Effectively remove tobacco odor from a nylon B-15.

Discussion in 'How To Info' started by Dany McDonald, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. Dany McDonald

    Dany McDonald Active Member

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    114
    Hello,

    Recently I acquired a gently used Buzz B-15B modified to B-15C from japan. I will not go into details here but the quality is impressive and attention to details is spot on. I will post pictures in the appropriate forum soon.

    Now, the seller properly describe the jacket smelling tobacco...oh yeah it did...

    Upon reception of the parcel, I could smell it! It reeked tobacco to a point where I thought it was wasted. I do bring back old Belstaff and Barbour form the dead, but that chemical stench seemed like an improbable
    challenge until I did this.

    First, soak the jacket in the machine with mild detergent for a couple of hours, no spinning, just soak and regularly stir by hand. Rinse and let dry. At that point the tobacco smell turned into a chemical odor that filled the room! This initial soaking is to remove dirt and other stains.

    Second, soak the jacket in the machine with one cup of vinegar and one cup of sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda for another couple of hours. Again regularly stir by hand (no spinning), rinse and let dry. Now the stench is gone. Optional, repeat step one if you want your jacket to gently smell detergent.

    Some will state that nylon flight jackets must not be soaked. In my case it did not affect the nylon or color, zipper tapes or insulation. Everything stayed in it's initial state and the tobacco stench was gone.

    You could probably skip the first soaking, I prefer to work with a clean jacket and then evaluate the problem.

    Note that the USAAF print was affected with all the soaking, it can start to flake because it's nylon not cloth!

    I think this simple technique will work great with other garments.

    Regards,

    Dany
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
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  2. Flightengineer

    Flightengineer Well-Known Member

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    Dany, thank you, it's helpful.
    I once had a similar problem with original vintage MA-1. The jacket was absolutely clean but had the tobacco odor.
    I got rid of the smell another way- in cold winter I hung it several times for all day in the open air in a hard frost (about -20 C). After I packed it in a sealed bag, sprinkled with coffee beans (the usual cheapest roasted packed coffee ). A week later - on open air again and the smell completely disappeared.
     
  3. Dany McDonald

    Dany McDonald Active Member

    Messages:
    114
    Hello Flightengineer,

    I had to soak my B-15 as it was saturated with the chemicals of modern tobacco. Believe me, once wet the insulation fabric began to release this very strong repulsive smell.

    I think airing has it's benefits and also limits, especially if the garment has multiple layers of different fabrics combine with the saturation of the offending smell.
    The benefit is that you do not alter the fabric and color and original state. Ex: You don't soak a 200 year old original British uniform, its okay if it stays salty and original.

    Did you know that today's denim collectors or enthusiast never wash their jeans, they just air then in the winter breeze. It keeps the color vivid and strong.

    Thank you,

    D
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
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  4. Flightengineer

    Flightengineer Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I heard about this weirdness of denimheads, everyone has their own entertainment in this life. But I am very far from that, I wear ordinary onewash or lightblue Levis or Lee jeans.
    I washed all my vintage cotton jackets, nylon and nomex sometimes washed also without damage, although of course there is a risk in the case of the B15 and I think you chose the best way.
     
    Dany McDonald likes this.

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