My Forever 21 jeans stink!
April 13, 2011 4:38 PM   Subscribe

Help me get the Forever 21 smell out of my jeans!

If you have ever shopped at Forever 21 and bought some pants or clothes from there, you know their clothes have a distinct smell-especially their pants. Its not necessarily a bad smell, but just sort of sickening after a days wear.

I've washed the pants multiple times with lots of detergent and stain remover and have dried them with three dryer sheets. Nothing works! They still reek that Forever 21 smell!

How might I go about (cheaply?) getting rid of the smell?
posted by fuzzysoft to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Try washing them in nothing but hot water and vinegar. Obviously, test to see if the jeans are vinegar-safe first. The acid may be what you need to get rid of the smell- it's what people do for old towels, skunk sprayings.
posted by thewumpusisdead at 4:48 PM on April 13, 2011

could also try coating them liberally in baking soda and leave outside in the sunlight (if you can do so safely) for a day or so.
posted by edgeways at 4:54 PM on April 13, 2011

That's the smell of poorly manufactured denim and it's not exclusive to Forever21. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but in my experience, that particular smell is permanent. I've donated many pair of perfectly good jeans in the past because I couldn't get rid of it; now, I flat out refuse to buy any that stink like that.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 5:16 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Washing machine. White vinegar.
posted by amanda at 5:25 PM on April 13, 2011

I've gotten a lot of things from F21, and vinegar has always gotten that smell out. I know what you're talking about, it's definitely not denim like LuckySeven~ says, because all of their clothes smell like that. Washing them with detergent and such won't really help, because all you're doing is covering the smell up- but vinegar should definitely do the trick.
posted by kro at 5:30 PM on April 13, 2011

One thing that I have found that seems to get rid of a lot of odor is outdoor line drying. The other thing to try is NokOut with a fogger. I got the setup to deodorize my cars but it works for sleeping bags, etc.
posted by bz at 5:40 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

How much vinegar per load, by the way?
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 5:51 PM on April 13, 2011

For these, I'd just splash a couple glugs in. For a load of stinky towels, about 1/4 - 1/3 cup.
posted by amanda at 5:56 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm so glad to know this isn't just me. Cute and cheap clothes, but I hate the cheap-skank smell. What works for me is spraying them liberally with febreeze, then washing with white vinegar.

Also works for the weird old lady smell that comes on some Barneys clothing.
posted by Nickel Pickle at 8:06 PM on April 13, 2011

Is this that kind of sweaty coppery smell? If so, I have cords from Delias that have this and they still have that smell a year later.
posted by elpea at 8:56 PM on April 13, 2011

You can also try either Pine-Sol or Lysol. Original formulas only - the scented variations are not approved by the manufacturer for laundry use. Not store brand equivalents, either. This is one case where the brand name really does make a difference.

Add 1 cup of either Pine-Sol or Lysol, and nothing else (no detergent, vinegar, whatever). Toss in your jeans and a few pairs of old towels, and wash in warm water.

I recommend line drying outside if possible. Line drying inside as a secondary choice. And if neither of those is possible, then the dryer set on the lowest heat setting.

You may find yourself trailing a persistent Pine-Sol or Lysol odor right after washing, although it typically fades once the clothes are fully dry. And at least it's a "clean" scent, not like that crazy-ass store smell!

I use this trick to get rid of thrift store funk (and imagined germs to boot).
posted by ErikaB at 9:53 PM on April 13, 2011

Try putting them in the freezer overnight... Worth a shot if nothing else works.
posted by jmsta at 3:53 AM on April 14, 2011

I have a pair of cheapo jeans (from NYC &CO) that have a very distinct smell too and always wondered why it never went away. Even after wearing them to smokey bars & clubs and many, many washings over the years. Glad to see this wasn't all in my imagination.
posted by JennyJupiter at 6:22 AM on April 14, 2011

How much vinegar per load, by the way?
posted by UrineSoakedRube
Aside from the eponysterical , isn't it 1 cup per load ?
posted by k5.user at 6:43 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

I threw out the cutest brown denim jacket because of the smell. I wish i'd known to try vinegar first.
posted by vitabellosi at 11:26 AM on April 14, 2011

Thank you for asking this question...I brought a pair of insanely comfortable/perfectly cut Forever21 jeans home a couple of weeks ago and have been forced to leave them hanging outside under the eaves for the last week. I'm off to buy white vinegar in the morning!
posted by squasha at 4:41 AM on April 17, 2011

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