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How Do You Get That Nasty Cigarette Smoke Smell Out Of Uniforms?


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#26 Manchu Warrior

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 07:41 AM

I purchased some old books at an auction a few years ago and they had a mildew smell to them. Someone at the auction suggested that I put them in a sealed box with fresh potpourri and it would take care of the smell. I also tried it on leather items and it worked and I imagine it would also work on smelly uniforms and from what I understand some of the potpourris are even natural moth repellents.

#27 pbuchh7715

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 03:20 PM

Greetings,

Sometimes a nice hot shower does the trick; not clothes IN the shower, but the bathroom. I've had regular success by hanging clothing items on a plastic hanger while running very hot water in the shower. It takes a couple of times but the steam releases a lot of odors.

Best,

Peter

#28 Viking528

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 02:26 PM

When you smell cigarette smoke, you are inhaling the ash and your olefactory system "tastes" the ash. When textiles are impregnated with smoke smell, it really means that miniscule ash particles have latched on to the irregularities in each fiber. So the trick then is to remove the particles. Ozone encapsulates the floating ash so that it becomes heavier than air and the particles fall to the floor and get vacuumed up. Febreze kind of does the same thing only it puts an oily coating on the particles that keep them from floating up your nose. Vacuuming your fabrics can be very effective the only trick is that the "tar and nicotine" kind of make the flakes of ash sticky. Between ozone, airing out and vacuuming, you should be able to get rid of the ash with out getting the garment wet. You might even try to shake it out in front of a leaf blower to loosen the ashes.

#29 Patriot

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 06:00 AM

When you smell cigarette smoke, you are inhaling the ash and your olefactory system "tastes" the ash. When textiles are impregnated with smoke smell, it really means that miniscule ash particles have latched on to the irregularities in each fiber. So the trick then is to remove the particles. Ozone encapsulates the floating ash so that it becomes heavier than air and the particles fall to the floor and get vacuumed up. Febreze kind of does the same thing only it puts an oily coating on the particles that keep them from floating up your nose. Vacuuming your fabrics can be very effective the only trick is that the "tar and nicotine" kind of make the flakes of ash sticky. Between ozone, airing out and vacuuming, you should be able to get rid of the ash with out getting the garment wet. You might even try to shake it out in front of a leaf blower to loosen the ashes.


Being a medical science major, and having taken Biochemistry, I am inclined to disagree with that initial assessment. Olfactory perception occurs on the molecular level, which is far more minute than carbon "ash" from a cancer stick. Over time, even repulsive cigarette ash will lose its acrid odor. This is because the molecules diffuse out of the ash, and are released into the atmosphere. These molecules then permeate into objects, even though these objects may not be in contact with the ash.

When a chemical agent, such as "Fabreeze" is used, the molecules from this agent bond to the odor causing molecules. The chemical reaction that occurs thus alters the perceived smell detected by the Olfactory nerves in the nasal cavity.

I hope this helps us better understand odor, and the way it might be treated.

Edited by Patriot, 11 December 2009 - 06:24 AM.


#30 ron_brock

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 06:25 AM

Another trick that has worked well for me to remove mildew, mothball, or smoke smells is to use newspaper. Take a paper bag and fill full of wadded up newspaper and the item. Close the bag and let sit for a while. Do this several times changing out the newspaper. Eventually the paper will pull out the smell and make things better. It works well for items that can't be dry cleaned and does not replace the smell with some other scent.

- Ron

#31 danangdave

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Posted 31 December 2009 - 06:58 AM

hi
try a product called SHAKE AND VAC in the uk it a powder that you sprinkle on your carpet then hoover up i tryed it on a book that had a really bad cigarette smell and it worked i did'nt hoover it ijust shook it out after a couple of hours should work on uniforms as well if not better maybe called somthing else in the usa hope this helps

#32 Sgt Saunders

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Posted 31 December 2009 - 08:20 PM

Call your local drycleaner and ask if he either does it himself or has a contractor that does fire restoration. They use an ozone chamber to "nuke" smoke odors out of garments. Also works for BO. And, no chemicals involved.

Tom :thumbsup:


The Ozone generators really work! I've got a big one and it is really great. I can put it in a car for an hour or two and man all the orders are gone. I had a mildew problem in some of the ductwork in my house and guess what? Gone! Poke around this sight guys.
http://www.jenesco.com/
This is where I got mine. They have a small one for hunters to put your clothes in before you go out to hunt. I think it would be just the thing for uniforms. They give you a 30 day money back trial. I would call and ask them if they have any specials. I did and they knocked $30 bucks off or so. There staff answered any questions I had too. So that was my experence with Jenesco. There are a whole lot of other companys out there that handle them too. I like the idea that your not cleaning or spraying anything on what you are trying to deorderize. You are realy killing the sorce of the order and not just covering it up. It also kills insects too! :thumbsup:

#33 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 12:38 PM

Used propely in a controled environment, these machines may well reduce or eliminate smoking odors & other odors from fabrics. These applications are primarily limited to small scale usage. There are greater risks when using large output ozone generators as ozone gas in high concentrations is harmful to humans & animals.

Before you purchase an ozone generator, please educate yourselves on the potential risks of these machines vis a vis adverse reactions with other compounds (plastcs, cooking oil, etc) & the risks of exposure to high concentrations of ozone.

See articles cited below:

Indoor air purifiers provoke health concerns

Not acceptable: ozone generators

#34 Sgt Brown

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 04:38 PM

You do have to be VERY careful with home ozone generators. I have emphysema and the ozone manufacturer told me outright to not go within a mile of one of the darned things. But they do work. That's why I have dealt with fire restoration people rather than screwing with the machines myself.

Tom :thumbsup:

#35 Lightning Ace

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 02:18 PM

I agree too and I'd even hang them in the garage for a few days sometimes to air out.
Mike



agree




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