Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: My book smells like cigarette smoke

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: My book smells like cigarette smoke
Date Posted: 6/15/2011 7:22 PM ET
Member Since: 4/24/2008
Posts: 310
Back To Top

No, I didn't get it from PBS.  I found it at a thrift store.  I really like the book and just need some advice to get the smell out.

Date Posted: 6/15/2011 7:29 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
Back To Top

Sometimes letting it sit out in the sun for a few hours will help.  You could also try putting in in a closed container with some baking soda or kitty litter for a few days.  There are those books that are just so smokey that nothing will get the smell out, but you never know til you try.

Date Posted: 6/15/2011 7:35 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2009
Posts: 2,555
Back To Top

Lots of things that you can do: Put in a zip lock bag w/odor eaters and put it in the freezer for a few days (push all the air out)

set it outside in the shade and protected from dew, rain, etc. for a few days.

put it in a box of clean unused kitty litter, for a few days.

wrap in layers of  newspapers and set  it  in a box.       Or a combination of any of those.

Subject: tobacco smoke
Date Posted: 6/15/2011 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,460
Back To Top

Whenever I receive from PBS or buy (from a used bookstore) a book that smells of tobacco, I just place it on the back porch (mine is covered) for awhile until the smell disappears. Costs nothing and there are no other items needed.

I place the book standing up with the pages spread and every day or so reposition it so other pages are exposed. Worked every time but once. I once received a book from Tobacco Hell that sat on the porch for literally months and would not lose the odor. 

That is when I broke down and added a "no tobacco smoke please" type of message to my request.  I have had several WL books I really wanted denied to me due to that request, but it is worth it. I have had a serious allergy problem with tobacco smoke all my life.

Fortunately, I live in Florida which is very actively anti-smoking. In the early 1990s state buildings were required to be smoke free. This was followed later by all commerical buildings, excepting homes. Last year, the University of Florida, where I work, became entirely smoke-free: you can't smoke inside or outside anywhere, not even in your car. 

If you are getting divorced and want custudy of the children, you had better not be a smoker. Courts accross the country are siding with the non-smoking parent to protect the health of the children.

When smokers complain about spending $4 a gallon for gas, I tell them a gallon of gas weighs about 10-12 pounds (water weighs 12 pounds a gallon and gasoline is slightly lighter than water).  Then I ask them how much they pay for 10 pounds of tobacco.  It is an expensive way to die.  Fortunately, most people who die from diseases caused by tobacco, do not do so until their 60s. This means they pay into Social Security all their lives, but they die just before or just after they start to collect Social Security. This means there will be more money left in Social Security for us non-smokers.

Actually, it is not funny. One in every three hospital beds is occupied by someone there due to a disease caused by smoking. Think how much this raises the price of medical care for all of us.  Enough... I'm off my soapbox.



Last Edited on: 6/16/11 3:14 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Lori - ,
Date Posted: 6/15/2011 8:24 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2009
Posts: 79
Back To Top

Never mind.

Edited to remove post since it apparently set off an unexpected crapstorm.

Last Edited on: 6/16/11 11:38 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/15/2011 8:49 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
Back To Top

Please do NOT use dryer sheets -- they can be an allergy/asthma trigger for members.  Just search the forums for dryer sheets to see other threads on this topic.

Date Posted: 6/15/2011 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 460
Back To Top

I've never tried it, but i've heard this helps:

Place crumpled-up newspaper in a plastic grocery bag.  Place the book inside the bag, so the newspaper surrounds it, and tie the bag closed.

Leave it sit for 3 or 4 days.  Supposedly the newspaper will absorb the odor, then you can just toss the newspaper.

MaryF in KY

Date Posted: 6/15/2011 9:50 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2008
Posts: 1,996
Back To Top

I had this problem with a book that smelled of strong, cheap perfume.  I set my books outside overnight, protected against the elements, and the smell was gone the next day.

Date Posted: 6/16/2011 2:56 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2010
Posts: 8,460
Back To Top

I do like Tom only I leave mine in the spare room with the window open.  Personally, I think sealing it up inside something would just keep the smell inside there.  Any of those methods you want to try, I would try without sealing them up.

Subject: Dryer sheet stench
Date Posted: 6/16/2011 3:12 AM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,460
Back To Top

Few things are worse than going outside and discovering that one of your neighbors is using dryer sheets. The smell is all over the neighborhood. Those of us with allergies have a real problem. This is one reason why most magazines stopped using those scratch and smell ads. So many people complained and/or cancelled. These things aren't natural scents, but chemically "improved" scents.

Animals react the same way. My aunt lived in the mountains of Californa and had fruit trees. The deer would come into the yard and eat the fruit. Nothing they tried could keep the deer away. Then one day she was told by the county Cooperative Extension Service agent to hang dryer sheets in the trees. She never had a problem with deer again and she started buying the sheets by the case.

Now consider children. The percentage of children with allergies and asthma is increasing  They don't understand what the problem is. All they know is that they feel bad, have headaches, nausea and, as a result, make life difficult for parents. The problem is that some well-meaning adult is doing the laundry with scented detergent and/or fabric sheets and the chemical smell is on the children's clothes, sheet linen, etc. Life is miserable for them and their parents. All because some company convinced the parents to spend extra money for something you don't really need in your laundry. 

Date Posted: 6/16/2011 4:19 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,348
Back To Top

I don't have allergies, but I've got to chime in to ask people not to use dryer sheets on books they'll be mailing out in the future.  They must smell wonderful to some people, because people buy them, but my nose interprets the odor very differently, and I'm not alone.  It's a really bad smell to me, and very hard to get rid of.

Odd how odors can strike different people in very different ways.

Date Posted: 6/16/2011 8:19 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
Back To Top
Thanks to everyone who has recommended not using dryer sheets. Since so many people are allergic or at least displeased by the extreme scents the manufacturers put on the sheets, I wonder why they haven't thought of scent-free ones - or is the whole point of the things to leave people smelling as if they've been lurking in a house of sin?
Date Posted: 6/16/2011 8:39 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
Back To Top

And to think that the OP was just looking for a way to remove the smell of smoke from a book.


Date Posted: 6/16/2011 9:25 AM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 626
Back To Top

"And to think that the OP was just looking for a way to remove the smell of smoke from a book."          +1

Lori - ,
Date Posted: 6/16/2011 11:42 AM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2009
Posts: 79
Back To Top

"And to think that the OP was just looking for a way to remove the smell of smoke from a book."          +2