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Thread: Quilt Cleaning Cigarette Smoke Odor -- NEED ADVICE!!!

  1. #1
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    Question Quilt Cleaning Cigarette Smoke Odor -- NEED ADVICE!!!

    My mother gave me a hand-made quilt 15 years ago. It has been stored in plastic and is in excellent condition except that it has a heavy nicotine/cigarette smell.

    I need to decide between airing it out, machine washing cold on delicate cycle, hand washing in cold water with mild detergent and then laying it out on towels or blankets, or taking it to a dry cleaner.

    I'm afraid to lay it out in the sun in case that might damage it. And I do not know if dry cleaners would care for it properly or be able to get the smell out.

    Thanks in advance for any advice or help you can offer.

  2. #2
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    Use your regular detergent and wash it on delicate. Turn the washer off and let it soak for a while before it agitates. You may want drain off that water and wash it in fresh water if the smell is really bad. I'd be careful of too many additives, though some white vinegar might be okay. I would spin it on normal to remove as much water as possible, then dry it in the dryer until damp, then lay it out. I wash a 50 year old quilt totally handmade that way.

  3. #3
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    is it too fragile to wash?
    i would wash it in the washer- with detergent and white vinegar-
    if you want to dry it laying flat---fresh air would not hurt! one of the recommended ways it to lay out a sheet on the lawn- place the quilt on the sheet-then place another sheet over the top of it- to protect it from birds ect
    after a while go out & check it- turn it over-
    i actually use my hammock= which is a large double one- that way the air flows under & over it- but laying on the lawn- or deck= what ever is doable too- the fresh air certainly makes them nice
    vinegar is good for removing odors & softening- mild detergent to help remove the (oily nicotine residue) in the fibers. it is generally not recommended to dry clean them- and often if you take them to a cleaners they do not dry clean them-since they are cotton- they toss them into a large industrial washer- then a dryer- and charge you for cleaning.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  4. #4
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    You can cover up the odor but it will never leave the fabric. It will get less noticeable if aired for a long time hanging outside so the wind can go through it.
    Got fabric?

  5. #5
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    This is interesting. I read just about an hour ago in our local newspaper a tip for removing smoke/nicotine smell from clothing. Perhaps it may be of help for you. It said to hang the garments in the bathroom, fill the tub with hot water, add a cup of white vinigar, close the door and leave over night. I have no idea if this works, but may be worth a try. I have always heard it is best to not send quilts to dry cleaners. Good luck with what ever you do.

  6. #6
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    Try using vanilla in the wash water, we had a house fire and I used some of the Mexican vanilla and it removed the order from our clothes, bedding and etc. It didn't hurt anything either.

  7. #7
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Vanilla may work. I know if you add vanilla to paint the paint smell isn't very strong while you are painting.
    Got fabric?

  8. #8
    Junior Member Christine George's Avatar
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    Soaking in OxyClean works too.

  9. #9
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I would not send it to the cleaners. You will problably be more gentle with it then they are. I would soak in the washer , hopefully you have a regular not high efficency machine. Use the soak cycle with baking soda( a whole box ), and about 1 cup white vinegar and about 1/4 cup of gentle laundry soap. Use alot of water , filling the machine as high as you can. Let it soak over night, then start the gentle cycle. You may want to do this twice . If you can still detect odor after the first try.

  10. #10
    Senior Member BSKTLOFR-QUILTER's Avatar
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    I use to sell Longaberger baskets. We (consultants) were advised when we ran across this problem to hang the item in a garage or outside enclosed area such as a shed for a couple of weeks where the air can circulate to remove the odor. I would start there first, and then use one of the above suggestions or a combination of them. You may need to be persistant and do several gentle treatments before it all comes out. Good luck.

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