How to Deodorize Jeans Without Washing (with Baking Soda)

cover jeans

Jeans are one of the most versatile items in your wardrobe. They go well with any top, from basic t-shirts to demure blouses (for you ladies out there).

Aside from sporting them in different styles, you might want to wear the same pair of jeans for more than a few days without washing them because of their versatility.

However, they can get a little smelly after some use. The smell of sweat with smoke can get a little intense.

It can be a problem. Nobody wants to be known as the “Funky jeans guy/gal”!

Good thing there is a clever trick in removing the funky odor of your denim pants — just sprinkle some baking soda on them. It will keep your beloved duds smelling much fresher, without the need for frequent laundry!

In this article, I’ll show you a method that I like to use for deodorizing my jeans with baking soda without washing them.

Let us start.

What You’ll Need:

Baking Soda
Big resealable bag or a big sealable container
Your funky jeans

Optional: A freezer

deodorize jeans what you need


1. Place the jeans inside a resealable bag or container. You can also turn your jeans inside out before you put them inside the bag if you don’t mind them getting a little wrinkly.

put jeans inside resealable bag

2. Sprinkle about 1/2 to 1 cup of baking soda inside the bag. Shake it to spread.

sprinkle baking soda inside bag

3. Seal the bag or container and let it soak overnight. The tighter the seal, the better. The baking soda should absorb most of the odors. You can also place the bag inside the freezer.

shake bag and let it soak
let jeans soak inside freezer

4. Take out your jeans and shake off any remaining baking soda. Your jeans should smell fresh.

What Causes Your Jeans to Smell?

Bacteria from your sweat, cigarette and vehicle smoke, odor from food, and smells from other outside elements all contribute to stinking up your jeans.

Why Not Just Wash Your Jeans After Each Use?

It might seem like a good idea to wash your denim after each time you wear them. But washing too often can fade the jeans, cause them to shrink, or make them lose their original shape.

That’s why it’s better to know ways to deodorize jeans without washing to lengthen their lifespan. Most jeans could last you upwards of 5 years with enough care.

Other Ways to Deodorize Your Jeans Without Washing

  1. Put it inside the freezer. There’s no scientific evidence to back this up but, my big brother, who’s a denim head, swears by this method. 
  2. Give your jeans a little air and sunshine. The UV rays from the sun can kill odor-causing bacteria. An old-fashioned clothesline works perfectly for this. 
  3. Use essential oils. Mix a few drops of your favorite essential oil with water and spray it on your jeans.
  4. Spray a little lemon juice mixed with water and alcohol. The citric acid in lemons is a powerful deodorizer. 

When all else fails, wash it. You can presoak it first with baking soda before throwing it inside the washer. See my article on how to presoak smelly clothes with baking soda

How can you tell when it’s time to wash your Jeans?

Simple. Just do a smell test. If it stinks, then it goes into the washer.

It’s even better if you can have someone you trust smell it for you, like a friend or partner. We get so used to how we smell that we might now notice the intensity of our scent.


Take care of your jeans, and they’ll serve you for many years.

I hope you’ll give some tips in this article a try the next time you notice your jeans start to stink.

Thank you for dropping by my blog.

-Baking Soda Guy


Q: Why do my jeans get smelly after wearing them for a few days? 

A: Jeans can absorb sweat, smoke, food odors, and other outside elements, leading to unpleasant smells.

Q: Can’t I just wash my jeans after each use to avoid odor? 

A: While frequent washing may seem like a solution, it can fade the jeans, cause shrinkage, or alter their original shape. Deodorizing without washing can extend the lifespan of your jeans.

Q: Besides using baking soda, are there other ways to deodorize jeans without washing? 

A: Yes! You can try placing them in the freezer, exposing them to fresh air and sunlight, using essential oils, or spraying a mixture of lemon juice, water, and alcohol.

Q: How can I tell when it’s time to wash my jeans? 

A: A simple smell test can help you determine if your jeans need washing. If they emit an unpleasant odor, it’s time for a wash.

Q: Is baking soda safe to use on all types of jeans? A: Baking soda is generally safe for most jeans, but it’s a good idea to spot-test a small inconspicuous area before applying it extensively.

Q: Can I add essential oils to the baking soda to enhance the deodorizing effect? 

A: Yes, you can mix a few drops of your favorite essential oil with water and spray it on your jeans along with baking soda for a fresh fragrance.

Q: Will freezing jeans really help in deodorizing them? 

A: Some denim enthusiasts swear by this method, as freezing may kill some odor-causing bacteria. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.

Q: How frequently should I deodorize my jeans using baking soda? 

A: The frequency depends on your usage and how smelly your jeans get. You can deodorize them whenever you notice unwanted odors but avoid excessive baking soda use.

Q: Can I use baking soda to presoak smelly jeans before washing them? 

A: Absolutely! Presoaking with baking soda can help remove odors before washing. For more tips, check out the article on how to presoak smelly clothes with baking soda.