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How to Get Rid of Smoke Smell
Here’s a few ideas, many of which we tried. Perhaps a combination of any of these options will work in your home! I’m saving the best for last, but all of these are great options to try.
Fling open the windows and doors and let’s get to work!
- Prime and paint.
- Remove wallpaper.
- Update curtains.
- Clean or replace carpet.
- Have ductwork cleaned.
- Steam clean upholstery.
- Run an air purifier.
- Replace HVAC filters.
- Wipe everything down with white vinegar.
- Leave bowls of baking soda out in the offending spaces.
- Leave bowls of white vinegar out to help absorb scents.
- Baking soda in a bowl
- Steam clean carpets, window treatments etc.
- Activated charcoal – this is another product sold at home improvement stores and labeled as an odor eliminator.
- Volcanic rock – the easiest method, (the one that worked for us!)
Removing cigarette smell from your breath
- Brush your teeth. If you smoke, brushing, flossing, gargling with mouthwash and using a tongue cleaner after each cigarette is the best way to remove odor. Brushing your teeth after each cigarette will also help reduce the staining that tar and nicotine can cause on your teeth.
- Try a lozenge. Hard candies, cough drops, breath mints, and gum can also help keep the smell in check.
Keep in mind that cigarettes cause the inside of your nose to smell, which can also affect the smell of your breath.
6. Refresh Cabinets and Upholstery
Cigarette smoke can certainly find its way into cabinets with doors and cloth furniture, so you should definitely go over the remaining furniture inside the suite.
Sprinkle baking soda over upholstery in your rental unit such as sofas and beds. Tap it into the fabric gently and let it sit overnight. Use a vacuum to suck it up the next day. Alternatively, you may wet a lint-free rag with white vinegar and rub down your fabric furniture to get rid of the smoke odor. For cabinets and drawers, you can use the same method to wipe down the surfaces, spray the inside with a light white vinegar mist, and leave the doors open to air dry the inside.
3. Repaint Ceilings Walls
Ready to get down to business? Let’s start with the biggest chunk of the job – ceilings and walls. This part may not sound like your idea of fun, but it’s necessary, and the reward is huge.
First, you will need to wash the surface. Mix a cup of white vinegar with 2 cups of warm water and ½ cup of baking soda. Dip a sponge in the mix and start wiping down the ceilings and the walls. Washing the ceilings and walls with vinegar can both deodorize and clean the surface. Wipe with a clean sponge after. Repeat 2-3 times.
Next, repaint the ceilings and walls with multiple coats of paint, depending on how stained the walls are. It is crucial to wash and dry the surface first, as simply repainting the wall might not stop the nicotine stains from seeping through. Also, paint sticks better to a cleaner surface. Again, if you’re willing go that extra mile, you can apply a layer of odor-blocking primer before regular paint. Odor-blocking primers are very effective at preventing odor molecules and stains from penetrating the new paint.
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Frequently Asked QuestionsDoes smoke smell ever go away?
Smoke particles are microscopic, and will generally penetrate all the surfaces of a home. Tobacco smoke is often deeply embedded in a home thanks to the HVAC system, circulating the smoky air throughout the home. While it’s certainly frustrating, we found that with a variety of methods plus the use of volcanic rock, the smoke smell in both of our homes was eliminated for good!
What essential oil removes smoke smell? While I love the fragrances of essential oils, they won’t absorb or eliminate smoke smell. However, these oils may be effective in helping to mask the smoke smell over time. Try lavender or Eucalyptus for a fresh, subtle scent that might help to overpower the stale smoke smell.
For many people, the smell of smoke is what warrants immediate attention, and so the DIY methods presented in this article are a good first line of defense for getting rid of the immediate noxious smell of smoke. But for those who are more concerned with long term health and indoor pollution, air purifiers and filters might be a better way to go. Regardless, the best and most effective way to remove the effects of cigarette smoke’s second and third-hand effects is to limit, if not entirely eliminate, your exposure to cigarette smoke.