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Community Member
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎12-22-2009

How to get smoke smell out of plush bears

Hi everyone!! I have so enjoyed reading all the posts and have learned so much!!! Thank you!!

Now for my question. I have over 100 Boyds bears. Unfortunately I have recently found out that items I put on auction have a very definite cigarette smell. I would like to put the bears on auction, but would never expect anyone to bid on them if they smell badly. Any suggestions on how I can remove the odor from the bears? I realize it may take some time to completely remove the smell as these bears are not new bears and most have been in my home for years and are retired. Almost all of them are dressed bears.

I will try any and all suggestions!! These bears are beautiful and the thought of just throwing them away upsets me greatly.
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Community Member
Posts: 282
Registered: ‎07-27-2009

Re: How to get smoke smell out of plush bears

in reply to jlh2237
If you live where it's cold and your garage is cold but attached and dry, I have bought things w/ a cigarette odor and have found that leaving them in the cold air for awhile (I think I left a used coat I bought out there for a couple weeks) helped alot. I also febreezed it repeatedly, but you might not want to do that w/ bears. This may sound totally weird, but you might ask a used car dealer what they use too, because I know some of them are pretty bad when the get them.

SOmeone else may come along w/ other thoughts. Good luck!
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Community Member
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎12-22-2009

Re: How to get smoke smell out of plush bears

in reply to jlh2237
Wow, that's a terrific idea! I do live where it's cold and my garage is not heated. My friend also told me to try putting them into an air tight container with charcoal and newspaper. She said the charcoal would absorb the odor and so would the newspaper. But some of my bears are white, like the Bubba bears, and I would worry about the charcoal getting them dirty.
I'll try any suggestions and I appreciate you're answering my post!!
Merry Christmas to you and your family!!
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bethy56
Community Member
Posts: 1,408
Registered: ‎03-27-2005

Re: How to get smoke smell out of plush bears

in reply to jlh2237
If all else fails, wash them. I have washed many a bear and only lost one. The regular plush - not the mohair - can be washed. Remove all ribbons and clothing. Place in a pillowcase or a mesh bag for washing nylons, put in the washer with mild detergent and cold water wash on gentle. You can wash more than one bear at a time - do like colors together. Run through the spin cycle twice and use a bit of fabric softener in the rinse. Remove the bears from the washer and blot with a clean towel. Air dry the bears - I use a drying rack or you can hang a mesh bag from a hanger with the bear in it so air gets all around it. If you dry it on a rack or clean towel, turn it over so all sides get aired. DO NOT place in the dryer! Wash the clothes in mild detergent and cold water if they are washable fabrics - furs do not wash well - and air dry and touch up with iron when dry. Ribbons can be hand washed and drip dried if they smell too.
If you are unsure, pick one bear and do that one and see how it goes. I have reclaimed some very dirty and stained bears this way - and most customers do not want smoky bears. Often the smell is just part of it - usually they are stained a yellowish brown from exposure to smoke.

I usually wash 2 or 3 bears at a time and put in a clean white towel or two for cushion.

DO NOT DO THIS with mohair bears or other manufactured or artist bears. My Boyds have survived hurricanes after a good washing. Now I wash all Boyds I buy secondhand.
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Community Member
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎12-22-2009

Re: How to get smoke smell out of plush bears

in reply to jlh2237
Thanks for the info. I will try washing them. I had already washed some of the clothing and it all came out well.
Now I just have to convince myself that it is time to part with them, which will probably take longer than washing over 100 bears!!
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d324redrocket
Community Member
Posts: 1,268
Registered: ‎11-13-2003

Re: How to get smoke smell out of plush bears

in reply to jlh2237
Hi. I might be chiming in a bit late but thought I'd mention if those bears reek of cigarette smoke, just airing them out might not be enough. An indoor smoker(s) smoke will add layers of sticky tar on items. The fur may be too dark to actually 'see' yellowish tar build up. Sticky tar build up might be a problem to completely remove.

Reason I mention this is I bought a antique bear on eBay and it came to me a grayish color and 'stink'........oh brother, did it ever stink! After 5 careful hand cleanings, I discovered the bear was originally white. The cigarette tar had formed a sticky residue on the mohair and it was very hard to get off. Years of dirt and dust had stuck to the tar residue on the mohair and with time the bear's fur had turned a gray'ish' color.

With patience, careful cleaning and airing out, the bears will finally smell OK again. Sure is a lot of elbow grease though. Might want to evaluate if selling the bears on eBay would be worth the time and trouble. Best wishes on your cleaning efforts!
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Community Member
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎03-19-2010

Re: How to get smoke smell out of plush bears

in reply to jlh2237
I have used the Febreeze Laundry Additive with good results on cleaning. One coat I had was so bad I had to soak it in the sink overnight with warm water and febreze... then launder the next day with more febreze.

The laundry detergent fabreeze is different from the spray stuff in that It does not have alcohol in it.
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Community Member
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎12-04-2010

Re: How to get smoke smell out of plush bears

in reply to jlh2237
Hi, I am replying to getting the smoke out of bears. With mohair the nicotine sticks bad but can be cleaned with a damp cloth and a little bit of woolite. Don't pull on the fur or get the under mohair cloth wet. It takes hours to clean large bears. Still smoke smell is inside the bear. One good thing is the nicotine actually protects the bear from insects. I prefer moth balls. The clothing helps protect the bear from smell. Most of the time the clothes can be washed easily but still can become stained with the nicotine. Might take quite a few washings for some clothes. Oh, and to get rid of bugs, seal the bear in plastic and place in freezer a few days. Hope this helps.
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Community Member
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎12-22-2009

Re: How to get smoke smell out of plush bears

in reply to jlh2237
Thank you all so much for the suggestions!! I'm in awe at all the responses I have received. You all are wonderful!!!!
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breheim2005
Community Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-16-2007

Re: How to get smoke smell out of plush bears

in reply to bethy56

Thank you so much.. my cat got trapped in the attic over night and pee peed and poopied on top of the bag that my Boyd Bears were stored in...it went through the porus bags. I found your post and tried washing, fabric softener, rinse, etc. and it works like a charm.. I was ready to toss all five bears in the trash after using baking soda, carpet cleaner, fabreeze, ozium.. without any luck. They do not have any tags indicating they are washable. But heck yeah they are.. the plush kind that is. THANKS SO MUCH for your post..

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bethy56
Community Member
Posts: 1,408
Registered: ‎03-27-2005

Re: How to get smoke smell out of plush bears

in reply to breheim2005

You are so welcome!  I'm glad it worked for you - poor kitty was really mad it sounds like!!  LOL!!

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