Ultimate Guide On How To Get Campfire Smell Out Of Clothes

Gathering around a campfire to share interesting stories with your buddies in starry nights is perhaps the long awaited part in any camping trips. But it also means that campfire smoke will make its way to your clothes and its unpleasant smell will linger on your clothes far longer than you may expect.

And luckily, as a regular camper, I figured out the solutions to driving away smoke odor from clothes that I think any campers find useful. These methods work no matter you’re still on the move or back home already. By preparing some ingredients and tools and following one or some of the carefully tested methods hereafter, you will have your clothes smelling good again in no time.

1. Hanging Clothes Under The Sun

The very first solution I highly recommend you is putting your clothes under direct exposure to sunlight that is simple and costs you nothing. Don’t hesitate to give it a try as the ultraviolet rays and fresh air outdoor may make miracle in driving the undesirable odor of campfire smoke away from your clothes. Especially, the method of air drying comes in handy as sunlight is everything you need to apply this method.
If you find that campfire odor is still left on your clothes after other methods are used, you should continue with this method to add fresh smell to your clothes. 

campfire smell

2. Using Hot Water

The campfire smell can easily be extracted by using hot water, but you still have to check the water temperature the clothes can take. It's because some clothes would end up shrinking or even worse when washed in hot water. So, the water should be warm enough to enable the detergent to get into the fibers of the clothes and get rid of the unpleasant smell.

How to do it right:

  1. See the tag on your clothes to check the maximum temperature your clothes can take. This step is important for some kinds of fabric may get shrunk or faded in color once washed in hot water. This step is to determine the suitable temperature of the washing water.
  2. Prepare the hot water with suitable temperature
  3. Pour hot water all over the clothes
  4. Dry your clothes under the sun
campfire smell

3. Using White Vinegar

White vinegar, besides its use as a cooking ingredient, is often referred to as a great odor remover.

What you need:

  • white vinegar
  • bathtub
  • warm water

How to do it right:

  1. Prepare some white vinegar
  2. See the tag on your clothes to check the maximum temperature your clothes can take.
  3. Fill your bathtub with warm water with suitable temperature
  4. Add vinegar to the bathtub
  5. Soak your clothes in the mixture for some 15 minutes

Notes: Do remember to use warm water that helps release vinegar vapor efficiently.
This method can be applied to cut through any kinds of odor from clothes with ease.

campfire smell

4. Applying Baking Soda

Baking soda, just like white vinegar, is known for its various uses, and deodorization is among them.

What you need:

  • detergent
  • baking soda
  • a basin

How to do it right:

  1. Mix detergent and baking soda together
  2. Soak your clothes in the solution and let them rest for some 20 minutes
  3. Wash the clothes
  4. Dry the clothes under the sun
campfire smell

Notes: Don’t apply baking soda on silk and wool that are sensitive to alkaline.

5. Employing Enzymes

Enzyme cleaners are in fact biological compounds that contain thousands of enzymes working on cleaning up household messes and deodorizing them. For this reason, this non-toxic and bio-gradable cleaning solution is much favored nowadays.

What you need:

  • Enzyme cleaner
  • Dunk
  • Warm water
  • A basin

How to do it right:

  1. Prepare a solution of warm water, dunk, and warm water
  2. Let the solution rest for 2-3 hours
  3. Add detergent and wash your clothes
  4. Hang the clothes under sun till they get completely dry
campfire smell

6. Using Vodka

“Are you kidding me?” Many people may exclaim so upon hearing this. The surprising fact is that vodka is not only a favorite drink but also an efficient makeshift deodorant. Hence, this is a secret of vodka you should know to benefit yourself.

What you need:

  • vodka
  • warm water
  • a spray bottle

How to do it right:

  1. Mix warm water and vodka together in a ratio of one to one
  2. Pour the solution into a spray bottle
  3. Spray the solution all over your clothes with campfire smell
  4. Hang the clothes under the sun so that the sun will make vodka neutralize campfire smell and drive the smell away naturally while evaporating
campfire smell

7. Using Lemon Juice

Lemon is popularly found in any house because of not only its culinary versatility but also its great help in cleaning and deodorizing. It's due to the fact that the citric acid of lemon juice makes miracle in removing unpleasant odors, including the campfire smell, which is proven in reality.

That’s why I recommend you to try lemon juice on your smoky clothes.

What you need:

  • warm water
  • lemon juice
  • a spray bottle

How to do it right:

  1. Mix warm water and lemon juice together in a ratio of eight to one
  2. Put the solution into a spray bottle
  3. Spray the solution on your clothes till the clothes get moist enough
  4. Hang the clothes under the sun for 3-4 hours
campfire smell

8. Using Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is more wonderful than you think. Many people employ it to detoxify their bodies, whereas many others consider it as a miraculous natural deodorant. The fact is that activated charcoal serves as a magnet that attracts the harmful substances and unpleasant odors.

What you need:

  • some activated charcoal (powder or pill)
  • nylon bags
  • a box with lid

How to do it right:

  1. Put activated charcoal inside a nylon bag
  2. Put the bag together with your clothes inside the lidded box
  3. Leave the box for 5-7 days and you will find your clothes smell good again

This method works actually but it's quite time-consuming, so you should think twice before applying it, putting your situation into consideration.

campfire smell


  • check
    Pick the suitable met​hod for your convenience. For example, if you’re on the go, the no-wash methods such as using lemon juice, drying under the sun, etc. are highly recommended.
  • check
    Repeat the procedures or change the method to remove the smell completely from your clothes if necessary. But keep in mind that doing it too much is not good for this may damage your clothes
  • check
    Before applying any method, read the tag on your clothes first to see if the method or ingredients are suitable for the fabric.


Following the above mentioned tips, you will have your clothes free from campfire smoke everytime you want. Trust me!
So, just enjoy your camping trip to the fullest to gather the beautiful memories of your youth by the campfire, don’t make it interrupted by the worry of campfire smoke.
It’s hoped you’ve enjoyed the guide. Tell me which method for eliminating smoke odor you find most useful in the comment section and maybe, we’ll together find out the best ones. 

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Callie Moore

I’m Callie Moore, truly and deeply addicted to travel, worldwide cultures, and outdoor activities. I’m on the way of pursuing an adventurous life that enables me to earn the experiences of a lifetime. My blog is the place for those who are looking for inspiration to live a life filled with adventures as well as sincere and useful sharing about travel tips, gear, etc. for fun-packed trips. Just go on board, and we’ll together explore the world in our crazily cool and amazing way!

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