How To Remove Chemical Smell From New Clothes? Beneficial Tips For You

When you buy a new jacket or a new pair of jeans, sometimes they give off these unpleasant smells that won’t go away even if you have washed them. 

These strong odors are the results of dyes and chemicals applied to the fibers, but are they safe? And how to remove chemical smell from new clothes? Check out this article to find out some useful solutions to eliminate the odors and keep your newly bought clothes fresh and clean.

How to get chemical smell out of clothes

Why Do New Clothes Often Smell Like Chemicals?

The manufacturers in the fabric industry often use various chemicals to preserve its appearance and the material. These chemicals not only cause displeased feelings, but they are also even hazardous to our health and the environment.

For example, formaldehyde is a common chemical that has a strong odor. It is widely used in clothing manufacturing because it can minimize the garments’ wrinkles to keep them look attractive. Additionally, this substance can prevent mold and mildew from growing on clothes when being stored for a long time.

Apart from formaldehyde, the use of dyes and other chemicals, such as acrylic, pyridine, or azo dyes, also smell bad, which still linger in new clothes even after a few washes.

It must be mentioned that most of these are toxic chemicals, if not all. Therefore, getting rid of these chemicals is definitely the first thing to cross off your checklist after purchasing new clothes to protect your health.

Also read: Easy Tips To Get Rid Of Gas Smell From Hands And Clothes

How To Remove Chemical Smell From New Clothes?

Regular washing powder, detergent, or fabric softener are not really effective when it comes to eliminating the unpleasant odor in new clothes. To do it effectively, you need to use special detergents or some commonly recommended ingredients, like baking soda, zeolite, or vinegar.

First of all, make sure that you wash your new clothes separately for the first few times to avoid contaminating the others with toxic chemicals. 

Keep in mind that although washing can help with the smells, the actual chemicals still have negative effects on the environment, so it’d be best to choose clothes from brands that use less strong chemicals.

Baking soda is effective in absorbing the chemical smell rather than covering it with another scent. Simply add ½ – 1 cup of baking soda to your normal wash load along with regular detergent. Soaking the clothes in with baking soda for a few hours to get a better effect. If the chemicals are too strong, you may have to repeat this step until the smell fades away.

Sometimes, vinegar also proves to be a great ingredient to get rid of the chemical smell. You only have to add ½ – 1 cup of vinegar to your wash load like normally. However, some feedback shows that vinegar might actually add to the smell, so please consider switching up the products if you haven’t got the desired outcome.

Besides the natural deodorizers, there are several cleaners specialized in absorbing and neutralizing these odors, which can remove the strong chemicals that baking soda can’t. However, these detergents may come with bleaching effects, so make sure you check your colored clothes carefully.

Read: How To Get The Fried Food Smell Out Of Clothes?

Additional Tips When Getting Rid Of Chemical Smell On New Clothes

When trying to remove the chemical smell on new clothes, some individuals tend to soak their clothes overnight to get the best results. But it’s not always the case. 

While baking soda does help with the smell and make clothes more durable, soaking fabrics in vinegar for too long might discolor them, add worse odor, or even create harmful chemical reactions.

More importantly, please note that you shouldn’t use baking soda and vinegar at the same time because they will offset each other and lose the effects.

Finally, after you’ve washed the clothes, you should hang them in a place with a lot of fresh air and sunshine. Packing them right away in clean bags or the closet will trap the chemical smells inside.

Hanging clothes outdoor to keep them fresh


Although the unpleasant smell from dyes and chemicals in new clothes is inevitable, there are plenty of ways to get rid of them entirely and not just overcoat the fabrics with softeners.

We hope that this article has helped you know how to remove chemical smell from new clothes. Thanks for reading!

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