Tips on How to Remove Cigar Smell From Your Clothes

Man smoking a cigar

When you’re smoking a cigar, the aroma really adds to the experience, enhancing the flavours present in the smoke and helping to stimulate all of your senses. However, once the cigar has been smoked and the ash has settled, what can linger is a stale smell that’s hard to shake. Very few people enjoy the smell of old cigars, but unfortunately, it can stick around, so it’s more than likely that you’ll need to eliminate the odour. We take a look at how you can achieve a cigar-smell-free wardrobe, using a few different methods.

Why Does Cigar Smoke Make Our Clothes Smell?

Smoke that comes from a cigar is made as a result of an incomplete combustion of the tobacco. The smoke from a cigar will primarily consist of water, ash and oils. The ash from a cigar comes from all of the non-combustible minerals that are found in tobacco, such as potassium and magnesium. These ash particles are very fine and tend to cling to your clothing – they can be pretty hard to brush off and may leave a mark. The smell of cigar smoke comes from the ash and residual oils that are released into the air as the tobacco burns. Therefore, when these particles become trapped in your clothing, they will continue to smell and create a bad odour.

Don’t Just Throw Your Clothes in the Washing Machine

While it can be tempting to just pop your smoky clothing in with the rest of your laundry and set it going in the washing machine, this is a bad idea. While the wash will loosen some of the smoke particles, these particles will be left in the water and the machine. This can essentially infuse all of the clothing in the machine with the smoky smell, and may also impact on future washes. Therefore, it is very important to attempt to remove as much smoke residue as possible before washing your clothes.

Don’t Bother With Home Remedies

When searching online for ways to remove the smell of cigar smoke from clothing, you’re likely to be inundated with tips and tricks that will leave your clothes smelling fresh. Many of these home remedies will involve using things from your kitchen cupboard, such as spraying your clothes with vodka or drizzling some olive oil over to loosen the ash. Ultimately, these ‘remedies’ will not work for removing smoky smells, and may actually cause more damage to your clothing.

Brush and Steam Garments to Refresh

Before cleaning your clothes, you will need to make sure as much of the smoke residue as possible has been removed from each garment. The best way to do this is to use a bristle brush designed for clothing. Brushing out the clothes will dislodge any trapped smoke particles between the fibres of the material. It is a good idea to brush out the clothing outside, as you don’t want the smoke particles to be brushed onto your carpet or furnishings in the home!

Once the clothing has been brushed, the fabric must be steamed with a clothing steamer. This process should be repeated a couple of times to ensure that all of the smoke smell has been removed. Leave the clothing hanging up for a day in fresh air, until the smell is no longer detectable. Finally, the clothing should be put in the wash, or cleaned as requested on the clothing labels.

What if the Clothes Are Dry Clean Only?

Even if you are taking your clothing to a dry cleaner, you will still need to remove as much of the smoky smell and residue as possible beforehand. If you have been smoking a cigar in a suit, coat, or other non-washable item that requires dry cleaning, then you should take a different approach than the brush and steam method. Dry clean only fabrics are usually more delicate, and so brushing with a bristle brush and steaming may not be an option.

Instead, you should turn to the tried and tested method of using baking soda and a hoover. The baking soda should be sprinkled over the clothes and left for one to two days. After this time, the baking soda should be vacuumed up, making sure you don’t press the vacuum down too hard on the fabric. This process should be repeated until the fabric smells fresher. Baking soda works to remove odours by giving the smoke particles something to cling to, making it easier to remove them using the hoover. This process also works if you are trying to remove the smell of cigar smoke from upholstery or car interiors.

Have you got any tips on how to remove the cigar smoke smell from your clothes or upholstery? If so, leave a comment below!

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