But Mom it is totally legal!
April 13, 2009 9:54 PM   Subscribe

How do I cover up cigar smoke in my clothing? Legal age, but would rather not explain to the parents.

I'm 18, a high school senior, and want to share some cigars with friends, but my parents aren't too keen on the idea. My mom has a sensitive nose, and while it is unlikely that she'll be hugging me when I get home she can normally smell my cigar smoke on my dad from 5-10 ft away. Any suggestions as to how to cover up the smell?
Taking a change of clothes when I'm going out is an option but it is likely that she'd still smell it in the laundry.
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag (27 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Do your own laundry, then.
posted by jschu at 9:56 PM on April 13, 2009 [8 favorites]

I doubt you'll be able to cover up the smell.
posted by delmoi at 10:02 PM on April 13, 2009

There's no substitute for thorough washing, unfortunately. Non-smokers can smell secondhand smoke at great distances.

For garments you can't wash or dryclean, a thorough airing is nearly as good. Put them on the line and leave them there in the wind overnight.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 10:03 PM on April 13, 2009

Smoke naked.
posted by suedehead at 10:07 PM on April 13, 2009 [6 favorites]

Only smoke outdoors in breezy weather?
posted by halogen at 10:09 PM on April 13, 2009

Don't put your change of clothes into the laundry at home. Take them to a laundromat or a friend's and clean them there.
posted by Electrius at 10:32 PM on April 13, 2009

I'm a fairly unapologetic cigarette smoker (yeah, yeah, I'm working on it) but am still fully cognizant of the fact that cigarettes and cigarette smokers stink, and cigars and cigar smokers are even worse and there's no way you are getting that stench out of your clothes without giving it a thorough wash. So, have your cigars, but throw everything in the washing machine and then jump in the shower (wash your hair!) the moment you get home and if anybody asks you about it tell them you accidentally spilled some bong water or bourbon on yourself.
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:33 PM on April 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

Go ahead and smoke. Smoke. Smoke. Smoke. You're at least 18 and you should be doing you're own laundry. Worst comes to worst is you save one set of clothing for smoking and only launder those when your folks are out of the house, and don't smoke in the mean time. Or do laundry yourself or at a laundromat before you go home. It's a pain, but if you're consistent it's also almost a fail proof option.

Hair, depending on length, you can just scrub out with plain water in a sink enough to blame it on other smokers. Breath; carry a water bottle, toothpaste and mouthwash. 30 seconds to a minute spent a block from your house will hide everything unless you walk into a lengthy family conversation at home.

If you're forced to change into your "clean" clothes in your car and thus carry some residual odor, well you just gave a smoking friend a ride home and he lit up before you could stop it. Be sure not to ever drop your problems on a specific person though. Seriously. Naming anyone, even a person you know won't be punished is unforgivable unless you clear it in detail first.

Better option, from your question your dad seems to smoke the occasional cigar. Start talking with him and work something out with him.

Plus, do your own laundry.
posted by Science! at 10:36 PM on April 13, 2009

Or you could the trick I used on my mother the first time I came home after smoking cigarettes at a mate's place:

Mum: "You stink of smoke! What have you been doing?"

Me: "Just lighting some fires."

Mum: "Tsk."
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:40 PM on April 13, 2009

Find a forest fire, a smoker's corner, or anywhere where there's a lot of stuff being burned/smoked other than cigars. Spend some time there. Your best bet is to have the smell of cigars overwhelmed/confused by the smell of cigarettes and other burned things.

Alternatively, along the same lines, throw your cigar-clothes into the same bag as your smelly gym/sports gear.

But the best suggestion so far is to work on getting your mom used to the idea that you'll be experimenting with stuff like cigars, alcohol, cigarettes and etc as part of your transition to adulthood, and that while some habits might stick/become permanent, others will probably be forgotten after some time.
posted by nihraguk at 10:43 PM on April 13, 2009

Surprised nobody has suggested this, but, Febreez or whatever might work for the clothes?
posted by TimeDoctor at 11:02 PM on April 13, 2009

If you do a bonfire the same night, you'll be stankin' from that. Lots of fun there, but a lot more trouble to go through if you're doing something that's legal like smoking a cigar.
posted by No New Diamonds Please at 11:09 PM on April 13, 2009

The usual way, "Sorry, my friends were smoking and I couldn't leave"
posted by Neiltupper at 11:35 PM on April 13, 2009 [2 favorites]

The best thing would be to wear something over your clothing to prevent the smoke from getting too deep into your clothes. Something like an old fleece that you don't wear often and that you can keep out of your laundry for a while. Zip it closed thoroughly. Your jeans shouldn't smell too badly from smoking, it's mostly sweaters, shirts and T-shirts.
posted by NekulturnY at 11:50 PM on April 13, 2009

If you aren't old enough to do your own laundry, you aren't old enough to be smoking. I suggest doing your own laundry. I can smell second hand smoke on a smoker's clothes at quite a distance.
posted by Justinian at 11:54 PM on April 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

There's nothing that will cover up cigar smoke. As a Swisher Sweet addict, I'd recommend giving it up. Those things are like crack.

Febreeze seems to work OK, but then it just smells like you're covering something up.
posted by gjc at 3:30 AM on April 14, 2009

Wear a smoking jacket, obviously.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 4:46 AM on April 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

I didn't quit lying until I was in my thirties and it wasn't until then that I realized how easy it is to just assert who you are. So many social lies are just as easily avoided with simple truth. Relationships are better when boundaries are set with the truth about who you are and what you want. Parents are the hardest to get used to letting go. Start young, and yeah, do your own laundry.
posted by InkaLomax at 5:21 AM on April 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

Nothing will really hide the smoke - most non-smokers can smell it no matter how you try to cover it up. I read all of the above responses and to each one thought "nope, I've smelled smoke even after that." The only way your mom won't know is if you have minimal contact with her after smoking or she's not home when you come home after smoking - if you change your clothes it's still in your hair and your breath, even if you brush your teeth, if you have to talk to her for even a minute, she'll know.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 6:20 AM on April 14, 2009

Great suggestions all.

I do my own laundry, but the washer is almost always taken and in my house this means she'll smell them while I'm waiting for the washer, that's all.

Maybe I'll just tell her. Or wait until college in the Fall.
posted by nokry56 at 6:23 AM on April 14, 2009

annnd really thought it would be an anonymous comment, but yeah I'm the original poster.
posted by nokry56 at 6:24 AM on April 14, 2009

posted by entropone at 6:38 AM on April 14, 2009

Wear smoking clothes (old sweatshirt, old jeans). Every time you smoke, put those on. Then periodically do a load when the washer's free. I'm 27 and can't stand the smell on my clothes.
posted by yeti at 7:49 AM on April 14, 2009

When I was a summer camp counselor and we couldn't let the kids smell smoke on us, we used Febreze (then again, those were cigarettes, and we were probably deluding ourselves).

Or, not sure if you can use it on clothes, but Ozium is the best smoke smell remover, ever. Maybe even spraying that in the room you're smoking in would prevent the smoke from settling into your clothes?
posted by cosmic osmo at 8:58 AM on April 14, 2009

Maybe I'll just tell her. Or wait until college in the Fall.

One of these or just not smoking are the best options.
posted by The World Famous at 10:36 AM on April 14, 2009

Sensitively nosed moms canNOT have smoke hidden from them. This is not gonna happen. Maybe if you smoke naked while in another town and then thoroughly scour yourself before going home, AND your clothes that you wear home were nowhere in your smoky vicinity whatsoever in the other town, but...probably not even that either.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:41 PM on April 14, 2009

I used to smoke, but when I quit, a few months or so later I suddenly was very sensitive to cigarette/cigar smoke. A non-smoker can very simply smell it much easier than a smoker. I think it's called third-hand smoke these days--the odor on clothes and skin. And I would guess that cigar odor is even stronger than cigarettes.

But there might be some things you can do. Use moistened wipes that contain alcohol to wipe off your hands and face (and hair, perhaps). Use Febreeze or something similar to spray your clothes. Chew gum/brush your teeth/use mints.

Also, where are you smoking? If I go to a smoky bar for a few hours I stink just as bad as a smoker. Smoke outside or where there's good ventilation.
posted by zardoz at 5:45 PM on April 14, 2009

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