Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Odor Removal for Leather and other Clothing (PVC too?)

I don't see this around so I thought I'd repost it just for fun. A while ago, I blew too much money on a brand new leather jacket -- my first. Little did I know how much the smell annoyed me, and I resorted to hanging it in an isolated room. It did not go away even months later and I honestly didn't like wearing it knowing I had to smell it all day whenever I did.

But since it was a $900 jacket, I did not want to do anything "harsh" to it. So, airing it out seemed like the only option. Then I came across a great trick from googling: newspaper.

Something something newspaper is really porous and absorbs things like smells. I used this trick on my jacket and after a few days in the bag, most of the smell was gone. Previously, the jacket had been hanging in the open for months without as much of a difference. I've since tried the trick on other odorous objects like a suction cup camera mount and ear phone cups that smelled like PVC off-gasing (shower curtain or new car smell). It appeared to work on the suction cup, but I can't be sure because I did not let it just sit in the open for more than a few hours after opening the box. I just got the headphones!

For clothing:

All you need:
- 1 garment bag or garbage bag (you can get large full-length garment bags at Ikea for <$10)
- 3+ few sheets of newspaper

If you're afraid of ink, don't worry, the garment doesn't need to come into contact with the newspaper and ink.


1. Assuming you have a garment bag, hang your garment in the bag.
2. Take a section of a newspaper apart and separate them into individual sheets.
3. Crumple the sheets into balls. Just crush them in your hands to the smallest size you can, and twist them into rolls.
4. Loosen your rolls or balls slightly -- remember, the more surface area you have contacting the air, the better it should work.
5. Put the crumpled rolls of newspaper into the bottom of the bag (at least 3, but try not to let them touch your garment).
6. Zip up your garment bag.
7. Sit tight and let it sit in the bag for a few days. If you notice a difference, switch out the newspaper rolls and let it sit a bit longer if you want.

For other objects:

What you need:
- 1 plastic shopping bag
- 2+ sheets of newspaper


1. Stuff you item in the garbage bag.
2. Crumple and roll up your newspaper, but make sure not to compress it too much. You want to maximize the surface area of paper exposed to air. Put these into the bag.
3. Tie up the bag.
4. Sit tight for a few days. If you notice a difference, but want more of the smell gone, just add fresh newspaper.

No guarantees, so good luck!