How To Get Bleach Smell Off Your Hands (5 Tips To Try Now!)

How To Get Bleach Smell Off Your Hands (5 Tips To Try Now!)

The house is sparkling clean, and you look around to see what you've done. It's been a productive day, and you have a lot to show for it. You've ticked everything off your cleaning schedule. There's just one minor issue. Your hands smell strongly like bleach. Yes, the lingering scent on your hands can be an unwelcome side effect of keeping your home looking incredible. So, what can you do about it?

You've come to the right place. This comprehensive guide delves into the intricate details of the science behind the formidable bleach smell and an exhaustive toolkit of tips to ensure your hands remain fresh. Here's everything you need to know about how to get rid of the bleach smell off your hands like a pro.

Why does bleach have such a potent scent?

That's a good question. The distinct smell of bleach is attributed to the chemical reactions that occur when bleach comes into contact with organic matter — i.e. your skin. Household bleach is the umbrella name given to a combination of chemicals.

It is used as a potent disinfectant that is commonly used to kill bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. So, when it encounters organic substances, such as proteins and other compounds found in living organisms or dirt, a series of chemical reactions is initiated. That's where that strong smell comes in.

As part of these chemical reactions, chlorine gas is released. Chlorine gas has a strong and pungent odour, which contributes significantly to the characteristic smell associated with bleach. The release of chlorine gas results from the breakdown of organic compounds in the presence of bleach.

The lingering scent is a consequence of the persistence of chlorine gas and possibly other byproducts of the chemical reactions. Even after cleaning, the remnants of chlorine gas can remain in the air and on surfaces, creating a lasting smell.

How to get bleach smell off hands: 5 tips

Now that you know why bleach smells so bad, let's talk about how you can clean your hands. You don't want to walk around with the nasty scent all day. Luckily, there are a handful (pun intended!) of options that you can try for yourself.

1. Start with hand washing

Start your post-cleaning ritual with a comprehensive hand wash using moisturising soaps. You can use a range of brands such as Dove, Simple, or E45 to offer options that cleanse without compromising skin hydration.

Ensure meticulous scrubbing, dedicating a generous 20 seconds to each washing session. If you like, you can sing Happy Birthday twice to get your time up. The warmth of the water opens up pores, facilitating the removal of bleach residue, while the moisturising properties of the soap prevent excessive dryness.

TOP TIP: Selecting the right soap is crucial. Look for those containing natural moisturisers like shea butter or glycerin, ensuring a gentle cleansing experience that doesn't strip your skin of essential oils.

2. Baking soda brilliance

Take your hand cleaning to the next level with baking soda. It's one of the best beauty benefits! Start by making a gentle paste by blending baking soda with water.

You can use this to clean your hands and eliminate any nasty smells. The granules effectively lift away bleach residue without causing irritation. The alkaline nature of baking soda neutralises acidic bleach remnants, leaving your hands clean and free from the pungent scent. Rinse thoroughly for a refreshing result.

TOP TIP: When creating the paste, ensure it has a smooth consistency to avoid any abrasive effects on your skin. Gentle circular motions during application can enhance its effectiveness without causing discomfort.

Did you know that you can clean with baking soda? Find out more in our other article. 

3. Use some lemon juice

If you want to know how to get the smell of bleach off your hands, lemon juice may be the answer. Yes, you can harness the natural acidity of lemons to combat bleach odours. There are plenty of unexpected uses for lemons, and this one will come in handy time and time again. 

Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto your hands, allowing the citrus magic to unfold. Rub your hands together, ensuring the juice permeates every nook and cranny. The citric acid in lemons breaks down residual bleach and leaves behind a refreshing, natural fragrance. A thorough rinse leaves your hands clean and adorned with a zesty lemon scent.

If you have any cuts or scratches, you may want to avoid this method. The lemon juice will sting your cuts, which you don't want!

TOP TIP: Consider warming the lemon slightly before juicing to enhance its efficacy. The natural oils in the skin can add an extra layer of fragrance. 

4. Use odour-neutralising soaps

When we talk about how to get the bleach smell off your hands, here's one that you cannot miss. You should invest in soaps designed explicitly to neutralise odours.

Brands like Radox, Imperial Leather, or Original Source offer a range of options enriched with ingredients like activated charcoal or citrus extracts, ensuring the elimination of stubborn bleach smells. These soaps cleanse and leave a subtle, pleasant scent on your hands, providing a lasting freshness.

TOP TIP: Experiment with different soap fragrances to find the one that complements your preferences. Some odour-neutralising soaps come in innovative blends that combine antibacterial properties with captivating scents.

5. Add some extra moisture

When you use bleach, not only does it make your hands smell, but it can also dry out your skin. You need to do something about this. You should look for a product that equally removes the odour and adds moisture back into your skin.

Elevate your post-cleaning ritual with the indulgence of a luxurious hand cream. Some favourites such as L'Occitane, Neal's Yard Remedies, or Molton Brown offer various moisturising options, leaving your hands pampered and emanating delightful fragrances. The rich texture of these creams not only restores moisture but also helps seal in the cleanliness, ensuring that the bleach odour remains banished.

TOP TIP: Applying hand cream while your hands are slightly damp can enhance absorption, leaving them velvety smooth. Consider scented options to boost the whole experience.

Say goodbye to the tenacious scent of bleach on your hands using our detailed tips in your post-cleaning ritual. Tailor these methods to your skin's sensitivity and personal preferences, ensuring a delightful and fragrant experience every time you tackle household chores. As we have covered here, learning how to get rid of the bleach smell of your hands doesn't have to be complicated. Find a routine that works for you after you've cleaned your home.


Want to know more about bleach and its familiar smell? You've come to the right place. Take a look at our frequently asked questions below for more answers:

Is bleach dangerous for your skin?

Here's the big question. While bleach is a potent disinfectant, prolonged exposure can be harsh on the skin. It's crucial to take protective measures such as wearing rubber gloves when handling concentrated bleach and to wash your hands thoroughly after use. You should avoid spilling bleach directly on your skin, which can burn you.

You can take extra measures to keep yourself safe, too. For example, you should always check the concentration of bleach before use. Diluting it as per the instructions on the label can minimise the risk of skin irritation.

How long do bleach burns last?

Put simply that depends on how bad the original bleach burn is. The duration of bleach burns can vary depending on many factors. Minor irritation may subside quickly, while more severe burns could persist for days or even weeks. If discomfort lingers for longer than that, seeking advice from a medical professional is advisable.

If you notice any signs of persistent redness, swelling, or blistering, seek medical attention promptly. Mild burns may benefit from over-the-counter soothing creams, while more severe burns may require medical intervention. Always put your safety and health first.

How do you wash bleach off your hands?

Remove the bleach residue by washing your hands with a gentle, moisturising soap and warm water. Thoroughly scrub all areas of your hands to eliminate any lingering scent, leaving your hands fresh, clean, and ready for whatever the day may bring.

Of course, you should also pay extra attention to areas like the wrists, between fingers, and under the nails, as these are typical spots where bleach residue can linger. Pat your hands dry instead of rubbing them vigorously to prevent further irritation.

Did our tips help? Let us know in the comments below.

Joanne A


Expert in finding beautiful solutions for small and rented spaces. Would happily spend the rest of my life shopping for homewares and watching Disney movies - I only wish I had Cinderella's army of mice to help me clean!

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