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How to Remove Cigarette Odor from Clothes

Cigarette smoke can ruin freshly washed laundry – find out how to remove nasty smoke odors and make your clothes smell fresh and clean once again.


Reading Time: 2 minutes

Written by Eunice Samson

drying clothes indoor

After a night out with friends, you might very well come home smelling of cigarette smoke – whether you are smoker or not. If for any reason this becomes a regular occurrence, or you, or a family member smokes, you’ll need to know how to remove the smell of cigarette smoke from clothes. There’s nothing more unappealing than the waft of cigarette smoke when meeting someone new. So, if first impressions count and you want to be judged on your personality, not your personal habits, follow our deodorizing tips below.

If you live in a smoky environment, avoid hanging laundry inside to dry as this may result in smells clinging to the fabric of your clothes.

Cigarette Smoke Removal – Practical Prevention

The best method for getting the smoke smell out of clothes is to prevent the problem happening in the first place! You should:

  • Avoid sitting in smoky rooms with little or no ventilation. Even if you’re not a smoker this can be damaging to your health as well as your clothes.

  • If you smoke, be sure to do so in a well-ventilated area. Empty ashtrays and open windows in your home regularly to minimize the impact of stale smoke in the air.

  • When smoking, position yourself so that smoke is drawn away from you. If you can, hold your cigarette at arms length.

  • Be aware that smoking damages the fine hairs on the inside of the nose, which means that others might be able to smell the smoke on you, even if you can’t!

  • Consider quitting smoking. Contact your local health clinic for further advice on how to change your smoking habit. Always follow your doctor’s advice.

Simple Methods for Removing Smoke Smell from Clothes

The best way to remove smoke odor from clothes is wash them!

  1. Be sure to check the care label on your garments before starting.

  2. Use a highly effective detergent with an added fresh fragrance, like Surf, to get your clothes looking and smelling clean. Always follow the instructions on the packaging.

  3. Wash similar colours and fabrics together, being careful not to overload the machine, so there’s plenty of room for clothes to move around in the drum.

  4. Consider soaking particularly smelly clothes in a detergent and water solution before you put them into the wash.

  5. Line dry your clothes outside to give them the maximum opportunity to air.

Finally, if you’re in any doubt about whether you’ve been able to effectively remove smoke smell from clothes – ask a close friend or family member. You can always mask residual smells with perfume or commercial laundry deodorizers before leaving the house.

  • Minimize your clothes’ exposure to smoke.

  • Wash your clothes regularly with a fragranced detergent like Surf Blossom Fresh.

  • Ask friends and family for feedback – if you’re a smoker, you might not be able to smell the odor on your clothes.

The Poll

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Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Frequently asked questions on getting rid of cigarette odors

How do you get cigarette smell out of your nose?

The simplest solution for how to get cigarette smell out of your nose, is to blow your nose. It is likely that smoke particles are lodged in mucus and thus blowing your nose should help you to remove the smell. If you notice the nasty odor lingering, rinse your nose with a saline solution. Obviously, you also need to treat the root of the problem, so be sure to use air fresheners in your home and car and clean any areas where you may be able to smell smoke hanging about.

Can dry cleaning remove a smoke smell?

You will be pleased to know that dry cleaning will remove 100% of cigarette smoke odors from your clothing.

What do you do if your washing machine smells like cigarette smoke?

If your washing machine smells like cigarette smoke, it needs a deep clean. Add ½ a cup of baking soda to the detergent drawer and 1 cup of vinegar to the drum. Run a hot, long cycle with the washing machine empty. This process should remove all traces of smoke smell from your machine.

How can you get smoke smell out of clothes without washing them?

We have a few top tips for how to get smoke smell out of clothes without washing. The simplest solution is to give your clothing a good airing. Hanging them outside works best, as the UV and wind will do wonders. If this hasn't done the job, an odor eliminating spray could work. Alternatively add the clothing and ½ cup of baking soda to a zippable bag, shake it up and leave it overnight. This should absorb any lingering odors.

Originally published