10 Ways to Get Smoke Smell Out of Clothes

If you spend your evening by the campfire, on the balcony smoking, or entertaining friends with a barbecue, the chances are that your clothes will smell like smoke. To get rid of the smoke smell from your clothes, you can wash them or treat them. Some possible solutions are airing the clothes and using laundry detergents or odor-absorbing substances. 

The type of cloth material should determine the type of solution that you choose; here are ten tips for removing the smoke smell for you to choose from:

How To Get Rid Of Smoke Smell From Your Cloth

There are broadly two ways to get rid of the smell from your clothes. The first method involves washing the clothes with special ingredients, while the second method can eliminate the smell without the cloth getting wet.

Laundry Detergent Boosters

Norwex laundry detergents and booster
Norwex laundry detergents and booster

The easiest way to remove smoke from your clothes is to use a laundry detergent booster. Some detergents come with boosters as part of their ingredients, and some have a smell booster which is also a plus because they help you replace the smoke smell with a more pleasant smell.

So when shopping for detergents, look for the ones with scent boosters and odor eliminators. These products eliminate typical smells, working perfectly on smokey clothes. 

The application is simple. Soak the smoky clothes in a water and detergent solution for thirty minutes before washing them. Soaking the clothes for a while will help loosen the compounds that cause the clothes to smell. 

Dryer Sheets

Gain & Bounce Dryer Sheets
Gain & Bounce Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets are not only suitable for dryers, and they serve other purposes. For instance, you can use it for pre-laundry treatment. They work well in removing smoke smell from clothes. The steps are simple, stock a few dryer sheets with the smokey clothes in a sealable air-tight bag and leave it for about six hours. 

When you unseal it, you will realize that the seal has absorbed almost all the smell. You can now toss the clothes —without the dryer sheets— into the dryer and normally wash them, then add more dryer sheets and dry them together. 

These steps are very efficient for intense smoke smells like cigarettes and campfire from hardy fabrics like denim or cotton. If it is a thinner cloth, you may not need to wash it with a detergent booster. If you want to confirm the smell has gone, smell the fabrics rather than the sealable bag. 


Apple Cider Vinegar

Vinegar is beneficial for stain remover, and you can use it as a smell remover. Mix vinegar with water with a ratio of one cup of vinegar to one gallon of water. This solution will remove even the most stubborn smoke smell from your cloth.

Make sure the water is enough to submerge the clothes. The clothes should be soaked for about an hour before you wash them. After following these steps, the smell continues; drain the water, soak the cloth again, add a new batch of vinegar, and repeat the process until the smell is completely gone. 

Lemon Juice

This is one of the most affordable odor elimination ingredients on my list. Pour about half a cup of lemon juice into the washing machine before you start washing. Squeezing one to three lemons should give you half a cup. 

Lemons are citrus fruits, and citric acids are known for their natural fresh scent. So using lemon juice when washing your clothes helps remove the smoke, neutralize the components responsible for the smell, and replace them without staining or damaging the clothes. 

Clear Alcohol


When washing, a small quantity of clear alcohol will remove the smoke smell no matter how strong it is—vodka and rubbing alcohol work best. Avoid alcohols that have color because they will stain your cloth.

Half a cup of clear alcohol is enough and has a similar effect to the lemon juice solution. Don’t worry about your clothes having an alcohol smell; a good laundry detergent is enough to remove the smell of alcohol. Don’t forget to sniff to ensure the job is done before putting it in a dryer. 

Another way to do it is to soak the cloth in an alcohol mixture before washing. Pour some vinegar and half a cup of alcohol per gallon of water. After soaking for four-thirty minutes, wash and raise.

Air It Out

If it is summer or the weather is clear, simply airing it in an open space might be all you need. Fresh air, especially breezy air, will eliminate the smoke smell. 

Ensure the space where you spread the cloth has enough room and is well-ventilated. Also, watch out for rain and sun damage. If enough air circulates in the room, it will help get rid of the smell.

The number of hours the cloth will stay outside is determined by how strong the smoke smell is and the amount of breeze outside. If there is a good amount of wind, you need to air the cloth in less time.

Baking Soda

Airing the cloth might not work because of the intense smoke smell. Baking soda is another method that can remove the smoke smell without actually washing the cloth, and baking soda will help absorb and eliminate the smell. 

As a result, place the cloth in a sealable bag or air-tight container, then pour baking soda; half a cup would do. Shake the container for about three minutes, or when you are sure that the baking soda is on every garment. 

Once there is enough baking soda on all your clothes, keep the clothes for about six hours. Leave the clothes in a sealed bag or tight container. Once you are satisfied that all the smoke is gone, you can dust off the baking soda from your cloth. Don’t worry; the baking soda will not stick to your clothes, so you can shake it off easily or brush it off. 

Use Fabric Refresher Sprays

Febreze Fabric Refresher

You can get a good refresher spray from any local store around. They are an excellent solution for removing the smoke smell from your clothes, especially if you don’t want to wash the cloth. 

These sprays are explicitly designed to remove odor and not just to hide the smell. Start by spraying them on your soft and delicate clothes to see any reaction; if there is none, you can apply them to the rest of your clothes. After applying the spray to your clothes, air the cloth and let it dry. 

The spray can also treat your clothes before you wash them. But they are primarily helpful when you don’t have the means to wash the clothes, like traveling. 

Steam Clean

If your fabrics can take heat and water, then steaming the cloth is possible. You can either use the steam in your bathroom or a handheld steamer.

Steam will help loosen the odor-causing compounds from the fabric fibers. The garment won’t get wet, so it is safe for delicate fabrics like viscose that don’t do well in water.

Hire a Professional

A professional laundry company is always better positioned to help you with stains and smell removal issues because they have both experience and expertise. 

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