How To Get Campfire Smells Out Of Clothes – The Easy Way

how to get campfire smells out of clothes

Want to find out how to get campfire smells out of clothes? You’ve come to the right place. Let’s get into it.

Pre-treatment Options For Smoke Scented Clothes

While the campfire might go out easy enough, the smell from the campfire does not. Here are some pre-treatment options you can use to help you eliminate the campfire smell from your clothes.

  1. Shake it off: Start by giving your smoky clothes a good shake outdoors. This helps remove any loose ashes and soot particles before you begin the pre-treatment process.
  2. Air them out: Hang your clothes outside on a clothesline or lay them on a clean, dry surface in a well-ventilated area for a few hours, or even overnight. Fresh air and sunlight can work wonders in reducing smoke odors.
  3. Spot-treat stains: If you’ve got any visible soot or ash stains on your clothes, gently brush off the excess and then dab a mixture of dish soap and water onto the stained area with a cloth or sponge. Let it sit for about 15-30 minutes before rinsing with cold water.
  4. Soak it up: Fill a basin or sink with warm water and add a generous amount of white vinegar – about one cup per gallon of water should do the trick. Submerge your smoke-scented clothes in the mixture and let them soak for at least 30 minutes to an hour. The vinegar will help neutralize the smoky odor.
  5. Baking soda boost: After soaking your clothes in the vinegar solution, you can further enhance the odor-fighting power by adding half a cup of baking soda to your washing machine along with your regular detergent. The combination of vinegar and baking soda will work together to eliminate those stubborn smoke smells.

Once the prewash is done, you’ll want to finish up by giving the clothes a good washing. This can be done with a good detergent or with the use of vinegar and baking soda.

Choosing the Right Detergent for Campfire Smell Removal

First and foremost, look for detergents specifically formulated for removing tough odors. These products often contain enzymes and other odor-neutralizing ingredients that work together to break down and eliminate the lingering smoke smell. Brands like Tide, Persil, and Arm & Hammer offer odor-fighting detergents, which are excellent options to consider. Don’t hesitate to read the labels and compare products to find the best match for your needs.

Now, let’s talk about scent. While it might be tempting to reach for a detergent with a strong fragrance to mask the campfire smell, it’s better to opt for a more subtle scent or even a fragrance-free option. This is because strong fragrances can sometimes mix with the smoke odor and create an even more unpleasant smell. Instead, choose a detergent that focuses on neutralizing and removing odors rather than masking them.

Another aspect to consider is the type of fabric you’re dealing with. Some materials, like synthetic fabrics, can be more prone to retaining odors than natural fibers like cotton. Make sure to select a detergent that’s suitable for the specific fabric types in your smoky laundry pile. This will help ensure that you’re not only removing the campfire smell but also protecting your clothes from any potential damage.

Lastly, don’t forget to follow the detergent’s recommended usage instructions. Using too little detergent may not effectively remove the smoke smell, while using too much can leave residue on your clothes and even damage your washing machine. Stick to the suggested amount to achieve the best results.

Using Vinegar and Baking Soda To Remove Smoke Smells

Vinegar and baking soda mixed together does not make a good cleaning solution. However, using each one separately can be an effective way to get rid of campfire smells from your clothes.

Here is how to do it:

Step 1: Pre-soak with vinegar: Start by filling a basin, sink, or even your washing machine with warm water. Add a generous amount of white vinegar – approximately one cup per gallon of water should do the trick. Submerge your smoke-scented clothes in the mixture and let them soak for at least 30 minutes to an hour. The vinegar will help neutralize the smoky odor while also acting as a gentle fabric softener.

Step 2: Wash with baking soda: After soaking your clothes in the vinegar solution, it’s time for a proper wash. Transfer your clothes to the washing machine if you haven’t soaked them there already. Add your regular laundry detergent, following the recommended amount for your load size. Now, for the secret weapon: add half a cup of baking soda to the washing machine. Baking soda is a natural odor absorber and will work hand-in-hand with the vinegar to eliminate those stubborn smoke smells.

Step 3: Rinse and dry: Run your washing machine on a regular cycle, using cold or warm water as appropriate for the fabric types. Once the cycle is complete, give your clothes a sniff test. If any smoke odor remains, feel free to repeat the process. When you’re satisfied that the smell is gone, hang your clothes to dry outside in the fresh air and sunlight, which will further help to remove any lingering odors.

And that’s it! By using vinegar and baking soda in your laundry routine, you can effectively remove smoke smells from your clothes without the need for harsh chemicals or expensive odor-fighting products.

Preventing Campfire Smells From Getting On Your Clothes

As they say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound in cure”. Prevent campfire smells from getting on your clothes and you won’t have to worry about having to wash them out.

Here are some steps you can take to prevent campfire smells from getting onto your clothing:

  1. Dress strategically: Wear clothes made from natural fibers like cotton, linen, or wool, as they tend to absorb smoke odors less than synthetic materials. Additionally, consider wearing a designated “campfire outfit” that you don’t mind getting smoky, and then change into fresh clothes once you’re done with the fire.
  2. Keep your distance: While it’s tempting to sit as close as possible to the warmth of the fire, maintaining a reasonable distance can help minimize the amount of smoke that reaches your clothes. Sitting upwind of the fire can also reduce the amount of smoke you and your clothes are exposed to.
  3. Use a fire ring or fire pit: When possible, build your campfire in a designated fire ring or a fire pit. This not only helps to contain the fire and make it safer but can also improve airflow and reduce the amount of smoke produced.
  4. Choose the right firewood: Opt for seasoned, dry firewood, which tends to produce less smoke than green or wet wood. Hardwoods like oak or maple are ideal choices, as they burn hotter and cleaner than softer woods like pine.
  5. Build a smoke-efficient fire: Learn how to build a fire that produces less smoke. Teepee, log cabin, and top-down fire structures are known to be more efficient and produce less smoke. By improving your fire-building skills and getting a hot campfire going, you can enjoy your campfire experience with less smoke and odor.
  6. Use a campfire smoke-reducing accessory: There are various smoke-reducing accessories available on the market, such as portable fire pits with built-in air circulation systems. These products can help minimize the amount of smoke produced by your campfire and, in turn, reduce the smoke odor on your clothes.
  7. Air out clothes immediately: After sitting around the campfire, hang your clothes outside or in a well-ventilated area to air them out as soon as possible. This can help prevent the smoke smell from settling into the fabric.

By following these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the amount of campfire odor that lingers on your clothing. So, go ahead and enjoy your next camping trip with the confidence that you can keep those pesky smoke smells in check.

What’s your favorite detergent for getting smoke smells out of clothes? Comment below!

Jim Murphy

Jim's love for camping started at an early age. His parents would take him camping every summer, where he'd spend his days getting quality time in with his dad and his nights eating too many smores.

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