How To Clean Smoke Damaged Clothes

So I have washed my clothes many times, let them dry in my dryer, and put them in my dresser with a dryer sheet to make sure all the Smoke Odor was gone.

And guess what?

Some of my clothes still smell like smoke!

smoke smell t shirt

I was in an unfortunate fire accident to my home, and some of the smoke from the fire got to a lot of my clothing. My shirts, jeans, and even my shoes reeked of the smoke odor.

The smoke damaged my clothing, but the good news is that I found some ways to help get rid of the smell. I also found that my methods work for a lot of the other smoke smells you get from a campfire or even cigarette smoke.

The Obvious Step

What you want to do first is sort your clothing like usual as if you were going to wash them. You know the whites go here, and the colors go here.

If the smoke tar or even the ash is on the clothing, you’ll need to put those in the sink and let them soak for a bit in just plain water. 

This is the part where you need to look over the situation you’ve been given. Sometimes you can get a professional to help out.

Try The Washer

Once you have figured out what you got to work with, then you can move onto just placing them in the washing machine. We need to get a baseline, and in fact, many of your clothing will be fine after one or two washes. 

If some clothing will not get cleaned or just damaged bad, then you might have to call it a loss and see what insurance can do for you. 

If The Washer Doesn’t Work

Doing several washes in the washing machine will not always get the smoke out of clothing. Sure the shirt looks fine, but the odor is still there and seems to get worse after every wash. 

This is where we start to bring out the bigger guns. Use a sink and fill it up with water and some vinegar. Vinegar is a natural solution or a sort of home remedy to fix your smoky problem.

A quick clean with the vinegar-water is all you need, remember vinegar is acid so you need to be careful. I would only do shirts and pants and NOT shoes, it doesn’t seem to be effective on shoes. 

Then you want to place the clothing in the washer and do another wash cycle. The critical part will be after the garment has been washed, DO NOT put in the dryer. You need to hang the clothing in the open air and let them slowly dry. The problem with a dryer is that it can bake the smell back into clothing or reactivate the smoke again. 

So What About My Shoes?

The shoes are going to need the most attention out of any fabrics you own. My way is not the easiest, but it can be the most effective. 

You will need something called Pink Miracle Shoe Cleaner. You will also need a scrub brush that is not rough on shoes. 

You will need to get the scrub brush soaking wet with water. Apply the Pink Miracle to the shoe and get to cleaning the shoes outer area. Then wipe it clean with a clean rag. 

Here is a video on how to use Pink Miracle…

What About The Inside of My Shoe?

The inside of the shoe can be the one that holds the smoke smell in. What I like to do is grab some simple green and spray a cloth rag with it. I take that rag and get it slightly soaked with water while still having some simple green on it. I Will then scrub the inside of my shoes with this rag. 

Just like with the other clothing, you don’t want to use the dryer at this point. You’ll want the shoes dry with cold air, so either leave them outside or place them over a cool vent. Shoot a little fan blowing over them will work too. 

It Sucks

That’s the best way I can put this whole experience.

It just sucks.

I lost a lot of shirts, jeans, and shoes due to the fire. I would say the smoke did the most damage that you can’t see, and a lot of my clothes are not the same. 

Here is a list of videos that go into more detail about getting rid of smoke smells from your clothing, Check Them Out Here!