I have a serious problem with budget Australian jeans and it’s only getting worse – is it just me?

An Australian woman who stopped buying designer jeans to save money has noticed an alarming problem with cheaper jeans.

And she’s not the only one.

The disgruntled bargain shopper took to Reddit to share her frustration over the embarrassing problem with her new cheap jeans: they ‘stink’.

Her old $200 designer brand Nobody Jeans would wear for a week without washing, but the new jeans develop a “really horrible sour smell that lingers even after washing.”

The unpleasant smell meant she had to wash her jeans after each wear and wait for them to dry.

Skinny jeans can smell worse due to elastin

An Australian woman who stopped buying designer jeans to save money has noticed an alarming problem with cheaper jeans.

“This is problematic in a Victorian winter because jeans take so long to dry,” she said.

The smell only seemed to come from cheaper blue or black jeans and there was even the added problem of the dyes lasting long after being washed multiple times.

Redditors were quick to say that they had encountered the same problem when buying jeans from cheaper stores.

Beware that cheaper brands of jeans can be treated with harsh chemicals

Beware that cheaper brands of jeans may be treated with harsh chemicals

One person ‘sought medical attention’ after smelling ‘disgusting’ mothballs.

“It soaked into my skin for five weeks,” she said.

The consensus was that the smell was due to the use of chemicals such as naphthalene, which gives off a mothball odor, and the toxic formaldehyde, which is used in embalming fluid.

“If your clothing label says wrinkle-free, stain-free, or static-free, or if the fabric has a strong chemical odor, it is most likely saturated with formaldehyde,” offered someone who works in fashion manufacturing.

Formaldehyde is part of some dyeing processes and is often used to prevent damage from moisture and mold during the transportation of clothing.

Although it is classified as a hazardous chemical, it can still be legally used to treat textiles at ‘safe concentration’ levels.

Another said that ‘skinny’ jeans can often smell worse because the elastin used in the denim does not allow odors to escape properly.

A few offered inexpensive household solutions such as soaking in baking soda before washing, or alternatively washing in vinegar.

People suggested that placing the jeans in an airtight bag in the freezer might also work and kill the offending odor.

One was more vocal, suggesting ‘stop buying rubbish and invest in more expensive pairs’.

Another said he simply repurchased the original designer jeans that were on sale, noting that the complainant’s favorite brand of old jeans was now being sold online at a $74 discount.

With the waste of so-called ‘fast fashion’ becoming a serious global environmental problem, it doesn’t always pay to buy something cheap.