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How to Remove Nicotine Stains and Smoke Odor from Clothes

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By Myra Davis

My Laundry Question

Really bad tobacco stains on my expensive cotton and linen clothing.

Share a Little Background Info

I have just lost some weight and pulled my smaller clothes out of the closet to find horrible tobacco smoke stains. I smoked in my bedroom for one year until I realized the smoke was staining my bedding; I went back outside to smoke. It never occured to me that the smoke was going into my closet, so the stains have been in for about four years. I just graduated from college and need these clothes for interviews and work. Please, can you suggest a gentle but sure way to remove the stains from my no iron and linen colored shirts.( And, yes, my next project is to stop smoking.)

Thank you for any suggestion.

Lessons Learned

  • The whites I soaked in oxy clean, but will need another application. With the colored linens, I hesitate to use oxy. I've always been very careful with my clothes. Outter wear I take off and hang up as soon as i get home, immediately spot clean if necessary, wash in Woolite and hang to dry. My point is that i don't want to further damage these clothes.

Fabric Content of Item (if appropriate)

cotton, no-iron cotton, and linen--all colored.

Mary Marlowe Leverette, About.com Laundry & Laundry Rooms, says:

To remove the yellowing and stains from nicotine and smoke tar, I have a good article that you can follow. For those clothes that don't have stains but have a strong smoke odor, follow these tips.

Good luck!

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