How to Get Campfire Smell Out of Clothes

If you’re a fan of camping, then you know there’s nothing quite like sitting around a campfire at night. I know I always enjoy relaxing by the fire and roasting some marshmallows. However, one downside of campfires is that the smell of smoke can linger on your clothes long after the fire has died down.

If you’re looking for ways how to get smoke smell out of clothes, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll give you a few tips on how to effectively remove campfire smoke from your clothing.

Get Campfire Smell Out of Clothes

Removing that heavy, smoky scent from clothes may seem impossible, so Wendy Saladyga, Persil stain expert, and senior manager of technical performance at Persil ProClean created a list of tips and tricks to remove smoke odor from clothes and get them smelling clean and fresh again.

So, if you’re ready to learn how to get rid of that pesky campfire smell, then let the campfires commence!

Wash your clothes as soon as possible.

This is probably the most obvious tip, but it’s also the most important. The sooner you wash your clothes after being exposed to smoke, the better. If you let the smoke odor particles sit on your clothing for too long, they’ll become embedded in the fabric and will be much harder to remove.

So, as soon as you get back from your camping trip, toss your smoky clothes into the wash. Even if they’re not dirty, it’s still a good idea to give them a rinse to remove any lingering smoke particles.

If you can’t wash your smoky clothes right away, then be sure to store them in an airtight container. This will prevent the smoke particles from spreading to other clothes and will make them easier to wash later on.

2. Choose a strong liquid detergent.

When you’re washing smoky clothes, it’s important to use a strong liquid laundry detergent, such as Persil ProClean Odor Fighter, to combat the heavy smoke odor. This will help to break up the smoke molecules and remove them from your clothing more effectively.

If you don’t have any liquid detergent on hand, you can also use white vinegar. Just add a cup of vinegar to your wash cycle along with your regular detergent. The vinegar will help to neutralize the smoke odor and leave your clothes smelling fresh and clean.

3. Add baking soda to your laundry.

Another great way to remove campfire smoke from clothing is to add baking soda to your laundry. Baking soda is a natural odor absorber, so it will help to eliminate the smoke smell from your clothes.

Just add a cup of baking soda to your washing machine along with your detergent. You can also sprinkle some baking soda directly onto your smoky clothes before putting them in the wash.

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4. Wash the item in hot water.

When washing smoky clothes, be sure to wash the item in the highest heat setting that is recommended according to the care instructions on the label. This will help to kill any bacteria that may be causing the smoke odor.

5. Smell the clothes after washing

After the wash has ended, smell the clothing to check if there are any lingering odors and ensure the smoke odor has gone. If not, wash again with the same liquid detergent. If necessary, you can also add a cup of white vinegar or baking soda to the second wash cycle.

If the smell isn’t gone before drying, you can lock in the odor by tumble drying on low heat. So, it’s best to re-wash the clothing if the smoke odor is still present.

6. Dry your clothes outdoors.

If possible, try to dry your smoky clothes outdoors. The fresh air will help to remove any lingering smoke odor from your clothing.

If you can’t dry your clothes outside, you can dry them in a dryer on the lowest heat setting. Be sure to remove the clothes from the dryer as soon as they’re done to prevent the smoke odor from becoming trapped in the fabric. For added freshness, you can also add a dryer sheet to the dryer. A few drops of essential oils can also be added to the dryer sheet for a pleasant scent.

7. Store your clothes in an airtight container.

Once your smoky clothes are clean and fresh-smelling, be sure to store them in an airtight container while camping. This will prevent the smoke odor from coming back and will keep your clothes smelling great.

8. Use a smoke odor eliminator.

If you’re still struggling to remove the smoke smell from your clothes, then you may want to try using a smoke odor eliminator, such as FunkAway Smoke Odor Eliminator. These products are designed specifically to remove smoke odors from clothing and other fabrics.

Just follow the instructions on the product label and be sure to ventilate the area while you’re using it.

9. For stubborn smells, soak your clothes in vinegar.

If you’re really struggling to remove the smoky odor from your clothes, then you can try soaking them in vinegar. Just fill a sink or tub with warm water and add a cup of white vinegar. Soak your smoky clothes in the solution for 30 minutes, then wash them as usual.

The vinegar will help to neutralize the smoke odor and leave your clothes smelling fresh and clean.

10. Try dry cleaning.

If all else fails, then you may need to try dry cleaning your smoky clothes. This is usually the best way to remove stubborn smoke odors from clothing.

Just be sure to tell the dry cleaner that your clothes are smoky so they can take the appropriate measures to clean them properly.

Now that you know how to remove campfire smoke from your clothes, you can enjoy your camping trip without worry. I’ve shared the best ways to remove the smoke smell from clothes, so you can be sure your clothes will come out smelling fresh and clean.

11. Preventive Measures

Prevention is always better than cure. To minimize the absorption of campfire smells in your clothes, wear a designated outer layer or wrap yourself in a blanket while sitting near the fire. This extra barrier will protect your inner layers from smoke penetration. Another preventive measure is to wear clothes made from tightly woven fabrics, as they are less prone to capturing odors.

12. Common Mistakes to Avoid

While trying to remove campfire smell, it’s important to avoid some common mistakes that can make the situation worse. Never use hot water for washing smoky clothes, as heat can set the odor deeper into the fabric fibers. Avoid overloading the washing machine, as it restricts the clothes’ movement and prevents effective odor removal. Lastly, refrain from using excessive amounts of fabric softeners or fragrant detergents, as they can mask the odor temporarily but not eliminate it.


Getting rid of the campfire smell from your clothes may require some extra effort, but with the right techniques, it’s entirely achievable. Whether you choose to pre-treat your clothes, use specific washing methods, or opt for natural remedies, these steps will help you say goodbye to that persistent campfire odor. Remember to follow the fabric care instructions and adapt the techniques based on the type of fabric you’re dealing with. With these tips in mind, you can enjoy your outdoor adventures without worrying about the lingering scent of the campfire on your clothes.


1. How long does the campfire smell usually linger on clothes?

The duration can vary depending on various factors, but typically, the campfire smell may last for several days if not treated promptly.

2. Can I use regular detergent to remove the campfire smell?

While regular detergent helps in cleaning your clothes, it might not be sufficient to eliminate the strong campfire odor. Consider using specialized laundry boosters or following the techniques mentioned in this article.

3. Is it safe to use bleach on all fabrics?

Bleach is generally safe for fabrics like cotton and polyester. However, it’s important to read the garment’s care instructions and test a small, inconspicuous area before using bleach on delicate fabrics.

4. Can I use a fabric softener to mask the campfire smell?

Fabric softeners can temporarily mask the odor, but they won’t eliminate it. It’s best to focus on using odor-neutralizing techniques or natural remedies to completely remove the campfire smell.

5. Can I use the same techniques for removing smoke odor from furniture and other belongings?

The techniques mentioned in this article are primarily focused on clothes. When dealing with furniture or other belongings, it’s recommended to explore specific cleaning methods suitable for those items.

6. Are there any commercial products available for removing campfire smell?

Yes, there are commercial products designed to remove smoke odors from clothes. Look for laundry boosters or odor-neutralizing sprays that specifically mention their effectiveness against smoke smells.

7. How can I prevent my hair from smelling like a campfire?

Wearing a hat or tying your hair up can help prevent it from absorbing the campfire smell. Additionally, consider using a scented hair mist or dry shampoo to mask any lingering odor.

8. Can I use vinegar on all types of fabrics?

Vinegar is generally safe for most fabrics, but it’s always best to refer to the care instructions on the garment. For delicate or special fabrics, it’s advisable to test vinegar on a small, hidden area first.

9. Should I wash smoky clothes separately from other laundry?

It’s a good idea to wash smoky clothes separately to avoid transferring the odor to other garments. This way, you can ensure effective odor removal without contaminating your other laundry.

10. How often should I clean my camping gear to remove campfire smells?

Regularly cleaning and airing out your camping gear, including tents, sleeping bags, and jackets, can help prevent the buildup of campfire smells. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and clean them after each camping trip if possible.

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Camilo Kawas is a seasoned entrepreneur and expert in the field of commercial cleaning, with a specific focus on clothes, carpet cleaning and floor care. With a profound understanding of the importance of selecting the right products for effective stain removal from clothes, Camilo has established himself as a trusted authority in the industry.

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