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Bonfires, Grilling, and Your Dry Cleaning


How to Clean Clothing Exposed to Smoke

Whether it’s hanging out around the bonfire, cooking on the grill, or a fun Labor Day spent helping with fireworks, the scent of smoke is almost synonymous with summer in Minnesota. Just like cigarette smoke, or the smoke from a house fire, these much nicer smoky memories can hang around long after they are wanted, because smoke particles often attach themselves to fabrics, hair, and similarly-structured particles.

Here at Mulberrys, we know how important those summer memories can be to a family. That’s why dry cleaning services are often so important in the summer; you can keep your clothing smelling and looking great, without having to resort to any additional work at home. But if you want to give a few methods a try before you consider a dry cleaner’s for your smoke-affected clothing, here are a few tips:

Always Aerate

The first step to reducing the scent of smoke from fabrics is to introduce them to fresh air. Hang your clothing on a line, or even lay it out in the lawn in the full sun. Fresh air helps smoke particles dissipate, just like they do at the event itself. This step is perfect no matter what you intend to do with the clothing; even before you try dry cleaning services in and around St. Louis Park, a good aeration in the fresh air can ensure that your clothing comes back to you with no odor and looking great.

If you don’t have the ability or chance to aerate, you can try an indoor method of aeration that many people use for clothing that has been affected by cigarette smoke. Wipe the surfaces of the closet or dresser drawers that you intend to store the clothing in with vinegar. Then place an open box of baking soda in the area, along with an exposed bowl of vinegar. (Be sure they don’t touch, unless you want a volcano in your closet!) Then hang or fold the clothing in the area, and be sure that the air is well-ventilated. Use fans or an open window if necessary.

Leaving your clothing in that space can act as an artificial aeration, but it won’t be a substitute for the next step. From here, you can choose to attempt to wash the smell out at home, or you can contact us at Mulberrys for professional dry cleaning services that will take care of all the hard work for you.

Multiple Soaking

Smoke smell can be a tricky thing to remove from clothing. You may think something smells great, only to walk through a breeze and suddenly be reminded of that bonfire, or night spent sitting near a smoker, all over again. For this reason, most home remedies include multiple soakings in distilled white vinegar. Adding a cup of vinegar to a hot bath, and soaking the clothing until the water cools is the first soak. Then drain the water, refill, and soak again. You may need to turn the clothing inside out during some of the soaking to be sure that every nook and cranny is exposed.

One thing that most experts agree on is that cottons and synthetic fabrics should never be dried between washes until you are sure that the smell is removed. Drying can make the smell set into fabrics even deeper, and make them harder to remove. Mulberrys has dry cleaning expertise in removing smoke of all kinds from clothing. While no dry cleaner can ever promise a complete removal of smoke damage from clothing, deodorizing is a major part of dry cleaning services that can help your clothes get back to their pleasant, fresh state.