How to Get Smell Out of Denim

This clothing material often takes a beating and develops a subsequent stench in the process. Besides adaptive odors during use, it can also come with a chemical dye odor in recently manufactured denim products.

Despite the cause of the odor, there remain several household solutions for lifting any unpleasant aroma to bring freshness to the fiber. By adhering the the following principles, you can be sure that your denim will be smelling its best and will be ready for use.

Denim Smell Removal Solutions

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1. Heat Principle

Hot water is essential of opening the denim fiber to allow cleaning and deodorizing detergent in. When washing the denim within the washing machine or even in the sink, you will have much better results by using the hottest water setting available.

2. Rewash It

Washing the denim a single time is often not enough to lift out difficult body odors and chemical stenches. If at first you were not successful in lifting these odors from a single washing machine cycle, you may be have better luck by putting it through a second detergent wash cycle.

3. White Vinegar Addition

As a simple and cheap household acid, white vinegar can do much to cut through embedded denim odors. This can be applied to a normal detergent wash by measuring a cup full of white vinegar and adding it within the cycle. Using this solution will often replace odors with a subtile aroma of white vinegar. It is important to know that the vinegar smell will go away once the denim fiber has dried.

4. Baking Soda Boost

Baking soda is another additive that can add a beneficial deodorizing element within a normal detergent wash cycle. After placing the denim and detergent within the washing machine shut the door to alllow for the machine to begin. Once water has entered into the machine pour in a full cup of baking soda. Allowing for the water to fill the washing machine before adding the baking soda will help to ensure that it properly disburses and does not clump and attach to the clothing.

5. Denim Enzyme Soak

If the above solutions have not been effective, an activated enzyme cleaning solution can work well at literally eating through the personal or chemical odor within the denim. Fill an appropriate sized bucket with water and enzyme cleaning solution in equal parts and and proceed to submerge you smelly denim items within the formula. provide 2-3 hours for the denim to soak in this solution before removing it to place through a normal detergent wash cycle.

6. OxiClean

Similar to the enzyme solution, Oxiclean can have a powerful effect on the denim fiber prior to running the stinky fabric through a detergent wash. Mix a solution of Oxiclean within a large bucket, add the denim and provide 3-4 hours for the solution to have a deodorizing effect. Once complete, you will want to finalize the treatment of the denim by running t through a normal detergent wash.

7. Hang Dry in Sun

Upon completion of the above solutions, you can add one final freshening effect by choosing to air dry the denim outside rather than placing the fabric through the dryer. The fresh air, open space and UV rays of the sun will work to lift any additional odors within the denim and give the fabric fiber on final freshening boost.

Photo Credit: Kazuhiro Keino

Wendy Howes

I bought a new good denim dress a couple of months ago for my holiday. It was kept in a wardrobe , which is used regularly. When I removed it a few weeks later I noticed it really smelt of lavender! I don’t use any freshners hanging in wardrobe. Certainly not lavender hate it. Advice wash or dry clean. Thank you.

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