Kitchen Crafts 'n' More

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 Reader's Question - How can I remove smoke odors from a box of cookbooks?

Here's another excellent reader's question:

Hi Christina,
I have a question for the newletter:
I purchased a box of cookbooks at a garage sale today. They smell badly of cigarette smoke. How can I get the smell out?
Thanks in advance, Linda

Hi Linda,

I know I'll get more replies to this from other KCnM readers, but I'll tell you what has worked best for me. One day my husband had gone to visit an old friend, and that friend happened to smoke like a chimney! I thought most definitely that I'd have to tote that suit to the drycleaners...but, I didn't have to.

The only thing that worked at getting that smoke odor out was my handy dandy Lampe Berger. I've mentioned these mini air purifiers here on the blog before, but I'll likely mention it again and again! :) They've become one little home appliance I can't live without.

Basically, the Lampe Berger was first created for hospitals in France in the 1800s. It's a small lamp filled with an alcohol-based formula. There's a wick that goes inside, plus a small ceramic burner that sits on the top, called the catalytic converter or catalytic burner. You fill the lamp about 2/3 full with your choice of Lampe Berger oil, and then light the wick and let it get activated. You'll see a large flame -- you blow it out after about two minutes or so, at which point it will be completely activated. Then you put 15-60 minutes on the timer, depending on how bad the odor is you want to get out!

I've never seen anything work better at removing tough odors. Like I mentioned before, my husband's suit came out smelling great. You couldn't smell even a hint of lingering smoke -- and you know firsthand how tough getting out smoke smells can be!

Besides the Lampe Berger...I would recommend trying a bowlful of either vinegar or baking soda left in a small space with the box of books. It will also help to absorb the odors.

Hope this helps Linda!
Take care,

More Handy Smoke Removal Tips from our Website:
Removing Smoke from Clothing

Using Vinegar to Remove Smoke Stains

Using Bowls of Vinegar to Remove Smoke Odors from Walls and Air

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