How to Get Bleach Smell Out of Clothes

By: Annabel Love
11 minute read

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The first and most important step is to identify the cause of the bleach-smelly clothes and figure out how it got there in the first place. If you used too much bleach or didn't mix it with water, then your clothes might have a bleach scent that's difficult to get rid of. You should also be careful when using cleaning products that contain fragrance because this could leave behind a lingering odor in your clothes after washing them. The best way to avoid having to deal with learning how to get the bleach smell out of clothes is to first try all-natural cleaners. If that's not possible, the article below is for you. 

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What is bleach

Bleach is a powerful chemical that can help you disinfect and clean clothes. But it also has a very strong odor that many people find unpleasant, which could lead to bleach smelly clothes.

Causes of bleach smell

There are two main causes for the bleach smell in clothes: Using too much bleach or not mixing it properly with water.

How to remove the bleach smell

If you're experiencing a bleach smell in your clothes, try these easy DIY ways to get rid of it.

You don't need to spend money on expensive commercial products to get rid of the bleach smell. In fact, you can make an inexpensive homemade cleaner at home.

  • Use baking soda

Baking soda is a natural product that can help neutralize odors. It works by absorbing smells and releasing them later as carbon dioxide gas.

  • Vinegar

Vinegar is another great ingredient that can help eliminate the bleach smell. Just add 1/2 cup vinegar to every load of laundry and let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing.

  • Lemon juice

Lemon juice is another effective ingredient that can neutralize the bleach smell. Simply soak one lemon wedge in hot water overnight. Then squeeze the juice into a bucket of lukewarm water. Add 2 cups of white vinegar to the mixture and stir well. Let it sit for 30 minutes before adding it to your wash cycle.

  • Baking soda + vinegar

This combination of ingredients is a popular household remedy to get rid of odors. Mix equal parts baking soda and vinegar together and store in a container. Whenever you want to deodorize something, just sprinkle the mixture over the object and let it sit for 15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water and dry completely.

  • Laundry detergent

To keep your clothes smelling fresh, you may want to consider switching to laundry detergents that are free of fragrances. These types of detergents are typically made with plant extracts like lavender oil.

  • Dryer sheets

Dryer sheets are often recommended as a last resort to eliminate any remaining odors. However, they aren't very effective and can damage fabrics.

  • Essential oils

Essential oils are also known to work as deodorizers. They come in different scents such as citrus, pine, eucalyptus, etc. To use essential oils as a deodorizer, simply rub the oil onto your clothing. Make sure to test a small patch of fabric first to ensure that the scent won't harm your clothes.

  • Citrus peels

Citrus peels are a wonderful source of vitamin C and other nutrients. Rubbing citrus peels against your clothes helps kill bacteria and removes stains.

  • Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant. This oil contains terpenes, which give it its antiseptic properties. It's commonly used to treat burns because of this. You can apply tea tree oil directly to your clothes after washing to prevent future staining.

  • Potpourri

Potpourri is a mixture of dried herbs, spices, fruits, flowers, nuts and other items. The aroma of potpourri diffuses throughout the house and makes everything feel more welcoming.

  • Lavender

Lavender has long been used to repel insects and purify air. Its fragrance also masks unpleasant odors and cleans out the pores.

Be sure to check the washing instructions

One of the easiest ways to avoid bleach-smelly clothes is to check the washing instructions before you start laundering your clothes. Clothes that are labeled as bleach-safe will typically not have any issues with the bleach smell. If you're unfamiliar with the washing instructions, then you should look for this information on the inside label of your clothes or ask someone at your local dry cleaner if you want to make sure beforehand.

Air dry outside

If all else fails, you can try air-drying your clothes outside. The fresh air and sun will help to dissipate the bleach smell over time. Just make sure that you don't put them in the dryer afterward or the heat will make the smell worse.

Preventing bleach smelly clothes doesn't have to be difficult - just follow these simple tips and you'll be able to keep your clothes smelling fresh!

Tips on how to avoid getting bleach-smelly clothes in the first place

There are a few things you can do to prevent the bleach smell from occurring in the first place.

- Always check the washing instructions before laundering your clothes.

- Use vinegar and baking soda as a natural odor neutralizer.

- Air dry outside if the bleach smell is still present after washing.

- Use all-natural cleaning products instead of those that contain fragrance.

The benefits of using all-natural cleaners instead of traditional detergents and bleaches

If you've ever used a cleaning product that contains bleach or fragrance and then put your clothes through the laundry cycle, you may have left behind a lingering detergent-like odor in your clothes after washing. This is because these types of cleaners often contain artificial fragrances that can be very difficult to get out of your fabric. Many people are concerned about the potential health risks associated with these chemicals, so using all-natural cleaners is a great way to avoid them.


Now that you know how to get rid of the bleach smell on your clothes, you can safely use it as a disinfectant without worrying about any lingering odors! Just make sure you read the label first or ask someone at your local dry cleaner if you want to make sure beforehand.

FAQs About Bleach Smells and Clothes

1. How to remove bleach stains from clothing?

The best way to remove bleach stains from your clothing is to wash them immediately in cold water. You can also add some white vinegar to the rinse cycle to help break down the stain.

2. What causes bleach smells on my clothes?

Bleach smells on your clothes are caused by the chlorine content in the bleach. When you mix regular household liquid bleach with water, there's a chemical reaction between the two which creates hydrogen chloride gas. Hydrogen chloride gas is what gives bleach its characteristic smell.

3. Why does bleach smell linger on clothes?

Bleach smells on your clothes are usually caused by the presence of residual hydrogen chloride gas. Because the hydrogen chloride gas has been released into the environment, it can remain on your clothes even after they've been washed.

4. How long does bleach smell stay on clothes?

When you're dealing with bleach smells on your clothes, it's important to remember that the smell stays for a while. It could take anywhere from 2 hours to several days depending on the amount of bleach used and the type of fabric being laundered.

5. Can I use bleach to clean my clothes?

Yes, but only in small amounts. If you use too much bleach, it can cause damage to your clothes. For example, you should never use more than 1/4 cup of bleach per load when doing a full wash. However, you can use up to 3 tablespoons of bleach for spot treatments.

6. Does bleach smell come off clothes easily?

Yes, the smell will eventually come off your clothes. But it depends on the fabric and the severity of the bleach smell. Some fabrics like cotton are easier to remove than others.

7. Can I use bleach as a disinfectant?

Yes, you can use bleach as a disinfecting agent. In fact, bleach is one of the most effective disinfectants available. There are many different ways to use bleach as an antiseptic. For example, you can spray it directly onto surfaces such as countertops, tables, floors, etc. You can also dilute bleach solutions and use them as a general cleaning solution.

8. Will bleach smell harm me?

No, bleach doesn't pose any health concerns. The main concern with using bleach is that it can leave residue on your clothes. So, if you do decide to use bleach as a disinfection method, make sure you test it on a hidden area before applying it to your entire home.

9. How do I prevent bleach smells from coming back?

You can prevent bleach smells from returning by washing your clothes right away. Also, try not to wear your clothes until they have completely dried out. This will keep the remaining odor trapped inside your clothes instead of spreading it around the house.

10. Is bleach safe to use?

Yes, bleach is considered to be one of the safest cleaners available. That said, it's always better to err on the side of caution. Always follow all safety precautions when using bleach. For example, you need to make sure that you don't get any bleach fumes in your eyes or nose. And, you should avoid breathing bleach fumes at all costs.

11. What about other types of bleaches?

There are actually many different kinds of bleaches available. You may want to look into some of these options:

12. Are there any alternatives to bleach?

Yes, there are plenty of alternative products available for cleaning purposes. Here are just a few examples:

13. Do I need to rinse my clothes after using bleach?

It's best to rinse your clothes immediately after using bleach. This helps to ensure that no bleach remains on your clothing.

14. Should I let my clothes dry naturally?

If you live in an extremely humid climate, then it might be beneficial to allow your clothes to air-dry. Otherwise, you'll probably want to hang your clothes outside to dry.

15. Can I use bleach on white clothes?

Yes, you're free to use bleach on white clothes. Just make sure that you apply it sparingly so that it won't discolor your clothes.

16. How long does bleach last?

Bleach lasts for years. It's recommended that you store your bleach in its original container. This way, you won't have to worry about running out anytime soon.

17. How often should I clean my laundry?

It really depends on how dirty your laundry is. If your laundry has a lot of dirt and grime, then you'll probably want to wash it more frequently than usual. However, if your laundry looks relatively clean, then you can wait longer between washes.

18. Does bleach work well on stains?

Yes, bleach works very well on stains. It's ideal for removing blood stains, grease, food, grass, mud, and even ink.

19. Can I use bleach to remove pet odors?

Yes, you can definitely use bleach to remove pet smells. All you need to do is mix 1 part water with 2 parts bleach. Then, soak your clothes in this mixture overnight. Afterward, simply throw away the used liquid and wash your clothes as normal.

20. How much bleach should I use?

The amount of bleach you need will depend on the size of the stain. Start off by testing a small spot first. Once you've determined what type of bleach solution you need, you can move on to larger areas.

21. Will bleach damage my clothes?

No, bleach isn't harmful to your clothes. In fact, it's been shown to help preserve them over time.

22. How effective is bleach against bacteria?

Bleach is highly effective against bacteria. It kills 99% of germs within 30 seconds.

23. Can I use bleach without getting burned?

You shouldn't get burned while using bleach. But, you should still wear protective gloves and goggles during the process.

24. Is bleach safe for kids?

Yes, bleach is completely safe for children. As long as they aren't exposed to any bleach fumes, they should be fine.

25. Is there anything else I should know about bleach?

Yes, bleach can cause skin irritation. So, it's important to test a small patch of skin before applying it to your entire body. Also, don't forget to thoroughly rinse your skin afterward.

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