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How to Remove Cigarette and Cigar Smell From Clothes and Carpet

The Spruce / Ana-Maria Stanciu

Stale cigarette and cigar smoke odors are never pleasant. If you have had a smoky encounter, you should treat your clothing and home as soon as possible to regain the freshness you desire. It is not difficult. There are a few methods that you can try at home with common household supplies, although patience is an important part of the solution since odors can dissipate slowly.

Odor type Smoke
Detergent type Heavy-duty laundry detergent
Water temperature Warm

Before You Begin

If the clothing is labeled as dry-clean-only, follow the steps for airing the clothing outdoors or inside. You can also use a home dry cleaning kit to refresh fabrics or take your garments to a professional cleaner.

If it is a garment that can be hand-washed, add a pre-washing baking soda soaking step and a vinegar rinse.

If the item can not be washed, try a fabric refresher spray. The formula will trap the odor molecules and suspend them until the fabric can be properly cleaned.

For odor removal from vintage upholstery, consult a professional.

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Soaking basin or sink
  • Clothesline or clothes rack
  • Sealable bin or plastic bag (optional)
  • Bowl (optional for carpet or upholstery)

Materials

  • Baking soda
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Unscented heavy-duty laundry detergent
  • Water
  • Fabric refresher (optional)
  • Commercial odor remover containing activated charcoal (optional for carpet or upholstery)

Instructions

How to Remove Cigarette and Cigar Smell From Clothing

If your washable clothes and linens are smoky due to exposure for only a short time like a weekend visit, these methods work particularly well. Extended exposure will take repeated treatments.

Air Out the Garment

Hang the smoke-laden clothing in the open air. If you cannot hang things outside, hang the clothing in room filled with lots of green leafy plants to help absorb the odors. Use a fan to create air movement. The length of time you need to air clothes depends upon how saturated they are with smoke and how sensitive you are to the odor. The length of airing can be as little as a few hours to a couple of weeks.

Soak in Baking Soda and Water Solution

To remove the odor, soak washable clothing in a sink or washing machine filled with warm water and one cup baking soda before washing. Overnight is usually sufficient.

Machine Wash

After soaking, wash according to the garment care label instructions using unscented laundry detergent. Add one cup of distilled white vinegar to the rinse cycle and stop the cycle. Let the laundry soak for an hour in the vinegar and water solution before completing the rinse cycle. If the clothes should be hand-washed, follow your usual routine but add vinegar to the rinse water.

Air-Dry

Dry the freshly washed clothes and linens on a clothesline or clothes rack in the sunlight. If you must dry in a clothes dryer, use a low-temperature setting because excessively high heat can actually cause any remaining odor molecules to bond with the fibers.

The ultra-violet rays of the sunlight will help remove odors and smells; however, bright sunlight can cause dyes to fade so hang dark colors in the shade. Line drying your clothes will also provide a final opportunity for clothes to air out.

Use a Fabric Freshener

If the smoke smell lingers, use a fabric refresher in either scented or unscented formulas to mask the odors. There are in-wash formulas or sprays that bind with the odor molecules. If spraying, spray the clothing outside and let it continue to air.

Seal in Container With Baking Soda

Do not store clothes away long-term with any type of strong odor. However, temporarily, you can use a sealed container to trap odors. Place the garments in a sealed plastic tub or heavy-duty plastic bag with a box of baking soda. Leave the container sealed for a week or so. The baking soda will absorb the odors.

How to Remove Cigarette and Cigar Smell From Carpet and Upholstery

If you have a frequent indoor smoker in the house, it is nearly impossible to remove all of the smoke smell from carpet and upholstery. But it can be done if the smoke exposure was brief.

Clean Out the Cigarette Butts and Ashes

As soon as possible, empty all ashtrays and dispose of the trash bags.

Air Out the Room

Open as many windows as possible and turn on circulating fans to help bring in the fresh air.

Set Out Bowls of Vinegar

Pour some distilled white vinegar into small bowls or cups and place in the affected rooms.

Put Washable Accessories in Washer

Toss any washable curtains, small rugs, pillows, and throw blankets from the room in the washer.

Treat Carpet and Upholstery With Baking Soda

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 after cleaning or empty the vacuum cup.

Usually, all it takes is one time going through these steps to remove strong smoke odor. But, if your clothes, carpet, or upholstery still have bothersome cigarette odors or nicotine stains, repeat the steps. If the baking soda method does not work on carpet or upholstery the second time, try a commercial odor remover that uses activated charcoal.

Don't smell like an ashtray. Learn how to remove cigarette odor and cigar smoke smell out of clothes, carpet, and upholstery easily.

How to Hide the Smell of Smoke

For some people, the smell of smoke is pleasant, comforting and indicates the signs of a good time. However, for others, the smell is unwanted and frowned upon. Attracting unwanted scrutiny when smoking can be a real buzz kill. Whether you’re smoking in your hotel or dorm room, or even in public, trying to hide the smell of smoke is something we have all experienced before.

If you’re an avid smoker, it’s important to know the best way to hide the smell of smoke and keep your activities discreet. The next time you want to take a toke, but find yourself needing to cover up the smell, these tips to reduce the smell will be sure to help. Also, they can help you to feel a lot less self-conscious and nervous about possibly smelling like smoke.

Clearing The Air of Smoke & Smells

1) Ventilate the room.

If you’re going to smoke indoors and need to hide the smell of your smoke, the most important thing to do is ventilate the room. It won’t eliminate the odor completely, but it will be an enormous help. Also, it will prevent the smell from lingering. The best thing to do when smoking indoors is to smoke in a room with a door and a window.

  • Close the door to the room you are smoking in. You want to keep the smoke contained so it doesn’t leak into other parts of the house or building you’re smoking in.
  • Place a damp towel under the door to obscure the opening. This will help contain the smoke to your room.
  • Put a fan in the window facing outwards. This will help ventilate the smoke and force it outside rather than inside the room. To be extra diligent, smoke right next to the fan. This way, no smoke can linger in the room.
  • Blow all your smoke into the back of the fan. It will immediately go out the window.
2) Mask the smell of smoke with other smells.

Covering up the smell of smoke with another smell can be both a good idea and bad idea. Some aerosol air fresheners and candles are made specifically to hide the smell of smoke. If you don’t have one of these special candles or sprays, a simple cologne or perfume can do the trick. Also, if you keep your pipe clean, it will not distribute a noxious odor.

It’s always best to stick with just one air freshener or candle. This way, the room won’t instantly smell like you tried to obscure the smoke with several fragrances. Be sure not to spray too much. A room that smells too much like air freshener can be a dead giveaway that you were just smoking in there.

  • Use a sploof – A.K.A. an empty toilet paper roll stuffed with dryer sheets.
  • Air fresheners like ozium help to actually neutralize the odor of smoke.
  • Febreze can help to hide odors. It contains a chemical that actively traps and retains foul smelling particles.
  • Citrus is always an effective option. Cut up an orange, mandarin or clementine and place the peels around your smoking room.
  • Many smokers use incense to cover up the smell of smoke. However, most people recognize that incense and smokers are synonymous. Therefore, we don’t recommend using them.
3) Use an air purifier or air filter.

If you’re an avid smoker, it may be worth investing in a good air purifier. This way, you can continually keep the air clean where you smoke. Traditional air purifiers don’t remove smoke particles because they’re too small. However, HEPA filters and electronic air ionizers specifically remove small particles from the air. This will not completely solve the problem, but it will certainly help.

There are some products on the market that filter out the smell of smoke. The most well known is the Smoke Buddy air filter. As soon as your inhale your smoke, your blow it through the Smoke Buddy. It neutralizes the smell immediately. This is not 100% effective, but it’s mighty close.

4) Smoke outside.

If you can smoke outdoors, this will eliminate the risk of the smoke odor lingering for awhile. However, be aware that the smell of smoke can travel pretty far. So make sure you don’t have any nosy neighbors or people nearby to get a whiff of what you’re smoking. Also, be extra careful when smoking in public places like parks.

Use a Vaporizer or Vape Pen

Using an oil or wax vape pen is the perfect way to avoid the smell of smoke almost entirely. Vaporizers produce vapor, and not combusted smoke, which emit far less odor than a traditional pipe, joint or cigarette. In recent years, vape pens have become much more advanced and discreet, adding another reason to give one a try. Some even contain flavoring to help mask the smell while smoking. Many look like cigarettes and the average person would never be able to tell the difference.

If you don’t have access to concentrates to use with wax pens, a dry herb vaporizer is always a good option. Although there is still a smell, it’s significantly less potent and also dissipates faster than traditional smoke. Portable vaporizers and vape pens fit easily in your pocket, purse or backpack. If you need to conceal them at a moment’s notice, you can.

Removing Odors from Your Body and Clothes

Often, people forget how much smoke and odor can be absorbed by their clothes, hair and body. If you’re smoking a cigarette, that will instill maximum odor into your clothes and body. Using a bong or glass pipe will prevent some of this odor from attaching to your body, as you’re not directly holding anything that’s emitting smoke.

When you smoke a cigarette, the odor instantly clings to your hands and face. You might not even notice, since you’re desensitized to the smell. Have you ever walked by someone that’s an avid cigarette smoker, and get a huge smell of smoke even if they aren’t smoking? That’s because it’s embedded in their clothes and skin.

1) Change your clothes.

Even if you think you managed to remove the odor from your room or car, the odor will most definitely still be on your clothes.

  • Bring a spare change of clothes if you’re smoking at a friend’s house.
  • If you can’t immediately change clothes, spray them with Lysol or Febreze to help eliminate the odor.
2) Brush your teeth and clean your breath.

Just like your clothing, your breath will be sure to hold a significant amount of odor from smoking since you’re inhaling the smoke through your mouth. Anyone that has ever kissed or spoken to a smoker will know how much odor can be on a person’s breath. However, there are plenty of ways to fix this problem.

  • Brush your teeth and use mouthwash. This will give you the freshest breath possible and eliminate the smoke odor from your breath. Bring a spare toothbrush and toothpaste around with you if necessary.
  • Chew some strong mints. Breath mints are intended to freshen your breath. Therefore, eating them after smoking (if you don’t have time to brush your teeth) is another great way to hide the smell. Combining mints and brushing your teeth is a highly effective way to make sure your breath smells minty fresh!
3) Wash your hands.

As mentioned earlier, your hands will smell strongly of smoke after smoking a cigarette or anything that’s rolled. However, that’s also easy to take care of.

  • Use a scented, fragrant soap and warm water. Use a lot of soap and wash your hands thoroughly. Be sure to scrub all parts of your hands and even up to your elbows, just to be extra careful. If you don’t have access to hand soap, any type of body wash or even shampoo should do the trick.
  • Rinse your hands thoroughly after cleaning.
  • Use hand sanitizer to remove the odor from your hands. This is quick, easy and convenient. You can even carry around a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you.
4) Take a shower.

Smoke not only clings to your clothes and skin but also your hair. So if possible, it’s always best to take a shower after smoking to totally remove the odor from your body.

  • Use a scented shampoo and body wash to remove the smoke odor and make yourself smell super clean and fresh.
  • Spray on some cologne, body spray or perfume afterwards.

Hide The Smell of Your Dry Herbs

So now, you’re a master at hiding the smell of smoke during and after smoking. It’s also very important to know how to contain that pungent odor from your dry herbs when they’re not being smoked. The good news is: this is much easier than covering up the smell of smoke.

1) Air-Tight Containers.

Most people keep their stash in Ziploc bags, thinking they contain the smell. However, they most likely will not, especially if you’re smoking good, pungent stuff. Using an airtight container such as a mason or vacuum sealed jar is always your best bet. These will keep the odor contained when your herbs are not being used. Be aware, though: once you open that jar, the smell will immediately fill the room. So do it quickly and carefully. Keeping your herbs in an airtight container will not only contain the smell, but also help to keep your stash fresh.

Conclusion – Toker Supply

At Toker Supply, as an online head shop, we’ve accumulated a wide range of products to serve the smoking community.

For some, the smell of smoke is welcoming and comforting and indicates the signs of a good time, but for others, the smell is unwanted and frowned upon. This step by step guide will show you exactly how to hide the smell of smoke.