As we approach the depths of winter, one of the remaining delightful moments of a camping excursion is sitting around a huge bonfire with my friends. With plenty of entertainment and refreshments, no one appears to be in a hurry to leave as more warm beer is passed around and more wood is thrown into the fire.
And as the smoke swirls around, and envelops the merrymakers, the only drawback likely to dampen our mood the morning after is the strong campfire smell that will linger on our clothes for days on end. Do you want to go home smelling like a chimney? Of course, not. The night was such a blast.
As I invite them to pile in my car the following morning on the trip back home, I notice some of them hastily pulling down the car windows to expel the nauseous campfire smell that has invaded the confines of my tiny car. Everybody is in a hurry to get home and change into fresh clothes.
And since few of us are willing to haul along a washing machine while going out camping, don’t let the smell depress you because I’m going to share ideas with you on how to get the annoying smell out of your clothes. In the following tutorial, I’d like to enumerate two tested methods you can use to remove campfire smells from your clothes.
They are: Traditional Method and Non-wash Method
Table of Contents
How To Get Campfire Smell Out Of Clothes
Use Hot Water
Campfire smells can be strong and can best be removed with hot water. Turn your clothing inside out and read carefully the instructions on your clothing tags to determine how much hot water temperature they can tolerate.
Knowing how much heat they can absorb will act as a catalyst to expand the space in the fiber and allow the cleaning detergent to penetrate and dissolve the offending noxious residues of the log smoke.
Hang Under The Sun
When you rinse your clothes and hang them under the sun, the ultra-violet rays of the sun, the fresh air wide open spaces combine to eliminate the unwanted odors. Avoid using the dryer unless it’s necessary.
Apply Baking Soda
Pour ten measures of freshwater into a pail. Pour half a cup of baking soda and mix until foam lifts. Like white vinegar, baking soda is a powerful deodorizer known for its ability to penetrate the most stubborn fabrics and remove unwanted odors and grime. Soak your clothes overnight to allow the mixture to react sufficiently in attacking odors.
Clean With Vinegar
Pour white vinegar into a basin of warm water and gently soak your clothes. White vinegar effectively seeps, absorbs, and deodorizes complicated odor residues. Leave the wet clothes overnight and flush the next day with plenty of water. Rinse repeatedly until no odor is left.
Alternatively, place the clothes on a hangar. Then hang them on shower suspended from the horizontal curtain rod. Turn the hot water on all the way allowing the tub to fill up. Shut off the water. Pour 4 cups of white vinegar into the water and stir vigorously. Allow sitting for twenty minutes. Dump the smelly campfire clothes into the water and allow them to rest for 2 hours. Rinse thoroughly with fresh water.
Use An Enzyme Cleaner
Mix a small solution of enzyme cleaner ten liters of warm water in a pail. Stir vigorously until frothy. Dump the smelly campfire clothes into the container and allow them to sit 2-3 hours.
The longer, the better and preferably overnight. Rinse thoroughly with fresh water and dry under the sun.
My favorite traditional method is using hot water. Most clothes are made of cotton fabrics, and water is plentiful.
When packed neatly with the rest of your trip accessories, a variety of deodorizing sprays, like a bottle of Febreze can be used to actually ward off the smell of a campfire. Simply spray the affected clothing liberally and leave it to dry for 2 hours. This will leave the clothes smelling fresh.
Lemon Juice Spray
You will be pleasantly surprised how the citric acid within lemons can work wonders in getting rid of unwanted odors emanating from a campfire. Pour one part of lemon juice into ten parts of warm water inside a plastic spray bottle.
Spray the misty mixture down the entire length of the smelly area until it is completely wet. Expose the clothing in direct sunlight and let the wind and fresh airlift off the odor.
Use A Charcoal Box
If you’re not planning to wear the affected clothes for some time, and have no wish to take them to the dry cleaners, then using activated charcoal to deodorize your campfire smells can be an effective method to get rid of campfire odor.
Put charcoal briquettes onto a pair of old nylon leggings. Place the pair into an enclosed box together with the smelly clothes. Let the clothes remain inside the box for an entire week. Remove the clothes from the box.
Apart from enlivening revelers in parties, vodka has been used for ages to deodorize unwanted smells. Pour a solution of vodka into warm water in a spray bottle. Spray the inside and outside of the clothing and expose it to direct sunlight.
As the vodka evaporates into thin air, it lifts off the unwanted odors and leaves your clothes without a trace of a campfire.
My favorite non-wash is the deodorizing spray method. Spray canisters are lightweight and easy to pack. They come in many different scents and are easily affordable. Besides spraying to eliminate the odors, you can apply then as perfume.
Did you enjoy the tutorial? The above list is important to me as the author because not only does it enumerate practically tested steps to eliminate unpleasant odors from your clothing, but also ensures your clothes remain safe to be used again for similar trips in the future.
As a person who loves the outdoors, you need not discard your campfire smelling clothes just because of a single encounter outdoors. Shopping for new clothes every time you go camping can be an expensive affair.
I welcome your suggestions and ideas on the tutorial especially if you think it makes enough sense to want to share it with your friends.