How to Remove Bleach Odors from Clothing?

White clothes drying on the line.
Often the smell of bleach will remain in your laundry even after the final wash and rinse. There are products such as Anti-Chlor that you can buy or give, vinegar, baking soda, and airing out a try. This is a page about how to remove bleach odors from clothing.


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August 17, 2017

A couple days ago, I decided to bleach a navy blue dress to create an acid-wash affect. The dress is a 65% polyester/35% cotton knit blend. I used a mixture of 2 parts chlorine bleach to 3 parts water to do the bleaching. I kept checking it every 10 minutes. With each check, I did not see a color change, so I kept it in longer than recommended. In total, I kept it soaked in the solution for around 6 hours. I rinsed it with two rinse cycles, and then washed it with detergent and a little bit of vinegar and dried it as normal.

After it was dried, it was lightened quite a lot, becoming more of a sage green. That was fine, but it smelled horribly of the bleach. So I washed it again, this time letting it soak for 20-30 minutes in 43 ounces of vinegar with 5 gallons of water, thinking the acidic vinegar would neutralize the basic bleach. Then, I put it through the wash cycle in that same mixture, then dried it on the low heat setting on the dryer. It still smells of strong bleach. I did learn after the fact to never use chlorine bleach on polyester (oops), as it would make the polyester fibers brittle. However, the fabric is not damaged and is actually quite soft. I read online that using hydrogen peroxide would help neutralize the bleach, but that's when it's wet. How do I remove the horribly strong bleach smell when it's dry? I really don't want to throw the dress out, as it's a vintage style that is hard to find, especially in my size. All suggestions are welcome. In your suggestions, though, please don't criticize me for making this mistake, as I already feel like an idiot for letting it soak in the bleach for 6 hours and not doing better research beforehand. But any help with this issue is greatly appreciated. Thank you.


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
August 17, 20172 found this helpful
Best Answer

You need to neutralize the effect of chlorine bleach, the hypochlorite and lye must be neutralized also. You can try Bisulfite/metabisulfite to neutralize the smell. The product is inexpensive and you will find it sold under the brand name of Anti-Chlor. If you can't find this product try Camden Tablets.


They are sold at most wine brewing supply centers. When using these two products you don't need a lot. A cap full is more than enough.

There are two other bleach neutralizers and they are Thiosulfate or Bleach Stop and this is found at photography supply stores. The second is hydrogen peroxide.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
August 17, 20170 found this helpful

I would put it outside to air out.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 255 Posts
August 18, 20170 found this helpful

Soak in in plain water and change it a few times. Then air it outside.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
August 18, 20170 found this helpful

Normally you can buy this at any supermarket, Target, or Wallgreen stores.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 107 Posts
August 20, 20170 found this helpful

what i always use to neutralize bleach (especially if for some reason i get it on my hands) is white vinegar

i feel like soaking it in a vinegar solution would cure the problem

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November 1, 20170 found this helpful

let's try baking soda....

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August 27, 20180 found this helpful

OdorKlenz Laundry Additive Neutralizes all chemicals, the same technology is used in a disaster restoration product line from the same parent company.

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November 10, 20190 found this helpful

that seldom works

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