How To Wash Your Clothes To Remove Cigarette Smoke Smells

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If you enjoy occasional cigars on special occasions, or you’re a pack-a-day cigarette smoker, that tobacco smell can linger on your clothes for the rest of the day. Even worse, that odor can sometimes seep so deeply into clothing that it’s still hanging around after running through your washing machine. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to help you get rid of that overwhelming odor, and make sure it doesn’t come back around.

Air out the garment.


Some people are attracted to the aroma of cigars, while others find it to be off-putting. For those who wrap their own cigarillos and smokes, Wild Rum Backwoods offers a litany of rolling papers and other tobacco products that fit individual tastes. Smokers are encouraged to not smoke cigarettes, cigars, or pipe tobacco indoors as it can have a negative impact on air quality, triggering asthma symptoms or leading to long-term health problems like heart disease or emphysema.

Plus, being indoors only makes all of that smoke seep deeper into your outfits. The first step toward getting rid of that odor is airing your clothes out. While this may be a step taken to dry clothing, it’s also a way of boosting the air quality surrounding those clothes, much like you would open a window in your home to get an odor out.

Soak the clothing before washing it.


To remove that tobacco stench, drop that dirty laundry into a solution of one cup of baking soda and warm water. This can be done in a sink or in a washing machine, with overnight being enough time to remove that lingering odor. After soaking, wash with an unscented laundry detergent. Experts recommend adding one cup of distilled white vinegar to the rinse cycle and stopping the cycle. Let the laundry soak for an hour in the vinegar and water solution before completing the rinse cycle.

Once done, give it the smell test. If you’re unsure that the smell is gone, give the cycle another go. If it’s still there, it may be time to repair your washer. Do a quick search online for appliance repair or parts needed, typing in something like “appliance parts Portland Oregon” to get an idea of the replacements needed or to replace the washer as a whole.

Air dry, not tumble dry.


Don’t throw these newly cleaned clothes in dryers. Put those clothes out on the line to let them air dry. Just like before they soaked and were washed, that outdoor air helps to reinvigorate the fabric within clothing. This also prevents shrinkage brought on by standard dryers of all brands and models. If you cannot hang clothes out to dry, use a low-temperature setting on a dryer because excessively high heat can actually cause any remaining odor molecules to bond with the fibers. This can lead to serious risks in the long run of having that tobacco aroma stay put on your clothes.

Natural air fresheners help.


Now that those smoke-infused clothes are completely clean and dry, you may need a slight boost to keep that tobacco stench out. You can use a fabric refresher in either scented or unscented formulas to mask the stink. There are also in-wash formulas or sprays that bind with the odor molecules that you can use during the next laundry cycle. Citrus fruits have been used by some experts to provide a natural alternative to major brands of fabric fresheners or air deodorizers.

Remember, this solution may take time to absorb all of the smoke, especially after repeat wear before wash. If the smoke smell is lingering on a shirt, get it in that baking soda solution and into the washer as soon as you can. This will spare you having that stale tobacco odor around you and your closet for years to come.


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