Odor Removal

How to Get Rid of Campfire Smell

Some of the best times you can have in the summer months are packed around a campfire with your friends or family, enjoying nature and swapping some great stories. Unfortunately, being so close to the fire over a period of time can make your clothes start to hold that campfire smoke smell. Some people enjoy this smell, but chances are you don’t want to take this part of your nature adventure home with you! Follow these steps to get rid of campfire smell in your life.

1. Use hot water.

Hot water is the best way to get any stain out, and this applies to odors as well! Always check the tags in your clothes to see what the specific washing requirements are for the garment in question.

Use the maximum amount of heat that you can: the more heat you use, the more the fibers in clothing will open up and cause the campfire smell to be washed away, whether by hand or in a washing machine.

2. Use vinegar.

If you have access to a washing machine, try adding a cup of vinegar to your normal wash cycle. This adds a nice little boost to any normal detergent you typically use.

3. Use baking soda.

Like vinegar, baking soda can also serve as a strong deodorizer. Start your washing machine, and within the first five minutes, pour the baking soda into the wash.

As a quick fix, you can also consider sprinkling baking soda over top of the affected clothing. It will act as a moisture wick, and you can simply shake the baking soda off afterwards.

Ok, so you want those smells out WHILE you are still camping? Fair enough. Here are some suggestions to try that do not require a washing machine to accomplish.

4. Air them out.

If you have a nice day, try and find a solid sunny area and hang your clothes up on a rod or on a line. A little sunshine can go a long way to getting rid of the campfire smell your clothes. The open space, the fresh air, and the rays of the sunshine itself can go a long way to airing out your clothing well.

This can also be a good suggestion to try if you have washed your clothes but still feel like a slight campfire smell remains. Get that smell all the way out by using nature to your advantage!

5. Use vodka.

If you have a spritzer bottle handy, mix together a solution of water and vodka. Vodka is well known as a deodorizer and can truly help you to get rid of that campfire smell! Use your spray bottle to spray the interior of your clothing, and hang them outside in direct sunlight. The vodka will quickly evaporate, while getting rid of the smoky smell in the process!

6. Use lemon juice.

Again, using a spray bottle with a mix of water and lemon juice and you will find yourself removing unwanted odors in no time. Use one part lemon juice to eight parts water to obtain the optimal mix. Once you have your mix, spray down the entire outside of your clothing. Hang your clothes outside in direct sunlight for a few hours, and the smell will be lifted right out!

7. Try deodorizing spray.

If you don’t happen to have a spray bottle with you on your camping adventure, or just lying around the house, consider bringing a premixed bottle with you! Febreze is a great option that you can try in this regard. On short notice, or as a quick and easy solution, this may be the way to go for you!

Simply spray your clothing down and let it dry somewhere in the sun for a few hours and your clothes will smell fresh in no time. Consider packing a bottle of Febreze into your camping luggage ahead of time so that it is ready for you whenever you need it, and you don’t have to think about it!

8. Try an activated charcoal box.

This solution takes a slightly longer time than the others, but can be just as effective! If you have the time, using an activated charcoal box can be a great way to get rid of odors without having to use any moisture.

Placing an activated charcoal box within an old pair of socks or leggings and place them in a box or other enclosed space with the clothes that have the campfire smell. Allow the clothes to sit for five to seven days, and you should find that the smoke is no longer an issue!

9. Get rid of them.

If you need to get rid of campfire smell in your clothes, why not just get rid of the clothes themselves! This is not the most practical solution, but you may find that certain smoky odors will simply NOT leave your clothing.

Another way to get rid of the need to get rid of the smoky smell in the first place is to consider wearing clothes that you are not overly fond of around a fire in the first place. This way if any ash happens to land on your favourite white sweater, you will not have two problems you are trying to get rid of all at once! Also consider avoiding certain items that can be difficult to clean. Certain shoes and many types of hats are expensive or impossible to clean, and you do not want to have to deal with a smoke smell in these.

Don’t let smoky clothes ruin your holiday! Follow these suggestions and you will be well on your way to getting rid of this problem and preventing it from happening again in the future. Keep in mind that your friends are family are in the same position as you; you likely all have some smoky smells on your clothes! That is just what happens at a campout. Relax and enjoy nature!

About the author

Nicole Harding

3 Comments

  • Camping is my favorite thing to do…and being by the camp fire is so much fun. We actually have an outdoors bar and grill here in Phoenix that is so much fun. They have fire pits all around and live music. Anyway, they burn whatever they can get their hands on!! And it stinks so bad…I’ve even had to throw clothes away after going there…the smell never came out.

    My neighbor gave me a product that she picked up at the Home & Garden show that I used for something else, but I decided to try it on my smoky clothes…and it worked. What Odor? eliminates any odor that there is!! Thank goodness…it has saved me a lot of money!!

  • We had a garage fire and it almost all burned down but we are able to salvage some of the wood from the frame. What I would like to know is there a way to get rid of the smell of burned wood before we treat it and put it behind insulation and sheetrock. I would like for the new garage not to smell like it had burned.

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