Whether you love or hate how a campfire smells in the moment — when you’re enjoying time outdoors with family or friends — you may not feel the same way about how your clothes and hair smell the next day. Or the next several days.
The scent of campfire smoke is one that really lingers, and can withstand the laundry and showering. And if everyone you know installed a fire pit back in 2020 and that’s the primary way you socialise now, the odor can be hard to avoid. Here are a few ways to get that stubborn campfire smoke smell out of your clothes and hair.
How to get the smell of campfire smoke out of your clothes
- Let your smelly campfire laundry air out — ideally hung from a line, or a least spread out somewhere outdoors — before attempting to wash it.
- Wash the clothes in hot water (as long as the label doesn’t advise against it).
- Regardless of water temperature, add one cup of white vinegar to your load of laundry, after your detergent.
- Start a load of laundry as you normally would, add your detergent, wait five minutes, then add 1/2 cup baking soda. (Do not use baking soda and vinegar together in the same load, though.)
- Put your smelly campfire laundry in a garbage bag, add 1/2 to one cup of baking soda (depending on how many items are in there), tie the bag closed, give everything a quick (but thorough) shake, and let it sit overnight. The next day, take the clothes outside, shake out the baking soda, and wash them as you normally would.
- Prevent the problem by having a designated campfire outfit (or at least a top/sweatshirt).
How to get the smell of campfire smoke out of your hair
Your clothes are one thing, because most of the time, you can find something else to wear that doesn’t smell like campfire. Unfortunately, your hair is a different story. Here are a few ways to get that odor out of your hair (rather than just masking it with a different scent):
- Apply a paste made of four tablespoons of baking soda and ¾ cup of water to wet hair. Work it through your hair, from the roots to tips, including the scalp. Let it sit for one to three minutes, then rinse it out, and shampoo/condition as you normally would.
- Wash your hair with a mix of one part shampoo and one part apple cider vinegar.
- Some people swear by using a clarifying shampoo — especially one that contains apple cider vinegar — as a way to get the smell out of your hair. (For others, this doesn’t get the job done.)