Smoke smell can be stubborn and difficult to remove, particularly if left to linger on for a while. It can be especially annoying if you unintentionally leave your clothes hanging next to a fire or if the smoke from cigarettes or kitchen mishaps has seeped into your garments. The unpleasant odor residue absorbed into the fabric makes it unwearable and embarrassing to wear in public.
Regardless of the reason, the smoke smell can be a nuisance; hence your clothes need to be properly deodorized. Fortunately, there are a number of techniques, such as using natural ingredients or specialized products, to remove smoke odor from clothing and restore their fresh, clean odor. These are for every budget and preference to get your favorite clothes back to smelling fresh and nice.
What Types of Smoke Smell Seeps into Clothes?
Several types of smoke smell can seep into clothes and become difficult to remove. Cigarettes are the most typical source of smoke odor and can leave a pungent odor on garments. Cigarette smoke contains various chemicals and toxins that can be absorbed into the fabric of clothing, making it difficult to eliminate the smell completely.
Another smoke smell that can seep deeply into your clothes is from burning wood or other materials. The smoke from these sources may include toxins that, when absorbed into garments, produce a powerful, musty smell. These are common for the ones who often go camping or spend time by the bonfire.
Besides cigarettes and wood, several other sources leave a lasting odor on clothes. For example, the smoke produced by cooking or grilling food, particularly if the food is burnt or overcooked. Smoke from household cleaning products and candles also tends to odorize your clothing which you may want to get rid of.
Can you Completely Remove Smoke Smell from Clothes?
One question many people have when it comes to removing the smoke smell from clothes is whether it is possible to completely eliminate the odor. Several factors determine the possibility of complete odor removal.
The first factor to consider is the intensity of the smoke smell. It could be more challenging to eliminate the stench if the clothing is heavily saturated with smoke. However, it might be simpler to completely eliminate the smell of smoke if it is slight or if the clothing was just briefly exposed to smoke.
Cloth material is another factor. Natural fabrics, such as cotton or wool, absorb scents more readily than synthetic fibers, such as polyester or nylon. Removing smoke odor from natural fiber clothing may be more difficult.
Lastly, your approach to removing the smoke smell can also affect its success. Some approaches, such as employing natural home remedies or specialized cleaning solutions, may be more effective than others at eradicating smoke odor entirely.
How to Get Rid of Smoke Smell from Clothes?
While washing clothes is a common and effective way to remove the smoke smell, there may be times when you need to find alternative methods to eliminate the smoke smell without washing the clothes. This could be because the clothes are only suited for dry cleaning, the odor is mild, you do not have access to a washing machine, or you wish to preserve the material’s color. Natural deodorizers or odor sprays may be viable in certain circumstances for eradicating smoke odor from clothes without washing them.
On the other hand, if the smoke smell is particularly strong or the clothes have been heavily saturated with smoke, washing the clothes with hot water and detergent may be the most effective way to remove the smoke smell. In certain circumstances, natural deodorizers or odor sprays may not be enough to completely erase the smoking odor, and a wash may be required. To ensure that the clothing is not destroyed during the washing process, consider the type of fabric they are made of and follow the care instructions.
Here are some of the tested methods to get rid of the smoke smell from clothes:
1. Air Out Under Sunlight to Get Rid of Smoke Smell from Clothes
Fresh air circulates and dissipates odors, while sunlight kills bacteria and germs that may produce a smoking smell. Removing the smoke smell from clothing is also easy and worth trying. Find a place outside where you can hang the clothes. This could be a clothesline, a hanger, or a drying rack. Allow the clothing to air dry for a few hours or overnight. The fresh air will help to dispel the smoking odor. Remove the garments to observe if the smoke smell has been removed. If the odor still lingers, you may need to attempt another approach to get rid of it.
2. Use Coffee Grounds to Get Rid of Smoke Smell from Clothes
Coffee grounds can be a natural and effective way to remove the smoke smell from clothes without washing them. It works well if the smoke odor is weak and the clothing is only briefly exposed to smoke. To get rid of the smoke smell with coffee:
- Place roughly a cup of coffee grounds in the center of the cloth. Rub the coffee grounds in circular motions on areas that smell the most. It will help the coffee to absorb the pungent smoke odor.
- Allow the coffee grinds to soak into the clothing for a few hours, then gently brush them off from the garments.
3. Put Clothes in the Freezer to Get Rid of Smoke Smell from Clothes
Another way to eliminate the smoke odor is to put the clothes in the freezer. The freezer’s chilly temperature can aid in killing odor-causing bacteria and refresh the clothes. It also helps to loosen and remove odor-causing particles from the fabric of the clothes. To faint away the smoke smell by freezing:
- Put the garment in a freezer bag and lock it tightly. Make certain that your clothing does not come into contact with your food.
- Place it in the freezer for at least 8-12 hours or overnight. Take it out to check if the smell has vanished.
4. Use Odor Eliminating Spray to Get Rid of Smoke Smell from Clothes
Deodorizing sprays are specifically intended to remove smells and can be an efficient technique to remove smoke odors from clothing without the need to wash them. Read the instructions on the spray bottle in case there are any additional steps.
- Shake the odor spray thoroughly before using it to thoroughly mix the ingredients. Spray a light mist onto the fabric while holding the spray about 6 inches away from the afflicted sections of the clothes.
- Make certain that you cover all of the impacted areas. Let it sit and dry for a while, then check to see if the odor has fainted.
5. Try Baking Soda to Get Rid of Smoke Smell from Clothes
Baking Soda is a natural deodorizer and can aid in removing smoky smells that seep into clothes and make them unpleasant to wear. Be careful when working with baking soda, as it tends to irritate the skin and cause itching. To ensure the safe use of baking soda for smoke odor removal:
- Place the cloth plastic bag and sprinkle half a cup of baking soda on top of the garments. Seal the bag tightly, so the baking soda stays in touch with the garments.
- Hold the bag with the gloves and shake it for around 2 minutes. This will allow the baking soda to cover the garments cutting the smoke odor through its base properties. For better results, keep the garments in the bag overnight.
6. Give Steam to Get Rid of Smoke Smell from Clothes
Steaming is an effective method for removing smoke odors from clothing since the steam helps to lift and eliminate odors from the fabric. The heat and moisture from the steam kills odor-causing germs and refresh clothes that have become musty or stale. To steam clothes for smoke smell removal:
- Allow the steamer to heat up until it is ready to use.
- Hold the steamer about 6 inches away from the garments and move it back and forth across the fabric.
- Continue steaming the clothes until the entire garment has been steamed, and then hang the clothes to dry or place them in a dryer.
- After a while, check if the smell has fainted, or try steaming again for a longer time.
7. Squeeze Lemon Juice to Get Rid of Smoke Smell from Clothes
Lemon is an excellent natural ingredient to kill odors and bad smells. It also works great with smoke-odored garments. The acidic property in lemons break down harsh smells and freshen up the cloth. To remove the smoke smell with lemons:
- Squeeze a couple of lemons till you have a half cup of lemon juice, then add it to the washing machine when the first wash cycle begins.
- Wash the items according to the care instructions, using hot water and the necessary detergent amount. Hot water works better than cold water at removing smells.
- After the wash, let the clothes air dry.
8. Presoak in Vinegar to Get Rid of Smoke Smell from Clothes
Vinegar has long been used as a natural odor neutralizer, making it an excellent choice for removing cigarette odors and other smoke smells from garments. The presence of acetic acid in vinegar aids in the breakdown and neutralization of odorous molecules. When paired with warm water and soaked for some time, it will successfully remove odors from your garments, leaving them smelling clean and fresh. To make the presoak solution:
- Fill a sink or basin with warm water. The water should not be excessively hot since this may cause the smoke odor to settle into the fabric of the clothes.
- To the water, add 1 cup of distilled white vinegar. The vinegar will help to neutralize the smoke odor and eliminate it from the clothing fabric. Add a few drops of essential oils to the water for a fresher scent.
- Soak the clothes in the vinegar and water solution for at least 1 hour, then wash them in your washing machine as usual. Use a detergent suitable for the type of fabric you are washing.
9. Presoak in Vodka or Rubbing Alcohol to Get Rid of Smoke Smell from Clothes
Both vodka and rubbing alcohol are effective odor removers that are safe for most washable materials. These chemicals are high in ethanol, a natural disinfectant, and a deodorizer. The ethanol in vodka or rubbing alcohol, when applied in a presoaking solution, can help to neutralize the smoke smell and eliminate it from the fabric of the clothes. To make the presoak solution:
- Fill a sink or basin with lukewarm water and add 1/2 cup vodka or rubbing alcohol.
- Soak the garments for at least 1 hour in the alcohol and water solution. The alcoholic properties will neutralize the smoke smell.
- After some time, wash the clothes in your washing machine as usual. Use the right detergent and soap for better results.
10. Use Heavy-Duty Soaps/Detergents to Get Rid of Smoke Smell from Clothes
Heavy-duty laundry soaps and detergents are formulated to remove stubborn stains and odors from garments. They typically contain a higher concentration of cleaning chemicals and enzymes designed to break down and eliminate tough odors and have a fragrance to mask the lingering smoke smells.
- To use heavy-duty laundry soap or detergent, check the label to ensure it is suitable for the fabric you are washing.
- Fill your washing machine with enough water to cover your washing garments.
- Add heavy-duty laundry soap or detergent to the water in the washing machine.
- Place the clothes in the washing machine and begin the wash cycle. Allow the clothing to complete the entire wash cycle, including the rinse cycle.
Getting rid of the smoke smell from clothes can be a daunting task. Different approaches can help to eliminate the smell, whether you choose to wash the clothes or not.
Airing out clothes, using coffee grounds, odor sprays, baking soda, and freezing them are all effective ways to remove smoke odor from clothes without washing.
If the smoke smell still persists, you may move towards a washing solution. In this case, presoaking in vinegar or vodka, using lemon juice or a heavy-duty detergent might prove effective.
Always examine the clothes after using a method to remove the smoke smell to confirm that it has been completely removed. If one approach does not work for you, try another until you find one that works best.