How to Get the Campfire Smell Out of Clothes

stoking a campfireIs there anything to match the bliss of a campfire at night? You’ve trekked all day, you’re cold, tired, in need of a lift. Flickering flames offer heat, light and, even better, the opportunity to toast marshmallows!

Luxury comes at a price, of course. If it’s true that there’s no smoke without fire, it’s equally true that there’s no fire without smoke. And smoke stinks. Stinks in a special, seemingly impermeable way.

Anyone who’s lied to their parents about smoking knows that one of the giveaways is the smell. If a few Benson and Hedges, with a trickle of smoke at the tip, can stink out your wardrobe, imagine what a roaring campfire can do.

Fortunately, there’s no need to consign your hiking gear to the dustbin after exposure to smoke. A regular wash may not diminish that campfire smell, but there are several simple methods that can be used to get your clothes smelling as good as new. Read on to discover the secrets to get the campfire smell out of clothes!

What you will need

There are four methods for removing the smell of campfire smoke from clothing that require only ordinary household goods (presuming, like any rational person, you consider vodka an essential household good!)

  • The White Vinegar and Steam method
  • The Baking Soda in your wash method
  • Vodka Spritz method
  • and Citrus Spritz method

Each of the methods is listed below with a note of all the items you’ll need to complete the task.

1 – Use White Vinegar and Steam to Drive the Smell Outwhite vinegar

Filling up a bathtub with warm water and adding white vinegar produces a powerful vapour that, as it rises, will extinguish the smoke smell from any clothes hung above.

This method requires the following:

  • A bath or other tub
  • A shower or other rail that can be used to hang clothes on
  • Clothes hangers
  • White vinegar (four cups)

Step One

Hang the clothes you wish to cleanse on the shower rail above your bath. Doing this before you fill the bath ensures that they will get the benefit of all of the warm water vapour.

Step Two

Fill the bath with warm water. Fill the tub as high as you can so that the vapour only has a short distance to rise to the clothes.

Step Three

Pour four cups of white vinegar into the water and leave the clothes hanging above the mix of water and vinegar for ten minutes, allowing them to absorb the vapour.

Step Four

The final step! Hang your clothes outside to dry. Fresh air and sunshine are incomparable fresheners of clothes.

2 – Add Baking Soda to a Standard Washbaking soda with washing

Adding some baking soda to a standard wash, as well as your usual detergent, should be a potent enough mix to eliminate the campfire smell.

This method requires the following:

  • Baking soda
  • Detergent
  • A Washing Machine!

Step One

Put your smoke tainted clothes into the washing machine and wash on a standard setting

Step Two

Once the cycle is complete open the lid (if you have one) and sprinkle half a cup of baking powder over the washing. If the machine has no lid open the door and dispense the half-cup or put it into the washing machine drawer.

Step Three

Run a short cycle, even five minutes will do, so that the clothes are tossed in the baking powder and water.

Step Four

Again, hang your clothes outside to dry. Fresh air and sunshine will add the finishing, freshening touches!

3 – Make a Vodka Spritz (But Don’t Drink It!)Bottle of vodka

Some would say it’s a crime to mix vodka with water and spray it on clothes rather than drink it, but it will take care of the campfire smell!

This method requires the following:

  • Vodka
  • Warm Water
  • A Spray Bottle

Step One

Fill a small spray bottle with vodka and water mixed in equal parts.

Step Two

Spray the mixture over the inside of any clothes affected by campfire smoke, ensuring that all of the inside of each piece of clothing is dampened by the spray

Step Three

Hang the clothes out to dry in the fresh air. When dry the smoke smell should be gone!

4 – Citrus Spritzlemon and limes

Lemons and Limes make an equally effective spritz when mixed with water and sprayed onto clothes.

This method requires the following:

  • A lemon or lime
  • Water
  • A spray bottle

Step One

Squeeze the juice from a lime or a lemon into a cup or glass

Step Two

Mix the citrus juice with warm water in a small spray bottle as follows: one part citrus juice to eight parts water.

Step Three

Spray the complete exterior of any clothes affected by smoke with the citrus spritz.

Step Four

Hang the clothes out to dry in the fresh air. Within three to four hours the smoke smell should be completely eliminated.

Which of the above methods sounds best to you? They are all equally effective at removing the smoke smell so it’s really down to you (and, perhaps, the contents of your cupboards!) which option you choose to go for.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Certainly, if you’ve been considering binning hiking clothes due to the seemingly ineradicable smoke smell, you’ll be delighted to learn that simple household goods can bail you out!

Enjoying the natural pleasures of a fire is one of the great attractions of camping. Thanks to the simple methods outlined in this article, the enjoyment of a campfire need no longer be tainted with the worry of what that smoke is doing to your expensive North Face gear.

Feel free to share the article with any friends you think it might help out!

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