Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Help~I Need Some Tips

I just received a package in the mail. Linen I bought on Ebay. They were not new, I knew this, however, they smell like cigarette smoke. And I don't mean just a little like smoke, it smells like the postman blew smoke all over them 20 minutes ago. All I can say is YUCK!!!!

How can I get the smell out? Hand wash? Should I surge the edges first? Does anyone have any ideas about what type of soap to use? Any tips would be helpful. Most of the pieces are nice and they are quite large. I would hate to get rid of them. I don't want the hassle of sending them back to the seller. I didn't spend that much.



  1. I wonder if you would spritz them with linen water and hang them on the clothes line??? That would be my first thought but I hope you hear from others too. Maybe something that will work better. Dianntha

  2. Bummer! I wish I had some info for you but I've never washed linen. I know someone will have tips for you because a lot of stitchers wash their pieces before framing.

    The one thing to do next time when purchasing on ebay is using those sellers that specify smoke free. Good luck!

  3. I use the Febreze laundry booster to get the smell out of my husband's workout clothes, and it says on the label that it will remove cigarette smoke odor. It's really good stuff! I would soak the fabric, not "wash" it. Soaking it in a baking soda solution might work too.

  4. Hillary,

    I have had some success with the following two methods (they work a little better when used together) for fabric items and books.

    You can hang the fabric out in the sun with a gentle breeze. The sun really does take out smells and stains. Just watch to avoid bleaching the fabric with too much direct sun or for too much wind shreadding such a delicate fabric (serging the edge would help with that).

    Then, put the fabric in a sealable container (like a plastic box or a giant zip top bag) with some baking soda.

    To keep the baking soda from getting all over the fabric,
    box - put the baking soda in a small dish;
    bag - put the baking soda in a stocking or cut a square of fabric and tie with string to make a sachet.

    After a day or two, you can change out the soda and if you mist the soda lightly with water, it is supposed to increase the odor absorption.

    You can also hang it out to "air" again and then put it back in the baking soda box/bag. It may take a couple of circuits to get the smell completely out.

    Not sure what Febreeze would do to the fabric, but since it is used on upolstery it might be safe. You could cut off a piece to test it.

    Always ask the ebay seller if it is from a smoke and pet free home. Sometimes pet homes are okay, but it is good to know in advance.

    You could also try soaking it in tea or coffee to "antique" it.

    Good luck.

  5. I had that problem too. Charcoal is good for absorbing odors and I put my fabric in the garage for awhile. Kinda forgot it for a couple of months (oops..) but the cigarette smell was gone.

  6. I use spray Febreze all the time on my couches, but the laundry booster is different. It goes in the washing machine with the clothes. It's not a detergent, so I don't think it would wash away any dye in the linen as long as you use cold water to soak with.

  7. Same thing recently happened to me. I am really cautious when I shop on ebay to notice if it says smoke free and it DID! I was not happy at all. Sorry to hear this happened to you too.

  8. This used to an issue for me with packages from a certain relative. What I found: first, just let the fabric sit in the open. A lot of the odor will disappear with just time and a good airing. I would avoid placing the linen in the sun as heat can help set the odor. I would not use Febreeze or any type of commercial odor remover on fine linen. The baking soda tip from Stephanie is also good to try. If this fails and the linen is not hand-dyed (like Picture this Plus or Lakeside Linens or Crossed Wing are) I would find some Orvus to use for washing the linen. This is a very gentle detergent and you can find huge containers of it meant for horses. Or smaller size containers, usually repackaged and renamed, at quilt or needlework stores. Good luck!

  9. Hi there Hillery,
    Thank your for your comment on my blog dear. I am sorry I do not have a clue for you on the cigarette issue, but seems you are getting a few solutions.
    Thanks again,

  10. Hi Hillery! Patti (Stitching in Lobster Land)and I were wondering if you might be interested in a GTG in Belfast the end of October. I know it's a bit of a long haul for you but if you wanted to meet up with me in Machias, I'd drive the rest of the way. Let me know!



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