How to Get Smoke Smell From Clothing

Smoke from a house fire, cigarette smoke or campfires will inevitably leave behind a smell on clothing. Smoke sticks to most porous surfaces and can linger long after you launder your clothes. Instead of masking the smell with a commercial spray or throwing your clothes away, you can remove the smoke smell with items that you have around your home. It may take several attempts to remove the smoke smell, but the effort will be worth it in the end.

Pour 1 cup of your preferred washing powder into a clean sink. Add 1 gallon of warm water.

Place the clothing in the water and submerge the textiles completely.

Allow the clothes to soak in the detergent solution overnight.

Wring excess water from the clothing.

Launder the clothing according to the care label with the hottest water allowed. Add liquid household bleach for white clothes or use colour-safe bleach.

Hang the clothes outdoors on a clothesline to dry. Space the clothing 3 to 5 inches apart to allow air to circulate around the items.

Repeat the process until you remove all smoke smell from the clothes.


Take the clothing to the dry cleaners if you have difficulty removing the smoke smell. Dry cleaners have products that they can use to remove tough smoke smells. Add 1 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle of the washing machine to help remove smoke smells.


Never use chlorine bleach on coloured clothing because it can significantly alter the colour of the fabric.

Things You'll Need

  • Washing powder
  • Chlorine or colour-safe bleach
  • Clothesline
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About the Author

Angela LaFollette holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising with a minor in political science from Marshall University. LaFollette found her passion for writing during an internship as a reporter for "The West Virginia Standard" in 2007. She has more than six years of writing experience and specializes in topics in garden and pets.