How to Get Rid of the Tobacco Smell in your Clothes


Some people do not find the tobacco smell that lingers in their clothes smelly, but it is, and it is dangerous to health. If you do not smoke, yet your colleagues do and their cigarette odor clings to your clothes– that’s thirdhand smoke.

Even if you go out to smoke, or someone near you is smoking, the smell will linger on your clothes. Thus, whether you smoke or not, get rid of the tobacco odor that you can smell in your clothes.

Here are some of the ways to get rid of the tobacco smell in your clothes:

Use Deodorizing Spray

You can spray air fresheners for fabrics to remove the tobacco smell in your clothes. However, this method is most likely overpowering for you. The fragrance may be irritating for your nose the fact you need to spray the entire garment to have better results.

Mask the Smell with Essential Oil

Same with the deodorizing spray, essential oils will not absorb the tobacco smell, but these oils will mask the odor with its sweet fragrance. However, you have to be careful not to apply undiluted essential oils directly on your skin.

However, covering the stale cigarette smell is never pleasant, it sometimes makes the odor worse. It is best to treat your clothes at home as soon as possible to freshen the clothes. The methods are not difficult, they are the typical ones that you do when laundering your clothes. However, getting rid of the tobacco smell in your clothes requires patience, as odors can dissipate slowly.

Before Freshening the Clothes

Do not wash your clothes immediately. Check the instruction label first. If your clothes are labeled “dry-clean-only” label, you can do it on your own or take your garments to a dry cleaning expert. But, if your clothes can be hand-washed, you can pre-wash them.

Get Rid of the Tobacco Smell By Washing

After checking the care label instructions of the clothes, get rid of the tobacco smell by washing.

1.    Air out the clothes.

Air out the clothes first in an open air. If you cannot hang it outside, use a clothing rack and place it in a room filled with plants. Plants will help absorb the odors. You can put them in front of a plant to create air movement and help dry out the clothes easily.

The length of time you need to air out the clothes depends on how saturated the clothes are with tobacco smell, or how sensitive you are to the odor. You can air out the clothes in a few hours or a day.

2.    Soak the clothes in water solution.

Fill the washing machine with warm water. Ensure that the warmth level of the washing machine has to be the recommended temperature level indicated on the care label of the clothes. You can either have a water solution with a cup of baking soda or a cup of white vinegar. Choose which ingredient is available in your kitchen pantry.

The acidity of the vinegar will help break down the smoke and tar molecules that is causing the smell on your clothes. If you wish, you can mix a cup of baking soda to give an extra boost.

3.    Add the clothes to the water solution.

Let the clothes sink for at least an hour. If you cannot pre-soak the clothes in the washer, especially if you have a front loader, use a large wash basin or sink. After pre-soaking, wash the garments according to its care label instructions.

Use unscented laundry detergent to avoid mixing or introducing another smell on the clothes. Smell the clothes after the wash cycle. If the clothes still sink, repeat the process.

4.    Air Dry the Clothes

If you have an odor eliminator spray, you can spray them first. If you will use a dryer, you need to add one or more dryer sheets. Ensure that the clothes dryer uses a low-temperature setting. Excessive heat can cause the remaining odor molecules to bond with the fibers.

However, it is always best to have the clothes air dry. If you have a clothesline in your backyard, have the freshly washed clothes line dry in the sunlight. But if you do not have enough space, make use of a clothes rack and dry them inside your home near the window to introduce heat on the clothes.But do not put them directly under the sunlight.

The sunlight’s ultra-violet rays will help remove the smells and odors. However, the bright sunlight can cause the cloth’s color to fade. Thus, line dry your clothes with shade.

Is the smell still there? You can have these two options to mask the tobacco smell.

Use Fabric Freshener

If the tobacco smell still lingers, use a fabric freshener to mask the odor. You can use an unscented formula, or in-wash formula that will bind with the odor molecules during wash. But since you are done washing the clothes, you can spray the outside of the clothes and continue airing out.

Seal Clothes in Container with Baking Soda

It is not a good idea to store clothes with any type of strong odor, the odor may transfer to other clothes. If the clothes still have a tobacco smell, you can temporarily store it inside a sealed container to trap odors.

You can place it inside a zip lock plastic bag and a box of baking soda. Leave the clothes inside the container with baking soda for a week. The baking soda will absorb the foul odor.

Final Thoughts

Usually, getting rid of the tobacco smell in your clothes only takes once. But, if it has a strong odor, repeat the steps. If you can’t make it work, you can take your clothes to the laundry experts. Rely on a professional. They have several dry and wet cleaning methods to get rid of the tobacco smell in your clothes. Check the best laundry services and dry cleaning experts around your area.

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