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Thread: Help! Quilt top smells like cigerette smoke

  1. #1
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    Help! Quilt top smells like cigerette smoke

    Our guild makes "American Hero" quilts and sends them to a group to be given to wounded soldiers, like "Quilts of Valor". Anyway, my sister, who lives in another state, wanted to participate, so she sent me a quilt top to be quilted by a member of our guild for our "American Hero" project. When I opened up the box, the quilt reeked of cigerette smoke. (My sister is a smoker, but did not think she smoked in her house) How do I get the smell out of the quilt top without washing it? I cannot use it this way, but I fear that if I wash it, it will have a "used" look. Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    Try febreeze and hanging it outside in the sun for a while? I know keeping them outside for a bit is what Quilts for Kids does with some of their donations, presumably for the same reason.

  3. #3
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    Leave it outside for 3 days will take away the smell of smoke. I know this because I have had to do this before.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member cattailsquilts's Avatar
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    Echoing the let it sit in the sun for a few days. Another option that I've used with lambskin (not exactly washable here) is to put it inside a large garbage bag with a bowl full of coffee grounds. Let it sit in an out of the way place for a week or two, and it should help. I did a combination of these when I received a pair of quilt tops for a Round Robin that reeked of smoke... >.<

  5. #5
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    Me, I would be washing it. Unless you get the actual tar and smoke out of the fabric, it will not be clean. Press the top before quilting and I am sure it will look as good as new.

    Sun and fresh air may get the smell out, but the fabric will not be clean.

    I had to clean a cabin that had had smokers living in it over the winter. It had already been 'cleaned', by some one who covered up the smell. They had aired out the curtains, lightly cleaned the walls etc.

    I washed those curtains in the bath tub and you would be amazed at how brown the water turned as the smoke was washed out.

    Cattailsquilts mentioned lambskin. I have washed those too in the washer and dryer. I also wash wool mattress pads at least once a year in the machine, hang those to dry if I can, otherwise they go into the dryer.
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  6. #6
    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    I would hang outside, spray with Febreeze, have it quilted, bind it....then wash it gently.....perhaps soak in a bathtub with lots and lots of water and perhaps some oxiclean.......
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  7. #7
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    I think washing it with a vinegar rinse would take out the odor better than anything else I have tried.
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  8. #8
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    #1 get over your displeasure. Smokers are people, too, and we really don't usually notice the odor. I knew it was time to quit when I came in the door from work one day and actually noticed the stale smoke odor in my house.
    I Febreze doesn't get rid of the odor, try one of the products for removing pet stains and odors. I like ZEP which is sold by Home Depot. They have a formula for air and fabric. Spray it on both sides of the quilt top and hang it to dry completely. Then proceede to quilt as usual.
    Good Luck.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lillybeck View Post
    I think washing it with a vinegar rinse would take out the odor better than anything else I have tried.
    Yes vinegar works wonders! I agree wash it to get the chemicals out and then press it like crazy before quilting. It won't look used...and will smell new.

  10. #10
    Junior Member HouseDragon's Avatar
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    I'd think twice about spraying a quilt you aren't keeping with febreeze.

    I'm highly allergic to febreeze: contact dermatitus. I'd hate to cause a solgier misery.

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