Science | Dec 04
We all know the smell. That smelly-smell present after a night out bar hopping, dinner around the fire pit or an evening spent at a concert. That unpleasant cigarette or cigar odor that follows you around and seems to engulf everything you touch. If you've had one of these smoky encounter, you’re going to want to treat your clothing as soon as possible to regain the freshness you desire. But, how do you get that intense smoke stench out of your clothes? And if it ends up filling your house or apartment, how do you get rid of it on carpets?
Well, depending on the damage done on your clothes you may either go for solutions without the need of a washing machine or with a washing machine.
Without a washing machine
- Air it out - The main thing a cigarette smoke infested piece of clothing needs is fresh air. It’s preferably to hang the garments outside. However, If you can’t hang them outside, hang the clothing in a breezy, warm, and sunlit room and ese a fan to generate ventilation and air movement. You may need a few hours of airing to see any difference.
- Odor eliminating spray - If after airing the garment or garments the smell still remains, use an odor eliminating spray, such as Febreeze, all over the front and back. Or even better, make your own! (Yes, we’re fans of the DIY trend). Just combine equal parts clear vinegar and water in a spray bottle and add about 20 drops of your favorite essential oil (lemon or other citrics are perfect for this!).
- Steaming - Steam is a great option to reduce the odor in garments that cannot be washed in the machine. Before using this method, check the label on your garment and make sure that steaming is permissible. Then, steam the item slowly, making sure not to miss any portion.
- Dry baking soda - Place the garment in a large ziploc bag, or other resealable bag, add ½ cup of baking soda and tightly seal the bag. Then, give the bag a quick but firm shake and leave the whole thing to sit overnight. Once it’s done sitting, take the bag outside, open and shake excess off baking soda.
If none of these work, you are definitely going to need a washing machine. Follow these quick steps to eliminate the odors using a washing machine.
With a washing machine
- Soaking - The first thing you are going to want to do is to fill your sink with warm water, one cup of vinegar and throw your garments in. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a fresh scent. Soak garment for 30-60 minutes, then wash as directed.
- Regular wash - After you’re done soaking your clothes, throw them inside your washer with the usual settings in which you wash your garments. You can use your favorite laundry detergent, either powdered, liquid or laundry detergent pods will do just fine. Since you already soaked your clothes, you may even use unscented laundry detergent. If you want to add an extra odor removing natural booster, add a ½ cup of fresh, strained lemon juice.
- For best results, we recommend, in this specific case, air drying your clothes instead of using an electric or gas dryer.
Removing the smell from your carpets, room or other upholstery
If you have a regular smoker in your house, you may notice that your upholstery, carpets and maybe even cushions conserve the smoke-y cigarette smell. But fret not! It’s pretty easy to get rid of if you have a special get together or dinner party planned.
The first thing that you will have to do is to open all windows and bring in one or two fans so that the room is completely ventilated and full of fresh air. Then, pour some distilled white vinegar into small bowls and place them around the affected room. Toss any washable cushions and throws in the wash and sprinkle plain, dry baking soda on carpets and area rugs. Allow the baking soda to remain on the carpet for about an hour and then vacuum up. Be sure to toss the vacuum bags or empty the vacuum cup.
And you’re done! No more cigar or cigarette smell, just plain ol’ fresh smells here!