Cigarette Smoke In Yarn

pkockApril 4, 2005

I crochet squares and baby blankets for a women's group to give as gifts for members who need them. It's all a donation, so freebies are wonderful. Today I received three plastic grocery bags of yarn odds and ends. But as soon as the donor opened the front door, my heart sank...smokers.

I quit smoking a bit over a year ago, so I've been there. Now my nose is pretty sensitive, and I sure can't give someone a handmade gift that smells of cigarette smoke - especially a baby blanket.

Is there any way to get the smell out? Do you think it'd come out if I laundered the items a couple of times after crocheting them? I hate to waste the yarn, as some of it's very nice.


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I would wash the item, then give it a soak in a tub of water with some baking soda mixed in. Then another rinse and maybe some fabric softener.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2005 at 11:55PM
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I hear adding some diluted vinegar to the wash removes odors as well.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2005 at 11:25AM
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If you're as sensitive as I am, being an ex-smoker, you may not even be able to tolerate the smell long enough to crochet with that yarn. Yes, it bothers me that much.
If you don't have to use it immediately, you might find several squirts of Fabreze helpful. Or you could box it up for a few weeks with a couple of fabric softener sheets. Both have worked well for me.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2005 at 1:28AM
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We had a similar problem in my prayer shawl group. When we begin a meeting, if there are finished shawls that we are going to pray over and bless, we put them together on a table. Well, one of the knitters is a smoker, and so when we began to pull the shawls off the table, all of them smelled like smoke! I just took home as many as I could and let them air out in the nice breeze on my screened porch, and they are much better. But I don't know if I could stand the smoke smell long enough to crochet something with the yarn.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2005 at 4:01PM
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Do you have any charcoal? Not the kind that lights instantly. Regular charcoal or the kind used in aquarium filters. Put some in a butter dish with holes in the lid. Place the dish and the yarn in a garbage bag for a few days with the top closed really tight. Also wash the items after you knit or crochet them. Just incase some of the charcoal might dust off. The charcoal will absorb the odor.

I had a gallon of milk leak in the back of my Expedition on the way home from the grocery store. The back is carpeted like the rest of the vehicle. What a stink! Even tho I had cleaned it up and used a cleaner on it. And that was in Feb! I bought some filter charcoal, cause in the winter I didn't have any use for, or place to keep that much for the grill. Then I made a fabric pillow filled with the charcoal granules and put that in the car. After a few days the smell was gone. I did leave the charcoal in all summer. That was 2 years ago. Usually, the car is in the garage, but that summer I spent a month with my daughter and had to park outside in the sun the whole time. Even then, it didn't smell like sour milk. If it gets rid of sour milk smell, it'll take out cigarette smoke!


    Bookmark   April 7, 2005 at 9:40AM
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I would be putting that yarn in a laundry basket and placing it outside in the sun....give it a stir every day...bring it in at night and see if it's OK to knit with. If not wash it!
I have washed ( even dyed!) yarn in works well....just don't agitate it.....just swish it around by hand and spin it out....let it air dry while still in skeins or balls. After a day or so you might want to re roll any balls.
And to think I used to smoke!!
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 7, 2005 at 1:46PM
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I agree with putting it in the sun, and even spreading it out on the grass in the sun. Something in the chlorophyll, maybe? Remember Clorets gum?

I have also left things out overnight on a for sure no rain nights and the night air really works, too!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 10:16PM
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great idea tami!! my husband has taken over the "coat closet" for his backpacking stuff (including leather hiking boots) and it really smells! he won't let me put any kind of freshener in there and refuses to take out the boots (i know those are what is causing the stink!) and store them elsewhere. *shakes head* so i am going to sneak in some charcoal and hope it works. hehe!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 8:40PM
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The Sun!!

I've heard that you can get odors out of stuff by placing in a paper bag that has kitty litter in the bottom and sealing it tight. It is supposed to work for books,

    Bookmark   May 27, 2005 at 10:50PM
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