How to get bleach smell out of nose

If you’ve ever had the misfortune of getting a strong whiff of bleach, you know just how overpowering and unpleasant the smell can be. Bleach is a powerful chemical disinfectant and oxidizing agent commonly used for household cleaning and laundry purposes. While effective at killing germs and removing stains, the pungent odor of bleach can linger in your nose and nasal passages, causing discomfort and irritation. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore various methods to help you get rid of that stubborn bleach smell from your nose.

How to get bleach smell out of nose

The Bleach Smell

Before we dive into the remedies, it’s essential to understand why the bleach smell can be so persistent and difficult to eliminate. Bleach contains sodium hypochlorite, a chemical compound that produces chlorine gas when mixed with other substances. This chlorine gas is responsible for the strong, pungent odor that can linger in your nasal passages.

When you inhale bleach fumes, the chlorine gas comes into contact with the mucous membranes in your nose and throat, causing irritation and a burning sensation. The odor molecules can also bind to the olfactory receptors in your nasal cavity, making it challenging to get rid of the smell.

Potential Health Effects of Bleach Exposure

Prolonged exposure to bleach fumes can lead to various health issues, including:

  • Respiratory problems: Inhaling bleach fumes can irritate the lungs and airways, causing coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
  • Eye and skin irritation: Bleach can cause stinging, redness, and burning sensations in the eyes and on the skin.
  • Nausea and vomiting: Some individuals may experience nausea, vomiting, or abdominal discomfort after exposure to bleach fumes.
  • Headaches: The strong odor of bleach can trigger headaches and migraines in some people.

It’s crucial to take precautions when using bleach and seek medical attention if you experience severe or persistent symptoms after exposure.

Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Bleach Smell from Nose

  1. Breathe Fresh Air One of the simplest and most effective ways to get rid of the bleach smell from your nose is to breathe in fresh air. Step outside or open windows to allow fresh air to circulate and dilute the bleach odor. Take deep breaths and let the fresh air help clear out the lingering smell from your nasal passages.
  2. Drink Warm Liquids Drinking warm liquids, such as herbal tea, can help soothe your irritated nasal passages and promote the production of mucus, which can help flush out the bleach odor. The steam from the warm liquid can also help loosen any lingering odor molecules stuck in your nasal cavity.
  3. Use Essential Oils Essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, or lemon can help neutralize the bleach smell and provide a refreshing aroma. Add a few drops of your preferred essential oil to a bowl of hot water, cover your head with a towel, and breathe in the vapors. Be careful not to inhale the oils directly, as they can be irritating to the nasal passages.Essential OilBenefitsPeppermintProvides a cooling sensation, helps clear nasal passagesEucalyptusHas a refreshing, invigorating scent, can help decongestLemonOffers a fresh, citrusy aroma, can help neutralize odors
  4. Eat Strong-Smelling Foods Consuming strong-smelling foods like coffee, garlic, or onions can help overpower the bleach smell in your nose. The pungent odors from these foods can temporarily mask the bleach smell, providing relief until it dissipates completely.
  5. Use Saline Solution Rinsing your nasal passages with a saline solution can help flush out any lingering bleach odor molecules and soothe irritated nasal membranes. You can purchase saline nasal sprays or make your own by mixing warm water with a pinch of salt.

Over-the-Counter and Home Remedies

  1. Nasal Decongestants Over-the-counter nasal decongestant sprays or pills can help reduce inflammation and congestion in your nasal passages, which can make it easier to breathe and potentially clear out the bleach smell more quickly. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and avoid prolonged use, as decongestants can lead to rebound congestion.Some popular nasal decongestant options include:
    • Oxymetazoline (Afrin, Mucinex Full Force)
    • Phenylephrine (Sudafed PE)
    • Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed)
  2. Menthol Ointments or Vapors Menthol-based ointments or vapors, like those found in mentholated rubs or vapor inhalers, can provide a cooling sensation and help temporarily mask the bleach smell in your nose. Apply a small amount of menthol ointment around the nostrils or inhale the vapors from a mentholated product.Popular menthol products include:
    • Vicks VapoRub
    • Mentholatum Ointment
    • Menthol Vapor Inhalers
  3. Baking Soda and Water Solution Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with warm water to create a gentle nasal rinse solution. The baking soda can help neutralize the bleach odor and soothe any irritation in your nasal passages. Use a neti pot or nasal bulb syringe to administer the solution gently.
  4. Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse Diluted hydrogen peroxide can help break down and oxidize the bleach odor molecules in your nasal passages. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts water and use a nasal bulb syringe to gently rinse your nasal cavity. Be cautious and avoid swallowing or inhaling the solution.

Professional Medical Attention

If the bleach smell persists for an extended period or is accompanied by severe nasal irritation, congestion, or breathing difficulties, it’s essential to seek medical attention. A healthcare professional can assess your condition and recommend appropriate treatments, such as prescription nasal sprays, oral medications, or other interventions.

Some potential medical interventions include:

  • Corticosteroid nasal sprays to reduce inflammation
  • Antihistamines to alleviate nasal congestion and irritation
  • Antibiotics if a secondary bacterial infection develops

In severe cases, a healthcare provider may recommend more advanced treatments, such as saline nasal irrigation or nebulized medications.

Preventing Future Bleach Odor Exposure

While the remedies mentioned above can help alleviate the bleach smell from your nose, it’s also crucial to take preventive measures to avoid future exposure to bleach fumes. Here are some tips:

  1. Use Bleach Safely When using bleach for cleaning or laundry purposes, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Ensure proper ventilation by opening windows and doors, and avoid mixing bleach with other cleaning products, as this can create toxic fumes.
  2. Wear Protective Equipment When handling bleach or other strong chemicals, wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, goggles, and a face mask or respirator, to minimize exposure to fumes and splashes.
  3. Store Bleach Properly Keep bleach and other cleaning products in their original containers, properly labeled, and stored in a cool, dry place away from heat sources and direct sunlight. Ensure that the containers are tightly sealed when not in use.
  4. Consider Safer Alternatives If you’re particularly sensitive to bleach fumes or want to minimize your exposure, consider using safer and more natural cleaning alternatives, such as vinegar, baking soda, or hydrogen peroxide-based products.Here are some popular eco-friendly cleaning alternatives:
    • Vinegar – A versatile and natural cleaner and disinfectant.
    • Baking Soda – A gentle abrasive and deodorizer.
    • Hydrogen Peroxide – A disinfectant and stain remover.
    • Plant-Based Cleaners – Look for eco-friendly and plant-based cleaning products with safer ingredients.

By following these tips and being mindful of proper bleach usage and storage, you can minimize the risk of future exposure to bleach fumes and the unpleasant odor they can leave behind.


Getting rid of the bleach smell from your nose can be a challenging and unpleasant experience. However, by following the remedies and tips outlined in this guide, you can alleviate the discomfort and irritation caused by bleach fumes. Remember to seek medical attention if the symptoms persist or worsen, and take preventive measures to minimize future exposure to bleach and other strong chemicals. With the right approach, you can breathe easy and enjoy a bleach-free nasal experience.

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As the founder of Clean It Spotless, I am Melissa Walker, a leading expert in removing tough stains from fabrics, carpets, and upholstery. With over 10 years of experience in the cleaning industry, I have developed my own natural, non-toxic stain-fighting formulas that lift stains while preserving the integrity of the underlying material. My stain removal tutorials are widely read online, and I have appeared on local TV segments demonstrating my techniques. I also present popular stain removal workshops at community centers and schools.

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