Removing Smoke Oders From Garments

Dear Jennifer:
I recently bought a beautiful acetate/spandex evening gown via e-bay.
However, it obviously came from the home of a smoker and smelled like it had been stuffed up the chimney.
I, therefore, decided to expose it to ozone (we keep an ozone machine running due to my husband’s allergies).
Just hanging it in the bathroom with the ozone hose was not cutting the smoke, so, at my husband’s suggestion, I placed the garment in a paper grocery sack with the ozone hose running in the sack. After two days, I checked the garment and found that the strong smoky smell was dissipating from the area closest to the hose. Accordingly, I refolded the garment and exposing the ozone hose to the area that still smelled the strongest.
Due to several hectic days, it was 5 days before I again checked the dress, at which time, I intended to wash it in cold water and dry it flat as per the instructions. When I removed the dress from the bag, it had lost color in blotches throughout the material, fading in places from its original black color to a brownish gold in spots. And yes, the smell of smoke was gone, but was replaced with an ozonish synthetic smell. So, do you think there is any help for this dress at this point? For now, I have hung it in the attic away from the ozone, hoping it will air out and regain its original color. What do you think happened and why?
Thanks so much for your prompt response.
I should have had it professionally cleaned as soon as I got it, but hindsight is 20/20.

Dear Barb,
You know, I have purchased many things on eBay myself, and some of them arrive smoky. I have an ozone machine, too, but it is the box kind. I usually drape the offending piece over the box, rearranging it every few hours until it smells okay.
I really don’t know what happened with your dress except the overly-simple explanation of a “chemical reaction.” In my experience, acetate is very color unstable. I have tried washing it several times and the color always runs (a lot) and the water leaves a water mark.
Since the acetate is a synthetic fabric, there is no hope for dyeing it black again. Dyes which are available for the use of ordinary mortals only work on natural fabrics.
Chalk it up to fabric adventure. At least you didn’t pay retail for the dress!

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