Visiting a bar used to mean you’d come home smelling of cigarette smoke, thankfully this is no longer an issue. But, that doesn’t mean you won’t find your clothes smelling of smoke. You can encounter waiting at a bus stop with someone smoking, or simply walk past a smoky fire.
It’s surprising how quickly these smells can end up on your clothes, leaving you with the issue of removing the scent or throwing the garment away.
The first thing you need to note is that smoke transfers easily between garments. Anything that smells of smoke should be kept separate and dealt with as quickly as possible, by following these steps:
The first step is to fill a bowl, sink or the bath with water; leaving enough space for your garment. The water should be as hot as possible (but check your garment to ensure you don’t make it too hot).
Add a cup of white vinegar and one of baking soda. Agitate the water before adding your smoky clothes.
Leave this to soak for approximately one hour.
Use Your Washing Machine
You can now transfer the clothes to your washing machine. You don’t need to squeeze all the water out; just squeeze enough out to stop you dripping across the floor, or place it in a tub.
Begin a standard wash on your machine, using your normal detergent. Ideally, you should use a specially formulated laundry detergent that is suited for the clothes you are washing, whether that’s your silk underwear or your sports gear.
Once the machine has finished washing your clothes they should be smoke-free. However, if the smoke smell still exists you can repeat this cycle.
One point to note is that if you’re the smoker you may be desensitized to the smell. In this instance get someone else to smell the clean clothes and verify the smell has gone.
Drying The Clothes
If you’re in a hurry and need to use the dryer, assuming it’s safe for your clothes to be machine dried, then add several dryer sheets to aid the process. However, the best option is to hang the clothes on a line and allow them to air dry.
Check Your Machine
It is possible that your washing machine will pick up the smoke smell, especially if the clothes had a strong scent or you’ve washed a lot of items. If this is the case you should follow the instructions for your machine to clean it and eliminate the smell before you wash any other clothes.
Instead of soaking your clothes for an hour you may wish to put them in a bag with some baking powder; it is known to draw smells out of clothing. You’ll need to leave the clothes in the sealed bag for several days until the smoke odor has gone.
It will also still be necessary to wash them in your machine with the right detergent.