How to Get Metallic Smell Out of Your Clothes?

Your clothes smell like metals because of the chlorine in the water you use to wash them. Companies who provide your domestic water have to treat the water properly before delivering it to you. Of course, these chemicals are not harmful to your health per se.

However, they can leave your clothes adopting weird smells after washing with them.

The more you wash your clothes, the more they lose their fresh smell and this is normal. Although this can be frustrating for you, it is expected.

As I’ve said, the biggest culprit for the metallic smell in your clothes is chlorine. For one thing, the smell is an indication that your water is well treated.

It also means your water is hard. Your water also contains other chemicals. It is the mixture of these chemicals that makes your bathroom smell metallic also.

If you pay more attention, you’d notice the smell also if you drink tap water. Note that chlorine is not harmful to you but you can sometimes taste it in the water too. Other lesser-known culprits of metallic smells in your clothes are coins.

If you have handled coins recently the smell may get on your clothes too. Or if you have stored coins in the pockets of your clothes this may cause them to have this metallic smell.

Different Ways To Get Metallic Smell Out Of Your Clothes

How to Get Metallic Smell Out of Your Clothes

Metallic smells are one of the common smells you get in your clothes because of the chlorine in your water. But it doesn’t have to be a permanent smell on your clothes. Follow these suggestions below to get the smell out of your clothes.

First, find out the recommended conditions for washing on the label of your clothes. This enables you to treat your clothes properly.

You need borax, baking soda, or white vinegar for this operation.

Using Vinegar To Remove Metallic Smell

  • Fill the washing machine with water cold or warm water depending on what the label on the cloth says
  • Pour one cup of white vinegar into it
  • Let the machine run for a few minutes
  • Drop your clothing with the metallic smell in
  • Let the machine run for ten minutes
  • Rinse and hang to dry

White vinegar works wonders in removing metallic smells. It loosens the fiber in the clothes so that the binding molecules of the metallic smells are freed from the fiber.

You can use your discretion when determining how much vinegar you use. Pour more than a cup of vinegar if the smell is severe or if more than one of your clothes is affected.

Using Baking Soda To Remove Metallic Smell

Baking soda is another choice substance that can be used to eliminate the metallic smell from your clothes.

  • Get a bucket and fill it with water or fill a sink with water
  • Add two cups of baking soda to the water
  • Make sure the baking soda is properly mixed
  • Soak the clothing inside the mixture overnight
  • In the morning wash the clothing as normal rinsing the cloth with half a cup of baking soda

Many do not know that they can use baking soda outside the kitchen. Baking soda is a leavening agent used in cakes, muffins, and cookies.

It is also known as sodium bicarbonate, a white crystalline powder. It becomes activated when it is mixed with a liquid or an acidic ingredient.

Using Borax To Remove Metallic Smell

If baking soda is not available or you prefer not to use it, another remedy you can use to remove the chemical smell of metal is Borax.

Borax is widely used as a cleaning agent in households. You can also call it sodium borate, or disodium tetraborate.

To use Borax follow these suggestions:

  • Add half a cup of borax to the washing machine
  • Drop the cloth in and wash normally

Not everyone prefers the methods outlined above. Some love to approach laundry with a more hands-on method. If you are one of those folks who love to get down and dirty to get unwanted metallic smells out of your clothes.

A further remedy that has been proving to be effective is using castile soap.

Using Castile Soap To Remove Metallic Smell

Castile soap is a unique remedy because it’s both a gentle soap on the skin and a strong soap on grime.

Castile soap is alkaline hence you need to use it with water that’s not hard or contains too many chemicals. When using Castile soap avoid adding lemon or vinegar to the water.

Here’s how to use the Castile soap to remove metallic smells:

  • Pour water into a bucket
  • Add half a cup of Castile soap to the water
  • Soak the cloth in for 15 to 30 minutes
  • Then wash by hand
  • Rinse the cloth and hang it in the sun

Castile soap is known to generate suds. Hence you need to spend time washing out the suds. But you can be sure that the metallic smell will be gone after using the soap.

Washing by hand also helps the Castile soap get into the fibers of the cloth and soften it. This allows the smell to dissolve out of the clothes.

Using Vinegar To Remove Metallic Smell

Vinegar is also a great remedy for removing any kind of smell from clothes, especially metallic smells. Vinegar contains acetic acid which is known to break down smells. To use vinegar follow these suggestions:

  • Fill a bucket with cold water
  • Add two cups of white vinegar
  • Soak the cloth in the mixture for an hour
  • Rinse and hang to dry

Using Dry Cleaning Methods To Remove Metallic Smell

Baking Soda

Not every method involves water. Sometimes you don’t want your hands to get wet. Using baking soda, you can get metallic smells out of your clothes.

Follow these suggestions:

  • Drape the cloth on a hanger
  • Pour baking soda into a garbage bag
  • Place the bag with the baking soda under the clothe
  • Pull the bag over the clothe and tie it around the hanger
  • Leave this way for several to get the metallic smell out

This method works like magic. One of the benefits is your clothes remain dry and free of wrinkles. You do not have to worry about wrinkling and the damage that chemicals can do to your clothes.


Another method to get metallic smells out of your clothes by getting them wet is direct ultraviolet light or sunlight. The effectiveness of this method is astonishing.

Sunlight is the most natural remedy you can use for treatments of all smells.

  • Put the cloth on a hanger
  • Hang it out in the open air until the smell leaves totally

The combination of air and sunlight will usually cause the metallic smell to dissolve and become inactive.

Ground Coffee

Yes, coffee. Nature takes care of its own. Coffee grounds aren’t just for keeping you active throughout the day. It can be used to remove metallic smells or even other chemical smells as well.

Follow these suggestions:

  • Pour coffee grounds into a paper bag
  • Wrap your clothing in tissue paper
  • Put the wrapped cloth inside the paper bag
  • Roll up the bag and leave it for a few days

Any of these suggestions will surely get your clothes smelling fresh again, free of the metallic smell.

What If The Clothes Still Smell Metallic Even After Washing?

This phenomenon happens where after washing your clothes with all the best soaps, baking soda, or vinegar, and there remains a musty smell.

This can happen for any number of reasons.

Dirty Washing Machine

If your washing machine is not getting the best treatment, it will harbor bad smells that will be transferred into any cloth you wash in it.

Not washing your machine regularly will lead to these smells. Leaving stagnant grimy water in your washing machine for days on end will lead to bacteria buildup and mold colonies. The smells that this leaves behind can be strong.

Using Too Much Or Too Little Detergent

When you wash clothes and you use too much detergent but do not rinse the machine properly, this leads to trapped detergent in your clothes which causes mold buildup.

Using too little detergent can as well lead to smells when the cloth is not properly clean. One way to prevent this problem is to check the instructions for use on the pack of detergent.

Detergent makers usually provide instructions for use which includes how much detergent you need to use for average amounts of clothes.

How To Prevent Metallic Smells From Getting In Your Clothes

The following ways are how to prevent metallic smells in your clothes

  • Leaving clothes to dry totally
  • Giving them room to breathe
  • Not storing them for too long
  • Using a hotter wash
  • Not leaving them too long in the washing machine
  • Regularly cleaning your washing machine
  • Using air fresheners

Leaving Clothes To Dry Totally

It is important to allow your clothes to dry totally when you wash them because moisture and humidity come together to cause mold to grow in your clothes leading to metallic smells. The metallic smell will result from trapped chlorine-treated water in your clothes.

Giving Them Room To Breathe

Even when your clothes have dried you should still allow them room to breathe. This is especially the case if you store your clothes in dark closets with other clothes.

Packing clothes tightly together can lead to one cloth transferring metallic smells to the other.

Depending on the weather conditions, sometimes it is good to leave your closet open. Do this by opening the windows to let natural sunlight in.

This also allows general aeration of your apartment, not just your closet alone. This will surely prevent metallic smells.

Not Storing Your Clothes For Too Long

This is another way to prevent metallic smells from your clothes. A buildup of metallic smells can occur when clothes have been stored for too long in an airless container.

The reason is, that the moisture content of the air changes over time, and from day to day. Stored clothes become breeding grounds for smell causing mold which may lead to metallic smells.

Using A Hotter Wash

Hotter washes get rid of deep smells than cold washes. Of course, there is an advantage to using cold washes which includes protecting your fabric.

Let the instructions on the label of your cloth guard the appropriate temperature to use. High temperatures kill germs in your clothes and the bacteria that cause the most common smells. It also prevents metallic smells.

Not Leaving Clothes Too Long In The Washing Machine

Sometimes we are so busy with our lives that we forget clothes in the washing machine. When this happens several times, it can lead to smells.

A mixture of detergent and the chemicals in the water turns the machine into a breeding ground for bacteria. These bacterias in turn live and defecate smells in your clothes.

Regularly Cleaning Your Washing Machine

The importance of cleaning your washing machine regularly can never be overemphasized. Note that washed clothes always leave suds and grime behind.

These grimes come from dust, dead cells from our bodies, oils, and sweat. All these things mix with the water and pollute it. Not properly washing these things away from your machine after doing your laundry can cause your clothes to smell.

Air Freshener

Finally, you can create the kind of air you want in your closet and in your clothes. You can buy air fresheners that can hang in the closet.

There are a variety of scents available. Your clothes will always adopt the predominant smell in your closets. Also important is using deodorants when wearing clothes, especially if you sweat a lot.

Bottom Line

Smells are a part of our lives. Some are good while others are bad. Gladly we can control the occurrence of most smells around us. Especially the ones in our clothes. It requires effort on our part to keep our clothes smelling the best.

From this article you can glean that you can’t leave the smell of your clothes to chance and that the worst smells can be eliminated, even metallic ones.


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