Smelly deck


Hi I bought a use deck from on line which smells of cigarette smoke is there anyway to get rid of that smell in the cards or is it a hopeless ? thank you for your help


Hi Belinda,

There was an older thread about this same question and many people had advises and tricks to try and get rid of the smell, using essential oils, baking soda etc :

For me, I once had a deck bought second hand, that smelled of heavy woman perfume.
I tried everything, every trick, for several months : Airing the deck for months, wiping each card clean with alcool, drowning the deck in baking soda, in starch powder, in baby powder, airing it again..... nothing worked.
I ended up having an icky feeling about the deck, as if the smell was somebody's strong unwelcome energy sticking to it -I know it sounds silly, but that is how it made me feel after all those efforts.
I inquired with the person who had sold me the deck and she told me that actually she had only had it for a few days, she had bought it second hand herself, and after browsing it she found she did not like it so she put it back up for sale.
I considered giving it up to someone else, or leaving it in a public place for someone to find it, but because of that ickyness, I ended up just destroying it eventually. After spending months trying to rid it of the smell and even to cleanse it of that ickyness.

But I am sure that most times you can get rid of the smell ! Its worth a try ! Good luck.



I had a book that I got that didn't smell...right.

I got charcoal at the grocery store, put about three cups of charcoal in a heavy trash bag, then put the book in a smaller bag and left it partly open so the book and charcoal wouldn't directly connect, and then sealed the big trash bag for about five days.

Charcoal seems to suck the smell out of most things like books or decks.


Hairdryer. Each and every card, edges and all. Worked for me on a deck that smelled of cigarette smoke when baking soda, freezer, sunshine and fresh air didn't work!


Seems like a lot of work that or make the lady take the deck back thanks for your help


My solution is no work at all - just put it in a box with a lot of scented candles and leave it there for a good long while.

I have never had a deck that I didn't manage to deodorise completely if it was necessary.


I had some decks that smelled horribly from cigarette smoke. I wiped them down with alcohol wipes (small amount and immediately dried them) and let them air out for a month or two on a shelf where they had sun for a short time each day, too.

Then I put them in a drawer with incense. They smell very nicely now.

Freezer, cat litter (clean of course...), coffee beans etc didn't help. Time and air did.


Put the deck in a ziplock bag with an open box of baking soda. Check it weekly and give the box a shake. Keep doing this until the smell is gone. After this I put them in cigar boxes to infuse the deck with the scent of fresh cut tobacco. Smells amazing. They sell tobacco candles if you want to get an idea. The same concept could work with anything really. After the cigarette smoke smell is gone get a fresh ziplock and throw the deck and whatever else in there you want the deck to smell like.


I received a deck one that reeked more like my grandfather's ashtrays. Which is a lot to say. It was eye-watering, and I'm not exaggerating.

I tried every remedy known to AT --except for the hairdryer, which I'm taking note about right now. It ended up spending about seven weeks in a mixture of (clean) kitty litter, baking soda and charcoal (I would take it out, sniff it, and put it back with a gag and a shudder) and then about three or four more airing, before it could be usable.

Years have passed, and it still smells faintly funky, like a ghost of that old stench. I doubt it will ever go away. It's haunted --by a smell.


One of my decks stinks of cheap and nasty perfume very badly. I too have tried everything known to AT but nothing has worked. After months of tracking it down I cant even hold it nevermind read with it :(