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Removing Cigarette Smell from a Folded Flag


USMCR79
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USMCR79

When my Father was interred in 2019 my Mom received my Fathers Flag and it was kept in a plastic cover for 3 years - She did not smoke but my Father did and the smell in the house permeated the flag even in a plastic cover.

 

I don't want to unfold it to get it cleaned but I would like to get some of the smell eliminated before I put it in a nice shadowbox.

 

Any suggestions?

 

Thanks

 

Bill

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Brian Dentino

Have you tried just taking it outside and letting it air out (not in direct sunlight) somewhere where it could get some fresh air on it?  Also, if you are going to put it in a nice sealed shadow or flag box the smell shouldn't be too noticeable anyway I wouldn't think?  If airing it out doesn't work maybe spray the outside with a Woolite and water mix or a little spray of Fabreeze.  Just a couple ideas.

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USMCR79

I will hit it with febreeze and take it outside tomorrow - Thanks for your suggestions

 

Bill

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tdurbinmas

All good suggestions above. I am hesitant to ever spray anything on a flag. Sunshine and airing them out seems to work the best. Sometimes it takes a while. I have picked up a few unit flags that I’m pretty certain we’re displayed in a VFW or other location where there was a lot of smoking and some of those were quite challenging. I actually have a tote of flags that I affectionately call “the stinkers”. I isolate them from the others to prevent cross-contamination. I would think your flag would air out nicely though.

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Manchu Warrior

White vinegar and water 50-50 solution in a spray bottle has worked wonders on cigarette smoke damaged militaria. But sometimes its just dug in to deep.

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Brian Keith

I have an alternative suggestion. As mentioned, the shadow box will likely block most of the smell. Since that "smell" was created by your father, maybe it might be OK to leave it in his burial flag. Just a thought. Just maybe a number of years down the road, the remembrance of the smell of your father may be a "good" memory.

BKW

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Airborne-Hunter

I've had good luck with green grass. Seems the humidity the grass puts off helps....dry grass does not help.

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USMCR79

Well I used the fresh air and febreeze method and that was able to take care of it - I now have it in a case n the wall in my home office with his medals pinned to it.

 

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions 

 

Bill

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On 6/14/2022 at 5:03 PM, tdurbinmas said:

All good suggestions above. I am hesitant to ever spray anything on a flag. Sunshine and airing them out seems to work the best. Sometimes it takes a while. I have picked up a few unit flags that I’m pretty certain we’re displayed in a VFW or other location where there was a lot of smoking and some of those were quite challenging. I actually have a tote of flags that I affectionately call “the stinkers”. I isolate them from the others to prevent cross-contamination. I would think your flag would air out nicely though.

 

Agree. I dont spray stuff on cloth. I have had a lot of success with just airing things out and also placing the item in a toe or larger trash bag with dryer sheets then closing/sealing the container.Let sit for a couple weeks. Check it over and repeat or air out and reseal with new sheets.

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srossio

I have had sucess with the aforementioned sunlight and fresh air.
If the smell sticks around after that I move to using kitty litter.  I use the unscented, non clump stuff (the cheap stuff).  I place the kitty litter in a sterlite bin (about 2 inches deep), place a stand for the item (you don't want it resting directly on the kitty litter) and then place the lid on and leave it for a few days.  It is amazing how the smell is drawn out of the item.

Steve

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stratasfan

Also, keep in mind that Febreeze doesn't actually get rid of smell. It just affects your smelling nerves to not register the smell. (I don't think I said that quite grammatically, but hope the meaning is there! :) ) 

 

The cat litter is a good idea. Airing out is a good idea. Could also try putting it in a container with a bunch of baking soda, as baking soda absorbs moisture and smell. 

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