As much as some cannabis enthusiasts would love to make it a thing, nobody skips off to Bed Bath & Beyond to buy a cannabis-scented candle.
Dried cannabis releases terpenes, which create that distinctive “weed scent” when you smoke. Cannabis is not unique in this. Plenty of plants produce terpenes. They are aromatic compounds that help growing things achieve their goals. Some terpenes help attract pollinators, while others keep hungry predators at bay.
While the scent of weed brings back a flood of happy memories for those who love the famous herb, many people aren’t fans of the smell, and it can even bother people with asthma or pulmonary issues. Even if it doesn’t bother you personally, removing the smell of cannabis from your clothes is often a matter of respecting those around you.
The challenge? It sticks to clothes—like, a lot.
Whether you have kids, live with a roommate or partner who hates the smell, or just want to avoid an awkward conversation at this year’s Thanksgiving table, we’ve got you covered.
Here are a few tricks for getting rid of the smell of cannabis on your clothes without wasting a day on it. And we included a few tips for keeping it off you in the first place, too.
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How to wash clothes that smell like cannabis
If the smell of cannabis is clinging to your clothes, try these tips for getting the scent out in the wash.
Turn up the heat
When weed smells are stubborn, try washing your clothes at a higher temperature. Be aware that some clothes shrink or bleed when exposed to high temperatures. Always read the clothing label and use your best judgment before turning up the heat.
Add some vinegar
White vinegar comes in clutch when you’re dealing with funky scents. The acetic acid in the vinegar neutralizes many unpleasant odors, which is why you probably use it to clean your home appliances. Use about 1/2 cup of white vinegar (along with your regular laundry detergent) to stop that cannabis scent in its tracks.
Baking soda and peroxide
Sometimes, you need to bust out the big guns when odors linger. You can make your own scent-busting laundry detergent by mixing equal parts hydrogen peroxide and baking soda with two parts hot water.
Shake the solution well before adding it to your laundry. Be aware that it does contain peroxide, which can affect the color of your clothing if you aren’t careful. Peroxide is also light-sensitive, so you’ll want to store the solution in an opaque bottle away from direct sunlight.
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Other odor-eliminating tips
If you want to ensure the smell of weed is gone for good, consider skipping the drier and hanging your clothes to dry in the sun. Fresh air will help disperse any lingering scents, and UV rays contain natural anti-odor properties. To save time, you can also dry your clothes part-way in the drier and put them on the laundry line while they’re still a little damp.
Odor neutralizing sprays
If you don’t have time to wash your clothes and need to get the scent of weed out of them, order neutralizing sprays can drown the scent in a pinch. Many products on the market can help you neutralize odors between washes.
If you’re cautious about smells because you have a loved one with smell sensitivities, be aware that many off-the-shelf odor-eliminating products have their own scents. They often use essential oils to smother less desirable fragrances. If all strong scents are a problem, these sprays might not be the ideal solution.
Don’t forget linens
The cannabis smell can cling to more than clothing. If the smell doesn’t bother you, you might not notice it is clinging to curtains, bed sheets, and other home textiles. Read product tags to determine which of these products are washable, then follow the same steps mentioned above.
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How to smoke cannabis without smelling like it
What to wear when you smoke
At their core, terpenes are chemical compounds, and they tend to cling. You’ll notice that the scent lingers longer in clothing made from synthetic materials like rayon, nylon, polyester, and acrylic. To prevent clinging, dress in something made from all-natural fibers like cotton, bamboo, or even—you guessed it—hemp!
Where to Smoke
The smell of cannabis tends to stick around when you smoke it indoors, as it has less space to disperse. If possible, smoke your marijuana in an outdoor location.
If that’s not possible, one of our favorite tips is to smoke in your bathroom. Ensure the shower is running, allowing the terpenes to cling to the water molecules instead of your hair and clothes. Run your bathroom fan and you might not experience any lingering smells at all.
Timing is everything
If possible, we recommend washing your clothing as quickly as possible after smoking. The sooner you wash your clothes, the less time the scent has to sink in (and the less likely you are to become nose-blind and forget about it). Warm water is usually effective at getting odors out before they have time to settle in.
You and your loved ones don’t have to live with the smell of weed
The long-standing stigmas around cannabis mean that the smell of weed has a particularly bad rap compared to the smell of other plants. Still, it’s important to be mindful of those around you.
The good news? Respecting their needs does not always mean you have to give up smoking cannabis. Just keep in mind the best practices we listed for eliminating strong odors in the wash and smoke in a way that the smell won’t cling to your clothes. Trust us, your roommates will thank you.