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Thread: Smoke smell in fabric

  1. #1
    Senior Member SewMomma66's Avatar
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    I have a friend who lost her mother in November. She decided it was time to let go of her moms quilting stash. So for $100 I received a closet full of fabric. Literally from ceiling to floor and front to rear full of fabric in every color. Also, a large quilt frame and notions galore. A great deal.

    The problem: mom was a smoker. I have run my first load of fabric through my washer three times now and still have the faint aroma of cigarette smoke. Any recommendations?

  2. #2
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Could try putting in a bag with liberal dose of bicarbonate of soda - close it up and after a day or so shake it all out and air outside (that's for the stuff you've already washed).

    Try cheap white vinegar in the rinse cycle....gets rid of most odours.

  3. #3
    Super Member Quiltforme's Avatar
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    I had to use tide with fabreeze and then use a fabric sheet to get the smoke smell from a ebay seller who swore up and down it came from a smoke free home. The fabreez did something to stop the smell

  4. #4
    Senior Member sammygirlqt's Avatar
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    I have used a bit of ammonia and lots of soap to wash clothes and fabric I have purchased at rummage sales. After washing, I dry them outside. I believe Fabree would help also but the fresh air is the best (like all day). What a deal you got so hope you have some luck.

  5. #5
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I read on another forum that cigarette smoke becomes part of the fiber and can't be removed. There is a product called Vamoose that claims to get rid of it. Good luck.

  6. #6
    Senior Member MissSandra's Avatar
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    hang it out on a cloth line.

  7. #7
    Super Member NauDeeGal's Avatar
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    washing with baking soda, borax, and vinegar with your regular detergent or oxy clean will take the smell out. will also help for mildew or musty smells from storing fabrics in damp places. plus if you can hang outside to dry helps too.

  8. #8
    Super Member OHSue's Avatar
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    I find that oxy clean is pretty good at getting smells out of clothing like socks. But when my towels get smelly I use ammonia, I got that as a tip from our county extension service, at that time we used it to get a smell out of our rug. I worked on the rug, too.

  9. #9
    Super Member quilttiludrop's Avatar
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    Borax is good at removing odors too.

  10. #10
    Super Member TonnieLoree's Avatar
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    Might sound strange, but loosely load a lawn/leaf bag with the fabric and place a bowl of deactivated charcoal (like you buy for an aquarium) into the bag and let it set over night. I did this with a freezer that had some rotting fish left in it (not mine). It removed the odor in about 2 days.

  11. #11
    Senior Member CompulsiveQuilter's Avatar
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    Oh this makes me feel bad. I'm a smoker, and though I don't smoke in my sewing room, I'm sure the fabs are stinky. I recently send out boxes of scraps (can't be washed). I hope those folks didn't throw them away. Yikes.

  12. #12
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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    There is a product called Odoban...it is made with natural ingredients, smells great. You put in with your wash. I bought it at Sam's Club...not sure where else.
    Works on smoke smells.
    Works great on urine odors, too.

  13. #13
    Super Member Grammy o'5's Avatar
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    Spray the fabric already washed with Febreze, and if you have a place to do it, you could try hanging it outdoors - especially if there's a breeze.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by NauDeeGal
    washing with baking soda, borax, and vinegar with your regular detergent or oxy clean will take the smell out. will also help for mildew or musty smells from storing fabrics in damp places. plus if you can hang outside to dry helps too.
    add to this some good old fashioned SUNLIGHT...and it really works....

    fabreeze will NOT get the nicotine out of the fibers, so don't bother using it!

  15. #15
    Super Member jemma's Avatar
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    i have found fabreez good for a while but then the smell returns---borax+bicarb+vinigar works

  16. #16
    Senior Member LovinMySoldier's Avatar
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    Buy a couple of those baking soda boxes that you are suppose to use for the fridge and pantries. The ones that the sides open up but you can't get the baking soda out. Then stick those in a bag with the fabrics and let them sit.

    I also received some charms that were smoke smelling that I didn't want to wash. I asked on here and someone suggested that I stick them in the freezer. I stuck them on a cookie sheet and left them in there for a day or two. Really worked. If you are somewhere where it is still cold out maybe you could stick them in the garage or something. Good luck. If you do end up washing everything baking soda and vinegar in the wash do help.

  17. #17
    Senior Member LovinMySoldier's Avatar
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    Buy a couple of those baking soda boxes that you are suppose to use for the fridge and pantries. The ones that the sides open up but you can't get the baking soda out. Then stick those in a bag with the fabrics and let them sit.

    I also received some charms that were smoke smelling that I didn't want to wash. I asked on here and someone suggested that I stick them in the freezer. I stuck them on a cookie sheet and left them in there for a day or two. Really worked. If you are somewhere where it is still cold out maybe you could stick them in the garage or something. Good luck. If you do end up washing everything baking soda and vinegar in the wash do help.

  18. #18
    Super Member Country1's Avatar
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    spray with febreeze

  19. #19
    Senior Member SewMomma66's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your help. Will let you know what happens!

  20. #20
    okiepastor's Avatar
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    Vinegar and soda work!
    also, you can bag it up with charcoal as someone suggested....
    Febreeze is useless on smoke!

  21. #21
    rb.
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    I'd toss the notions. I'm a smoker (outdoor only), but when my mom passed away two years ago, I had to toss all her notions, they reeked so badly. For the quilt frame, I'd clean it with TSP from the paint dept., to get the sticky tar off, and replace any wooden pieces. Wood absorbs it and it never goes away. Good luck with the fabric. Sometimes it comes out, sometimes it doesn't.

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