How to Get Chemical Smell out of Jeans with Some Homemade Solutions

Not many people know that there are many ways how to get chemical smell out of jeans . Having a new pair of jeans is a dream, but dealing with the scent can be an annoyance. The scent may not be bothersome for some people, but others may have a different opinion. If you are one of those put off by the smell, then there are several ways to deal with it. 

The Funny Smell of New Jeans

New jeans may be great, but the smell is annoying. It’s the formaldehyde responsible for the scent. Those sensitive to formaldehyde may suffer from serious issues, including headaches, skin rashes, and respiratory problems.

So, why would jeans companies put formaldehyde on the jeans? They are usually applied when the manufacturing process takes place so mildew, bacteria, and mold can be prevented.

They are responsible for fabric damage during production storage. And to avoid such thing from happening, they apply the formaldehyde. That’s why your jeans end up with that strange smell that may give you a headache. 

Removing the Annoying Chemical Smell

how to get chemical smell out of jeans
Credit by DailyMail

Some people are quite disturbed by the chemical smell of the new jeans. But there’s no need to worry because there are effective ways how to get chemical smell out of jeans – and they are pretty simple. 

  • White Vinegar

You can always soak your new jeans in white vinegar. Not only it is inexpensive, but it’s also potent. White vinegar is pretty effective for all kinds of things, including the new jeans. Mix water and white vinegar, and then soak the jeans thoroughly. The best way to do it is to fill the bathtub with cold water and then add a cup of white vinegar. Soak the jeans and do it for around an hour. 

After an hour, wash the jeans like usual with the washing machine. If you think that the soaking job isn’t enough, add half a cup of the white vinegar again to the washing machine. Let it dry. It should smell neutral as the chemical scent is gone!

A word of advice, though: Don’t use vinegar together with baking soda. When you mix them, they create foams, and they tend to be messy. You don’t want to make another mess while cleaning up your jeans. You may read another tip that involves baking soda. Baking soda can also remove the chemical smell of jeans, and the method is quite effective in removing the odour or maximizing the cleaning power. However, it’s imperative not to mix baking soda and white vinegar. 

  • Borax Addition

Another way how to get chemical smell out of jeans is to add borax to your washing process. If you don’t know it, borax is a handy household cleaner that can deal with your chemical smell. You can add borax to your next laundry. Put all of your laundries in the washing machine and add borax (half a cup would be enough). Use cold water to do the wash, and then air-dry the jeans. Once it’s done, you should notice that the chemical smell is gone. 

Keep in mind that borax is pretty potent. In most cases, you only need to use half cup to do the cleaning. However, if the smell still lingers, repeat the process. You can also consider soaking the jeans in white vinegar too, and consult the previous cycle when doing it. 

  • Baking Soda and Water Mix

As mentioned before, baking soda is a pretty potent (household) cleaner – just like borax. Like white vinegar, baking soda is helpful to clean up fresh stains, odours from the fridge, or pet mess. 

Just like the white vinegar, fill the bathtub with cold water. Add baking soda (a cup would do). If you have smelly jeans, you can even add more. Then soak the jeans, completely immersing them in the water. Could you do it for an hour, at least? Remove the jeans and then wash them like you used to do. The baking soda would absorb the unpleasant smell. However, if the smell still lingers, you may want to combine this method with another ingredient. 

  • Lemon Juice

Lemons are inexpensive stuff you can find in the kitchen. They have pleasant smell, and they can remove stains. If you want to remove the chemical smell from the jeans:

  1. Use lemon juice.
  2. Mix lemon juice and water.
  3. Use this diluted solution to soak the jeans. You can use the 1:1 ratio of lemon juice and a cup of water for this.

If you want to remove stains, this mixture can be put in the spray bottle. To remove the unpleasant smell, spray this juice all over the jeans to remove the scent.

Whether you soak or spray the jeans, wash them like the usual after the soaking is done. You should notice that the chemical smell is gone and probably replaced by a faint scent of the lemon. Rest assured that lemon smells more nicely than formaldehyde if it happens. 

  • Vodka

Feel free to use your vodka stash to remove the formaldehyde smell from the jeans. It turns out that vodka has been used for decades to remove unpleasant odours from the clothes. Put the vodka in a spray bottle and spray the jeans with it. Vodka is considered one of the best ways how to get a chemical smell out of jeans because it would neutralize the scent, and it won’t make your jeans have a vodka scent either. No need to dilute the vodka and the alcohol content will make the dry jeans fast. This would be a perfect option if you don’t have tons of time to wash the jeans. 


Q: Can I air dry my jeans?

A: Yes. Some people prefer hanging their jeans in the sun to remove the smell. 

Q: What if I use a heat drying system?

A: That’s fine, but you should know that heat can shrink the jeans

Q: Can I use the detergent to remove the smell?

A: It’s also possible. But keep in mind that some detergents are scented, so your jeans won’t have that neutral scent outcome.

Q: How to prevent mould or mildew?

A: Make sure that your jeans are correctly dried off before storing them in your wardrobe. 

Those are some options about how to get chemical smell out of jeans – you simply choose the one you want. 

Related Article

Photo of author
Jack Robert

About Us

About us guide home blog

We’re a team of home improvement enthusiasts who want to make your life easier. Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or a seasoned pro, we’ve got you covered. We’ve gathered the best tips and advice from experts and everyday homeowners and put it all in one place. So whether you’re looking for information on roofing, painting, or anything in between, you can find it here.