Bleach and chlorine odors generally dissipate on their own, but if the smell bothers you, you can follow some steps to make the strong scent exit the premises quickly. Open windows, place bowls of odor-absorbing materials around the room, or remove the odor from your hands by treating them with baking soda, then vinegar.
Air It Out
If a room smells of bleach after you've used it for general cleaning purposes, open the windows and close the door to the room on your way out to allow fresh air to replace the air that smells of bleach. Spend as little time in the room as possible so you don't have to breathe in the fumes. If performing basic cleaning chores with bleach, open the windows first whenever possible, or at least turn on a fan or ceiling fan to keep the odor from being too strong in the area where you're working. If you must work in a room with bleach for an hour or longer, take frequent breaks outdoors to give your nose a break from the scent. The scent of bleach, when used in recommended amounts for household cleaning, is generally not cause for concern unless you are sensitive to the odor or simply don't care for the smell.
Use Vinegar to Make Airborne Odor Vanish
Place bowls of vinegar around the room to help absorb a lingering bleach odor after you've aired out the space as much as possible. Leave the bowls for several hours or even overnight for best results. The odor from items such as plastic washtubs that contained bleach water will dissipate on their own after you rinse them and allow them to air dry.
Do not mix vinegar with bleach in any way -- this also means do not spray or pour vinegar directly atop bleach or an area recently wiped with bleach, as the two substances may react and emit chlorine gas, which may irritate your eyes, nose and lungs. Extended exposure to a high level of this gas can cause severe health problems.
Bleach Smell On Your Hands
If your hands smell of bleach even after you've washed them, wet them again and sprinkle a little baking soda on them. Rub your hands together to spread the baking soda around; then rinse your hands off after a minute or so. If they still smell like bleach, wipe them with a paper towel or cloth soaked in white vinegar. Allow your hands to air dry; then wash them off again with soap and water.
Dealing With Pool Chlorine Odor
- Rinse yourself off as soon as possible after swimming in a chlorinated pool to help cut down on the chlorine odor on your skin and hair.
- Rinse your bathing suit as well, even if you cannot wash it right away; then allow it to air dry.
- Shower with soap or body wash and wash your hair with shampoo to remove lingering pool chemicals and odors.
- Hand-wash your bathing suit using a mild detergent designed for delicates. Allow the bathing suit to soak in a sink or washtub with the detergent and cold water for a while if the suit smells strongly of chlorine. Rinse the bathing suit in cold water; then roll it in a dry, clean towel to remove excess water rather than wringing the bathing suit out by itself. Allow the suit to air dry on a clothesline or clothes-drying rack.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, SFGate, Landlordology and others.