If you own dry-clean only clothing, then you own items that are never really being washed. The emphasis of dry cleaning is to remove dirt, stains, and provide spot-cleaning services. They are often cleaned, but not necessarily deodorized.
Many professional dry cleaners can remove the cigarette smell from clothing if the items are frequently serviced. Because most odors are kept in the tars and oils of cigarette smoke, removing them will remove the odors.
If the dry cleaner hasn’t taken the smell away and you’re tired of smelling like an ash tray, there are some products that remove cigarette smoke odors from clothing with reliability. You may also wish to try these DIY methods to get the final traces of odor out of your favorite clothes.
1. Use a little H20. Some dry-clean only clothing can handle a bit of moisture on them. If your clothing care tag allows for some moisture, try lightly spraying the garment with some water and then allow the item to completely air dry.
2. Try a little vinegar. Vinegar is slightly acidic, which allows it to penetrate into the clothing a little deeper. If a spray of water and air-drying doesn’t remove the odor, try lightly spraying the garment with vinegar. Then allow it to air dry again. Other acidic items, such as lemon juice and vodka, work in the same way.
3. Bury the clothing in kitty litter. Cat litter typically contains activated charcoal. That is what absorbs the ammonia smells from their urine and it can also be what removes the cigarette smoke odor from your clothing. Bury the clothing in a plastic bag filled with cat litter for up to 48 hours. Poke some holes in the top of the bag so there is air flowing. For difficult odors, this may require 2-3 additional applications.
4. Store the clothing with coffee. If the idea of burying your clothes in cat litter is unappealing, then use a box with a couple of tin containers of coffee. Open the coffee containers, set the clothes between them, and give the process 48 hours to complete. Then air dry the clothing to remove the coffee smells.
5. Consider using an at-home dry cleaning treatment. There are several at-home dryer kits that will let you clean dry-clean only clothes with your home dryer. When used correctly, there should be no shrinking, stretching, or fading.
One popular kit is made by Dryel.
Touch-up sprays are available for this option as well.
Woolite makes an at-home dry cleaner as well that may be worth looking at
These options tend to work better for immediate odors rather than long-term odors that are embedded into dry-clean only clothing. With several treatments, however, these DIY methods can help your clothing smell better so you can show your favorite looks to the world once again.
Which DIY cleaning methods have worked the best for you in removing cigarette smoke odors from your favorite clothes?