Removing Cigarette Smoke Odor from Leather

Cigarette smoke permeates everything in a smokers household. Removing the odor of cigarettes can be difficult, especially from anything leather. This is a guide about removing cigarette smoke odor from leather.

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Here is what I did: I heated up the leather article in the oven! My idea is that the tobacco smell arrived by heat and through the air, so maybe it can depart again the same way.

To do this, I put the leather item into the oven at the lowest setting (150 degrees F) for about an hour and a half. I opened the oven (and the outside door of the kitchen) several times along the way to let the newly-evaporated tobacco tars and oils escape.

And it worked. It worked really well. About 95% of the tobacco smell was gone. There was no detectable "drying out" effect on the natural oils in the leather at all. If there had been, I would have applied replacement oils from a bottle of leather conditioner that I already owned.


I'm posting in the hope that this will help someone else with the same problem.

    CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    I just bought a 210 dollar handbag off of eBay. It is new with tags, but it sure doesn't smell new. It smells of cigarette smoke doused with perfumes. The seller won't respond on giving it back. I don't know what to do. Any ideas how to make this thing smell new again. It is a Michael Kors leather handbag and smells overwhelmingly bad. It gives me a headache to be in same room with it. Sheesh!

    By Cathie

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    File a resolution with eBay unless it has gone over its length of time - I "won" smokey purse on 6/19/12 and must file with Resolution Center by 8/2/12.

    Best of Luck

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
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    Anyone got any ideas on how to get the smell of cigarette smoke out of a leather purse? I have tried Febreze and saddle soap, but neither made much difference.

    By SLM

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Sprinkle baking soda or kitty liter in purse. Shake and let sit for an hour. After shaking out to remove, brush well with a soft brush. Hanging out in sunshine or fresh air may also help.

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
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    I just purchased a $188 leather Fossil purse on eBay and it reeks of cigarette smoke. It is horrible! Any ideas how to get rid of the smell?

    By Deb from SC

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    I sympathize. I have had a similar problem. If the seller did not advertise the fact that it came from a smokers house, you can get a case opened on E'Bay. I did. It's a vile smell. I think the hanging outside and a soft cloth slightly dampened with water and baking soda solution. Try an inconspicuous area first! Other ideas are-lavender essential oil diluted in warm water-shake mixture well (oil sits on top of water) and (again on an inconspicuous area), clean leather-don't saturate it! Helped me!

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    I just purchased a Michael Kors handbag from another individual. As soon as the woman handed it to me, I could smell the reek of the cigarettes. They seemed like a heavy smoker from the way the bag smells. I don't really want to be rude and not get it, because I had been looking for a handbag like this for awhile. It's a leather handbag. I have tried fabric sheets, fabric softener and water mixture, coffee grounds (read that online), and vinegar and water mixture. Any other ideas?

    By L K W

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    This is a tough one but an online search offers many suggestions. I chose this answer as it suggests several possibilities:


    Try wiping down both the inside and outside of your bag with a very rung out damp cloth, then give it a dry wipe straight after to remove any moisture. Never soak yourleather bag unless you're hell bent on ruining it.


    Wipe it down with diluted white vinegar. Use your judgement on the strength of the dilution given the nature of your bag, but 50/50 should work in most cases. White vinegar will help kill any mold, bacteria and odours without staining.


    While there's a million ways in which you can do this, we suggest pouring the bicarb into a small pot or even a baby sock, then leaving it inside the bag for a day or two to neutralise bad smells.


    Just like the baking soda tip, try pouring dry ground coffeeinto an open pot, small bag or sock, and leaving in your bag for a day or two. Once the coffee smell fades it should take any cigarette smoke with it.


    Yep, it sounds a bit scifi, but this is actually used in water filters as a neutraliser and some medicines to fight flatulence. Hmm. Wrap up the ground version in a handkerchief, cloth or leave in an open pot to diffuse.


    Get 'em out of your knicker drawer and into that smelly vintage bag if the odour you're fighting is fairly light. Citrus fruit peels could work in the same way too if you're not a fan of florals.


    Place it on a cloth or piece of paper to prevent it rubbing onto the lining of your bag, then leave for a few days to kill any odours.


    Yep, we mean put it in a sealed plastic bag to stop it getting wet, and pop it in the freeze for a few hours. The temperature should kill any mold, mildew or bacteria.


    If you have a shoe rack for your dryer, pop your bag into a pillow case, place it on the rack and throw in a few scented sheets. Set it for a gentle cycle and repeat a few times for very stubborn smells.


    Spritz some perfume or Febreze onto tissue paper and stuff your handbag until it's bulging. Leave for a day or two, then give it a good airing outside, preferably in the sun. Avoid using newspaper for this as the ink could rub off onto your bag leaving stains.

    With all these tips make sure to use a little common sense and consider the material of your bag - if in doubt, head to a professional cleaner for some indepth and more specific advice.

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    I just purchased a second hand leather suite. It smells of smoke. Any tips to remove the odor?

    By Tracy from Gloucestershire

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    1.spray Lysol- the "crisp linen" onto your the leather and let it soak.

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    How do I get cigarette smell out of a leather jacket?

    By Wendy from Dallas

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Any good leather cleaner should remove both the nicotine and the odor from the leather. The lining, however, is more than likely what is holding the odor-a good dry cleaner certified to clean leather will be able to clean and deodorise the lining as well as the leather.

    You can try damp sponging the lining at home if you prefer to avoid dry cleaning chemicals.

    Turn the jacket inside out and either hang on a good quality wooden hanger with those supportive wide, thick shoulder areas, or lay it out on a kitchen worktop.

    Mix a half-water, half vinegar solution and dip a sponge into the solution.

    Wring the sponge as hard as you possibly can and wipe the lining down. Be careful to avoid getting the lining actually wet or touching the leather with the solution.

    You may want to test this method in a small and inconspicuous spot on the lining to be sure the solution won't damage the lining, and I can't stress enough that you do not want to get the lining soaking wet with the solution. Very-very-very-very slightly damp is what you are going for here.

    Pay special attention to the sleeves and underarm areas, also the shoulders and back top of the lining as this is usually where the odors are trapped and held by the lining fabric. If the first go-round doesn't completely remove the odor you may want to repeat the operation especially in those areas.

    When you've damp-cleaned the entire lining hang the jacket (still inside out) in a well ventilated area out of the sunlight-the vinegar smell will dissipate (within 24 hours) and take the cigarette stench with it.

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    We received three pairs of leather shoes from a friend. They have never been worn, but she is a heavy smoker and we cannot get the smell out of the shoes. Does anyone have a cure? There are two pairs are heels and the other is patent leather.
    They smell inside and out.

    By L Peters

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Sprinkle fine salt or bi carbonate of soda and leave them in the sun.

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    My daughter purchased a small leather satchel at a flea market. Unfortunately the prior user must have smoked as it reeks. Any suggestions for removing the smell? A shoe repair person suggested diluting Lestoil with water and rubbing. Will this work? Damage the leather?

    By Cynthia

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    The best odor remover of all is sunlight. I once bought a great tote bag that was perfect except that it smelled strongly of smoke. I put in on my lawn in the sun, turned it occasionally, then turned it inside out and flipped it. Within two days, the smoke odor was completely gone never to return.

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    I just bought a purse from eBay and it smells of cigarette smoke. How do I get that horrible smell out of this nice leather purse? It is a good brand.

    By Shirley from Shepherdsville, KY


    Cigarette Smoke on Leather

    I always clean my leather with Murphy's Oil Soap. Take a container of water and a sponge, get sponge good and wet pour some oil soap on sponge work it into a lather. Work lather into leather and let dry. Using a clean sponge rinse all lather off leather. Let dry, you can then condition with Neat's Foot oil or another leather conditioner. All this can be found at a tack shop, saddlery. (12/31/2010)

    By looneylulu

    Cigarette Smoke on Leather

    A good way to get rid of odor's is to put the item in a container with a couple sections of hay. Never used it for a smoke smell, but works good with a mildewy smell. (12/31/2010)

    By looneylulu

    Cigarette Smoke on Leather

    I have used coffee or baking soda to remove all most all odors. I would suggest putting in a plastic baggie, but don't seal it. Let it sit for a couple days. Good luck. (12/31/2010)

    By gogalyboo

    Cigarette Smoke on Leather

    I second the motion about using coffee. I would put the purse in a plastic bin with a lid; and in the purse I would put some dry coffee grounds in a sock, or tied in a cloth, and put some outside as well. You could use (non-match lighting) a couple of charcoal briquets as well, again, wrapped in cloth to prevent getting the purse dirty. Leave it closed in the bin for a couple of days.

    I would also re-check the eBay listing. If the seller said "non-smoking", I would be sure to let them know that the item reeks of smoke and would also check with eBay regarding the rules about misleading listings. (12/31/2010)

    By Jilson

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    How do I get cigarette smoke out of suede leather chaps? I tried putting them in a bag with a dryer sheet, but it didn't absorb the odor. It is a very strong smoke smell!

    By s from Mattoon, IL


    Cigarette Smoke on Leather

    On; go to home solutions or cleaning products and look for Professor Amos cleaning products; he has a fantastic line there and has leather cleaners as well! Good luck! I remember seeing him cleaning a leather purse and thought to myself, I probably need to get some of this!

    You can sign up to get emails to alert you when he is on; I always like to watch the cleaning products; both there and on QVC; I never buy at the time but always think about it and look elsewhere to see if I can locate it.

    Think before you buy: the reason is simple: they are there for one purpose; to make you buy, buy, buy, and they know every possible trick to make you do so! (09/18/2010)

    By MzScarlett

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    How can I clean a Coach purse to remove smoke odor? I purchased a used Coach leather purse online. The seller didn't disclose that she was a cigarette smoker. I have not used the purse, because I detest the odor. I tried to sprinkle it with carpet deodorizer, but it did not help. I love the purse, but can't use it as it is.

    By Zari from Tucker, GA


    Cigarette Smoke on Leather

    A garbage bag with a gallon or so of kitty litter in the bottom, put your purse or whatever the item (I use this for books), put your purse in a bowl or shoebox on top of the litter. Tie up the bag, check after one week. If the smell is not gone leave it in longer. (06/09/2010)

    By monday67

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    I have some leather clothes (blazers, skirts, jackets) that I inherited after my mother passed away two years ago. She was a heavy smoker and the clothes smell like smoke. Is there a way for me to get the smell out of the clothes without taking them to the cleaners?

    By Bridgette from San Francisco, CA


    Cigarette Smoke on Leather

    I';m not sure if this will work but, you could try sealing the clothes in a garbage bag (with the hanger sticking out the top so you can still hang) and putting baking soda in the bottom of the bag to draw the smell out. I would think this would be worth trying, inexpensive and safe for you items. Good luck. (11/18/2009)

    By boxergirl76

    Cigarette Smoke on Leather

    Turn inside out and spray the fabric parts with Febreze and allow to dry, then turn right side out. Using a sponge, dip in vinegar water, (about 1 part vinegar to 6 parts water). Pour a little Murphy's oil soap in a small bowl if you have it or a lanolin bar soap. Dip the end of the sponge in the Murphy's or rub on bar and apply lightly to the leather. The soaps act as a lubricant and the vinegar helps cut the odor. Hang in a breezy place out of the sun. (11/20/2009)

    By takelababy

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Cigarette Smoke on Leather. How do I get the smell of cigarette smoke out of a corduroy/suede purse?

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    I bought 2 beautiful all weather leather vintage handbags by Dooney & Bourke and wallets from ebay. I did not know, but the owner was a smoker.

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    I bought a leather coat from an online auction and it reeks of cigarette smoke. How do I get the smell out of the coat?

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
    Home and Garden Cleaning OdorsNovember 15, 2011
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