I don’t know what to do. I am losing all hope. It started a week and a half ago when I was getting ready to take Tanner to his one-month Dr.’s appointment with Dr. Hoop (love him, by the way). Finishing up getting ready, I put on one of my only nursing shirts that I own and I pulled my jeans out of the dryer and put them on. Running back in the bedroom to turn off the lights and head downstairs, I got a whiff of something….something not right….something NASTY. It smells like a dead fish, not only a dead fish, but one that exploded on a hot summer day and shoved up my nostrils. Where is this smell coming from, and why is it getting stronger?

Oh my god, is this smell coming from me? (sniffing my underarms, my shirt, my jeans) IT’S MY JEANS!!! MY JEANS smell like rotten fish crotch!!! It took me milliseconds to get the nasty jeans off. I continue to smell to find where it is coming from….definitely up high in the jean area, is it really coming from the crotch? Do I have some awful fish smelling disease? I reach into the right pocket, nothing.

I reach into the left pocket…. my hand is greeted with a dried, crusty substance. I reversed the pocket to see the crusty substance pretty much covering my whole pocket lining, the nasty crusty fish-smelling crumbs fell to the floor while the fish-stench filled the air. I immediately scraped the crumbs in the garbage, and threw my jeans in the sink to scrub down the pocket. But wait…I need to go to the Dr.’s! I crumpled up the jeans into a ball, threw them on the floor and put on a not-as-cute pair of jeans.

On my return, walking back up to the bedroom I realized that leaving these nasty baby’s on the floor wasn’t the smartest thing. The stench lingered as soon as you walked into the bedroom. I took the jeans to the laundry room. But it was too late. Tim walked into the bedroom. He instantly smelled the nastiness, covered his nose and mouth and yelled down the stairs… “ANDREA, WHY DOES OUR BEDROOM SMELL LIKE ROTTEN CROTCH!!”

How do you explain to your husband that it is not you, or your crotch that is bringing this fish death smell in your bedroom and bathroom. I grab the jeans, turn out the pocket and force him to take a whiff. He does. He turns around and dry heaves while making the loudest gagging noise imaginable. Then gives me the evil eye of death yelling, ‘Why in the hell would you make me smell that, THROW THOSE AWAY IMMEDIATELY, OUTSIDE!” I explain to him that I have no idea what was in my pocket, but I was going to get it out asap because there is NO WAY I can throw these jeans away. They are my ‘skinny’ jeans. The ones I bought after I lost my weight with Brody, the VERY expensive jeans that I splurged on at White House Black Marketbecause I deserved them! Darnit!! Why are the fish gods doing this to me!!

my jeans...but my skinny jeans arent this skinny. 🙂

So I coated them in Oxi Clean Max Force gel, washed them and………..FISH! I coated them and let them sit for hours in Oxi Clean Max Force Gel & Spray, washed them and…………..FISH! at this point, they have been through my washer about seven times. Still FISH! It took me a couple days to figure out what caused this insane fish stench. It really kept me up at night. I retraced my steps. The last time I wore them before they were washed was at the Home & Garden show in Lansing. A bunch of vendors passed out free stuff, so figured it may have been something I stuffed in my pocket. But most of it was candy for Brody..and we had a bag to put everything in. Hmmm….

That night, I had my AHA moment. I do my nightly ritual before we head up to bed. Check to make sure the doors are locked. Get my ice water and grab my two prenatal vitamins, turn off the lights and head up stairs. Back up….MY VITAMINS! I usually shove them in my pocket and take them upstairs. They consist of my normal white generic prenatal, and a big DHA gel pill…………jammed packed with Omega 3 fatty acid……..FISH OIL!! So I head to discuss my options with my best friend and consultant……….GOOGLE! Turns out I am the only one IN THE WORLD that has ever washed and dried their DHA pill. Go figure. First time ever that Google didn’t have an answer but pretty much turned around and said, “Who is the dumbass that would wash their jeans in fish oil?”

I told my sob story to a few people, my friend and Brody’s caregiver, Jessica, gave me her 20-Mule Team Borax box of detergent to try. This stuff gives you directions on how to get urine smells out of mattresses, spoiled milk out of carpets……….so figured it was worth a try. So I followed the instructions they gave me for soiled laundry. Soaking a few tablespoons in a gallon of water and letting the jeans soak. Still fishy. So today, I poured about a half cup of the powder onto the wet jeans and am letting them sit for several hours to let the powder dry into jeans. Sort of what is recommended for smelly carpets. Will be checking on this shortly, but don’t have any high hopes since all of my outcomes have been FISH. Slowly but surely I am coming to the sad realization that the next time my favorite, skinny jeans will see the light of day….might just be on a heap of trash at the junk pile. But I will try any recommendations that I get…. so please let me know if you have any suggestions!!! PLEASE!!

Update: April 2, 2011

Here is a rundown of the products I have used at this point, including about seven times running my stinky jeans through the washer. I do have to admit that it seems that the 20 Mule Borax did decrease the fish stench a little bit. But people would definitely still cover their noses if I walked up next to them in these jeans :).

The unsuccessful products

Product Attempt #4: Distilled White Vinegar. I am heading out to the store to get the rest of my suggested cleaners. THANK YOU EVERYONE!! White Vinegar is the only product I currently have in my house, so my jeans are soaking in a vinegar and water bath for the next several hours.

Product Attempt #4: Distilled White Vinegar

I also noticed when I was putting my jeans in this vinegar bath that on the inside of my jeans where the stinky pocket is, it reads ‘Live with Passion.’ It doesn’t have writing anywhere else, just on the top of this pocket. You can sort of see it in the photo above. I am calling this a sign. My jeans are speaking to me, telling me not to give up on them. They are telling me to continue to be passionate about getting them fish-stench free. I am on a mission. Now off to the store to get the rest of my cleaners.

Update: April 3, 2011

So excited!! The vinegar bath totally worked wonders! Last night before bed, I took the vinegar soaked jeans and put them in the wash. Taking them out today, I actually smelled the laundry detergent more than the fish smell. Getting my nose deep into the pocket, there is still the slightest smell of it but this is progress! I think that one more vinegar bath could do the trick, but since I heard that baking soda has worked for strong smells from a few different people, I am going to do the scrub overnight first then follow it with several more hours in a vinegar bath tomorrow before we move on to something else. This is great!!

Product #5: Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

Update: April 18, 2011

It has been a little bit since I updated you guys on my jeans and I know how each of you are chomping at the bit for the outcome, and boy do I have one!! After this last post, my jeans were washed once again and then headed outdoors to spend the day soaking in the sun thanks to the recommendation of one of you on Facebook. Thanks again for all of your recommendations, I think I got over thirty of them on Facebook and Twitter.

Product #6 - Direct Sun Light

That night when I went to retrieve my jeans outside, they weren’t hanging over my ledge anymore :(. I thought, Really? After all this trouble someone really wants to steal my fish jeans and all my hard labor to clean them. Then quickly shoved that thought a side realizing that I live in the country…highly impossible someone would drive all this way for my jeans, as cute as they may be. So turned on my porch light, and noticed that the wind must of blown them off to the side of our house, since they were laying at the bottom of the hill, covered in dirt and to top it all off, trampled with dog prints from our black lab Hunter who of course I’m sure could sense the smell with his dog nose when he was outside, as faint as the smell is now.

So back into the wash they went, after I let them dry overnight doused with Product #7 hydrogen peroxide. Note: Hydrogen Peroxide not pictured since the jeans pretty much looked like they were wet. Also Note: Jeans laying in dirt also not pictured because it was dark and cold and I was just trying hard to climb down the hill to get the jeans and not fall, was not going to run back up for my camera for this blog, even though my readers are VERY important to me :).

But then it happened! My jean miracle!

The next morning, I was on the computer (as I always am) and checked my gmail to see this:


Breathe, Andrea….Breathe. Even though it was only seconds between seeing this email in my inbox and opening this email up, I swear there were hundreds of things going through my head in those seconds, it mostly went like this:

‘Is White House Black Market really contacting me?’ ‘Oh my goodness, did WHBM read my blog post?’ ‘Oh my GOD!! WHBM read my blog post where I mentioned the words ‘fish crotch’ about twenty times!’

So I took a deep breath, and opened up the email to read:

Hi Andrea,
Just to introduce myself, I work on the PR for White House Black Market. I was recently forwarded your blog post. I’m so sorry to hear about your jeans! Who knew a cod liver vitamin could do so much damage! I would love to be able to send a replacement pair. I think the below is the style you had, let me know if that’s correct and your size.
Also, going forward please feel free to reach out to me directly. I would be happy to send along images to be included for upcoming stories.
All the best,
Dayna Isom
Senior Specialist, Public Relations
Chico’s, White House Black Market, & Soma Intimates
158 West 27th Street, 6th floor

Can you believe it!!!! SUPER STOKED, I was pretty much on cloud nine ever since. White House Black Market said I should have my NEW fave pair of skinny jeans by the end of the week!! I am sure you can picture just how big my smile was when reading this email after all of my efforts to saving my jeans :).

And, if you already know me and my shopping habits, you know WHBM was always one of my stores of choice to go to at Eastwood Town Center. But what they did for me here, a big national store reaching out to measly ol’ fish-tainted-jean-wearing me…. I will be a FOREVER loyal customer to them from here on out! Like I really do plan to take my granddaughters shopping here some day…I know my sons are only 2.5 and two months right now, but hey :).

I love you WHBM!! Thank you!

Now that is TRUE customer service! Don’t you agree?