Although bleach is excellent at removing strains, brightening clothes and surfaces, killing molds, mildew, bacteria and disinfecting, its chlorine-like odor lingers on for hours or days. It can also be powerful and overpowering depending on the type and amount of bleach used. In this article, we provide steps on how to get rid of bleach smell from hands, laundry, upholstery and just about every other thing and surface.
How to Get Bleach Smell off Hands
If you come into contact with bleach, the first place the odor is likely to stick is your hands. Below are some simple techniques for making your hands smell fresh again.
Lemon or Lemon Essential Oil
Squeeze 1-2 tablespoons of juice from a small lemon and apply it generously on your hands. You can also cut the lemon into two halves and rub one or both pieces on your hands until the bleach odor is completely gone. Alternatively, dilute a drop of lemon essential oil with a carrier oil of your choice and apply generously on your hands.
Tip: Use any other citrus fruit that you have in the house in the absence of lemon.
Soap and Water
Clean your hands thoroughly with running water and a citrus based soap. All citrus fruits have the natural ability to eliminate bad smell with causing any side effects. An alternative approach is wash hands with warm water and dishwasher soap. Follow up by applying an odorless or sweet-scented moisturizer.
Coffee and Water
Mix a tablespoon of ground coffee with a few drops of water and use the mixture to rub your hands gently. Avoid using instant coffee granules because they are water soluble. However, if that is all you have in the house, you can form a liquid mixture and apply it generously on your hands.
Although it is not advisable to mix vinegar with bleach, applying a few drops of white vinegar on rinsed hands that have come into contact with bleach does the job. However, this method should be used as a last resort since the alternative methods are much safer and highly effective.
How to Get Bleach Smell Out of Clothes
Clothes can continue to smell bleach days after the last cleaning. The odor is particularly unpleasant for young children and people with irritable noses. If you find yourself in this situation, try the following odor eliminating methods
The simplest and oldest trick for eliminating bleach odor is leaving clothes outside to sun or air dry. The outside environment prevents the building-up of odors because there is proper circulation of air. The presence of ultra violent rays of the sun also facilitates the dissipation of odors and scents.
Use fabric Softener
A fabric softener comes in handy when the smell of bleach persists even after rinsing clothes severally. Most fabric softeners contain fragrances that add a dash of fresh scent to laundry. Simple add liquid softener to the final rinse and hang the clothes to dry. On the downside though, there are fabrics that are unfriendly to these products and there are also people that experience sensitivity issues after using them.
Unlike fabric softener, baking soda absorbs odor instead of masking it. Add a few tablespoons of baking soda to water and use the solution to rinse your clothes again. If you prefer to use a washing machine, use baking soda in the same way that a detergent is used. Once the clothes are ready, hang them on the clothesline to air or sun-dry.
How to Get Rid of Bleach Smell from Surfaces and Upholstery
Sometimes the smell of bleach lingers on surfaces and upholstery after cleaning or spillage and spreads throughout the entire house. The following techniques provide simple solutions to this problem.
Open the windows, doors and every other opening to ensure that your house is properly ventilated. Poor ventilation allows contaminated air to accumulate in the house thereby making it difficult for the people inside to breath. If the house openings fail to create the desired effects, try to boost the results with a fan or an air purifier.
Fill one or more containers with activated charcoal and place them at different locations near the item or place that is producing the chlorine smell. Wait for a few hours until the smell is absorbed and replace the charcoal powder. Repeat the process until the house is completely free from the smell.
Besides absorbing the smell of bleach, activated charcoal neutralizes all other odors in the house. Use a few pieces of charcoal if you are not in a position to access activated charcoal.
If you are dealing with a small area like kitchen counters, mix squeezed lemon juice and water in a spray bottle in the ration of 3:5. Spray the solution generously on the area and use a lint free kitchen towel or microfiber cloth to wipe off excess liquid.
A solution of baking soda works in the same way as lemon water. The only difference is that you can prepare it in large quantities to clean a big area or rinse out smelly rugs and carpets.
If all of the above methods fail to provide satisfying results, you can try commercial odor eliminators. The market is flooded with different kinds of products that are intended to serve this purpose. There is also a machine known as ozone generator that eliminates odors effectively.