How to Get Smell Out of Black Jeans – Top 8 Methods

Bid farewell to unwanted odors with our ultimate guide on How to Get Smell Out of Black Jeans. Your favorite pair of black jeans can sometimes develop lingering smells, but fear not – we’ve got you covered. In this comprehensive guide, we unveil effective techniques and remedies to banish odors and refresh your denim.

From simple home remedies to expert tips, discover the secrets to reviving your black jeans and keeping them smelling fresh. Join us on this olfactory journey as we empower you to restore your beloved black jeans to their former glory.

Main Points

  • Baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, and Castile soap provide effective, natural ways to neutralize and eliminate odors from black jeans.
  • Utilizing the power of sunlight exposure and the freeze method helps eliminate bacteria and refresh your jeans without causing damage.
  • Placing activated charcoal in your jeans absorbs and traps odors, offering a convenient and reusable solution for keeping black jeans smelling fresh.
  • Oxygen bleach, such as Oxyclean, provides a safe alternative to chlorine bleach, breaking down odors without compromising the color of your black jeans.

Why Do Black Jeans Smell Weird?

Black jeans may sometimes develop a peculiar odor that sets them apart from other clothing items. This distinctive smell can be attributed to a combination of factors. One major contributor is the dye used in black jeans. The dark color is achieved through a process involving various chemicals, and residual compounds from this process can linger in the fabric.

Additionally, black jeans, like any other clothing, accumulate bacteria and sweat over time, leading to the formation of odor. The dark color of black jeans also absorbs more heat, making them warmer and more conducive to bacterial growth. When these factors converge, a distinct and sometimes unpleasant smell can emerge. It’s essential to follow proper washing and care instructions to minimize these odors.

For instance, washing black jeans inside out in cold water and using a mild detergent can help preserve the color and reduce the likelihood of any lingering smells.

Where the New Jeans Smell Come From?

The new jeans smell primarily arises from the combination of various factors involved in the manufacturing and distribution process. When jeans are produced, they undergo several treatments and processes, such as dyeing, finishing, and packaging. These processes involve the use of chemicals, such as dyes, sizing agents, and other finishing compounds, which contribute to the unique odor. Additionally, the packaging materials, such as plastic or cardboard, can also impart a certain scent to the jeans during transportation and storage. The combination of these factors creates the unmistakable fragrance associated with new jeans.

To delve deeper into the specifics, the dyeing process is a major contributor to the new jeans smell. The denim fabric is typically dyed using various chemicals and colorants to achieve the desired hue. These chemicals can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which contribute to the characteristic scent of new jeans. Furthermore, the application of finishing agents during the production process, such as softeners or wrinkle-resistant treatments, adds another layer to the olfactory profile of the jeans.

It’s important to note that while the new jeans smell is generally harmless, some individuals may be more sensitive to certain chemical odors.

Odor Removal Guide: How to Get Smell Out of Black Jeans

How to Get Smell Out of Black Jeans?

Black jeans are a staple in many wardrobes, but sometimes they can pick up unwanted smells. Whether it’s from cooking, outdoor activities, or just daily wear, getting rid of these odors is essential. Here are some effective ways to get rid of smells in black jeans and keep them fresh.

  1. Baking Soda:
    • Baking soda is a versatile and readily available deodorizer.
    • Its alkaline nature helps neutralize odors, and it’s safe for most fabrics.
  2. Vinegar Soak:
    • White vinegar is a natural deodorizer with antibacterial properties.
    • A vinegar soak can break down and eliminate odors, leaving your black jeans smelling fresh.
  3. Freeze Method:
    • Freezing your jeans can help kill odor-causing bacteria.
    • The cold temperature reduces bacterial activity, helping to minimize unpleasant smells.
  4. Sunlight Exposure:
    • Sunlight is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer.
    • Hanging your black jeans in direct sunlight can help eliminate odors and freshen them up.
  5. Activated Charcoal:
    • Activated charcoal absorbs and traps odors effectively.
    • Placing a pouch of activated charcoal in your jeans can help remove unwanted smells.
  6. Castile Soap:
    • Castile soap is a gentle, plant-based soap that is effective for cleaning fabrics.
    • Adding a small amount of diluted Castile soap to your laundry can help remove odors without harsh chemicals.
  7. Oxygen Bleach (Oxyclean):
    • Oxygen bleach, like Oxyclean, is a color-safe alternative to chlorine bleach.
    • It works by releasing oxygen, which helps break down and lift away odors from black jeans.
  8. Lemon Juice:
    • Lemon juice has natural antibacterial and deodorizing properties.
    • Mixing lemon juice with water and spraying it on your jeans can help eliminate odors.

Remember, each method has its own advantages and best-use scenarios. Now, let’s delve into the details of each approach.

How to Get Smell Out of Black Jeans

Lets discuss these odor removal methods in detail now.

1. Baking Soda:

Baking soda is a powerful deodorizer that effectively neutralizes odors in black jeans. Its alkaline nature makes it safe for most fabrics, and it works well to eliminate lingering smells.

  1. Sprinkle Baking Soda: Liberally sprinkle baking soda over the entire surface of your black jeans. Pay special attention to areas that tend to trap odors, such as the crotch and armpit areas.
  2. Rub In Gently: Using your hands, gently rub the baking soda into the fabric, ensuring that it comes into contact with the entire surface of the jeans.
  3. Let it Sit: Allow the jeans to sit with the baking soda for at least 30 minutes, or preferably overnight. This gives the baking soda enough time to absorb and neutralize odors.
  4. Shake Off Excess: After the waiting period, shake off the excess baking soda from the jeans. You can also use a soft brush to remove any remaining powder.
  5. Air Out: Hang the jeans in a well-ventilated area to allow any residual baking soda odor to dissipate.

2. Vinegar Soak:

White vinegar is a natural deodorizer with antibacterial properties, making it an excellent choice for eliminating odors in black jeans.

  1. Fill a Basin with Water: Fill a basin or sink with enough water to completely submerge your black jeans.
  2. Add White Vinegar: For a standard-sized load, add one cup of white vinegar to the water. This concentration is effective in neutralizing odors without leaving a vinegar smell.
  3. Soak Jeans: Submerge the jeans in the vinegar solution, ensuring that they are fully covered. Allow them to soak for at least one hour, or overnight for more stubborn odors.
  4. Drain and Rinse: Drain the vinegar solution and rinse the jeans thoroughly with cold water to remove any vinegar residue.
  5. Air Dry: Hang the jeans to air dry. The vinegar smell will dissipate as the jeans dry, leaving them odor-free.

3. Freeze Method:

The freeze method is a simple yet effective way to reduce odors in black jeans by using cold temperatures to inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria.

  1. Fold Jeans Properly: Ensure your black jeans are folded neatly before placing them in a plastic bag. This helps maintain their shape during freezing.
  2. Seal in a Plastic Bag: Seal the folded jeans in a plastic bag, removing as much air as possible. This prevents the absorption of freezer odors.
  3. Place in Freezer: Put the bagged jeans in the freezer and leave them for at least 8 hours, or overnight. The cold temperature will kill bacteria and minimize odors.
  4. Remove and Air Out: Take the jeans out of the freezer, remove them from the bag, and let them air out for a few hours. This helps eliminate any remaining frozen odors.

4. Sunlight Exposure:

Sunlight acts as a natural disinfectant and deodorizer, making it an excellent method for refreshing black jeans.

  1. Choose a Sunny Spot: Select a location with direct sunlight. A clothesline, balcony, or outdoor space with ample sunlight works best.
  2. Hang Jeans: Hang your black jeans in the sunlight, ensuring they are exposed to direct sunlight on both sides.
  3. Rotate Occasionally: Rotate the jeans occasionally to expose all areas to sunlight. This ensures even deodorizing and disinfecting.
  4. Leave Until Dry: Leave the jeans in the sunlight until they are completely dry. The sun’s rays will help eliminate odors and leave your jeans smelling fresh.

5. Activated Charcoal:

Activated charcoal is a highly absorbent material that effectively traps and eliminates odors in black jeans.

  1. Get an Activated Charcoal Pouch: Purchase or make a small pouch filled with activated charcoal. You can find activated charcoal pouches in home goods stores or online.
  2. Place Pouch in Jeans: Insert the activated charcoal pouch into the pockets of your black jeans or place it in the crotch area, ensuring it makes contact with the fabric.
  3. Leave Overnight: Allow the jeans to sit with the activated charcoal pouch overnight. This gives the charcoal enough time to absorb and neutralize odors.
  4. Remove Pouch: Take out the activated charcoal pouch before wearing the jeans. Shake off any loose charcoal particles.
  5. Recharge Charcoal: To maintain effectiveness, expose the activated charcoal pouch to direct sunlight for a few hours every few weeks to recharge its odor-absorbing capabilities.

6. Lemon Juice:

Lemon juice, with its natural antibacterial and deodorizing properties, is a citrusy solution for removing unwanted odors from black jeans.

  1. Mix Lemon Juice with Water: In a spray bottle, mix equal parts fresh lemon juice and water. This creates a diluted solution that is gentle on fabrics.
  2. Spray on Jeans: Lightly spray the lemon juice solution on the areas of your black jeans that need odor removal. Focus on spots with stubborn odors.
  3. Let it Air Dry: Allow the jeans to air dry completely. The lemon juice will evaporate, leaving behind a fresh citrus scent and eliminating odors.
  4. Optional: Wash as Usual: If you prefer, wash the jeans as you normally would after using the lemon juice method. This ensures any remaining lemon residue is removed.

7. Castile Soap:

Castile soap, known for its plant-based and gentle nature, is an excellent choice for cleaning fabrics without harsh chemicals.

  1. Fill a Basin with Water: Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water, enough to submerge your black jeans.
  2. Add Castile Soap: For a standard-sized load, add a small amount of Castile soap to the water. A teaspoon or two is usually sufficient.
  3. Agitate the Water: Swirl the water to create suds and evenly distribute the soap.
  4. Soak Jeans: Submerge the jeans in the soapy water and let them soak for at least 30 minutes. For tougher odors, you can extend the soaking time.
  5. Gently Rub Fabric: Using your hands, gently rub the fabric together, paying attention to areas with concentrated odors.
  6. Rinse Thoroughly: Drain the soapy water and rinse the jeans under cold running water until all soap residues are removed.
  7. Air Dry: Hang the jeans to air dry. The gentle cleansing properties of Castile soap will help eliminate odors, leaving your black jeans fresh.

8. Oxygen Bleach (Oxyclean):

Oxygen bleach, such as Oxyclean, is a color-safe alternative to chlorine bleach, known for its ability to break down and lift away odors from fabrics.

  1. Prepare a Solution: Follow the instructions on the Oxyclean packaging to create a solution. Usually, this involves dissolving a scoop of Oxyclean in water.
  2. Soak Jeans: Submerge your black jeans in the Oxyclean solution, ensuring that all areas are covered. Allow them to soak for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Agitate Water Periodically: Gently agitate the water and jeans periodically during the soaking time. This helps the Oxyclean penetrate the fabric and break down odors.
  4. Rinse Thoroughly: After the soaking period, drain the Oxyclean solution and rinse the jeans thoroughly under cold running water to remove any remaining residue.
  5. Air Dry: Hang the jeans to air dry completely. The Oxyclean treatment will help eliminate odors, leaving your black jeans refreshed and odor-free.

If interested you can read about how to get hydraulic fluid out of clothes here. Moreover, you can read about how to get blue detergent stains out of clothes here.

Tips for Washing and Storing Jeans

Jeans are a staple in many wardrobes, and proper care can extend their lifespan. Follow these practical tips for washing and storing your favorite denim:

  1. Washing:
    • Turn jeans inside out before washing to preserve color and prevent fading.
    • Use a gentle, cold water cycle to avoid excessive wear and tear on the fabric.
    • Avoid frequent washing: Jeans don’t need washing after every wear; spot-cleaning can be sufficient for minor stains.
    • Skip the dryer: Air-dry jeans to prevent shrinking and maintain their shape.
  2. Detergent and Care:
    • Opt for a mild detergent to prevent color loss and maintain the fabric’s integrity.
    • Harsh chemicals can damage the denim, leading to premature wear and tear.
    • Consider adding a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle to set the color and neutralize odors.
  3. Storage:
    • Hang jeans by the belt loops to maintain their shape. Folding may lead to creases that are hard to remove.
    • Keep jeans in a cool, dry place: Excessive heat and moisture can encourage mold and mildew growth.
    • Avoid overcrowding: Give each pair of jeans enough space to prevent wrinkles and distortion.
  4. Rotation:
    • Rotate through your collection to avoid excessive wear on a single pair.
    • Give jeans a break: If possible, don’t wear the same pair two days in a row to allow them time to regain their shape.
  5. Repair and Patching:
    • Address minor issues promptly: Stitch up small rips or tears before they become more significant.
    • Consider professional repair for extensive damage: Tailors can reinforce seams and replace worn-out sections.

Remember, adopting these simple habits can significantly prolong the life of your favorite jeans and keep them looking great for years to come.


In conclusion of how to get smell out of black jeans, we discussed that conquering stubborn odors in your black jeans is a breeze with our curated guide. The methods and tips shared herein offer a range of solutions to eliminate unwanted smells and breathe new life into your denim collection. As you follow these effective steps, let this guide be your go-to resource, ensuring that your black jeans remain both stylish and odor-free.

With a little care and attention, you can confidently step out in your refreshed jeans, embracing the confidence that comes with knowing your attire is as appealing to the nose as it is to the eye.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use bleach to remove the smell from my black jeans?

Bleach alternatives are recommended for removing odors from black jeans. Natural odor removal methods such as vinegar, baking soda, or activated charcoal can be effective. These options are gentle on fabric and do not risk damaging the color.

How often should I wash my black jeans to prevent odor buildup?

To prevent odor buildup in black jeans during hot weather, it is recommended to wash them every 2-3 wears. Additionally, you can use tips like airing them out, spot cleaning with vinegar, or using fabric fresheners to remove odor without washing.

Can I use a dryer to speed up the drying process of my jeans?

Dryer alternatives for speeding up the drying process of jeans include air drying techniques. These methods, such as hanging jeans outside or using a clothes rack indoors, can effectively dry jeans without the need for a dryer.

Will hanging my jeans outside in direct sunlight help remove the odor?

Hanging black jeans outside in direct sunlight can help remove odors due to the benefits of sunlight. However, alternative methods such as using baking soda or vinegar may also be effective in eliminating odors from jeans.

Are there any specific fabric fresheners or odor eliminators that work best for black jeans?

Fabric fresheners and odor eliminators specially designed for black jeans can effectively neutralize unpleasant smells. These products work by targeting odor-causing bacteria and leaving a refreshing scent, restoring the fabric’s freshness without compromising its color or quality.

Why do black jeans smell weird?

Some black jeans emit an unusual odor, often metallic or sulfur-like, especially when they encounter water or sweat. This smell becomes more noticeable when the jeans are damp or stored in confined spaces.

How do you deodorize black clothes?

To freshen up clothing, one can consider adding a cup of baking soda during laundry. Another option is incorporating 1/4 cup of white vinegar before the rinse cycle. Alternatively, for a spray-on deodorizer, mix equal parts vodka and water in a spray bottle and apply it to the affected areas.

How do you deodorize jeans?

An eco-friendly solution for eliminating odors from jeans involves using Castile soap. Create a mixture of Castile soap and water, soak the jeans for approximately 30 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly to maintain freshness without causing damage.

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