The Best Materials to Absorb Smoke Smells

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Wearing clothes that smell strongly of smoke can be embarrassing.

If something you own has a strong smell of smoke, and a simple wash isn't fixing the problem, or you can't wash it yourself, there are several options. Multiple treatments may be called for and if nothing else works, you may have to give up and call a professional. Clothing, for example, may need to be dry cleaned before the smoke smell is gone.


For carpet that smells like smoke, lightly spray the carpet with water. Cover the affected area in a layer of zeolite, a volcanic mineral often used in pool filters. The zeolite layer should be roughly 1/4 inch thick. Zeolite is available in powdered or rock form. Both are effective. The zeolite rocks are also reusable after sitting in the sun for a few hours.

You can also use baking soda to eliminate a strong smoke odor in carpet. Use baking soda the same way as powdered carpet cleaner. Sprinkle the powder over the affected area of carpet, leave for a while and then vacuum the powder.

Smaller Items

If you have smaller items that are affected by a smoky odor and don't feel confident washing them, there is another method you can use at home. Put the item in a paper bag and sprinkle with baking soda or coffee grounds. Shake the bag to coat the item. Leave the item for a few hours or even over night. Take the item from the bag and shake it off to rid it of the baking soda or coffee ground residue. You may need to repeat this procedure to get rid of strong odors.


Walls that smell like smoke may be difficult to clean properly. Set out bowls of vinegar. This method works to eliminate cigarette odor, but will help any smoke smell affecting walls. If this simple method does not work, carefully wash the wall with nonabrasive cleaner. If none of these methods resolve the smoke smell then it may be necessary to repaint the walls.


Mix a solution of equal parts water and vinegar. Pour the liquid into a clean empty spray bottle. Very lightly mist the smoky-smelling area and leave to dry. The vinegar smell will last a couple of days, though the smoke smell should be gone sooner. Before you try this method over the entire affected area, test an inconspicuous area to make sure that the vinegar will not harm the fabric.


Bayard Tarpley

Bayard Tarpley began writing professionally in 2006. He has written for various print and online publications, including "The Corner News," specializing in health and computer topics. Tarpley majored in English at Auburn University.