Sunday, April 10, 2011

Holy Smokes!

Have you ever come into fabrics that smell of smoke? Recently 12 gorgeous fat quarter-sized scraps found their way to me sealed in quart-sized zip bags. When I opened the gift to admire the contents I was left with a sore throat after just three or four minutes of unsealing the bag. Whoa ~ strong stuff! Mr. IQ gets migraines from the smell of smoke, so it's not an option to have the smoke-scented fabrics around. What to do?

The good news: How I got rid of the odor:

I sealed them in the zip bags and sprinkled approximately one tablespoon of baking soda in each bag, then filled it with water to cover the tops of the fabrics. I then added a bit of 'odor eliminator' (Febreeze, for example, just unscrewed the top and poured in a bit) and zipped them up, agitated them (turned a few times, gently shook) to be sure the additions circulated around the fabrics and left them overnight. In the morning I opened the bags and poured out the yellow/tan water. I then filled the bags half way with fresh water and added enough white vinegar to cover the tops of the fabrics. In the afternoon I emptied the water/vinegar mixture out and squeezed the excess from the fabrics, then laundered them. The smelled great to me and they passed Mr. IQ's sniff test too.

Give this a try if you need to remove smoke smell from fabrics. Now I have lovely fat quarters to add to a scrap quilt or two.



  1. That is the main reason why I don't do any swaps, bees or round robins. Can't stand the smell of cig smoke.

  2. Thanks for the tip! Using donated fabrics, we sometimes have that problem - but we don't look a gift horse in the mouth, we just air them out!

  3. Glad you were able to get rid of the smoke smell...

    I had that problem with some books and furniture we inherited from my husband`s grandmother. Some of it ended up sitting out in the garage for over a year - its amazing what a year of fresh air will do. Others were scrubbed with baking soda - it worked wonders on the wood, although did take off some of the water based finishes (so they needed to be refinished)