How to Get Cigarette Smell Out of Clothes

Your garment’s fiber is absorbent, which is why your clothes smell smokey long after you’ve put out the cigarette. Also, cigarettes contain tar, a substance that makes the smoke bind securely to fabric. Unless you know a proven way to get cigarette smell out of your clothes, simply washing them with laundry soap won’t cut it.

Eliminating cigarette smells from clothes can be tricky, but if you know the right way to do it, it’s easy. In this article, we have outlined the best ways to conquer cigarette smells on your clothing. If you want to skip trial and error and go straight to having your garments smell fresh again, keep reading to find out.

10 Methods to Get Cigarette Smell Out Of Clothes

There are various ways to get your clothes to smell fresh again after an encounter with cigarette smoke. In this article, we have outlined different ways to eliminate cigarette smell, which involve washing the said garments by hand or with a washing machine; and other methods that don’t involve washing, so you can be up and about in no time. 

How to Get Cigarette Smell Out Of Clothes Without Washing

If you’re far from home or a laundromat, here are different ways to get rid of cigarette smell without washing:

1. Air the Garment

When you don’t have access to a washing machine, you can improve the scent of your clothing by hanging it out to dry. Dry the garment in the sun on a clothesline or a clothes rack. After a few days, hanging your garment in a well-ventilated outside area should help get rid of the smoky scent.

If you can’t hang your clothes outside, place them in an area with plenty of green plants; they can help to absorb the cigarette scents. Make it more efficient by creating air movement – use a fan. How long you need to air dry the clothing depends on how long it’s been exposed to cigarette smoke, ranging from a few hours to a few days.

2. Try a Fabric Refresher Spray

Febreze Fabric Refresher

If the smoke odor proves hard to eliminate and you need to be somewhere soon, try a fabric refresher spray to mask it. One effective fabric refresher you can try is Forever New STRETCH fabric refresher. It doesn’t contain dyes, phosphates, or chemicals that can harm the skin, while also being effective at eliminating various odors – including cigarette smells. 

Spray the affected garment outside and let it air out. A fabric refresher can also be used as a preventive measure to disallow cigarette scents from settling into your clothes before you have a chance to wash them. 

3. Use a Fabric Deodorizer

Fabric deodorizers go one step further in the fight against cigarettes; they do not cover up cigarette odors, instead, you can truly eliminate the smell from your garment with one application. 

Fabric deodorizers have a unique formulation that helps them neutralize all kinds of odors, including sweat, and cigarette smells.  Frebreze odor eliminator is one such deodorizer you can get your hands on. 

To use Febreze, spray down the said garment until damp, then wait until it dries. You should have your cloth smelling fresh again in no time. 

Warning: Before you use a fabric deodorizer, spray a small amount on a hidden part of the garment. You can proceed to spray the entire fabric when you’re sure that it’s safe to use. 

4. Extract Smell With Baking Soda

Baking soda has stunningly wide applications asides from baking. This time around, we propose using its odor-removing property to eliminate stubborn cigarette smells from your clothes without having to wash them. Here’s how to go about it: 

  1. Place the affected garment in a plastic shopping bag or garbage bag. 
  2. Pour about ½ cup of baking soda into the plastic bag, then secure the bag tightly.
  3. Next, shake the bag for about 2 minutes to enable the baking powder to saturate the fabric. 
  4. Leave the bag to sit overnight. During that time, the baking powder will absorb the cigarette smell from the cloth. 
  5. The following morning, simply take the clothing out of the bag and shake it thoroughly to remove the baking powder. 

Admittedly, you may need to wash the garment to improve its look after using this method, but you wouldn’t need any special measures while washing because the cigarette smell has already been eliminated; just wash the garment normally.

5. Deodorize With Steam

 Another option to explore for getting rid of cigarette smell is by steaming the clothing. But first, ensure that steaming is safe for your item – check the manufacturer’s care label. Once you have the go-ahead to use steam on the fabric, fill an iron with distilled water if it has a steaming function, then steam the fabric with the iron.

For more effect, you may also mix 3 parts water and 1 part vinegar in the iron to steam the fabric. 

How to Get Cigarette Smell Out Of Clothes By Washing

If you’ve got some time, then washing your clothes by using any of the methods outlined in this session is a better option for getting the cigarette smell out of your clothes. Here they are:

1. Soak Using Baking Soda

Soak the affected cloth in a solution of water and baking soda to get rid of the cigarette smell. To do this, fill a laundry bucket with water, then add 1 cup of baking soda to it. After that, soak the garment in it and let it sit overnight. 

The next day, wash the garment using unscented laundry detergent. If you’re dealing with ‘dry clean only’ clothes, here’s how you can dry clean at home

Pro Tip: Drying your garments on the line (instead of in a dryer) will give them a chance to air out. The sun’s rays will aid in the removal of cigarette scents and odors. However, do not leave clothes outside for longer than necessary to prevent their colors from fading. 

2.  Try Laundry Detergent Boosters

If you washed your smoky clothes using only laundry detergent, the chances that you will get the cigarette smell out completely are low. So what do you do? Use a detergent booster. Detergent boosters are specifically formulated to eliminate everyday odors and stink from fabric. 

If you’re in the market for an excellent detergent booster, then you should try Arm & Hammer Clean Scentsations In-Wash Scent Booster. Some detergents like Biz stain and odor remover even have boosters incorporated.

3. Soak In a Vinegar Solution

Vinegar is a great way to eliminate odors too. Simply add 1 cup of vinegar to warm water in a laundry bucket, then soak the said clothing in it for about one hour. To further improve the garment’s smell, add a few drops of essential oils, which can be lavender, orange, or lemon-scented. This is also a great way to eliminate sweat smell from your clothes.

4. Try Lemon Juice

If you don’t have vinegar, another viable option is lemon juice. The citric acid in lemon juice attacks and helps to get everyday odors out of garments. Just follow the same procedure as with the case with vinegar. You can either wash the garment by hand or use a washing machine.  

5. Use Rubbing Alcohol

Still in the spirit of soaking and washing, try using clear alcohol to eliminate the cigarette smell from your clothes. Rubbing alcohol can kill odor-causing bacteria, so we’re going to utilize that property to get the cigarette smell out of clothes. If you don’t have rubbing alcohol, you could use clear Vodka. 

To do this, pour ½ cup of alcohol into the load in the washing machine, then run the machine using the normal cycle, using regular laundry detergent. 

How Do You Get Cigarette Smell Out Of Clothes That Have Been Washed? 

Use a fabric deodorizer. Most of the time, the cigarette smell won’t come out if you wash the garment using only laundry detergent. You should also know that if you don’t eliminate the cigarette smell in the first wash, the smell will set deeper into the garment’s fabric, meaning you will need a more drastic measure to get it out. 

Thankfully, that’s what fabric deodorizers are meant for. On application, their unique formulation attacks all kinds of odors in the fabric, breaking them down so that your garment can smell fresh again. By following the steps outlined above for using a fabric deodorizer, your clothes should be free of cigarette smells in a while.

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