How to Remove Tobacco Stains from Clothing

Dialecti asked: I smoke rolled tobacco. I was wearing a blouse which was wet, and while rolling the cigarette, tobacco pieces were falling down on my blouse leaving stains. I didn’t notice it, until some hours ago, when the blouse was dry. How can I remove them?

Tobacco stains, particularly those which have been set by heat or allowed to dry, can be difficult to remove. Your success will depend on the type of fabric you’re dealing with, but in most cases this process should improve, if not eliminate, the stains.

You Will Need:

  • 1 quart of warm water
  • 1  tsp. liquid laundry detergent
  • Sponge
  • Rubbing alcohol

Steps to Remove the Stain:

  1. Combine the warm water and laundry detergent.
  2. Soak the shirt in the combined mixture for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove it from the water and wring out excess moisture.
  4. Wet the sponge with rubbing alcohol.
  5. Rub the stains with the sponge until the stains are gone. Rubbing alcohol can remove color as well, so spot test for color fastness first.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • If this method doesn’t work, try a commercial stain remover with proven results on nicotine such as Instagone. Always spot test in a hidden area first.
  • Vinegar is well known for it’s ability to break down nicotine stains and build up. It can be added to the washing water as well for increased cleaning power.
  • If the stains have dried, you may need to allow them to soak so that the moisture can re-penetrate the stain and make it more workable to remove.

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