Cooking over an open campfire is a long-awaited pleasure for most of us. The only problem? That campfire smell from cookouts that permeates your hair, clothes and camping gear.
Campfire smoke is great for food, not for hair and gear.
Some campers find the lingering aroma of campfire smoke pleasing but if you’re the type of person who doesn’t, here are some easy ways to get that campfire smell out of your hair and gear without washing.
Natural, Waterless Ways to Get Campfire Smell Out
Spritz with citrus. Take 1 lemon or lime and zest the peel. Let it sit in a bottle of water for about 30 minutes, then spray it on smoky hair and gear. Let hair and gear dry in the sun and the smoke smell should fade away.
Spritz with vodka. Got vodka left from the previous night’s bonfire? You’re in luck! Vodka is a great odor eliminator and it won’t leave you smelling like a drunk either. A 50/50 mix of vodka and water in a small spray bottle is a quick way to deodorize. Once you and your gear dry in the sun any lingering alcohol odors should dissipate. Keep in mind that it might dry out your hair, but since you’re in the woods you’ll have plenty of time to build up more protective oils in between washing!
Rub down with dryer sheets. Not only do fabric softener dryer sheets work as bear and rodent repellents, but they also suck up odors and control static – bonus! Keep them handy when you go camping and the night after a bonfire just wipe your hair and gear with these marvels-of-the-laundry-room for instant odor elimination.
Dust off with baking soda. Bicarbonate of soda is a handy pantry item to take on your next camping trip. You can brush your teeth with it, make a paste to ease insect bite stings, and even slather it on as deodorant. Baking soda is also the penny-pincher’s dry shampoo. By sprinkling a tiny bit of baking soda into your hair and onto your gear, you can instantly get rid of campfire smell without washing.
You don’t need water to get campfire smell out of your hair.
Whatever you do, don’t try to mask the campfire smell with perfume or essential oils like patchouli. These are not deodorizers and will probably make your hair and gear smell even worse than before. If you still can’t get rid of the smell when you’re in the wilderness, at least you know a washing machine and strong cleaners will be waiting when you get home!