Sharon asked: I purchased a new pair of black jeans. They have a distinct odor, which I think is probably the dye used on them. I have washed them a couple of times, but the smell continues! Any suggestions?
Sometimes the chemicals used during clothing production can linger. Dark jeans require a large amount of dye and chemicals to allow them to keep their color strong and vibrant. Removing the smell from these chemicals can be a challenge. Here are some things to try.
You Will Need:
Steps to Remove the Odor:
- It will be easiest to apply these cleaners either in the washing machine or while soaking in a bucket/sink.
- Vinegar is a great deodorizer. Add some to the washing cycle and wash as normal. A normal sized load takes between ½ – 1 cup and a small load would require just ¼ cup.
- If the vinegar doesn’t do the trick, try filling a bucket with hot water and adding a scoop of OxiClean to it. Place the jeans in the bucket and allow them to soak overnight. There may be an odor as they are soaking, but it will go away once they are washed.
- Put on cleaning gloves, then remove the jeans from the bucket and wash them as normal.
- Another option is to add some borax to the washing cycle. Read the label for the appropriate amounts.
Additional Tips and Ideas
- Some cleaners, such as OxiClean and borax, may cause some fading. Test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure the color is not affected.
- Several site users have reported success by using castile soap, such as Dr. Bronner’s. To use this method, pick up a small bottle of the soap at a health food store and add a few teaspoons of it to the wash with the jeans. It is best to use the mild (baby) version of Dr. Bronner’s as it is the most plain, however the tea tree version can also be safely used on laundry.
- Do not add other clothes to the wash while treating the jeans as the other clothes could pick up some of the smell if it is not successfully removed.