how to get smoke smell out of clothes

10 Scientifically Proven Methods on How to Get Smoke Smell Out of Clothes [2022 Complete Guide]

You may be aware of the smell you’re carrying around with you if you smoke or if you live in a smoking household. Smoke often finds a way to cling to your clothes. Yuck! How to get smoke smell out of clothes?

Thankfully, getting rid of the smoke smell is simple, and Cleaners Advisor is here to help. We’ve got the tools and the tricks to help you get rid of that smoky odor. We’ve also covered similar step-by-step guides like “how to get hair dye out of clothes?”, “how to get sweat stains out of clothes?”, and “how to get coconut oil out of clothes?”

There’s no need to wonder more! In this article, you’ll learn 10 different methods of how to get smoke out of clothes; but first, we’ll tell you how long does a cigarette smell last on clothes. You can also combine methods for greater effect.

At the end of this article, you’ll discover the top tips in order to avoid the smell clinging to your clothes. Fortunately, you’re not stuck forever with this nasty odor.


How Long Does Cigarette Smell Last on Clothes?

The cigarette smoke smell that lingers on clothing is known as third-hand smoke. Depending on how much cigarette exposure the item received, this odor can linger for months or even years.

The sooner you treat cigarette-scented clothing, the easier it will be to remove the odor. On the other hand, the longer a garment is exposed to cigarettes, the longer it will take to remove the odor. This is why some vintage clothing retains a strong cigarette odor decades after being exposed to a lit cigarette.

If you never treat your clothing for cigarette smoke, the compounds that cling to the fabric can last the life of the garment. Cotton and linen, for example, are naturally more absorbent than synthetics like polyester and will retain the scent for a longer period of time.


How to Get Smoke Smell Out of Clothes

You may now want to know how to get smoke smell out of clothes, right? Here’re a few tricks below you can apply to help you get rid of this sticky smell, as you’ll learn how best to banish it for good:

1. Without Washing Machine

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Courtesy of “thespruce.com”

There’re many options for how to get smoke smell out of clothes without washing:

a. Air Out the Garment

This may seem like an obvious one, but it can be extremely effective. If you have a dress that can’t be machine-washed or a suit that you don’t want to take to the dry cleaners, airing out your clothes can be a very effective way to reduce the odor of smoke.

When you don’t have a washing machine, one of the simplest ways to remove the smoke smell of your clothing is to hang it outside in the fresh air. There is no time limit on how long you can leave your clothes to air out, so don’t be afraid to do so.

b. Baking Soda

If you’ve ever looked at a box of baking soda, you’ll notice that one of its uses is to eliminate odors. Place your clothing in a large garbage bag or plastic shopping bag when using this remedy. After that, add about half a cup of baking soda and close the bag tightly.

Shake the clothing with the baking soda for about 2 minutes to allow the baking soda to coat your clothing. Allow it to sit overnight to allow the baking soda to remove smoke odor from permeated clothing.

Open the bag outside the next day and shake the baking soda off of the clothing. This should also help to remove the cigarette odor from clothing.

c. Steam

When you don’t have a washing machine, this’s how to get cigarette smell out of clothes. You can use steam instead. Check the manufacturer’s label to ensure that your garment can be steamed. Fill an iron with distilled water that has a steaming option. Apply this to your clothing to remove the odor.

You can also use 3 to 1 distilled water to rub alcohol solution to help remove the odor.

You can also steam it in your bathroom, and here’s how to do so:

  • Turn on the hottest water setting in the shower and close the shower curtain or door.
  • In the bathroom, hang your garment away from the water.
  • Leave the bathroom door closed for five to ten minutes.
  • Turn off the water. You can leave the garment in a steamy room until the temperature drops.

d. Odor-Eliminating Spray

Spray a commercial laundry freshener or distilled white vinegar on your garment to remove lingering odors or for clothes that cannot be washed. This will help to mask the smoke smell until you have time to do a thorough cleaning.

These sprays contain specialized formulas that eliminate odors rather than simply covering up them. Always test them on delicate fabrics first to ensure no adverse reactions. If they are safe for your fabric, spray the entire garment and allow it to dry in a well-ventilated area.

e. Dryer Sheets

But not in the way you’re used to. Place any smoke garment in a large, resealable plastic bag with one or two unscented dryer sheets, then seal.

Keep the bag closed for a few days, and the dryer sheet will have absorbed some or all of the smoke odor.

Watch this video below to know how to apply the methods mentioned above so that will help you get rid of smoke smell of your clothes.

2. Using Washing Machine

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It’s much easier to get cigarette odor out of clothes when you have a washing machine. When you have this problem and need a quick solution, try one or more of these five options for how to get smoke smell out of clothes:

a. Baking Soda

The best way to get rid of smoke odor from clothes is to wash them with baking soda. Baking soda is an all-natural laundry booster that can help remove smoke stains and odors.

Before washing, put washable clothing washing machine filled with warm water and one cup of baking soda. Usually, overnight is sufficient. And try adding a 1/2 cup of baking soda to your normal handwashing routine for clothes that must be hand-washed.

b. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice that has been freshly squeezed can also be effective. Squeeze 1 to 3 lemons until you have a half cup of lemon juice. When your clothing goes through its first cycle, add this to it. This should help remove nasty odors such as smoke and other foul odors.

This method works because of the citric acid found in lemons. It has a chemical reaction with the compounds in your clothes that cause a smokey odor. Citric acid binds to these compounds, neutralizing them. Then it’s all washed away by your washing machine.

Thankfully, the lemons will emit a naturally fresh scent. So you’re not only getting rid of the smoke, but you’re also getting rid of a more pleasant odor. Lemon juice is another excellent option because it will not stain or damage your clothing.

c. Vinegar Solution

Vinegar is another amazing pre-wash treatment. Even the most obstinate smoke odors can be removed from clothing with a solution of one cup of vinegar per gallon of warm water. Ascertain that you have enough solution to completely submerge your items.

Place your clothing in a washbasin or sink and add 1 cup vinegar and warm water to it before washing. You can also try adding a few drops of essential oils with lemon, orange, or lavender scents to your clothing to freshen it up.

Soak your clothing for 30-60 minutes before washing it in the washer according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

d. Vodka

When you need to remove unwanted odors from your clothing, you can use alcohol as an odor remover. It’s an effective odor remover that’s safe for most washable fabrics.

When you need to get rid of bad odors like smoke, buy a cheap bottle of vodka or a bottle of rubbing alcohol and pour 1/2 cup into your washing machine. Then, just like any other type of load, run your washing machine regularly. 

e. Laundry Scent Boosters

When wondering how to get smoke smell out of clothes, another option is to use natural or commercial laundry scent boosters. You can buy these commercially in your local grocery store, or you can make your own homemade laundry scent boosters out of essential oils.

To do this, combine one cup of sugar or one cup of rock salt with 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. You can use almost any flavor you want, ranging from peppermint or orange to lavender or lemon.

This video below shows you how to apply the easy methods mentioned above to remove smoke smell of clothes.


Top Tips to Avoid Sticky Smoke Smell

Fortunately, you’re not stuck forever with this nasty smell if you follow these few useful tips that you can use to avoid the sticky smoke smell.

1. Smoke Outside

If you smoke, make sure you are smoking outside. Most sticky smoke odors will be completely eliminated. Not only does the smoke not land on your furniture, but it is dispersed in the fresh air, which means less smoke on you and your clothes.

2. Furnish Your Space with Air Purifiers

These can range from HEPA-filtered air purifiers to bowls filled with natural air purifiers like charcoal or vinegar, or a combination of the two.

3. Wipe Down Hard Surfaces Regularly

Cleaning countertops, tiles, and hard flooring weekly will help to remove smoke molecules before they become too comfortable.

4. Utilize Fresh Air

Prioritizing fresh air in smoke zones helps to keep smoke from lingering and stinking up the place. In areas where there are smoke, open windows, and good ventilation should be used.


How to Get Smoke Smell Out of Clothes FAQ


To Wrap Up

One of the things about laundry that has frustrated people is having to struggle with is getting rid of smoke smell of clothes and that raises the question “how to get smoke smell out of clothes?”.

This Cleaners Advisor guide covered everything you need to know about how to get smoke smell out of clothes with some final tips for avoiding this smell from clinging to clothes.

Share your tips and tricks of how to get smoke smell out of clothes in the comments below and let me know how you get on below in the comments! 

1 thought on “10 Scientifically Proven Methods on How to Get Smoke Smell Out of Clothes [2022 Complete Guide]”

  1. Very helpful article. I was recently given a huge bag of clothes, which, unfortunately, smelled like cigarettes. I put them through the washing machine but they still came out smelling like smoke. I’m going to rewash them using baking soda. Also, I love the idea of making your own scent boosters! Amazing!

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