How To Get A Smoke Smell Out Of Your Hair (Even Without Washing)

How To Get A Smoke Smell Out Of Your Hair (Even Without Washing)

How to get bonfire smell out of hair

Bonfires are great fun at the beach, but the problem is how to get the bonfire smell out of your hair once it gets in. After the bonfire is out, we are left with a lingering smell of soot and smoke in our hair.

So what should we do? Do we just put up with it until we can get back somewhere with a shower and decent shampoo? Or, are there some helpful tricks we can utilize to get rid of the worst of the smell?

The good news is that you can reduce the impact of smoke and other odors in your hair with a few different deodorizing treatments. There are products out there that might help deal with some of the smell and add some freshness.

But, there are also alternative options and some good natural remedies to try as well. None of these come with any sort of iron-clad guarantee that you will smell wonderfully fresh. Still, they might take the edge off for a little while.


How does vinegar get rid of smoke smell?

Neutralize smoke smell with a vinegar wash. To reduce the smoke smell in a room or vehicle, fill several small bowls with white vinegar, set them around the space, and let them sit overnight. To speed up the process, boil a potful of vinegar on the stove, letting it gently simmer for an hour or two.

Removing the Campfire Smell at Home

Rinse and wash your hair: Try shampooing and rinsing your hair multiple times so that you can get rid of the odor from your hair. The strong scent of woodsy musk needs at least a minimum of two to three shampoo and rinses to remove the smell.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice has natural and acidic properties for odor removal. You can even combine the lemon juice when you shampoo and rinse your hair. Just remember to take note that you’ll need to shampoo and rinse your hair one additional time after the lemon juice treatment.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Here’s another great household option. Apple cider vinegar works powerfully when it comes to the neutralization of odors. Do the shampoo and rinse, but whilst adding the shampoo, add the apple cider vinegar in equal parts, then wait a couple of minutes before you rinse and repeat.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil works wonders due to its contents of lauric acid, which kills unwanted odors and bacteria. Again, this is a combination with shampoo and rinse – work the coconut oil through your hair thoroughly so that it can strip away the bonfire odor that is still remaining.


For an effective way to get rid of that campfire smell, combine citrus with sun. All you need is a lime or a lemon and zest the peel of the fruit. Let the lime or lemon sit for 30 minutes in a small spray bottle, then spray onto hair and sit in the sun – the smell will fade away.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is effective for many different uses, including as a remedy for hair that has bonfire odor. You need to mix a teaspoon of baking soda for each cup of hot water, creating your very own homemade shampoo. Now, while you shower, use the contents to rub into your hair and leave in a few minutes for it to have full effect.

Blow Dryer

Blow dry your hair using the cool setting and blast your hair for about five minutes. The cool air is effective as it takes away residual scents, like the campfire scent. Just avoid using the hot setting as this will make the smell worse by baking it into your strands of hair.

Aloe Vera

Use the aloe vera pulp from its leaf and combine it with 5 teaspoons of olive oil to make a mask. Add the mixture in your hair for about 20 minutes and rinse it off.

Tomato Juice

Use tomato juice that is concentrated and massage it into your hair and scalp, ensuring that your hair is completely covered until the end. Leave it in for about 15 minutes and rinse it out with warm water.

Orange Juice

Use orange juice to remove that stubborn campfire smell. You need just about a quarter of a cup, massage it into your hair and scalp, again ensuring that your hair is completely covered. Rinse the orange juice out after about 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can add the orange juice to your shampoo to make the removal more effective.


Use a shampoo that contains sulfur and salicylic acid as these ingredients are vital to eliminate smells in hair. The sulfur ingredient kills bacteria and fungus on the scalp and the salicylic acid ingredient removes excessive oil.

How do I get the mildew smell out of my hair?

You can remove mold or mildew from hair by using a clarifying shampoo. Select a sulfate-rich clarifying shampoo. Detergents like ammonium and sodium lauryl sulfate will help strip and rid the hair of product buildup.

Removing cigarette smell from your clothing

Even if you go outside to smoke, you’re bound to bring a cigarette smell back inside with you, unless you remove it immediately from clothes and shoes. If you don’t wash your clothing after each use, your closet will also smell like cigarettes. These solutions can help:

Machine or hand-wash with baking soda

  • Wash your clothing in regular detergent with a cup of baking soda added. Let it line dry if possible. If one washing isn’t enough to eliminate the odor, wash as many times as needed prior to drying in a machine. Dryers can bake the smell in, making it harder to remove.
  • You can add baking soda to soapy water to hand wash delicate items.

Use dryer sheets

If you need to remove cigarette smell from your clothing in a pinch, rubbing a dryer sheet on each entire garment you have on will help. Don’t forget hats, scarves, gloves, shoes, or boots.

Try a deodorizing spray

Spraying your clothing with an air freshener made for fabric, or with a spray-on antiperspirant, is another way to remove cigarette odor from clothing. This hack may be overpowering, however, given that you need to spray the entire garment in order to get results.

Mask the odor

Essential oil sprays won’t absorb thirdhand smoke smell, but certain scents may be effective at masking it to some degree. These include orange, grapefruit, eucalyptus, and lavender.

Don’t put undiluted essential oils directly on your skin.

What about rubbing your hair with a dryer sheet?

This last option does sound a little bit out there, but that depends on how you feel about sprinkling baking soda in your hair as well. Dryer sheets, according to some online guides, are an excellent tool for trapping odor and dirt and making our laundry that much fresher. The idea here is that if this can work on our clothes, why not on our hair as well

Literally, all you need to do here is rub the sheet on your head, and it should help remove some of the smell. In some ways, this might be preferable as it is less messy than baking soda. It might look a little strange, though.

You could always bring enough for everyone and pass the sheets around and have some fun laughing at each other and how silly it seems.

How To Keep Your Hair From Smelling Like Cigarette Smoke (or Cigar Smoke)

The best way to keep your hair from smelling like cigarette smoke, if you are a smoker, is to quit smoking. Although, that is easier said than done for many people.

Luckily, we have some great techniques that you can try to minimize the amount of smoke that gets in your hair. These techniques are only recommended for firsthand and secondhand smoke; they don’t work for thirdhand smoke (e.g., the residue left on hard surfaces or traces of cigarette smoke odor).

Change your sheets and pillowcase regularly

The smell of smoke can become embedded into your sheets and pillowcases and from there can be transferred back into your hair. It is recommended that you change your sheets every two weeks, but for those who want to remain smoke-free, changing them more often will help reduce the smoky odor.

Wash your hairbrush and comb

If your hair smells like smoke, this scent can be transferred to your combs and brushes and then transferred back into your hair after it has been washed. To prevent this from happening, wash your brushes and combs regularly using a small amount of shampoo.

Smoke outside

If you have to smoke, do so outside of your home. The open space and fresh air will minimize the amount of smoke that gets stuck on your clothes and in your hair.

Use an air purifier

If you can’t smoke outside, purchase an air purifier with a HEPA filter and make sure that it is turned on every time that you light up. It will filter the air and minimize the amount of smoke.

While it won’t get rid of all the smoke completely, it will work wonders at limiting how much smoke you are exposed to and, therefore, how much gets stuck on your clothes and in your hair. 

Cover your hair

Try to cover your hair every time that you light up a cigarette. Pull up your hood or use a scarf to protect your hair if you are out or if you are at home; try using a shower cap. If your hair is covered, less smoke will be able to stick to it, and therefore it won’t smell as bad. 

Getting Rid of Campfire Smoke Smell

Following the ideas to get rid of cigarette smoke odors will help. Here are a few ideas if you've been around a campfire.

  1. You should get out in the sunshine. Sunshine is a natural deodorizer.
  2. If you can't shampoo, but can take a shower, the steam helps remove the odor.
  3. Mixing lemon juice with water can help. Just make a blend of about 1 part lemon juice to 5 parts water and spray it on your hair. This will help neutralize the smell.

About me

Dear Hippie, I’m Aida, and I would like to give you a warm welcome to my blog! This blog is essentially an extension of my likes and interests. My primary focus is documenting and sharing first-hand information and experiences about hair products, coloring, hairstyle, and much more. Apart from that, I enjoy writing about makeup and beauty-related topics, so you will see many blog posts about that as well.

Getting Smoke Odors Out of Your Clothes When You are in a Hurry

It is amazing how clothing can pick-up odors so quickly. Many of the ideas that will work for your hair will work for your clothing also.

  1. If you use Febreze or a similar product it will work to cover-up the odor. What I've learned about Febreze though, is that it is only a cover-up. It doesn't remove the odor. Only laundering your clothing will do that. It works in a pinch though.
  2. You can also try sprinkling your clothing with baking soda. Baby powder will work too. You need to be sure not to overdo it or you'll have problems getting it out. Use a clothing brush to brush it out afterwards.

Final Thoughts

Using the tips above consider that campfire smell gone! Just avoid masking the campfire smell using things like essential oils or perfume, as these items aren’t deodorizers and they will only make the smell stronger and worse than it was initially. Every person is different, so if one thing doesn’t work for you, it may work for your friend- but there’s no harm in trying multiple and seeing what works for you!


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