Removing Chemical Odors From New Clothing?

A colorful stack of new clothing.
New clothing often has a chemical odor resulting from the use of products, such as formaldehyde, that help with wrinkle resistance and stain resistance. Similarly, there are pesticide smells that are found on imported clothing. This is a page about removing chemical odors from new clothing.

3 Questions

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 190 Feedbacks
February 3, 2014

I purchased 3 pair of tights that are polyester/spandex and they have a horrible kerosene type order to them. I'm sure it's from the material. I've washed them 2X now and the odor is still there. I don't want to return them if I don't have to because they were from a catalog. Any idea of how I can get rid of the odor? Thank you.

By Kathy


April 14, 20180 found this helpful

I struggled with a rubber tire smell in fabric. Nothing worked til I followed suggestion to try powdered milk. I added a half cup of powder to dissolve well in water in sink, about 4 or 5 inches deep.


Soak for a few hours. IT WORKED!

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
April 14, 20180 found this helpful

You can try a product called Nok-Out. You can buy it on Amazon.

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March 25, 2013

I have a white crochet shirt I purchased that has a very strong chemical smell that I can't seem to wash out. I have soaked it in mouthwash and baking soda, each separately, letting soak for 2-3 days, washed in the washing machine with baking soda detergent and regular detergent. I am at a loss for how to rid the shirt of the smell. Any suggestions?

By Lynette T


March 26, 20130 found this helpful

Try soaking in downy fabric softer.

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August 22, 2009

How do I remove kerosene odor from cotton clothing?

By Margo Denton from Elkins, WV

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