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How to Remove Smoke Odors from Clothes

Have you ever found yourself stuck with clothes that reek of smoke? Whether it’s from a bonfire, a barbecue, or a night out, that lingering smoke smell can be a real nuisance. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

In this article, you’ll discover practical and effective ways to eliminate that stubborn smoke odor from your clothes. We’ll walk you through various methods, from simple home remedies to more advanced solutions, ensuring you’ll find a strategy that suits your needs.

The Challenge of Smoke Odor in Clothes

For penetrative and persistent odors such as smoke, clothes often act as sponges, trapping particles that release a smell even after regular washing. Smoke — whether from cigarettes, open fires, or other sources — contains hundreds of chemicals, which can be particularly clingy. Some substances are considered volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which vaporize at room temperature and are notoriously resilient.

Eliminating smoke odor from clothes isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s also about health. These trapped volatile compounds can cause discomfort or allergic reactions, particularly in sensitive individuals, long after the source has become history. Hence, finding an effective method to remove the smell of smoke from clothes is imperative.

Grasping why smoke odor sticks around offers a clearer understanding of what you’re up against in your quest to freshen your garments. Moreover, when you’ve understood the challenge of smoke odors at the molecular level, you’ll be better prepared to tackle the issue effectively and thoroughly. In the subsequent sections, you’ll find techniques that directly target these stubborn particles, relieving the unpleasant smell in your clothes.

The methodologies must not only mask the smell of smoke but also safely break down and remove the offending particles. This isn’t simply a temporary fix but a thorough, long-term solution.

Home Remedies to Remove Smoke Smell

Employ various natural solutions to address the lingering smoke smell on your clothes.

Use Baking Soda

Baking soda, an accessible household item, doubles as a potent odor absorber. Mix half a cup of baking soda into a bucket of warm water to exploit its potential and soak your smoke-affected clothes for several hours. After the soak, run them through a regular wash cycle.

Try White Vinegar

White vinegar acts as a powerful neutralizer against stubborn odors. Add one cup of white vinegar to your laundry machine during the rinse cycle. The vinegar method combats the embedded smoke particles, removing them from your apparel. Following this process, do another rinse cycle with water to remove the lingering vinegar odor.

Utilize Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal, revered for its remarkable odor-absorbing capabilities, is another potent method against smoke smell. Fill a bag or box with activated charcoal and place the smoke-smelling clothes inside. Let the clothing sit with the charcoal for several days. The charcoal absorbs the smell of smoke, leaving your clothes smelling fresh again.

Commercial Products Worth Trying

Now that we’ve covered home remedies, let’s explore some commercial products that can effectively eliminate stubborn smoke odors clinging to clothes.

Laundry Additives for Odor Removal

Besides your regular detergent, incorporating laundry additives can also boost odor removal. For instance, Febreze In-Wash Odor Eliminator directly targets and cleanses tough odors trapped in fabrics. It’s safe to use with all detergents and ideal for high-efficiency machines. Another appealing product is the OdorKlenz Laundry Additive. This product uses natural earth minerals, rendering it safe, non-toxic, and highly effective at neutralizing many odors.

Specialized Smoke Odor Eliminators

You might find specialized smoke odor eliminators beneficial when dealing with smoke odor specifically. Consider products like Zero Odor Laundry Odor Eliminator. This product, specifically designed to combat smoke odor, proves effective as a laundry boost. Another product, Smokers’ Odor Eliminating Spray by Zep Commercial, can handle even ingrained smoke odor in fabric fiber. Its advanced formula doesn’t mask the smell; it eliminates it, leaving your clothes smelling fresh. Remember always to follow the product instructions to ensure proper usage and effectiveness.

Preventive Measures to Avoid Smoke Odor

It’s essential to consider preventive measures alongside cleaning strategies to ensure your clothes stay fresh. Let’s look into some proven techniques you can employ.

Proper Storage Techniques

Understanding the proper storage techniques keeps your attire smoke-free for longer. For instance, store your clothes in a clean, airy room devoid of smoke. Remember, particles of smoke can creep into the tightly packed fibers of your clothing when exposed to a smoke-filled atmosphere. Clothes kept in musty drawers or closets may pick up unpleasant smells, too–consider using deodorizers in these storage areas. Ensure that you wash new clothes before storing them. This precaution eliminates any residual smells from the factory or store. Lastly, protective clothing covers are a barrier against unwanted smells and dust, so using them for seldom-used or precious clothing could be a good idea.

Tips for Smokers

If you’re a smoker, optimizing your smoking habits can significantly reduce smoke odors in your clothes. Try to smoke outside or in well-ventilated areas when possible. This practice minimizes the smoke particles in the air, subsequently reducing those absorbed into your clothes. Consider using an air purifier in the places where you smoke often–they’re known to reduce airborne particles. Always wash your hands and brush your teeth after smoking. Smoke particles present in these areas can transfer to your clothes. Consider carrying a fabric freshening spray to minimize smoke odor between washes. However, these sprays only mask the smell temporarily. Lastly, dedicate a specific jacket or outer garment for smoking. This keeps the smoke odor confined to one item of clothing, keeping the rest of your wardrobe fresh.


You’ve journeyed through understanding the science behind smoke odors and their health risks. You’ve learned how to tackle these stubborn smells effectively with home remedies like baking soda, white vinegar, and activated charcoal. You’ve also discovered commercial products like Febreze In-Wash Odor Eliminator and Smokers’ Odor Eliminating Spray that can help you win the battle against smoke odors. And you’ve picked up preventive measures to keep your clothes smelling fresh. Remember, it’s not just about masking the smell; it’s about breaking down and removing those smoke particles to create a lasting solution. So, next time you’re faced with smoke-smelling clothes, you’re armed with knowledge and ready to fight back. Keep your clothes fresh and your health in check by effectively eliminating smoke odors. Your nose, your clothes, and your health will thank you.

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Choosing Clotheslyne ensures your laundry is handled with care and expertise. It’s convenient for those who value their time and prefer professional laundry services.

To use Clotheslyne, download the iOS Apple App or Google Play Store Android app to schedule your laundry pick up.

You can also schedule your laundry pick up through our web portal.

Fill up a tall kitchen bag full of clothes. A Clotheslyner in your community will pick it up and deliver it back to you washed, dried, and folded in 48 hours. It’s that simple.

Got a question for us? Head over to our contact us page and make a custom request by email or by phone! We’re here to help.

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