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How to Get Rid of the Bleach Smell (In a Room or on Your Hands)

How to Get Rid of the Bleach Smell (In a Room or on Your Hands)

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Although bleach works wonders as a cleaning tool, its smell is less than pleasing to most people. In fact, when you’ve finished cleaning anything with bleach or even a bleach mixture, the first thing you’ll likely notice is the strong unpleasant odor in the room.

How to Get Rid of the Bleach Smell (In a Room or on Your Hands)

Fortunately, there are simple ways to get rid of the smell of bleach anywhere in your home, using mostly ingredients and products you likely already have around the house.

Get Rid of Bleach Smells in a Room

Activated charcoal

Getting rid of smells in a room can be a challenge, but it isn’t complicated.

You should start with opening as many windows and doors as possible to let out the smell, which it does by creating a positive airflow. Next, take some fans and place them in windows facing out and in the room facing inside the room.

Finally, you can take either activated charcoal or even plain baking soda, put it on a plate or dish, and place it somewhere inside of the room. This will absorb the smell and work in conjunction with the other actions to finally rid the room of that horrible bleach smell.

Activated charcoal and baking soda are great to have on hand as they are great at getting rid of all kinds of smells, even the dreaded skunk smell!

Using Vinegar to Get Rid of Bleach Smells

Vinegar for Cleaning

Vinegar is an amazing product and has thousands of uses, and if you want to use vinegar to get rid of bleach smells, here’s how you do it:

  • Bleach smell in an entire batch of clothing: This one is easy because all you have to do is wash the clothes like you normally do and add 1/4 cup of vinegar to the washing machine. Vinegar is also a great fabric softener, so you get an extra advantage using this method. If the bleach smell is still there when you take the clothes out of the dryer, all you have to do is repeat the process and rewash them with the soap and vinegar.
  • Bleach smell in one room: If the bleach smell is in the kitchen, you can boil some vinegar in a small pot on the stove to remove them. If the smells are in another room, place a bowl of vinegar somewhere in the room, close the door (make sure all windows are shut tight as well), then leave it like that for 24 hours.
  • Bleach smell on hands: In a well-ventilated area, wash your hands with just a splash or two of vinegar, and make sure you scrub until that greasy feeling leaves your hands and the odor is gone. Once it is, you can rinse your hands with warm water for a while so that no other odors are present.
  • Bleach smell on small articles of clothing: If you have a towel or t-shirt that reeks of bleach, you can place it in a bowl filled with a mixture of one part water to one part vinegar and let it soak. Keep it there for at least an hour, then rinse the item in cold water to complete the process.

If you don’t like the vinegar smell either, here are 5 easy ways to get rid of the vinegar smell when you’re done using it.

Getting Rid of the Smell of Bleach on Your Hands

Lemons on grey wooden background

If you’ve been cleaning your house with bleach and you can’t get the smell of it out of your hands, not to worry because there is hope. Below are a few ways to get rid of the smell of bleach when it’s concentrated on your hands:

  • Dishwashing liquid: Sometimes regular soap will remove the bleach smell from your hands, but when that doesn’t work, use dishwashing liquid instead. Dishwashing liquid is specifically made to remove many different smells and substances, so it’s more likely to get rid of the bleach smell than regular soap. Make sure you scrub well, including between your fingers and underneath your fingernails so that every trace of the odor is removed. In addition, if it doesn’t work the first time, simply repeat the process until it does.
  • Scented lotion: Scented lotions often mask the smell of the bleach, especially if you choose a strong scent. Pick a scent that you love and add a drop of the lotion to each one of your hands then rub them together so that the entire hand is covered in the lotion. Not only does it remove the bleach odor, but it helps your hands feel much softer as well.
  • Lemon juice: Take a lemon, cut it in half, and rub it all over your hands for one full minute. You can also rub lemon juice on your hands, and for this both fresh lemon juice and bottled lemon juice will work. You can even use another citrus juice if that’s all you have, but lemon juice works much better.

Some Additional Tips for Clothes That Smell Like Bleach

There are a few other things you can do if you have an entire batch of clothes that smells like bleach, which can happen if you’re washing a load of whites and decide to add bleach to the wash.

If the bleach smell is too much for you after the clothes come out of the washer, simply rewash them and add 1/4 cup of baking soda to your regular washing powder. Make sure you run the clothes through the complete cycle and don’t take them out too early, or you might not get the smell out.

In addition, you can always hang the clothes out to dry on a sunny day and leave them on the clothes line for as long as possible. The sun and fresh air work wonders in getting that awful bleach smell out of your clothes.

Miscellaneous Ways to Get Rid of Bleach Smells

If you have bleach smells in things such as furniture or carpet, you can purchase one of those sprays that promise to get rid of the odors on items such as these. Simply spray the carpet or furniture wherever you notice the bleach smell and it should go away.

These are excellent products that attract then remove the odors so they aren’t there anymore.

Of course, if you’d prefer to mask the bleach smell than remove it, you can also light a scented candle and let it burn for as long as possible. The better and stronger the scent of the candle, the better it will mask the smell of bleach in the room.

Finally, you can use air fresheners, both sprays and those plug-in items that you can update with a new scent every now and then, to make the room smell better. Again, this will just mask the smell of bleach and not get rid of it completely, but if the bleach smell isn’t really that strong, this should be all you need.

Miscellaneous Items That Smell of Bleach

Besides clothes, hands, and rooms that smell like bleach, other items can reek of this cleaner as well. For instance, take a look at the following solutions for removing the strong smell of bleach:

  • Freezers and refrigerators: Take everything out of the unit and rub down the entire inside with lemon juice – again, you can use either fresh or bottled juice. After you do this, you have to leave it open until it dries completely, which can take several hours if you use a lot of juice.
  • Kitchen and bathroom sinks: You can start by rinsing lots of water down the drain and see if that works. If it doesn’t, rinse baking soda down the drain and see if it works. Bleach smells in sinks are almost always coming from the drain, so it’s best to start by making sure the drain is completely clean. One more tip: instead of using baking soda, you can also use coffee!
  • Upholstery and drapes: If you can, place the sofa cushions or drapes outside in the sun for several hours, flipping them over every now and then. If that doesn’t work, rent a small ozone machine and run it inside the room where the upholstery is for at least six hours. This will help remove the odors from everything in the room, including the rugs and carpet.

Why Do These Things Work?

Vinegar and bleach are on opposite ends of the pH scale and, therefore, the vinegar works to both deodorize the area and remove the bacteria from the item it’s cleaning, which, therefore, removes the smell that results.

Lemon juice works because it neutralizes the effect that the bleach has caused, allowing the odor to dissipate and be eliminated.

One word of caution when using vinegar: NEVER mix chlorine and vinegar together. It can be dangerous and besides, it produces a smell that is much more vulgar than the one you started with!

As a last resort, people have also used a variety of anti-chlorine products that you can find in numerous stores and even online. These products come in different forms, including soaps, body washes, lotions, gels, and others.

You can research the products online to determine which one is best for you, but just make sure it is made to get rid of bleach odors found on the item that is causing you all the grief.

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Thursday 11th of February 2021

Is it a mistake when it says to get the bleach smell off your hands, was with a splash or two of bleach? Did you mean to say something else?


Monday 15th of February 2021

Yes, good catch! That should be a splash or two of vinegar. Thanks for letting me know about that error.