How to Get Fish Smell Out of Leather Pants

How to Get Fish Smell Out of Leather Pants

Leather pants are a stylish and versatile addition to any wardrobe. However, if you find yourself dealing with an unpleasant fishy odor on your leather pants, it can be quite a challenge to remove. Whether you’re an angler who enjoys fishing or simply encountered a fishy mishap, don’t fret! We have compiled a list of effective methods to help you eliminate that unwanted smell and restore your leather pants to their former glory.

1. Identify the source: Before treating the odor, make sure there isn’t any residual fish or fish-related substances on your leather pants. If there are, gently remove them using a soft cloth or paper towel.

2. Air it out: Hang your leather pants outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. Fresh air can help dissipate the odor naturally. However, avoid direct sunlight as it may damage the leather.

3. Baking soda: Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the affected areas of your leather pants. Leave it overnight to absorb the odor. The next day, gently brush off the baking soda with a soft brush or cloth.

4. Charcoal: Place a few pieces of activated charcoal in a breathable bag or container and put it in close proximity to your leather pants. Charcoal is known for its odor-absorbing properties and can help neutralize the fishy smell.

5. Vinegar solution: Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Lightly mist the affected areas of your leather pants and gently wipe them down with a clean, damp cloth. Vinegar is an excellent deodorizer and can help eliminate strong odors like fish.

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6. Coffee grounds: Fill a breathable bag or container with coffee grounds and place it near your leather pants. Coffee grounds can effectively absorb and neutralize odors, leaving your leather pants smelling fresh.

7. Lemon juice: Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto a clean cloth and gently wipe down the affected areas of your leather pants. Lemon juice acts as a natural deodorizer and leaves a refreshing scent.

8. Leather cleaner: Use a specially formulated leather cleaner to treat the fishy smell. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer and gently clean your leather pants. Ensure the cleaner is suitable for your specific leather type.

9. Activated charcoal powder: Sprinkle some activated charcoal powder directly onto the fish-affected areas of your leather pants. Leave it for a few hours to absorb the odor. Then, use a soft brush or cloth to remove the powder.

10. Baking powder paste: Mix baking powder with a small amount of water to create a paste. Apply the paste to the affected areas of your leather pants and leave it on for a few hours. Once dry, gently brush off the paste.

11. Odor-neutralizing spray: Look for a commercial odor-neutralizing spray designed for leather. Follow the instructions provided and spray the affected areas of your leather pants. Allow it to air dry.

12. Professional cleaning: If all else fails, consider taking your leather pants to a professional cleaner who specializes in leather garments. They have the expertise and equipment to effectively remove stubborn odors from leather.


1. Can I use soap and water to remove the fish smell from leather pants?
Soap and water can be harsh on leather and may cause further damage. It’s best to use alternative methods mentioned above.

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2. How long does it take to remove the fish smell from leather pants?
The time required to remove the odor depends on the intensity of the smell. It may take a few hours to a few days, depending on the method used.

3. Can I use perfume or cologne to mask the fishy smell?
Perfume or cologne may temporarily mask the odor, but it won’t eliminate it. It’s better to use odor-neutralizing methods.

4. Will the fish smell come back after using these methods?
If the odor source is not completely removed, the smell may return. Ensure that you have thoroughly cleaned the leather pants.

5. Can I use these methods on suede leather pants?
Some methods may not be suitable for suede leather due to its delicate nature. It’s best to consult a professional cleaner or use methods specifically designed for suede.

6. Can I speed up the process by using a hairdryer?
Using a hairdryer may cause the leather to dry out and crack. It’s recommended to let the leather air dry naturally.

7. Is it safe to use vinegar on colored leather pants?
Vinegar may cause discoloration on certain types of leather. Test it on a small, inconspicuous area before using it on the entire surface.

8. Can I use baking soda directly on the leather pants?
Using baking soda directly on leather may cause scratches. It’s best to sprinkle it on a cloth or paper towel and then gently wipe the leather.

9. How often should I repeat these methods?
Repeat the methods until the fish smell is completely eliminated. However, be cautious not to overuse any cleaning method, as it may damage the leather.

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10. Can I use essential oils to remove the fish smell?
While essential oils may have a pleasant scent, they are not effective in removing strong odors like fish. Stick to the methods mentioned above.

11. Can I use a fabric freshener spray on leather pants?
Fabric freshener sprays are not designed for use on leather. It’s best to use odor-neutralizing sprays specifically formulated for leather.

12. How can I prevent fish smell from lingering on leather pants in the future?
Avoid direct contact between fish and leather garments. If you’re fishing, consider wearing protective clothing over your leather pants to minimize contact with fish.

By following these methods and being patient, you can successfully eliminate the fish smell from your leather pants and enjoy them once again, odor-free. Remember to always take gentle care of your leather garments to ensure their longevity and quality.

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