Summer always comes around and with it comes the opportunity for gathering around a campfire.

When it comes to outdoor activities, few things can surpass the joy of sitting around a fire pit with friends and family and delighting in the warmth of the fire and the crackling of the flames.

However, campfires come with a big downside: once the fun is over, your clothes end up reeking of smoke. And while the smell of campfire smoke is not abhorrent (I’m partial to campfire smoke smell, if I’m being honest), to many people the odor can be significantly bothersome.

Thankfully, there are several ways to get rid of this smell. Follow me below to learn just how you can get the campfire smoke smell out of clothes.

How Do You Get Campfire Smell Out Of Your Clothes?

To get the campfire smell out of your clothes you can try one or a combination of the following:

  • Wash your clothes in hot water
  • Soak your clothes in alcohol
  • Air out your clothes
  • Spray your clothes with a mixture of lemon/water
Remove bonfire smell from clothes

Getting Smoky Campfire Smell Out Of Your Clothes

Thankfully you don’t have to put up with campfire smells on your clothes if you don’t want to.

Here are the most effective tips and tricks to deodorize your smelly clothes after a smoky campfire session

Hot Water

Washing your clothes in hot water is one of the most effective options for removing the smell of campfire smoke from your clothes.

This is because the heat from the hot water gets transferred to the individual fibers, causing them to loosen and open up. As a result, the odor-causing particles that have become stuck to your clothes can be more easily washed away.

The easiest and safest way of using hot water to wash your clothes is to use the highest temperature setting on your washing machine. If possible, add a cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle to further boost your ability to remove the campfire smell from your clothes.

Pro-Tip: be mindful of the type of clothing you wash with hot water. Some textiles aren’t meant to be washed in high-temperature settings.


Another great way to remove campfire smoke smell from your clothes is to soak them in alcohol.

This is effective because alcohol is a potent, all-natural solvent that can break down and dissolve smoke particles found deep within your clothes’ fibers, making them far easier to be removed by water.

It’s important to use high-proof alcohol such as rubbing alcohol since these will have a much higher concentration and fewer additives that can negatively affect your clothes.

To soak your clothes in alcohol and remove the smoke smell of the campfire, place your stinky clothes inside a clean bucket and pour enough alcohol into the bucket to fully cover your clothes.

Then, allow your clothes to soak in the alcohol for at least 30 minutes to allow the alcohol enough time to dissolve and break down any odor-causing particles.

After the clothes have soaked for enough time, rinse them in clean water and proceed to wash them normally.

Pro-Tip: an alcohol soak is also a super effective method to get rid of pesky stains, such as those caused by ink or sap.


Air drying can further help you get the smoke smell out of your clothes by allowing the smoke molecules to dissipate slowly over time.

When you expose your wet clothes to fresh air, the smoky odor-causing particles trapped inside the fibers of your clothes will be carried away by air.

If you don’t have access to the outside or if the weather doesn’t permit you to air dry your clothes, you can still use this trick. Simply make sure your clothes are wrung out, then hang them using hangers or a clothesline, then position a fan so that it blows directly over the damp clothes.


Using freshly squeezed lemon juice mixed with water can help you get that typical campfire smokiness out of your clothing because the citric acid in freshly squeezed lemon juice is very effective at eliminating odor-causing compounds such as those found in smoke.

To do this, take a handful of lemons and squeeze them for fresh lemon juice. Now mix equal parts lemon juice and clean water in a plastic spray bottle. Warm water works best to activate the citric acid in the lemon juice.

Now, spray the lemon/water mixture over your smoky clothes, making sure to saturate the areas with the most noticeable smell of campfire and smoke.

After the lemon/water mixture has been working on the clothes for at least 30 minutes, proceed to machine wash your clothes as usual, using your favorite laundry detergent.

Smoky Campfire Clothes

The End Of Smoky Clothes

Getting the campfire smell out of your clothes is easier than you think. Following the simple way listed above, you can get that persistent smokey smell. You will find that using a combination of regular washing, soaking, and air-drying methods will yield the best results.