Why Do Black Jeans Smell Like Pennies/Bad?

Why do black jeans smell like pennies?
Photo by Lexie Barnhorn on Unsplash

Have you bought some new black jeans and can’t wait to rock them, but once you put them on, you notice an unpleasant smell…What gives?

If you’re wondering why your black jeans smell weird like pennies or chemicals, then you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’ll explain the top 3 reasons why your black jeans might stink and a couple methods you can use to get rid of the odor.

With that said, let’s get started!

The Reasons Why Black Jeans Have a Bad Smell?

The Reasons Why Black Jeans Have a Bad Smell
Photo by Keagan Henman on Unsplash

Black jeans are a wardrobe staple for many people, but if you ever put on a new pair, they can also be notorious for smelling bad.

There are a few reasons why black jeans tend to develop an unpleasant odor compared to other colors of denim.

The Dye

The first reason brand new black jeans tend to have a smell is due to the dye that is used to color the denim. To retain the black look, denim has to be dyed multiple times. This black dye has a strong scent and can often linger on the fabric even after it has been washed.

That is the reason why you would find an almost chemical, metallic (some say it’s like pennies) smell coming from the brand new pair of black jeans.

The Chemicals

Another reason why black jeans may have an unpleasant smell is due to the chemicals that are used in their production. Chemicals such as pesticides used on the cotton, anti-mildew agents and anti-fungal chemicals are often used in the fabrication of black jeans.

These chemicals can often stick around on the fabric, causing an unpleasant smell that many seem to hate.


Surprisingly, formaldehyde is often used in the manufacturing process of black jeans. This chemical, that is usually found in building materials and embalming fluid, is used to prevent the growth of mildew when it is being transported from the factory.

The scent of formaldehyde is very strong and can be one of the main reasons for that unpleasant smell that black jeans often have.

How to Get the Smell Out of Black Jeans?

There are a few things you can do to try and get rid of that unpleasant smell from your black jeans.

Washing Them

The easiest solution is to simply wash your black jeans before you wear them. This will help to remove the dye smell or chemicals that may be lingering on the fabric.

You might have to wash the black jeans multiple times to completely remove the smell. However, it is worth giving the jeans a thorough wash before you resort to any other methods.


If washing your black jeans doesn’t seem to be getting rid of the smell, you can try soaking them in a vinegar solution.

To do this, simply add 1 cup of vinegar to a tub or sink filled with cold water. Soak your black jeans in the solution for about 30 minutes or a couple hours (depending on how strong the scent is).

Afterward, rinse the jeans with cold water and let them air dry. The vinegar smell should dissipate after a few hours.

Baking Soda

Another method you can try is to sprinkling baking soda on your black jeans and letting them sit for a few hours before washing them.

The baking soda will help to absorb any odors that may be lingering on the fabric. Just make sure to brush off the baking soda before putting the jeans in the washing machine.


Another way to try and get rid of the smell from your black jeans is to hang them outside in the sunlight.

The sunlight will help to kill any bacteria that may be causing the unpleasant odor. Make sure to hang them in a well-ventilated area so they can air out properly.

Wrapping it up

There you have it! Those are a few of the reasons why black jeans often have an unpleasant smell like they are burnt of smell like pennies.

If you are having this problem, hopefully, one of the methods we mentioned will help to get rid of the smell.

Now, I want to hear from you.

Do you have a pair of black jeans that always seems to smell bad? Have you tried any of the methods we mentioned? Let us know in the comments below!

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