How To Remove Smoke Stains From White Curtains

White curtains beautifully dress up windows, unless they have turned dark and dull because of smoke stains. Not only does smoke settle on fabric and other surfaces, but it also creates stale lingering odors. Ordinary washing does not always get rid of smoke stains, and liquid bleach is not recommended for all fabrics. Try the following ways to remove smoke stains from curtains, and easily restore their former crisp white color.

Precautionary Statement

Since white window treatments are designed from various types of fabric, these ways to remove smoke stains might work for some, but not for others. Read fabric label instructions for precautions and suggestions, and if unsure of any method to remove smoke stains, contact the curtain/shutters manufacturer for professional advice. Proceed with caution, and use these methods to remove smoke stains from white window treatments at your own risk.

Try Dye Remover to Get Rid of Smoke Stains

Smoke stains can be difficult to get rid of, but fortunately, most white curtains can be washed in water. They can also be treated with dye remover meant to remove the color from poorly dyed or dye-stained fabric. Buy one or two boxes of Rit Dye Remover, depending on the size of the curtains. Follow product label instructions to remove the smoke stains. Rit Dye Remover does a tremendous job of removing smoke stains from white curtains. This particular tip worked to remove smoke stains from my white kitchen curtains.

Baking Soda and Ammonia

When bleach cannot be used to remove stains on white curtains caused by smoke, try baking soda and ammonia. Begin by adding the lowest level of water necessary to wash the fabric, and before placing the curtains in the machine, add one-half cup of baking soda and one-half cup of household ammonia. Close the lid and allow the machine to agitate and dilute the ammonia. Place the white curtains in the washing machine, and let the curtains soak for at least fifteen minutes before closing the lid and continuing the wash cycle. They should come out clean, stain-free, and incredibly fresh.


One of the best commercial products to remove smoke stains from white curtains is OxiClean. Follow washing instructions on the OxiClean label. If the discoloration does not come out, do not dry the fabric. Instead, try one of the other methods to remove the discoloration or repeat the instructions on the OxiClean label. It sometimes takes more than one attempt to remove particularly tough smoke stains and yellowing.

Coca Cola

Some people prefer home remedies to remove spots from fabric, and Coca Cola is said to remove smoke stains from white fabric window treatments. This has been suggested by firefighters and those in the cleaning business. Simply pour one can of Coke into the washing machine, and set the water level on the lowest setting that will accommodate the curtains. Do not add detergent. Allow the white curtains to soak in the Coke and water for at least thirty minutes before agitating and completing the wash cycle. Wash the white curtains again with the usual detergent. This cheap and easy remedy should remove smoke stains from white curtains, and they will come out looking as good as new.

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