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How to Remove Smoke Odors from Clothing

How to Remove Smoke Odors from Clothing

Odors can quickly get absorbed into your clothes which makes them difficult to eliminate. Whether you’ve been near a campfire or somewhere where people are smoking, smoke can easily cling to your garments. You might now be wondering how to eradicate that smoky scent.

Removing smoke from clothing may be challenging and time-consuming, but it is possible. No matter how the smoke embedded itself into your fabric, we will explore why it adheres to material and offer various effective methods for removing it.

Why does smoke stick to clothing?

When wood or tobacco burns, the resulting smoke releases tar, ash, oil, and various carcinogenic chemicals. There are different types of smoke, such as black and white, each with a distinct smell. However, both types are very sticky and can cling to fabrics such as clothes, curtains, and carpets almost instantly.

Removing Smoke from Fabrics

Smoke odors can be notoriously challenging to eliminate, often making it unpleasant to wear affected clothing. Although there are several methods to remove these unpleasant smells, it is crucial to check the care label on your garments before washing. Here are some effective techniques to quickly remove smoke from fabrics:

  • Add baking soda to the washer:

Most people have baking soda in their pantry, making it an excellent solution for removing smoke from clothing. Odors are acidic, but baking soda’s pH-neutralizing properties can eliminate even the toughest smells. Simply add a cup of baking soda to your wash, and it will effectively neutralize smoke odors.

  • Add dryer sheets (scented):

You can freshen up your laundry by using scented dryer sheets. This will also help with getting rid of static cling and softening your fabric. Just add a scented dryer sheet to your wet laundry in the dryer and then use the proper drying cycle. However, keep in mind that if you do not get rid of the bad odor in the wash, the scented dryer sheets may not help get rid of the odor in the dryer.

  • Use a deodorizing spray:

Using a deodorizing spray is a good way to remove smoke from clothes and fabrics. These sprays have specialized odor eliminating agents which will bind to the odor molecules and change their chemical structure. Once the structure has changed, they will no longer stick to the odor receptors in the nose. There are many whole-room deodorizers or sprays available on the market that can be used on various fabrics such as on jackets and even curtains to get rid of the bad odor.

  • Air drying your fabrics:

If you dry your laundry outside, especially on a breezy day, you can end up with great smelling laundry. This also helps the environment as dryers account for 3% of electricity usage in the United States, which is the equivalent of all solar panels that are currently installed in America. It is always best to dry your clothing in the sun. The UV rays in the sun help react with the water in your clothes which produces an aroma of freshness that lasts a relatively long time.

  • Add some fabric softener:

Just adding fabric softener to your wash cycle can help remove some odors from your clothing. Fabric softener not only helps get rid of odors, but it also relieves static cling and makes your laundry soft.

  • Utilize a scent booster:

Scent booster pellets look like little beads, and they quickly dissolve in water which can help add fresh scents to your fabrics and get rid of any smoke smells.

  • Use white vinegar:

White vinegar contains acetic acid which helps with neutralizing odors. Just pour a cup of white vinegar into your smelly laundry and use the wash cycle as usual. You can also dilute the vinegar in water and spray it on to the smelly laundry. The vinegar will bind to the smoke molecules and eliminate their smell.

  • Wash clothes in hot water:

For clothing that can be washed in hot water, the heat helps the fibers loosen up which allows the cleaners to get to the smoke molecules easier so they can be neutralized and washed away. Always make sure to read the care label for your clothing so you can avoid damage or shrinkage by using hot water.

  • Use lemon juice:

Dunk your clothing into a mixture of one part lemon juice and two parts water. Keep the fabric submerged for 10 minutes to get the best results. After that, make sure to wash the clothes in your standard wash cycle.

  • Use hydrogen peroxide:

Combine equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water to create an effective odor-removing solution for non-washable fabrics. Using a sponge, apply this mixture to the smoke-damaged material. Allow it to sit for at least an hour before rinsing off. This should effectively eliminate the odor.

Smoke Smell from Campfire

Professional Fire Restoration

Smoke odors are unpleasant and persistent because they can easily get absorbed into porous materials like clothing and other fabrics. You can try the above-mentioned strategies to rid your clothing of smoke odors.

If you encounter a fire accident and needs help, we are here for you. At ServiceMaster by Replacements, our experts specialize in fire restoration and smoke damage cleaning. Using the right tools, equipment, and deodorization techniques, we ensure effective smoke odor removal, so your property will smell fresh again in no time. We can treat porous materials in your home such as drywall and furnishings that have absorbed smoke odors as well as your clothing.

For all your fire and smoke odor removalneeds in New Jersey, call us at (732) 842-6917 to learn more about our services.