Remove smoke from clothes with a home dry-cleaning kit.

How to Remove Heavy Smoke Odor From Dry-Clean-Only Clothes

by S.R. Becker

When your dry-clean-only clothing becomes saturated with the smell of smoke, you might fear you'll never get the odor out. Taking your clothes for a professional dry-cleaning is your best bet for getting rid of odors, but if you're unable to do so, try a home remedy. Not only are some dry-clean-only garments actually washable, home dry-cleaning kits are available in supermarkets. There may be no need to make the trip to the cleaner's with proper odor-removal techniques.

1 Hang the clothes in a small room such as a laundry room or bathroom. Fill three or four small bowls with white vinegar and place them near the garments. Close the windows and door and leave the room sealed overnight.

2 Hang the clothes outdoors in the sunlight, preferably in a breezy area. Leave the clothes outdoors for a day or two. If you're worried about fading from sunlight, hang them in a shady area.

3 Use a home dry-cleaning kit in the dryer. Place the garment in the large bag with a solvent sheet, seal the bag and put it in the dryer. Run the dryer according to the kit's directions.

4 Steam the garments with a hand-held clothing steamer. Steaming can set stains, so use a home dry-cleaning kit to get rid of stains first.

5 Wash cotton, linen, polyester or wool by hand if all else fails. Some clothes are labeled "dry-clean only" despite being washable. Use cold water and a detergent formulated to remove strong odors, such as a liquid detergent containing oxygen bleach. When in doubt about whether or not an item is washable, test a small, inconspicuous piece, such as an inner seam, first. Hang clothes to dry instead of putting them in the dryer.

Items you will need

  • White vinegar
  • Small bowls
  • Home dry-cleaning kit
  • Clothing steamer
  • Laundry detergent


  • Getting some garments wet will damage them. Rayon, silk, leather, suede and blended-fiber fabrics should always go to the dry cleaner.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images