Clothes Smell Like Rubber - How to Get Rid of Odor

Don't let rubbery smelling clothes ruin your day. Get rid of odor and get out there!

Photo: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Have you ever purchased a sexy new pair of stretch jeans only to find out that they have a nasty, rubbery smell that you can't seem to get rid of? It is not exactly an alluring fragrance. There are a few reasons why your clothes might smell. New clothing is typically treated with various finishes, including disinfectants, insecticides, fumigants and anti-mildew sprays. A combination of these may cause a rubbery smell. On the other hand, if you like to work on cars, your clothes may also smell like a bunch of tires. Either way, it's desirable to remove that gross smell before prancing around in your new duds.


Fill a large sink or basin with warm water and mix in 1 cup powdered milk. Place the stinky clothing in the water and stir the water for about a minute. Then let the clothes sit in the milk-water for two to four hours.


Drain the sink or basin and rinse the clothing thoroughly. Refill the sink or basin with warm water and add about 1/2 cup unscented laundry detergent. Scented laundry detergent will only mask odors and could actually make the smell even nastier.


Soak the clothing in the soapy water overnight. In the morning, drain the sink and remove the clothing.


Transfer the soapy clothing to the washing machine and add 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup white distilled vinegar to the wash. Set the wash cycle to normal and allow the clothing to wash normally.


Odd smells in clothing can be annoying and time-consuming to remove. The washing process may have to be repeated a few times before the smell is gone. If after drying your clothing still comes out stinky, repeat steps 2 through 4 until the rubber smell has disappeared.

Things You'll Need


1.Sink or basin

3.1/2 cup unscented laundry detergent

5.1 cup white distilled vinegar

2.1 cup powdered milk

4.1 cup baking soda


Tips & Tricks


Baking soda can leave residue on clothing. If this is the case, simply wash your clothing normally in the washing machine with unscented laundry detergent.


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