How to Get Rid of the Bleach Smell After Cleaning
Author: Anne Cowart | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
You just spent hours scrubbing and cleaning your bathroom, top to bottom. The counters are spotless, the tub sparkles, and even the toilet is immaculate. You used bleach, or bleach cleaners, to remove every stain from the grout, small cracks, and corners. And now you're asking how to get rid of the bleach smell.
Rather than being able to enjoy a relaxing bath in your pristine bathroom, you can’t even stand inside it because of the overpowering bleach smell. Still smelling bleach after cleaning is enough to make us never want to clean again.
Thankfully, getting rid of the bleach smell is relatively simple if you know what to do and what to use. Rather than just avoiding the area or item you used bleach on, these simple tips will help get rid of bleach smells in your home, your belongings, and your skin.
How Long Does the Bleach Smell Last?
Bleach is most effective when left to sit on surfaces for a few minutes before scrubbing or cleaning. But be warned: the longer bleach sits, the longer the smell will last. The smell of bleach can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few days depending on the amount used, the material it's used on, and the ventilation in the room.
Easy Ways To Remove a Bleach Smell
Here are a few easy tips on how to get rid of bleach smells from any surface in your home, including you! And please, make sure you're disposing of your bleach safely when done.
How to Remove Bleach Smell From Skin
Bleach can irritate your skin, but its smell also seeps in and leaves a lingering aroma that can drive you nuts. It’s best to prevent bleach from contacting your skin in the first place, meaning protective gear.
This is easily done by wearing rubber gloves. Gloves keep your skin safe from bleach’s potency and protect your skin from letting the smell absorb, which can be hard to remove.
If it’s too late, and your hands are too offensively strong to bring near your face, lemon juice can help. Whether freshly squeezed or from the bottle, a little lemon juice can help neutralize the odor.
Alternatively, you can make a gentle hand scrub with a bit of sugar, lemon juice, and oil, such as olive oil. This gentle scrub will help kill the stench and soften hands. After washing, try using a scented lotion on your hands to cover up any lingering smells.
How to Clear the Bleach Smell From Your Nose
Bleach can leave a lasting impression on your sense of smell, specifically that it lingers in your nose. Try these techniques to breathe freely again:
- Step outside to breathe fresh air as soon as you notice a problem.
- Coffee is another strong scent that can offset bleach. Sniff some beans or grounds, or brew a few cups, then inhale deeply to cleanse your nasal passages.
- Other tricks and tips include peppermint oil. Take a quick sniff or two to clear out your nasal passages.
If none of these approaches work, it might help to flush the nasal passages. Saline nasal sprays and neti pots work best.
How to Remove the Bleach Smell From Carpet
Removing the bleach smell from carpet can be a little tricky and requires more effort to remove than simply opening a window to air out the room. Let's look at how to get rid of the bleach smell from your rugs and carpets.
A safe and effective way to remove the bleach smell from the carpet is with a simple DIY mixture made from ingredients you might have in your pantry. A little vinegar and water, or vinegar and lemon juice can go a long way. Add a small amount of vinegar or lemon to warm water in a bucket or carpet cleaner to help neutralize the smell.
Baking soda can also be your best friend here. Placing baking soda on a plate near the carpet, or sprinkling baking soda onto the floor for 5-10 minutes and then vacuuming out can absorb the odors. And don't worry, you can safely mix baking soda and bleach.
How to Remove Bleach Smell From the Air
If your space feels overpowered by the bleach smell, you need to introduce fresh air. Stepping outside for a few minutes might be all you need to get the bleach smell out of your nose, but if you don’t clear the air it will be waiting for you inside.
There are several ways to clear or mask the odor in any room and leave your home smelling fresh again. This is how to get the bleach smell out of your house.
Mask the Smell With Better Scents
As noted, coffee is a powerful masking agent. Brewing a pot of coffee or setting out a bowl of beans or grounds could help mask the bleach smell.
Lastly, use other scents. Placing a candle in the room, or using an air freshener, helps mask the smell. Still, other methods for bringing new, clean air into your space are safer.
It's not fun to use bleach to get rid of the sewer smell in your laundry room only to now have replaced it with a bleach smell. Thankfully you can do the same to the bleach odor. Bring in the air fresheners!
Ventilate the Space
How to get rid of bleach fumes? First and foremost, be sure your area is as ventilated as possible before using bleach. Open as many windows as you can, and attempt to create a cross-flow of the area by opening doors and windows that are opposite from each other.
This cross-ventilation will help new air come into the room and take the old air carrying the smell of bleach out. It’s vital to open airways and get good ventilation into the area before beginning; the smell of bleach in a closed area is dangerous and can be toxic to your breathing, eyes, and other parts of the body.
If possible, use a ceiling fan or any types of fans to further the airflow in the room. Placing a standing fan near the doorway to blow fresh air into the room is very effective. Box fans should be placed in or near a window sill before cleaning as a way to pull fresh air into the room.
Better yet, use two fans on opposite ends of the room, pointing them in the same direction so air can flow through better. To do this, employ one fan in a doorway on one side of the room, pointing to blow fresh air inside.
Utilize the second fan near a window, preferably on the other side of the room. Direct the fan so the breeze flows out the window. This tactic pulls fresh air through and across the room, creating constant airflow. This is the fastest method for how to get rid of the bleach smell from the air in a room in gneral.
Employ Air Purifiers
Air purifiers are another way to efficiently and effectively get rid of the smell of bleach, while also helping clean the air in your room overall. Air purifiers have many more benefits than just making your room smell better. They can help remove toxins and dust from the air to improve overall breathing and health.
Use Deodorizing Agents
People have also experienced positive results using a small amount of baking soda or activated charcoal on a plate. These substances absorb smells and, along with fresh air flowing in, can help lessen the bleach smell potency.
This is how to neutralize bleach fumes. You can also try lots of air fresheners. Many will bind to the bleach particles and make them inert, rather than simply smell good.
What Is Bleach & What Is It Used For?
Bleach is a mixture of chemicals commonly used to remove colors from fabrics and surfaces. However, it is also a powerful cleaning agent for laundry, general cleaning, and other tasks. Bleach is praised for its strength and effectiveness in removing unwanted stains and mold while killing germs simultaneously.
You've likely seen cleaning products with bleach in them to sanitize your counters during cold and flu season. Bleach is often added to laundry and household cleaning products to increase their effectiveness.
It’s important to exercise caution when using bleach because it’s powerful odor and ability to remove natural colors can scare people away. However, if used properly and with these easy tips to remove bleach smells, bleach can become a practical and cheap addition to your household tasks.
Take Precautions Before Using Bleach
It’s important to exercise care when using this powerful cleaning agent because it can be toxic if used improperly, especially if it comes into contact with your skin.
While the smell may not be toxic, breathing in bleach can cause serious discomfort in the form of headaches, nausea, and lung irritation, and can make you feel as though your lungs, eyes, or nose are burning.
Be sure to read directions before use, only use in well-ventilated areas, and do not mix with other chemicals or cleaners without first researching safety.
That's How to Get Rid of the Bleach Smell From Everywhere
Bleach is a powerful cleaning agent that can work wonders in your home, as long as you take proper precautions. Be sure all bleach is thoroughly cleaned up, securely closed, and stored properly.
Try to keep bleach in a secure cabinet where small children can’t access it and it won’t be subject to extreme temperature changes. And always apply these methods for how to get rid of the bleach smell so it's not lingering in your breathable air.