Second-hand Smoke Filter
December 4, 2004 9:58 AM   Subscribe

FabricSoftenerFilter. Will using fabric softener reduce the tendency of my clothes to pick up particulate matter from secondhand smoke? I usually avoid the stuff since I'm told the extra chemicals aren't necessarily good for you, but neither is tobacco. Any tips on the relative effectiveness of fabric softener/dryer sheets/vinegar/a piece of aluminum foil appreciated.
posted by grouse to Science & Nature (4 answers total)
the 'laundry detergent' we use, per (oversized) load:

-- 1 small box baking soda
-- 1/2 bottle hydrogen peroxide
-- 1/4 cup simple green

the simple green solvent will clean out just about any damned thing. the peroxide is a great bleaching agent, and safe on colors as well. the baking soda takes out previous odors and helps absorb future odors as well.

so we don't generally use fabric softener.
posted by dorian at 10:21 AM on December 4, 2004

(and of course all of those things are super-biodegradable and safe, which is sorta how we ended up with them)
posted by dorian at 10:23 AM on December 4, 2004

As a former smoker of 15 years, and now a nonsmoker with a sensitive nose, I believe I can definitively state:

Nothing will prevent the odor of smoke in your clothes. Others will always be able to smell it.
posted by Miko at 11:02 AM on December 4, 2004

Fabric softener, both liquid and dryer sheets, work by putting small amounts of wax on your clothes. I imagine that waxed cloth would hold smoke constituents better than unwaxed. Part of the appeal of dryer sheets is that they make clothes smell and the smell persists in part because of the was, so it'd probably do the same for smoke odor.
posted by TimeFactor at 11:14 AM on December 4, 2004

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