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How Long Does a Campfire Smell Last? (Answered!)

Campfires are a great source of light and warmth when you send nights outside in nature. Not to mention it keeps the pests and bugs away. But no one likes the campfire smell to linger, especially on their hair or clothes.

How long does a campfire smell last?

Campfires usually take place outside. Therefore, it doesn’t take more than 20 to 25 minutes for the smell to disperse as the air carries it away when the fire burns out. However, the size of the fire, how long it was burning and materials that were burnt can change how long the smell will linger.

Even though the campfire smell doesn’t linger for too long in the air, but your surroundings may still smell of campfire as it can stay for a longer period of time on your clothes and hair. Ultimately making you smell like the campfire.

How long does campfire smell last on hair?

As surprising as it may sound, a campfire smell can last anywhere from hours to days on your hair if you don’t know the correct way to get rid of it. Sometimes even your regular shampoo might not be able to get rid of the smell.

Hair can absorb and trap strong odors. This happens more easily to hair that lacks the natural layer of oil protecting it and is more porous making it vulnerable to odor penetration.

Thus, leading our hair to reek of campfire smoke and the worst part is, it can last for days after you were near the campfire unless treated accordingly.

How long does campfire smell last on clothes?

Similar to your hair, the campfire smell can last on your clothes for hours or days if it is left untreated with the right products and methods.

Some of the odor will go away if you are outside in the open because fresh air carries some of it away when the fire isn’t roaring any longer, but it can’t get rid of it completely.

This tends to happen due to tiny smoke particles sticking to the surface of your clothes and staying embedded in the material, making it harder to get rid of the smell.

Will campfire smell go away?

Campfire smell in the air doesn’t take long to go away after the fire burns out completely. But you can still smell it as it tends to linger on objects surrounding you like your tent, furniture, clothing and even your hair.

There are possible ways for you to make the campfire smell go away from the air and your nearby objects quicker if the smell bothers you.

Why does campfire smoke smell linger?

Campfire smell tends to linger even after the fire had stopped burning because while the fire burns, tiny smoke particles can permeate the nearby surfaces like your tent, furniture, clothing items and also hair and cling on to them until they are removed properly.

Therefore, even if the air carries away the smell you will still be able to smell the campfire near you as it stays lingering on your body and the objects surrounding you.

How to get campfire smell out of hair?

If you have ever had to walk around with hair smelling of the campfire you went to on the weekends, you know it isn’t the most pleasant experience. But there are ways to get rid of that smell completely and you might not even have to wash your hair.

Citrus spray:

You can create this at home by peeling the zest of a lemon, lime or orange and adding it to a sprayer filled with water. Let it sit together for 25 minutes to help the water absorb the citrus elements.

If you spray and coat your hair evenly with this, it will deodorize your hair while drying and thus get rid of the campfire smell for your hair.


If you mix vodka and water in a spray bottle and use this to spray your hair when it smells of campfire, you will notice it evaporating after 30 minutes and cause the smell to go with it.

Apple cider vinegar:

If you mix equal parts AVC to your regular shampoo and rinse your hair with it, it will rinse your hair of the campfire smell.

Dryer sheet:

When you rub your hair with a dryer sheet it replaces the campfire smell with a fresher scent and also tame frizz and fly-ways in your hair.

Dry shampoo:

Dry shampoo has the ability to rid of your hair of the campfire smell and help it smell much more fragrant.

How to get campfire smell out of clothes and hats?

It might not be possible to always wash your clothes and hats while you are camping but thankfully there are ways to get rid of the campfire smell from clothes without using too much water.

  • You can use the same citrus and water concoction for your clothes too. All you need to do is spritz it all over your clothes and lay it out to dry in the sun.
  • Similarly, the vodka and water mixture works well for clothes too. You can spritz and coat your clothes with it and let it air dry in the sun.
  • Dryer sheet be used on clothes too. When you rub your clothes thoroughly with a dryer sheet, it will absorb and replace the comfier smell.
  • If you have hot water available in your camp you can soak your clothes in hot water with a cup of white vinegar and let it air dry in the sun to get rid of the campfire smell.

How to get rid of the campfire smell in your house, furniture, RV, or car?

If campfire smell is lingering in your house, furniture, RV or car, there are easy yet effective ways to get rid of it. Some hacks may even work for all of them.

House and furniture:

  • You can use white vinegar to wipe down your furniture, washable walls, floors and other surfaces as it can cut through the odor.
  • If your sprinkle baking soda on your furniture and leave them in bowls around your house, it will absorb and diminish the smell.
  • Activated coal in powdered form placed around the house can also absorb odors and get rid of it.
  • When you air out your house while cleaning it, the air circulation helps get rid of the smell in the house and on the furniture.

RV or car:

  • An essential oil diffuser or air freshener can do wonders for your RV and car when it comes to keeping smoke smell and other pungent smell at bay.
  • Rubbing dryer sheets on the seats and carpet will get rid of the smoke smell.
  • Let air flow through the vehicle by opening the doors and vents, it will take away the odor with it.
  • You can vacuum the seats and carpets of your vehicle as thoroughly as possible. Then sprinkle baking soda over it. Let it sit for a while and again vacuum it.
  • Cinnamon sticks can be boiled and placed in a travel mug inside your vehicle. It will clean the air as it cools.

How to get rid of smoke smell in the tent?

If your campfire is near your tent, this can cause your tent to smell of campfire even after the fire has dimmed and burned out. There are simple cleaning tips and ways to get rid of the lingering smell.

  • You can find tent cleaners to clean and rid your tent of the smell left by the campfire as long as you follow the package instructions carefully.
  • If you spritz your tent with a citric spray that can be used for hair and clothes, it will disperse the smell as it dries.
  • You can mix white vinegar to warm water and wipe the surfaces of your tent or mix AVC in a sprayer with water and sprinkle on the tent.
  • If you apply a paste of 1 part baking soda with 3 parts water on the walls of your tent and let it dry, it will eliminate the smoke smell. You can shake off the powder left behind or vacuum it.

How to make campfire smoke less?

If you want your campfire to create less smoke you can try using kiln dried wood or any dry firewood and also allow more airflow. You should avoid burning green wood and debris like leaves and grass clippings to keep the smoke level to a minimum.

Why do campfires smell so good?

Campfires smell good to humans as they are made by burning wood, a smell closely associated with plants and trees. It emits a smell that is earthy and close to the scent of nature. You can even use specific woods to make your campfire smell better.

What makes a campfire smell good?

Birch wood, Apple wood, Cherry wood, Pine wood and Cedar wood smell good when they are burned in a campfire compared to other woods. Some additional things can also make your campfire smell good:

  • Apple and orange slices
  • Orange and lemon peel
  • Pine cones
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Aromatic dried herbs
  • Pure fragrance oils

When you go on your next camping trip, don’t forget to pack dryer sheets or baking soda if you want to avoid smelling like the campfire the entire weekend. 

But also don’t let the lingering smell stop you from enjoying and being closer to nature as it can be diminished easily.

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