How to Get Rid of The Smell of Smoke From Clothes?

how to get Rid of the Smell of Smoke From Clothes

Last Updated on September 9, 2021

Camping is an enjoyable activity for people of all ages and one important and fun aspect of camping is building a campfire. This is either a fire that you have built yourself or one that you have made in a fire pit on a campsite. A campfire serves several practical purposes, including keeping you warm and giving you a place to boil water and cook meals. Sitting by the campfire and chatting is also one of the most memorable parts of the camping experience for many people. While this is lots of fun, there is also a downside to enjoying this activity. Sitting by the campfire tend to make your clothes smell of smoke. While some people find this a pleasant smell, most people want to get rid of this stench from their clothing. Here is how to get rid of the smell of campfire smoke from your clothes.

Why Does a Campfire Make Your Clothes Smell of Smoke?

You may have wondered why campfire smoke makes your clothes smell. The answer to this is simple. Campfire smoke consists of molecules and these catch between the fibers of your clothing, leaving behind an aroma. You may find that your clothes are more likely to retain the smell of smoke from the molecules if they are damp.

Methods of Getting Rid of the Smell of Smoke While on Your Camping Trip

Most people pack light when camping. This means they may wear the same clothes during a camping trip. If you plan to wear clothes more than once during a camping trip and don’t want to wait until you get home to get rid of the smell of smoke, there are ways to get rid of the smell while still camping. Here are three ways you can get the smell of campfire smoke out of your clothes.

  • Wash and hang in the sun- If you are camping close to a river or a stream, then you can rinse your clothes out in the water and hang them to dry in the sun. Similarly, if you are on a campsite with washing facilities, you can use these to rinse out your clothes before leaving them to dry naturally outside. Although this will probably not completely remove the smell of smoke, it will dramatically reduce the smell.
  • Use an alcohol spray- If you have taken alcohol, such as vodka, on your trip, then you can use this to clean your clothes. Just add some vodka into a spray bottle with water and then blitz your clothes with it before leaving them out in the sun to dry. When the alcohol evaporates, it takes the bad smell with it leaving your clothes smelling fresh.
  • Blitz with lemon spray- Lemon has a very fresh and pleasant smell. It is used in many cleaning products to add a pleasant aroma and to cover up bad smells. You can add some lemon juice to water in a spray bottle and blitz your clothes. Once your clothes are damp all over from the lemon spray, hang them out to dry in the sun. You can use the same method to keep your sleeping bags, tent, and other gear smelling fresh.

How to Get Rid of the Smell of Campfire Smoke on Your Clothes at Home

If the smell of the smoke isn’t bothering you too much during your trip and you are happy to wait until you get home, then there are several methods you can use to remove the smoky smell at home. These include the following:

  • Regular hot wash with detergent- In most cases, simply washing your clothes on a hot wash in your washing machine using your usual washing detergent will rid your clothes of the smell. Check the washing instructions on your clothes first before putting them in for a hot wash as you won’t want your clothes to shrink.
  • Add fabric conditioner- If the smell of smoke is very strong, adding some fragrant fabric conditioner to the wash will usually resolve the situation.
  • Use vinegar- There are two ways you can use vinegar to rid your clothes of the campfire smoke smell. If the smell is not too strong, you can add half a cup of white vinegar directly into your washing machine along with your regular laundry detergent. The second method is for when the clothes smell strongly of smoke. Fill a bathtub with hot water and add a full cup of white vinegar along with some laundry detergent. Soak your clothes for a few hours in the bath. When they have soaked for a few hours, wash them in your washing machine with your regular laundry detergent and dry as usual.
  • Wash with baking soda- An alternative to using vinegar is to use baking soda. This is one of the most useful cleaning products in your home. Just add half a cup of baking soda to your usual wash cycle along with your regular laundry detergent. The baking soda absorbs the smell of the smoke. It is important to note that you should not use baking soda on silk or woolen items of clothing as it is harmful to these fabrics.

Final Verdict

A common problem with sitting around a campfire while camping is the lingering smell of smoke it leaves on your clothing. If this smell is bothering you, then you may not want to wait until you get home to rid your clothes of the stench. There are methods you can use while camping to achieve this. If the smell is not bothering you too much, then you may prefer to wait until you get home and to use traditional methods of cleaning your clothes to remove the smell.

About the author


We are a bunch of outdoor enthusiasts who love to share and inspire people through our stories, comprehensive guides and in-depth gear reviews.

Leave a Comment