When you smoke cigarettes frequently, go to a BBQ party, sit too close to the campfire, or for other comparable causes, your clothing may end up smelling like smoke. Instead of evaporating, the smoke drifts and clings to fabrics like cushions, rugs, and clothing.
Failing to address the smoke-affected cloth in time can create a permanent stain on clothes. Also, studies have found that lingering secondhand smoke can have serious health risks. Therefore, it is recommended to deal with the smelly smoke garments immediately.
How To Get Smoke Smell Out of Clothes
The smoke can easily permeate the clothing fibers and stay there for a long time. But you can eliminate it with proper cleaning methods and techniques. Removing the smoke smell from the clothes is hard but not impossible. Here are some effective ways to get it done.
Before We Begin the Cleaning Process
- Check the clothing label before starting the cleaning process. Some fabrics are non-washable, like leather and rayon.
- Do not hang dark-colored garments in bright sunlight. There is a high chance of colors fading.
- Do not use harsh chemicals on sensitive materials like leather, wool, and silk. It can permanently damage the clothes. For the best, please send them to specialized dry cleaners.
- Be sure to check product labels and instructions first.
Machine Wash the Smoke-Affected Cloth Using a Standard Detergent
This cleaning process is not rocket science. But still, it is recommended to wash the clothes exposed to the smoke in a washing machine. Only wash the clothes in the washing machine if it is machine washable. Leave the cloth outside in the fresh air for a day. Then, wash it with a mild detergent. Also, it would be best if you don’t machine wash sensitive fabrics like wool, leather, and silk in the machine.
- Turn on the washing machine and add a mild detergent.
- Wash the smoke-affected cloth on the highest heat settings.
- Check if the smell has gone or not.
- If not, repeat the process.
- You can dry the cloth in the dryer or the sun afterward.
Using Baking Soda To Remove Smoke Odor
Baking soda is well known for its natural deodorizer property. It is a safe and non-toxic cleaning agent that can help to eliminate the smoke smell from the garments. Baking soda is alkaline, making it an effective agent to kill odor compounds. Follow the following steps for machine-washable clothes.
- Load the washing machine.
- Add a cup of baking soda.
- Start the machine in the highest heat settings.
- Dry the clothes in a dryer or the direct sunlight.
You can use baking soda on non-washable and sensitive fabric as well. It is recommended to hand wash the sensitive materials.
- Add ½ cup of baking soda to a gallon of warm water.
- Soak the cloth in the water overnight.
- Hand washes the cloth the next day.’
- rinse it with clean water the next day.
- Let it air dry completely.
In case you are dealing with non-washable material like leather. Here’s how to use baking soda to remove the smoke smell from the garment.
- Place your cloth in a plastic bag.
- Pour half cup of baking soda into the bag and close it.
- Shake the bag well for a few minutes.
- Let it sit overnight.
- Vacuum the baking soda residue the next day.
- Lastly, Wipe it with a clean damp cloth.
You can also place a bowl of baking soda inside the room or car to eliminate the smoke smell.
Apply White Vinegar To Remove Smoke Odor From Garments
White vinegar is a non-toxic cleaning agent that acts as an odor-removing method. The acetic acid content of vinegar helps break down the fabric’s smoke molecules. Its strong smell can somehow linger for some time. But, it dissipates after drying. If you do not want a lingering smell of vinegar, you can have a few teaspoons of essential oil lavender oil. By doing this you can kill mold spores in clothes too.
- Add one cup of white distilled vinegar to the wash cycle with regular detergent.
- Turn on the warm settings of the washing machine.
- You can repeat the process if the smell persists.
- Dry the clothes in the dryer or the sun.
For the clothes you cannot wash, try making a spray by diluting equal parts of vinegar and water. Spray the solution on the garment and let it sit for a few hours. It helps to cover the smoke smell from the clothes.
Use Vodka To Make the Clothes Smell Refreshing
When you do not have time to wash your clothes, Vodka can be a savior during this time. Since it is odorless and colorless, it can be a perfect method to remove the smell from your clothes. Additionally, it has sanitizing properties as well. When using the vodka method, do not use flavored Vodka; select normal odorless Vodka.
For this method, you will need Vodka and a spray bottle. Simple, spray a thin layer of Vodka all over your garment. Make sure not to over-wet it. As the liquor evaporates, it will lift the smoke smell.
If the smoke odor is still there, you can apply it again after the first coat evaporates.
You can also add ½ cup of Vodka to the washing machine. Put the affected garment in the machine and add the normal Vodka. Run a usual cycle. The cloth will come out smelling fresh.
Squeeze Lemon Juice and Apply It To Smoke-Affected Cloth
Freshly squeezed lemon juice can do wonders to remove the smoke odor from your garment. You can add 2-3 fresh lemon juices to the washing machine for washable clothes.
- Squeeze 2-3 lemons in a cup.
- Load the washing machine.
- Add the lemon juice to the machine.
- Run the washing machine in a hot water setting.
- Dry the garment as usual.
Using Essential Oil
Essential oils have countless uses. Eliminating the smell of clothing is one of them. The high concentrated essential oil is extracted from different flowers, plants, roots, stems, and leaves. Bergamot, peppermint, lavender, rosemary, and sage are some effective oils to clear the smoke smell. It is an Eco-friendly way to remove odor from clothes, rugs, and carpets. It can also be used to hide weed smell as well.
You can add a few drops of essential oil to the washing machine after the machine has filled with water. Doing this can permanently eliminate the smoke odor from washable clothes.
In the case of non-washable fabrics, you can spray them with a few drops of essential oil. Add equal parts of vinegar and water to a spray bottle, then add 20 drops of essential oil. Spray the mixture onto the sensitive fabric and let it sit for a few minutes.
Use a Steam Cleaner
Steaming is another great way to clear our smoke smell from rugs and garments. A steam cleaner is a piece of sound equipment that uses heat and water to remove wrinkles and deodorize carpets, upholstery, and clothes. It creates steam that is essential to loosen fabrics; by doing this, it kills odor creating germs and bacteria. It also can eliminate fresh stains on clothes. Here’s how to do it.
- Hang your clothes in an open area.
- Pour water into the steamer and turn it on.
- Spray equal parts of vinegar and water on the clothes.
- Use the steam cleaner all over the garment.
- Smell the clothes; repeat the process if there is still a lingering odor.
Apply Anti-Odor Commercial Spray
There are various fabric freshener sprays available in the market. You can select a special anti-odor removing special spray that can remove the smell from even sensitive fabrics. It can mask and even eliminate the smoke odor from the carpets and rugs. The commercial sprays contain special ingredients that neutralize the PH level of the smoke odor.
But, it might not work in heavy-duty odor. It can only cover the soft smoke odor. You can purchase these sprays in grocery stores or online.
Go to Professional Dry Cleaners
If none of the methods mentioned provides results. Dry cleaning done by a pro is the ideal remedy. Dry cleaners can easily remove the smoking smell.
They are knowledgeable in both washable and non-washable textiles. In addition, they are equipped to handle the smell of the garments. Professional dry cleaners also address other stains like grease, slime, and ink on clothes. Sensitive textiles like leather, rayon, silk, and suede should only be sent to dry cleaners.
Future Prevention To Save Clothes From Smoke Smells
The best way to avoid the smoke smell on the clothes is to prevent it from happening. Here are some effective ways to do it.
- While smoking, do it in a ventilated area. Exhale the smoke towards the window, preventing it from returning to your room.
- It is recommended not to sit too near the bonfire.
- Ventilate the kitchen room while cooking. Turn on the chimney after you are done cooking your food.
- Avoid hanging out in places people smoke, like bars, parties, or casinos. Secondhand smoke is proven to have serious health risks.
- Lastly, above all, quit smoking. It will help you and your loved ones from serious health hazards.