If you get a smelly box, here are few things I've done to help remove the odors.
IMPORTANT - Test all surfaces in a hidden area before using any of these tips.
- The smoking smells can be evident even before a box is open. In that case I take the box outside and open it in the fresh air. All packing supplies and cardboard are put into a trash bag and disposed of immediately.
- If the item can be left outside to air out, leave it in the fresh air overnight or for a day or two. Depending on the surface I will usually give it a light spray of Febreze before leaving it.
Fabric items can be a little trickier. If the item can be sponge cleaned, by all means sponge it down and test spray Febreze on a hidden area to see if it also can be used without harming it.
Crumpled newspapers are also great for getting rid of odors. Crumple the paper into small balls stick the piece and newspapers into a covered box or container, seal it and leave it for a day or two. The newspapers often will absorb most of the odors. NOTE: This would only be used for hard surface items and where the newspaper print cannot rub off and ruin it.
Vinegar is another solution to getting rid of odors. Washing an item down with vinegar will usually help with the pet smells. Or put a small bowl of white vinegar in a closed area with the item and it will absorb the odors. Of course it will smell like salad dressing for a while, but that quickly dissipates.
For fabric items that can be hand or machine washed, About's Laundry Guide suggests using the hottest water fabric can tolerate, along with equal amounts of vinegar and baking soda. Soak fabric for an hour before washing.