Create a Soak to Deodorize Smokey Knits

A couple of years ago, I was handed a big bag of acrylic hand knits that wreaked of cigarette smoke. Stunning stitch work and amazing dedication to her craft, but I needed to neutralize the odor without making it all fake smelling. Want to know how I did it?

Febreeze may be good for some things, but since these items were knit with acrylic yarn, I took a chance on hand washing them to resolve the issue. This not only addresses the smokey odor but also ensures that the items are clean. I mean, who knows how they had been stored. I read up on the subject online and checked my handy copy of Laundry by Cheryl Mendelson (available from and before settling on an approach. This is what I came up with…

One Persil bio laundry detergent tablet diluted in luke warm water added to a tub-full of cool water and a 1/4-cup white distilled vinegar with over 500 grams of acrylic knitted items that wreaked of stale cigarette smoke. Agitate by hand and let soak for one hour then drain tub and refill with fresh water. Add 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar and let soak overnight. After 12 hours in the rinse soak, I hand agitated again before draining the tub. Gently squish excess water out (not wringing) then place in spin-only cycle of washing machine for ten minutes in a mesh or net laundry bag. Remove and lay flat or hang to dry in fresh air.

This method totally works for acrylic knitted items. I’ve also used it since then in a spray to wipe down patio furniture and a second-hand baby stroller (the part that I couldn’t remove to wash in the machine).



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