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Slipping into a pair of new jeans will make you feel like a million bucks. But the lingering chemical smell that sometimes comes along with your new threads is less than ideal.
What is the smell and how can you make it go away? We have the answers.
Where The New Jean Smell Comes From
The funny smell that some new clothes give off seems like a small annoyance, but you may be alarmed by the root cause of that scent: Formaldehyde.
That’s right, the chemical that’s causing the strange odour on your pants is the same one used for embalming. How good can that be to inhale? Exposure to Formaldehyde can cause respiratory problems, skin rashes, and headaches.
So why are some companies putting this toxic chemical on your jeans? Formaldehyde and other odour-causing treatments are commonly applied to clothes during the manufacturing process. The aim of this chemical bath is to prevent mold, bacteria, mildew, and other substances that could damage the fabric during storage and shipping. Formaldehyde is also used on some jeans to create wrinkle-free and stain-resistant features.
DUER never treats clothes with Formaldehyde or other toxic chemicals. While not all manufacturers use harmful chemicals during production, it’s important to always wash new jeans before wearing them.
If you have denim that’s giving off a strange chemical smell, here’s how to get rid of the scent and make sure you’re safe:
5 Ways To Get The Formaldehyde Smell Out Of New Jeans
1. Baking Soda
Have you ever put a box of baking soda in your fridge to absorb odd smells? The same idea can be applied to your clothes. Before washing your jeans normally, soak them in cold water with baking soda dissolved in it. This is a reliable, natural way to combat chemical smells in your clothes.
It’s not an everyday item for most, but borax is as versatile as it is effective. It’s especially good at removing fungi- and chemical-based smells. Use it the same way you would baking soda to get odors out of jeans.
3. Castile Soap (Dr. Bronners)
Just like baking soda and borax, castile soap is a cleaner that uses chemistry to fight chemical odors. All three of these cleaners are on the basic end of the acid-base spectrum. When combined with water, they create a reaction that helps strip odor. Hand wash your new jeans with castile soap for a delicate method of removing odors.
4. White Vinegar
Vinegar is a miracle cleaner for everything from towels to glassware. Thanks to its high-acidity, it naturally breaks down odor-causing substances. If any of the above methods don’t work, a vinegar rinse could be the key. Mix white vinegar with cold water and soak your jeans for 30-60 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with cold water. Once the jeans are fully dry, the chemical and vinegar odor will evaporate. This treatment has the added benefit of sealing in the fabric dyes.
5. Oxygen Bleach (Oxyclean)
While chlorine bleach is a no-go for your denim, oxygen bleach will work wonders. It gets deep within clothing fibers to cleanse new jeans of chemical smells. Follow the label on your oxygen bleach to create a water solution and soak your jeans for 4 hours. Then, wash them as normal.
Make sure you wash your new jeans alone to avoid your other clothes picking up some of the chemical smell or clothing dye. Check out more expert tips on washing your jeans.
How To Get The Smell Out Of Jeans Without Washing Them
A healthy dose of fresh air can alleviate most issues in life. Your smelly new jeans are no exception. Hanging your jeans inside-out in the sunshine is an effective way to reduce and eliminate odors without washing them.
UV light will break down chemicals that cause odor. These rays are so powerful they’ll even bleach fabric (which is why it’s important to turn your new jeans inside-out). You can accelerate the sun’s odor-eliminating effect by spraying your jeans with diluted vinegar.
Hang your jeans to dry in the sun
Do DUER Jeans Smell?
You can’t ethically compete with companies that only prioritize costs, so at DUER, we don’t try. We choose health-conscious alternatives and never use formaldehyde on pants or packaging.