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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.

Cigarette Left Burning in Ashtray
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June 24, 2015 Flag
4 found this helpful

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.


December 24, 2014 Flag
0 found this helpful

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

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June 8, 20160 found this helpful

For leather clean the outside with saddle soap, condition with mink oil (cow and pig leather; a leather conditioner if lambskin or calfskin). That usually works on The outside. Then fill with cedar sachets inside and place in a plastic bag, letting it sit for a day or two. For suede, put the item in a container full of cedar chips, planks or satchets and let sit for a couple days. You can find cedar sachets at Home Depot or Lowes. I have hundreds of purses, coats, gloves and leather items....and I smoke. (Outdoors, but still...) My bags always smell fresh.

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June 11, 20160 found this helpful

I purchased a $150 Wilson Leather computer case at a local thrift store for $3.50! Same nasty smell .... I gave it a lite Lysol spray and hung it in the New Mexico sun all day long ..... the smell was 99% gone. You have to put your nose against the leather and only get a faint smell..... Hope it works for you.

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June 21, 2012 Flag
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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

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Anonymous Flag
January 21, 20161 found this helpful

If you paid through PayPal they'll also help you get your money back if it isn't to late

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Anonymous Flag
February 17, 20160 found this helpful

If the seller did not say it was from a smoke free home and it smells of smoke. you can open a case with EBay and get your money back.

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May 13, 2012 Flag
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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.


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May 15, 20120 found this helpful

Coffee grounds in an open container inside the purse. Close purse or leave open and put it in a bucket with lid on. Check on it every day. Should take just a few days.

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May 22, 20120 found this helpful

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.

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March 24, 2011 Flag
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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

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April 1, 20110 found this helpful

You can take it to your local dry cleaners and they should be able to get the smell out. Good luck.

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June 6, 20110 found this helpful

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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May 3, 2013 Flag
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How do I get cigarette smell out of a leather jacket?

By Wendy from Dallas

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May 4, 20130 found this helpful

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.

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July 18, 20160 found this helpful

I have leather riding gear, vest, gloves, chaps and very expensive custom leather jacket. They all stink of cigarette smoke.

I don't smoke but other family members do.

My jacket and vest have liners but the not gloves or chaps.

They ALL stink terribly.

I don't believe its the liners that absorb the smell. Its the entire garment.

I am trying to find a way now to clean them since they smell so bad it makes me gag. You can bet that smoking is not an option in the house anymore. It is not negotiable, even if I am the minority!

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October 23, 2013 Flag
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I just purchased a second hand leather suite. It smells of smoke. Any tips to remove the odor?

By Tracy from Gloucestershire

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May 27, 20140 found this helpful

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

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June 6, 2012 Flag
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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

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June 21, 20120 found this helpful

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

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August 16, 2011 Flag
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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?

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