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.


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.

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July 11, 20150 found this helpful

Belinda Raycraft!

I found this artical! Might be worth a try, but could smell up your house!

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March 24, 20160 found this helpful

You are an angel, haven't tried it yet but will today. I have tried sprays, essential oil tee tree, curry sage, nada. I make bags from leather and fabric I find at thrift stores. Hope this works.

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Anonymous Flag
May 15, 20160 found this helpful

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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December 24, 20140 found this helpful

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.

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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

June 21, 2012 Flag
0 found this helpful

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

July 30, 20120 found this helpful

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

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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

May 13, 2012 Flag
0 found this helpful

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.


May 15, 20120 found this helpful

Vacuum the inside out really well. Wadded up newspaper in and around it, all in a sealed plastic garbage bag can help. Change out the newspaper every day or two, it will take a while.

If you decide to wash the leather make sure it is safe, saddle soap or a gentle leather specific cleaner and water then let it completely air dry, then treat with a good leather treatment (check with a reputable shoe repair place).

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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

March 24, 2011 Flag
0 found this helpful

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

March 25, 20110 found this helpful

Get some odor eaters shoe inserts and stuff pieces in every section and pocket. Hang outside in the sun. Sunshine is a powerful deodorizer. This may take several months but it will work. I used it with a leather wallet I bought on ebay.

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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

May 3, 2013 Flag
0 found this helpful

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?

By Cynthia

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August 17, 20111 found this helpful

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.

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March 24, 2011 Flag
0 found this helpful

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.

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