Removing Cigarette Smoke Odor from Leather

June 24, 2015

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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21 Questions

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March 24, 2011

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 Clark from SC


January 12, 20070 found this helpful

Just some advice. Do not use saddle soap on your handbags. It is much too alkaline and will cause pH damage. Lysol spray is a great smoke odor remover for handbags. As mentioned above, if your leather is finished water/vinegar solution is good and the baking soda can help.


If you have a designer bag that stains with water. Do not use any liquid type of cleaner. Lovin My Bags Cleaner is non-darkening and has a wonderful aromatic scent that can camouflage the smoke odor nicely.

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By David (Guest Post)
July 29, 20071 found this helpful

I bought a designer leather jacket on ebay and it reeked of cigarette smoke. Here's what I did after reading the many posts on this forum and others:

*Turned inside-out and sprayed lining with Fabreeze.
*Put in dryer (no heat) for 30 minutes with 6 fabric softener sheets and a baby tube sock filled with baking soda.
*Hung outside overnight.
*Repeated above 3 days in a row.

*Wiped leather with cloth soaked in solution of 50/50 vinegar & water. Did this just once.
*Hung outside overnight again.

*Wiped leather with neats foot oil.
*Allowed to dry for 24 hours & hung outside overnight.
*Repeated above twice.


This finally got rid of the smoke odor and I now have a beautiful leather jacket that I paid $60 for. Good luck.

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March 25, 20110 found this helpful

I think I would contact the seller and complain, first! You can to try to get the smell out, though. Put the handbag in a garbage bag with crumpled newspaper for a few days. If the smell remains, back into a garbage bag wirh some charcoal briquets. If it STILL stinks, try the garbage bag with baking soda. If that doesn't work, I don't know what will.

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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

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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June 21, 2012

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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June 22, 20120 found this helpful

Try ZEP or Febreze. Maybe if you soak a cloth with one of these and close the purse and the cloth up in a plastic bag for several hours it will work. I absolutely hate cigarette odors.

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May 13, 2012

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 14, 20120 found this helpful

Did you get it from someone, or is it your own?
You could try putting baking soda inside the purse, and putting the purse in a garbage bag for a few days, to let the baking soda soak up some of the smell, then empty out the baking soda.


Hopefully that will help.

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May 15, 20120 found this helpful

Have you tried crumpling up a newspaper sheet and leave it in the purse. Change it every day, until smell is gone.

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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

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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December 24, 2014

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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October 23, 2013

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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June 6, 2012

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


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

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


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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November 26, 2012

I spent a total of two months with my daughter where there is always someone with a cigarette going. My iPad cover cost $100 and it smells like an ashtray. None of the solutions can help me as this is not a purse. Any ideas?

By Debra B from Cleveland, OH

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June 12, 2012

I have just bought a second red leather 3 piece suite. How do I get rid of the smell of smoke without damaging the leather and colour? Also, how can I keep it looking lovely? I don't want to get rid of it because I just bought it second hand;it is in excellent condition.

By Sharon

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May 27, 2012

Anyone got any ideas on how to remove cigarette smoke from a leather purse? I have tried Febreze and saddle soap, neither made much difference.

By SLMc from Pueblo, CO

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June 30, 2010

What kind of cleaning solution or home remedy can I use to remove nicotine and cigarette smoke stains from leather?

By Sharon from Brilliant, AL

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September 25, 2006

I bought a beautiful persian lamb coat with a mink collar from eBay and it arrived reeking of smoke. Any suggestions as to how to remove the smoke smell?

I currently have it hanging in my closed bathroom with a Biozone 3000 ozone purifier and am hoping the gas will have some neutralizing affect, but is there anything else I can do? Can the fur be treated with Nature's Miracle like I use on my wool rugs when the dogs have an accident? Any suggestions would be very much appreciated. Thanks!

Kellie from Villa Park, CA

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November 21, 2016

This is a page about removing cigarette smell from leather jacket. You will want to use the appropriate cleaning methods for leather when trying to remove cigarette odor from a jacket.

A man smoking a cigarette and wearing a black leather jacket.

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