The Best Way To Get Unpleasant Smoke Smells Out Of Clothing

There is nothing worse than going to a party, concert, or other event where you are exposed to cigarette smoke and then come home and realize that your clothes reek of it. While you can take a shower to help remove the smoke scent from your hair and skin, you may notice that the clothes you were wearing keep the odor lingering — and can do so for days. However, there is a simple way to remove the foul scent, and all you need is baking soda, which is the best way to remove smoke smells from clothes and laundry.

When smoke becomes entrapped in the fabric of clothing, it is known as thirdhand smoke (via Mayo Clinic). Though you aren't actually inhaling the smoke itself, harmful ingredients such as nicotine and formaldehyde seep into the clothing. Consequently, clothes that smell like smoke will harbor these cancer-causing agents and need to be cleaned promptly.

Though it is a common thought that simply airing out clothing will eradicate the problem, it won't. Exposing clothes to fresh air will only lessen the scent. The fabric, however, will still contain harmful particles, and sometimes, they can last for months, particularly if the clothes are regularly exposed to smoke.

How to use baking soda to stamp out cigarette smell

We all know that baking soda can clean and neutralize smells in the refrigerator and other areas of your home, so it may not be a surprise that it can also help remove the stinky smoke scent from clothes. If the clothes aren't overwhelmingly smoky or as a first attempt, add baking soda to your laundry load. You don't need to do anything else but run a regular full cycle.

If you have a top-loader, add a cup to the washer when it's just about filled with water right before the spin cycle begins. However, if you have a front loader, you'll want to throw in a cup of baking soda when the rinse cycle begins. If you prefer to wash the smoky clothes by hand and avoid putting them in the washer, you can simply add a half cup of baking soda to the water in your handwash laundry load.

If the clothes still have a lingering odor, you can step it up a notch. Take the clothes and soak them in water along with baking soda and allow them to soak overnight. The next day, put the clothes in the washing machine and run a normal washing cycle with your regular laundry detergent. In all instances, use warm or hot water to help foster the smoke particles out of the clothing.