How to Get Rid of the Smell of Denim

something about Denim that makes it smell not good. It’s not unusual for them to emit an unpleasant odor after a while.

But what is the reason behind this smell, and is there anything that can be done to get rid of it?

In this post, I’ll explain why jeans smell and offer tips on keeping them smelling fresh.

What Causes Denim to Smell?

One of the most common questions people ask is why, “Why does my new pair of jeans smell?” New Denim, especially raw and selvedge Denim, can often come with a rather pungent smell. There are a few factors that can cause Denim to smell.

Fabric Type

The fabric used to make the jeans can also cause it to smell. Denim made with 100% cotton is more likely to absorb sweat and body odor than one made with a synthetic blend.

Dye Used in the Denim

Jeans are usually dyed with indigo dye, which can cause the Denim to smell different than other fabric types.

Indigo is a natural dye that is derived from the leaves of the Indigofera tinctoria plant. When these leaves are fermented, they produce a sticky blue substance that can be used to dye fabric.

The indigo dyeing process is what gives Denim its distinctive blue color. However, it also produces a strong smell that can be quite overwhelming.

Many people find this scent unpleasant, but it will eventually dissipate. If you can’t stand the smell of your new jeans, you can try washing them a few times or hanging them outside to air out. 

Chemicals Used During Production

The new smell of Denim can also be caused by the chemicals used in the manufacturing process. These chemicals can include sulfuric acid, chlorine, and formaldehyde. The smell is most likely present when the Denim is new, but it can also be present in older Denim that has been stored for a long time.

Uses of the Jeans

Another factor is how often the Denim is worn. Jeans worn every day are more likely to absorb sweat and body odor than jeans only worn occasionally.

Keeping in Humid Place

The way the Denim is stored can also affect how it smells. Denim and any kind of fabric can develop a horrible smell if it’s not stored properly in a dry and well-ventilated place. A Humid environment is more likely to create a musty smell than Denim that is stored in a cool, dry place.

Storing without Cleaning

If the fabric is not properly washed after it is worn, it will grow a horrific smell that will take the soul out of you. In addition, denim absorbs sweat and other body oils, which cause it to smell over time.

How to Get Rid of the Smell of Denim?

Denim jeans are a wardrobe staple for many people, but they can often develop an unpleasant smell. If you want to get rid of the smell from your denim jeans, there are a few things you can do.

Fresh Water

After purchasing new Denim, before using your new jeans it’s best to wash them using fresh water without anything. This can help you to remove all kinds of chemical residue and dye substrate.

Clean with Vinegar

If the musty smell persists after initial cleaning with fresh water, you can try soaking the Denim in a solution of 1 cup vinegar and 1 gallon of water for 24 hours.

After soaking and rinsing in vinegar-mixed water, try washing your jeans inside out in cold water. This process will also help you preserve denim color for longer.

Clean Using Baking Soda

Baking soda is a natural cleaning agent gentle enough for Denim, yet compelling enough to remove dirt and stains. Plus, it’s inexpensive and easy to find. Cleaning with this will also remove any kind of smell.

Fabric Freshener

There are many ways to remove fabric odors, but one of the most effective is to use a fabric freshener. Fabric fresheners work by neutralizing the molecules that cause odors so that they can no longer be smelled. This means you can use them on any fabric, including clothing, upholstery, and curtains.

You can give your Denim a good cleaning using fabric freshener. It can help remove any lingering odors from your jeans. Different brands of fabric fresheners are on the market, so you may want to try a few to see which one works best for you. 

Store in a Fresh Area

Once your jeans are free of odor, you can help prevent future smells by storing them in a well-ventilated place. You can also try spraying them with a fabric refresher before wearing them.

A well-ventilated place will help prevent the fabric from becoming musty or mildewed. Good ventilation also helps discourage pests such as moths from making your fabric their home.

Dry Clean

Denim is a sturdy fabric that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. However, your Denim can start to smell musty or even downright unpleasant over time. If you want to freshen up your jeans without washing them, dry cleaning is a great option.

Denim is a delicate fabric, and washing it too often can cause it to fade or stretch out of shape. Dry cleaning will not only remove any bad odors from your dress, but it will also help preserve the fabric’s color and shape. In addition, it is a gentle way to clean your Denim without damaging it.

Clean Using Detergent

There are a few things that can cause Denim to start smelling bad. Maybe you sweat a lot or wear your jeans all the time without washing them. Either way, getting rid of the smell can be challenging. But with the suitable detergent, it’s easy.

Many powerful laundry detergents are available, and they are great for removing sweat and other odors from Denim. They are also available in a convenient liquid form, so you can throw them in the washing machine without having to measure anything.

Preventing Denim from Smelling in the First Place

Like most people, you probably don’t wash your jeans very often. After all, they’re just Denim, right? Well, wrong. Jeans can get pretty stinky if you don’t wash them regularly enough.

The good news is that you can do a few things to avoid the smell. Here are a few tips to help prevent your Denim from smelling in the first place.

Don’t Wear it Continuously 

One way to prevent Denim from smelling is to avoid wearing it for extended periods of time. If you must wear it, try to air it out between uses. Hang your dress up to air out between wears. This will help prevent smells from setting in.

Wash Regularly

Wash your dress regularly. This will help remove any built-up dirt and oils that can contribute to smells. Clean them as soon as you can after wearing them. This will help to remove any sweat or bacteria that may be causing the smell. Be sure to use a mild detergent and cold water when washing your jeans.

If you can, avoid wearing Denim in hot, humid weather. The combination of heat and moisture can make smells worse. You may also want to add a fabric softener to the wash cycle to help keep your jeans smelling fresh.

Dry Properly After Cleaning

Make sure that you dry your Denim completely after washing; dampness can cause bacteria to grow, which can lead to unpleasant smells. 

Freeze your Denim or Use Softener

You can try two different methods to freshen up jeans. One approach is to freeze them overnight. Another is to place them in a sealed bag with a few fabric softener sheets. Let them sit for a few hours before removing them from the bag. 

Wash Using Cold Water

Wash your jeans inside out in cold water. Hang them to dry or put them in the dryer on low heat. If you must wash them in hot water, do so for only a few minutes. Please don’t overdo it! After washing, hang your jeans outside in the sun to air out and help remove any lingering odors. 

Dry Under Direct Sunlight

You can also try hanging your jeans outside in the sun for a few hours. The sun’s UV rays will help to kill any bacteria that might be causing the smell.

Another thing you can do is to wash your jeans inside out. This will let preserve the color of your jeans and keep them from fading as quickly.

If you have a particularly smelly pair of jeans, soak them in vinegar for an hour before washing, and don’t use too much detergent. You can also try sprinkling baking soda on them before putting them in the wash.

Why Do Some People’s Jeans Seem to Smell More Than Others?

There could be a few different reasons why some people’s jeans smell more than others. 

Sweaty Body

One reason is that some people sweat more than others. It could be that the person is more active and therefore sweatier, and they don’t wash their jeans as often as they should, allowing sweat and bacteria to build up over time.

This means that their jeans will absorb more of their sweat, and the bacteria on their skin will have a chance to grow and thrive.

Fabric Material

Jeans are made of a material that doesn’t breathe well and traps sweat and bacteria. It could also be that the fabric of some jeans traps the scent more. Whatever the reason, it can be pretty unpleasant for those around them! If you find yourself in this situation, a few effective ways are already mentioned above.

You can choose any of those solutions and try to mitigate the problem.

The best thing to do is to try and air out the offending jeans as much as possible. If they’re really stinky, you might even want to consider washing them more frequently. 

Alternatives to Denim That Don’t Cause Odor

As anyone who’s ever worn them knows, denim jeans can be incredibly comfortable. But they also have a tendency to cause body odor. Many types of clothing can be worn without causing body odor.

Denim is not the only fabric that can cause body odor, but it is one of the most commonly worn fabrics. So if you’re looking for alternatives to denim jeans that won’t make you smell, there are a few options.


Khakis dresses are also breathable and won’t trap heat and sweat like denim jeans. These are made of a cotton and linen blend that is designed to be more breathable than Denim.


One alternative is cotton. Cotton is a natural fiber that is breathable and absorbent. It will help to keep your body cool and dry, which will reduce the amount of sweat that is produced.


Linen is a natural material that is both breathable and absorbent. As a result, it has a similar effect to cotton in terms of reducing body odor. It’s also lightweight and comfortable, making it an excellent choice for hot summer days.

Linen is also naturally odor-resistant, so you won’t have to worry about smelling bad in linen pants.

Nylon and Polyester

These are synthetic fabrics such as polyester and nylon. They are not as absorbent as natural fibers, but they can still help reduce body odor.


Corduroy is a type of fabric that is made from cotton or wool. It is often used in winter clothing because it is thicker than Denim and helps keep people warm.


Wool is a natural, breathable and absorbent material, so it won’t hold onto sweat and bacteria the way that denim can. Plus, wool is naturally odor-resistant, so you’ll stay smell fresh all day long.

Raw Denim

Raw Denim is made from untreated Denim, which means it’s more breathable than the traditional one. This is also less likely to hold onto sweat and bacteria, so you’ll stay smell fresh all day long.


Spandex is a type of synthetic fiber that is often used to make tight-fitting clothing. It can be a good alternative for people who suffer from body odor. The material is less likely to absorb sweat and bacteria, which can cause odors. 

Additionally, spandex is often more breathable than Denim, which can help to reduce the risk of sweating. If you suffer from body odor, consider trying clothing made from this material.

Cotton Twill

Try cotton twill dresses if you’re looking for an alternative to Denim that is better at hiding body odor. Cotton twill is a type of fabric that is made from woven cotton and has a smooth, tight surface. This makes it good at repelling sweat and odor-causing bacteria. Plus, the natural breathability of cotton will help keep you cool and comfortable.


Denim can be a great fabric choice, but it’s essential to take steps to prevent it from smelling. If you have a pair of jeans that seem to smell more than others, try some of the tips we shared in this post on how to get rid of the smell of denim. And if you’re looking for an alternative that doesn’t cause odor, consider one of the fabrics we mentioned. Thanks for reading!

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