A friend of mine just returned from a 1600 mile motorcycle ride. His jacket and helmet are saturated with campfire smoke smell. It did not wash out.

Is there any way to remove that wood smoke smell from these items?

  • 1
    Perhaps the odor eating little spheres that are made for gym shoes and gym bags would help. In the US they are sold at Dick's sporting goods. // In terms of washing -- try a pre-wash with laundry soda. Alternatively you could try a prewash with vinegar. (Don't combine them in the same wash.) Jun 9, 2019 at 5:02
  • @aparente001 I have not yet heard back from my friend (David), but if you post this as an answer and it turns out to be what worked for him, then I can mark your answer as the accepted answer. Jun 16, 2019 at 17:37

5 Answers 5


I find that it fades on its own in time; wash them as best you can a few times with different soaps and leave somewhere well ventilated. It may take a while but things smell because they emit particles that the nose picks up. These particles are finite in number and will eventually diminish to a level undetectable by the nose, in a similar way to spraying perfume on your skin diminishes as the oils that make up the scent evaporate away into the air

Warm temperatures and airflow improve evaporation rates; if you can only arrange for one, go for airflow - evaporating water out of laundry is generally more successful on a cool breezy day than a warm still one, for example

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    My answer was going to be "Hang the clothes out in the wind," but your answer includes that and is much more eloquent, so I'll just give it an upvote. :) Jun 8, 2019 at 11:20

This is a tough one. I’d try baking soda. Coat it in baking soda and let it set in a dry, cool place for a few days. Knock off the baking soda and vacuum up the leftover bits. Give it a sniff and see if that worked.

Another excellent odor absorber is activated charcoal.

Other options would involve attempting to mask the scent but in my experience, that makes things worse.


Ozonation provides a safe and cost-effective way to completely get rid of smoke odour. Ozone is a "smoke eater" and destroys smoke odours at the molecular level.

The technique is called a "ozone shock treatment". Using an ozone generator enough ozone is created to seek out and destroy the smoke molecules leaving only clean, fresh air to breathe.

Depending on how heavy the smoke damage is, the treatment could take hours or days. You will need to avoid exposure to the ozone until the treatment has finished because this technique cannot safely be employed in an occupied structure, unless treatment is restricted to just one room. During an airing out period following ozonation treatment, excess ozone reverts back to safe, breatheable oxygen, posing no health risk and leaving no residue.

Good luck

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    My brother rented an ozone generator to do his whole home (while he was away for the duration.)
    – Stan
    Jun 16, 2019 at 1:22

Take it to a Dry Cleaner. As mentioned already, they can do an ozone soak or use other chemical gas soak methods to remove odor. Ozone is effective and environmentally friendly in the correct ppm, and regulations on dry cleaners have often driven them to use Ozone wash over the more environmentally impacting alternatives.

This method has also popped up in treating sweaty smelly gym clothes and hunting clothes (where odor can be a deterrent to the desired task at hand)


It's kinda silly, my suggestion is febreeze.

  • Welcome to Lifehacks! This sounds like it could be helpful, but needs some more information. How would you apply the Febreze, for example. Please feel free to edit your answer to add this. Thanks!
    – Mooseman
    Jul 7, 2019 at 10:12

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