Are you looking for a way to remove that unpleasant cigarette smell from your faux leather items such as couch, jackets, etc? If so, then this is the article for you.
Cigarette smoke can be difficult to remove with just soap and water, but there are some tricks that will make it easier.
In this article, we will discuss how to clean faux leather in the easiest way possible- without any harsh chemicals or products.
So how do you remove cigarette smell from faux leather items? Remove cigarette smells easily from your faux leather items by using white vinegar to wipe the surface of the faux leather item especially if the item is large like couches or chairs.
You can put tea bags or sprinkle baking soda inside faux leather items such as shoes, bags, etc to absorb the cigarette smell.
To learn more about removing cigarette smell from faux leather, keep reading!
What Is Faux Leather?
Faux Leather is used by all designers of today to give their designs a modern and sleek look.
The biggest advantage of using faux leather is that it imitates the look of real leather but at half price.
Faux leather is made from different types of plastics, polyurethane or rubber to give it the perfect texture and look.
The biggest advantage of using faux leather is that it can be easily cleaned and maintained.
So in most cases, you should be able to clean or remove the cigarette smells from your faux leather item without any problems. But why or how do faux leather get cigarette smells?
Why Or How Does Faux Leather Get Cigarette Smell?
Faux leather gets cigarette smells when it is exposed to cigarette smoke for a long period of time. This causes the faux leather to absorb the cigarette smell.
The smoke molecules that are present in the cigarette will dissolve into the faux leather surface. And that’s why your shoes, jackets, or other items can get a strong smell of cigarette smoke.
These molecules do not only settle on the surface of the faux leather item, they also penetrate deep inside the faux leather item- into its material. If there is any cushioning, the smoke will also settle inside.
This is why the methods you choose to use should be strong enough to remove these molecules from the faux leather item.
As you can see, the cigarette smell that is absorbed into faux leather cannot be removed easily with just soap and water- which means you will need some other agents to remove the odor.
So now that we know why faux leather gets cigarette smell, let’s see how it can be removed.
Step-By-Step Guide On How To Remove Cigarette Smell From Faux Leather
Now that we understand how faux leather gets cigarette smell, let’s now take a look at how to clean it.
1. Using Teabags To Remove Cigarette Smell From Faux Leather
Usually, I like to try the non-invasive approaches first. My first go-to is always teabags in the problem area for several hours or overnight.
This works best with natural leather, but the effect is still noticeable on synthetic leather.
Teabags contain dried leaves that are rich in tannins, which will help to neutralize the odors. All it does is soak up the smoke particles.
This method is very efficient on its own and will make your faux leather smell fresh. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to use teabags to remove cigarette smell from faux leather:
- Plastic bag
- For larger faux leather items such as couches, put some tea bags on and around the item.
- Make sure to put enough and then loosely wrap plastic bags or brown paper bags around them.
- Also, for smaller faux leather items, place them in the plastic wrap with the teabag.
- Make sure in both cases the plastic bag around the faux leather item is carefully sealed.
- In either scenario, you want to leave the teabags with the faux leather items for about a day or 2.
- Check and see if the smell has been removed from the faux leather items.
- In case there is still a faint odor, you can leave them for another day or two.
- After checking, and the cigarette smell has been removed from your faux leather item, unwrap the plastic bags and dispose of them together with the teabags. That’s it!
The teabag method works pretty well in removing not only cigarette smells but also the musty old vintage smell that most faux and leather items have. However, if you do not notice any improvement, you can try a few other things.
If the teabags method does not work, one of these methods I’m going to share with you might.
2. Using Baking Soda To Remove Cigarette Smell From Faux Leather
The next method you can try is baking soda, which will help absorb the cigarette smell from your faux leather item.
Baking soda has a neutralizing effect on the smoke odor, and it will also help to absorb any moisture that might be trapped in the faux leather.
The best thing about baking soda is that it’s completely non-toxic and safe to use on all types of faux leather materials.
Also, it is cheap and can be found in most homes. To use baking soda for this purpose, follow the steps below:
- Baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
- Microfiber Cloth
- Make a solution of baking soda and water.
- You want to put 1-2 tablespoonfuls into a spray bottle and mix it.
- If the issue is with a smaller faux leather item, such as a shoe, purse, jacket, then go on and sprinkle some into them.
- The solution should be enough to make the faux leather item wet, but not drenched in moisture.
- Spritz the solution onto the faux leather item directly.
- Or dampen a microfiber cloth with the solution.
- Do not make the cloth completely wet. Wring it out and make sure it is damp.
- After spritzing, wipe the surface of the faux leather with a microfiber cloth.
- Or with the damp cloth, now wipe the surface of the faux leather item with the cloth.
- If the faux leather item is a couch, make sure to wipe down each of its sides and corners.
- Wipe and rub it into the faux leather item.
- Leave the application to sit on the faux leather item for about an hour.
- After this time, you can use a damp clean microfiber cloth to wipe off the baking soda solution.
- If you’re removing the cigarette smell from a pair of shoes or bag and you sprinkled some of the baking soda inside of it, you can remove it now as well.
- You will most likely notice that most of the cigarette smell is now gone from your faux leather item.
- If not repeat the process and your faux leather item should be back to its original scent.
3. Using White Vinegar To Remove Cigarette Smell From Faux Leather
Another method you can try is using white vinegar to remove the cigarette smell from faux leather.
This solution has a strong acidic component that helps neutralize the smoke odors and remove them from your faux leather item.
Vinegar also has a pretty strong smell so it will mask any remaining smoke odors from your faux leather item.
In addition, vinegar naturally absorbs moisture which can lead to the growth of mold and bacteria.
If you have been storing your faux leather items in a damp place, this is an ideal method to not only remove the cigarette smell but also to dry out your faux leather item.
You can use this method by following these steps:
- White Vinegar
- Microfiber cloths/washcloth
- spray bottle of water (optional)
- Put equal parts of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle.
- If you don’t have any, then pour some of each into a bowl.
- Dip your microfiber cloth or washcloth into the solution and wring it out.
- You can also spray it onto your microfiber cloth.
- Wipe the surface of your faux leather item with the cloth or washcloth and make sure to get every side and corner as well.
- If you’re doing this to remove the cigarette smell from shoes, lightly spritz some of the solution inside.
- Leave it for a few minutes and then use another dry cloth to wipe off any excess solution.
- Ofcourse, the faux leather will sting at this point due to the strong smell of vinegar. However, the smell should dissipate after a few hours.
- Now, mix 1-2 drops of dish soap in warm water.
- Dampen your microfiber cloth with the soapy solution and wipe the faux leather item.
- This will remove any white vinegar and cigarette smell residue from the faux leather.
- After you have thoroughly wiped the surface of the faux leather with the microfiber cloth and soap solution, use a damp clean cloth to wipe the surface again.
- Finish off by using a dry clean cloth to wipe off any remaining moisture from the faux leather item.
- Leave the faux leather item to gradually air-dry. Fin! Enjoy your new cigarette smell-free item.:D
Tips On Removing Cigarette Smell From Faux Leather
- Don’t use ammonia or bleach to remove the cigarette smell from faux leather.
- These chemicals are too strong for the material and will make it brittle.
- Ammonia is also prone to leaving an oily residue which can attract dirt and make your faux leather item look dull.
- Do not store your faux leather item in a damp place or where it can be exposed to cigarette smoke.
- This will make it absorb more moisture and lead to the growth of mold and bacteria which can eventually cause your faux leather item to rot.
- If you do not have any of the above-mentioned solutions, you can air out the faux leather item. Make sure not to sit the item directly under the sun. Also, make sure there is no rain in the forecast.
- The sun can cause your faux leather item to dry out and crack while rain will make it absorb water which could lead to mold and cause the problem to be worse.
- Do not place your faux leather item near the radiator or heater vent as these can cause it to dry out and crack.
- More importantly, if you have access to the underside of the faux leather item, make sure to treat those parts as well.
- In treating the underside of the faux leather item, do not get it wet. You can simply drop some tea bags in there or simply sprinkle some bicarbonate soda.
- Going forward, do not smoke around your faux leather items or leave them exposed to cigarette smoke.
If you want to remove cigarette smell from your faux leather, there are a few things that you can do. If the problem is more superficial and only affects one part of the item (such as inside shoes) then I recommend using baking soda or tea bags in order to absorb odor molecules.
For larger items like couches and chairs, try wiping down with vinegar followed by soap and water solution. You should also make sure not to place it near any heat sources such as radiators or vents which will accelerate the decomposition of materials.
As usual, it is always a pleasure to help you out with your questions about your leather goods. Thanks for sticking around!