Unraveling the Mystery of Black Jeans Smell: Dye, Odor, and How to Get the Smell Out of New Black Jeans

You’ve invested in a pair of sleek black jeans, but there’s just one problem – they smell bad. Did you know this is often due to the dyes and chemicals used during production? In this blog post, we’ll dive into why black jeans sometimes come with an unexpected scent and provide proven methods to rid your favorite denim of any unpleasant odors.

Ready for fresher-smelling fashion-forwardness? Let’s jump right in!

Key Takeaways

  • Black jeans can develop a smell due to colorants, chemicals, dirt, and sweat that accumulate on the fabric.
  • Washing black jeans before wearing them can help remove lingering dye smells and chemicals.
  • Regular washing techniques like using a mild detergent in cold water, turning jeans inside out, and air drying can prevent and terminate the smell.

Understanding the Reasons Why Black Jeans Smell?

Black jeans can develop a distinct smell due to the presence of dyes, preserving chemicals, dirt, and sweat that can accumulate on the fabric.

Role of Dyes and Preserving Chemicals

Black jeans get their color from dyes. These colorings have a strong smell that you can’t wash out right away. The deep black color in the jeans comes from many layers of them. To keep bugs and mold away, chemicals are added to these jeans during the making process. Learn more about dark stains on clothes after washing.

One common chemical is formaldehyde, used widely in building materials and embalming fluid as well. This adds to the bad smell too. Washing your new pair can help take away some of this colorant and chemical smell.

Impact of Dirt and Sweat

Dirt and sweat play a big role in your clothes smell. No surprises, everyone agrees. These two things can stick to the fabric of your jeans. Over time, this mix creates an unpleasant odor. Treat it quick! Updates to your washing routine can help.

Did you know dirt builds up each day? This buildup makes bad smells grow stronger over time. Sweat is also a big part of this problem. It has bacteria that multiply and cause even more smell.

The color of your jeans matters too. Dark fabric like black traps heat more than light colors do. Heat lets bacteria grow faster, which makes the smell get worse quicker.

It helps to stop dirt and sweat early on. Try washing your black jeans often with cool water and mild soap if you’re sweaty or dirty from playing or working hard all day.

Smell After Washing

Black jeans often have a smell after washing. This odor can seem like pennies or chemicals. The colorant used on the jeans is the main cause of this scent. Production chemicals, such as anti-fungal agents, also add to the smell.

Wash your black jeans many times to help get rid of them. A vinegar soak can be another helpful step in removing the unwanted smell from your beloved pants.

Effective Ways to Prevent and Remove Chemical Smell out of Black Jeans

To prevent and release the smell from black jeans, you can use regular and proper washing techniques, such as washing them inside out with a mild detergent in cold water.

Regular and Proper Washing Techniques

Taking care of your black jeans with the right washing habits can make a big difference. Here are some tips:

  1. Wash your jeans before you wear them. This can remove lingering lacquer smell and chemicals.
  2. Use cold water for washing. Cold water helps to get rid of bacteria without fading the color of jeans.
  3. Try to use a mild detergent. It won’t hurt the fabric like strong cleaners can.
  4. Avoid putting too many clothes in your washing machine at once. Your black jeans need space to be cleaned well.
  5. Always turn your black jeans inside out before washing them. This step protects their color and prevents more smell buildup on the outside.
  6. Hang dry your black jeans after cleaning them, instead of using a dryer which could strain the fabric and trap in any remaining smells.
  7. Always keep an eye on your wash routine’s results, and change it if your jeans still have a colorant smell or other unpleasant odors after being washed this way.

Using Mild Detergent and Cold Water

To effectively get rid of the odor from your trousers, it is recommended to wash them using mild detergent and cold water. This combination helps in getting rid of the unwanted odor while still preserving the color of your jeans.

The mild detergent is gentle on the fabric and won’t leave behind any strong fragrance that could mask the original smell. Cold water, on the other hand, prevents shrinkage and fading of the fabric, while also helping to remove dirt and sweat that may contribute to the unpleasant smell.

By using this washing technique regularly, you can keep your jeans smelling fresh and clean.

Inside-out Washing and Air-drying

Inside-out washing and air-drying are effective methods to prevent and clear the smell from pants. When you wash your black jeans inside out, it helps to protect the outer fabric from overexposure to water and detergent, which can possibly fade the color.

Additionally, airing out your jeans by hanging them outside in a well-ventilated area allows fresh air and sunlight to naturally eliminate bacteria that may be causing the unpleasant odor.

Remember, when drying your pair of black jeans, avoid using high heat or direct sunlight as they can also cause fading.

Not sure if you can dry whites and colors together? Check this out.

Utilizing Natural Deodorizing Agents: Vinegar, Baking Soda, and Sunlight

Black jeans can sometimes develop a nasty smell. But don’t worry, there are natural ways to get rid of it. Here’s how you can use vinegar, baking soda, and sunlight to release the smell:

  • Soak your black jeans in a solution of vinegar and water. Use one part vinegar and four parts water. Let them soak for about 30 minutes before washing them as usual.
  • Sprinkle baking soda on your black jeans and let it sit for a few hours or overnight. Then, brush off the baking soda and wash the jeans.
  • Hang your black jeans outside in direct sunlight. The sunlight helps to kill bacteria that causes odor. Wondering if hydrogen peroxide can bleach clothes? Find out here.


In conclusion, the smell of black jeans is mainly caused by the colorings and chemicals used during production. Regular washing, using mild detergent and cold water can help release the smell.

Natural deodorizing agents like vinegar and baking soda can also be effective in eliminating odors. If the smell persists, it’s best to consult the garment’s care instructions or contact the manufacturer for further assistance.

So don’t worry, with proper care, you can keep your black jeans smelling fresh!


1. Why do my brand new jeans smell like pennies?

The smell in brand new jeans especially black comes from the fabrication or manufacturing process. Anti-fungal chemicals and pigments used can sometimes give a pennies-like odor.

2. Is there an easy way to get the smell out of black jeans?

Yes, there are several ways to get rid of the smell from your jeans. You could air dry them outside, spray them with vinegar or vodka, use baking soda for odor absorption, or soak them in water mixed with borax.

3. Can sweat and body oils make my black jeans stink?

Yes! Sweat and body oils can mix with bacteria on your skin to produce nasty smells on clothes including your favorite pair of organic cotton pants.

4. Is the smell of black jeans normal?

The smell of black jeans is normal and often unpleasant. It can be like the scent of pennies or chemicals. This smell occurs because of the lacquer used to color the denim multiple times to achieve a deep black color.

The chemicals used during production, such as pesticides and anti-mildew agents, can also contribute to the scent. Washing black jeans before wearing them can help remove this smell by getting rid of any remaining coloring or chemicals on the fabric.

5. Why do the jeans still smell weird after washing?

Even after washing, black jeans may still have a weird smell. This is because the dye used to color the denim can release sulfur compounds, which create an unpleasant scent. Additionally, chemicals like formaldehyde, used in manufacturing to prevent mildew growth, can also contribute to the smell.

Washing your jeans before wearing them and soaking them in vinegar can help remove the smell.

6. Can the smell be permanently removed?

Yes, the smell in black jeans can be permanently removed. However, it may take some effort and patience. One effective method is to wash your jeans multiple times using cold water and a mild detergent.

Turning your jeans inside out before washing can also help get rid of the smell. Additionally, you can try soaking your jeans in a vinegar solution or sprinkling baking soda on them before washing.

Air-drying your jeans outside in sunlight can further aid in removing the odor. Remember that it may take several washes to completely eliminate the smell, but with consistent care and proper maintenance, you can restore your black jeans to their original freshness.

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