

dalepetrie's avatar

Honestly, don’t mind if there’s a little cologne smell in the bathroom, just want to get rid of the top layer that overpowers you so you can’t breathe. As I said, the bathroom has no ventilation, so I don’t mind if there’s a fragrance in there, I just don’t want it to smell like a pimp.

avvooooooo's avatar

@dalepetrie Which is it? A pimp or a whore? :D

Be happy that you don’t have carpet in there!

dalepetrie's avatar

Well, I would imagine you’d have a variety of pimps and Johns all covered in cheap cologne at a Portugese Whorehouse, now wouldn’t you? No, dead hooker is a different smell altogether, I’ll get back to you on that one next time I take out the trash.

dalepetrie's avatar

And live hooker would be if you spilled a bottle of perfume (not cologne) in the bathroom at Red Lobster.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Try putting a little bowl of coffee grounds in there. They’ll absorb the smell, too.

PretentiousArtist's avatar

moth balls? Baking soda?

dalepetrie's avatar

Hmm, coffee rounds, moth balls & baking soda…I believe I have all 3 of those.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@dalepetrie when my last car was about 2 months old, by husband spilled a half a gallon of beer from a brewery in the trunk. I was SO mad! It stunk to high heaven. We put coffee grounds directly on the carpet & just left them there for a couple weeks. The sour smell went away & left a good smell.

robmandu's avatar

Also suggest trying white vinegar.

On hard surfaces, I gotta think this should be easy to resolve.

Good luck!

filmfann's avatar

You should ask:

it’s not a real link

EmpressPixie's avatar

Did the alcohol work? It should have—cheap vodka and isopropyl in a mix is what I use to clean perfume oils off of glass. And cheap vodka is what I use to dilute perfume oil to wear, so it should have worked nicely. Let us know how it turns out.

Blondesjon's avatar


What? It’s not like it spilled in the kitchen.

dalepetrie's avatar

Yeah, I just sent my 8 year old in there…with his dietary habits it will neutralize it in no time.

Actually, I haven’t had a chance to deal with it yet, and the smell has gone down considerably. I may still try one or some of these things and we’ll see.

Shegrin's avatar

I know spraying regular vinegar and letting it air dry knocks out cat urine, and that can be a really overwhelming odor. Maybe spray the vinegar and then go out for a while?

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