How to Get Smoke Smell Out of Clothes – Helpful Guide 2023

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?

It’s camping season in the Upper Midwest, and that means spending some quality time around campfires. But as lovely as they are in the moment, you don’t always want the smell to follow you. So what’s the best way to get the smoke out of your clothes? We’ve rounded up several options below.

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 Your Clothes

The most pesky smoke smell comes from our clothes. After all, our clothes follow us around wherever we go, and if they smell like smoke, everything smells like smoke then too.

Machine wash or handwash with baking soda

The best way to remove smoke smell from clothes is by washing them with a healthy dollop of baking soda. Baking soda is a natural laundry booster that will help cut through smoke stains and odors.

For top-loading washing machines, add about 1 cup of baking soda when the water level is getting full. For front-loading washing machines, add 1 cup of baking soda during the rinse cycle. For clothes that must be handwashed, try adding a 1/2 cup of baking soda to your normal handwashing routine.

Use the warmest water temperature your clothes can tolerate. The warmer temperature will open up the fibers in your clothes, letting odor out and clean in.

Use dryer sheets

Not the way you’re used to, though. Place any smoke-smelling garment in a large, resealable plastic bag with one or two unscented dryer sheets, then seal. Leave the bag sealed for a few days, and presto: The dryer sheet will have absorbed some or all of that smoke odor.

Try a deodorizing spray

For lingering smells, or for clothes that cannot be washed, try spraying either a commercial laundry freshener or distilled white vinegar on your garment. This will help mask the smoke smell until you have time for a deeper clean.


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

This CleanersAdvisor guide covers 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! 

rahul panday

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