How to Take Dye Smell Out of Cloth

Updated July 20, 2017

You've probably never wanted anyone to say to you, "Is that bad smell coming from your trousers?" Sometimes a new clothing item can still have a strong dye odour to it that turns many people off. These odours can be seemingly difficult to remove, as washing them even several times won't always do the trick and may fade the cloth. Yet the solution to getting your clothes smelling fresh is right in your kitchen cupboard.

Let your dye-smelling clothing soak overnight in a bucket filled with water and 1/2 cup of baking soda and 5 drops of lavender essential oil.

Wash your dye-smelling clothes alone and using a hot water cycle, unless otherwise specified on the clothing's care instructions. Do not use fabric softener, which can amplify the bad dye smell from your clothes. Set your washing machine for a delayed final rinse cycle.

Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the wash right before the final rinse cycle.

Hang your clothing to dry outside and in the sun, if possible, or dry them in a dryer.

Leave your washer open to air out after washing your dye-smelling clothes.


Wash dye-smelling clothing alone. Use hot water if possible.

Things You'll Need

  • Soaking bucket or tub
  • Baking soda
  • Washing machine
  • White vinegar
  • Lavender essential oil
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About the Author

Based in Paris, France, Marianne Descott has been writing since 2002. Covering subjects such as parenting and travel, she has been published in "Lonely Planet" and "Get Born" magazine. She also regularly blogs on living abroad and international issues. Descott has a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences.