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Removing Cigarette Smoke Odors

cigarette smoke odors

The odor from cigarette smoke is strong, pervasive, and often difficult to remove. This is a guide about removing cigarette smoke odors.


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Solutions: Removing Cigarette Smoke Odors

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Tip: Minimize Smoke Odor From Ashtrays

To help eliminate smoke odors from ashtrays while in use, pour some baking soda in them. This also helps for easy clean up.

By Lisa S.

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Here are questions related to Removing Cigarette Smoke Odors.

Question: Getting Rid of Cigarette Odors Inside

I use to smoke in my house and company did as well. I have cleaned all my walls, curtains, and carpets, and I still smell cigarette smoke. I use wall deodorant plugs, and wall sprays and candles.

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Question: Minimizing Cigarette Smoke and Odors

I need to know how to get rid of cigarette smoke in my house. My husband smokes. I have used all kinds of spray. Burned candles, still I can smell the smoke. What can I use? I have a small poodle, so I would need something that wouldn't hurt my dog.

Shonda from Grand Rivers, KY

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Most Recent Answer

By Steve Haven 1 04/04/2010

Fill a spray bottle 3/4 full with cold water. Pour in 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar. Every time your husband lights up, spray him down with this solution.

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Question: My House Smells Like Cigarette Smoke

My husband smokes cigarettes in the bedroom, but the whole house smells like an ashtray. I've tried to get him to smoke outside but to no avail. Is there anything I can do to get rid of the "ashtray" smell in my house? Thanks.

By Pamela

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Most Recent Answer

By Betty 104 753 06/07/2011

I've never lived with a smoker and won't let anyone smoke in my home or in my car. That said, I'd beg, plead and cry if I had to in order to try to get him to smoke outside. I have a couple friends who smoke and they are very considerate. My sister whom I haven't seen in years burned a hole in my living room carpet and one in my car. I know this doesn't answer your question which I don't have an answer for but if it bothers you as much as it seems to I'd probably get away from him every time he lights up by going outside. Maybe he'd see how much it bothers you.

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Question: Removing Cigarette Odor from a Room

I have a room attached to my garage that is sheetrocked and insulated, but is not painted or primed. My renters smoke very heavily in this room and now that room and the garage smells. When they took down the pictures that they had hanging up there is a brown tint around where the picture was hanging.

We have had the windows open but this does not help. What is the best way to get the smell out. Also, is priming it now just going to make the smell stick into the walls.

Please help with any ideas!

By Sue

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Most Recent Answer

By Annie Rios Hill 14 1,777 10/22/2011

There is a tried and true product easily found at Lowe's, Home Depot etc. It is called TSP my friend smoked like a fiend and never would open windows to air out! When she would move we would go tet TSP and scrub the walls with it, I helped just to see the clean walls.

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Question: Removing Cigarette Smoke Odor on House Walls

My house smells of cigarette smoke, thanks to the people who lived in it before me. I was told to bleach the walls to get out the smell, but was wondering if there were any other ways to get out that nasty smell. Thanks.

By Deborah A

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Most Recent Answer

By Sunj 4 05/24/2011

I used Murphy's Oil Soap to clean my walls for the same reason. It worked well. Good Luck.

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Question: Removing Smoke Smell from Duplex

We are moving into a lower level duplex, the upstairs tenants are heavy smokers and moved out from the lower level a few days ago. I will deep clean the carpets and walls to get the smell out of the lower level, but am concerned about the continuing tobacco smoke from above, or the air ducts.

I am not sure how to clean. Will my cleaning will be null and void because of the continuous smoking from up above?

Anya from MN

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Most Recent Answer

By katherine 2 01/15/2008

white vinegar white vinegar baking soda baking soda i'm a smoker

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Question: Cigarette Smoke Odors in a Refrigerator

I acquired a relatively new refrigerator from a house where someone smoked. The refrigerator has the smell of stale smoke inside. How do I get rid of this odor?

Gretchen from Cincinnati, OH

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Most Recent Answer

By yolanda 2 07/25/2009

Have tried all of the above and now have a combo odor of vinegar and smoke. My grandson thought it was awful! I'm thinking the smoke odor must be coming from within the frig; I'm about ready to just give it away. Lesson learned; never purchase any appliance from a smoking family!

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Question: Cigarette Smell on a Raincoat

I was given a raincoat which is a plastic material on the outside and a silky fabric on the inside. The previous owner was a cigarette smoker, and the coat stinks like cigarette smoke. The coat cannot be placed in the washer. I have hung it outside to air for over a week, placed it in the bathtub with Dawn dish soap and cleaned it with a rag, and I have sprayed it with Febreeze. All to no avail. Does anyone have a secret to getting this horrible smell out of the coat so that it can be saved?

By Joce141 from Pittsburgh, PA

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Most Recent Answer

By Shirley 1 29 04/03/2009

You can put it in the washer just put on gentle cycle and hang on a hanger some where in the house or outside until dried
I wash my vinyl table cloths that way and my tennis shoes just do not throw into dryer

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Question: Smoking Neighbor

Is there some legal action I can take about the smoke getting in my apartment from my neighbor downstairs? We are getting sick as if we ourselves smoked. I have a 9 years old affected by the contaminated air too. What can I do to make the air cleaner?

By Marina R

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Most Recent Answer

By Louise B. 6 2,539 12/24/2014

I would certainly complain to the manager, even if it is not a smoke free building. Also, you should check your state or province laws, as there may be regulations against smoking. There are so few places that people can smoke nowadays, and most of the smokers I know DON'T smoke in their own homes! If the manager will do nothing, and there is no other recourse, make arrangements to move out. If you threaten to leave (and, of course, mean it) the manager may rethink his position of doing nothing.

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Question: Keeping Cigarettes Smells Out of My Bedroom?

I have asthma really bad and get headaches when I smell cigarette smoke coming into my bedroom, even with my bedroom door closed. The AC/heat vents are blocked. I have used candles, and spray alot of air fresheners. Nothing is working. I have an air cleaner and that's not helping either? What can I used that might help keep the smells away from my room?

By Jonathan J R from Philadelphia PA

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Most Recent Answer

By DCA 4 1,234 02/09/2015

If the cigarette smoke is coming into your room from smokers in other parts of your home, there is really not much you can do. It is impossible to completely prevent smoke from entering your room 24/7; a fan, filter and stuffing towels around the door might help some. Unfortunately, you are exposed to smoke when you leave your room so you essentially have exposure to cigarette smoke all the time.

Aside from the actual smoke itself, you are also exposed to second and third hand cigarette smoke problems-smoke particles and gases in the air that you inhale as you walk through and exposure to smoke residual matter that is in the air and then lands on furniture, carpets, etc., such as nicotine, chemicals added to the cigarette etc. The particulate matter is then blown into the air again when one sits on a couch, vacuums (no vacuum cleaner filters the air completely), dusts furniture, etc.
(Mayo Clinic- ... nswers/third-hand-smoke/faq-20057791).

Candles and air fresheners do not help very much. Candles produce their own smoke and perfume in the air and air fresheners contain ingredients that bind some smells chemically (and temporarily) and also have perfume to scent the air. So you may be exposing yourself to other problem products in addition to cigarette smoke.

You can try simple and cheap to very expensive face masks that filter the air to various degrees. Obviously, the best plan would be to move to a better situation, if you can.

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Question: Removing Cigarette Smoke from a Home

I just bought my new mobile (double-wide) home. New to me, but owned by a smoker. When I first viewed the home I did not smell smoke at all and I am a real shark for smoke smell (I hate it). I viewed the home 2xs in 2 weeks. No odor. My offer is accepted and I return for home inspection - smoke! I ask. Told it was the AC - deceased husband smoked just under the built-in AC. Hmmmm....OK. Returned for a gab and buy/sell with owner (real nice woman) barely a whiff. OK. Walk-thru gets put smack up to closing and at walk-thru I could hardly breath. I opened all windows for 2 days - still stinks to high heaven!

Question - and thanks for excellent tips here - I could never wash walls by hand (disabled) so I wondered if I might use a thick painting roller and roll the residue off? Even the ceilings could be done this way. I couldn't do that, friends will help, but I could roll the walls. What do you think of this as a method? Seeing as how I wasn't able to smell anything at viewings (I'm sure her realtor put the fear of god into her that buyers would flee if she didn't smoke outside, but once she had a P & S Agreement she slipped back and by move out time it was packs and packs galore). I'm hoping a wash with water and vinegar or TSP (but don't you have to also rinse TSP?). I sure could not do the cleaning 2xs) prior to KILZ primer and paint will do the job. I will also, of course, wash all shelves, cupboards, etc. What do you think? And sorry for the long (...)s, I know they make the reading harder. Bad habit. Thanks.

By Sue B

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By Diana Sue M. 5 17 07/08/2013

I heard cut a green apple in half and lay around,, not too long -per fruit flies. Google this to get proper instructions.. Ciao!

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Question: Removing Cigarette Smoke Smell from House

My grandbaby is visiting soon and I have been doing everything I know to rid the house of cigarette smoke. I have gotten the carpets cleaned. I am also washing draperies and steaming my tile floors. But I still can smell a stale odor even though I haven't smoked in the house in over a year. I'm thinking the walls and my plastic blinds are holding the odor. I heard vinegar and water may work, but I'm afraid the strong smell of vinegar will run everybody out of the house. Suggestions?

By Molly

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Most Recent Answer

By PENNY K 14 562 10/02/2012

White vinegar is a great deodorant if allowed to dry completely, mix with water, not full strength.

But I would use dawn [blue] and a tablespoon of bleach in a bucket of water. Cigarette smoke contains tar, which is sticky so that's for the Dawn, and bleach will deodorize. The walls need that treatment and it will help. Much of the smell will be gone in few hours. Don't overdo the bleach.

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Question: Removing Cigarette Odor in House

How do you get rid of cigarette smell in your home?

By Linda

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Most Recent Answer

By wendy 3 4 07/26/2012

I also use bread and vinegar. I put a piece of bread on a small plate and saturate it with vinegar, then set it out in the rooms. Seems to work.

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Question: Removing Cigarette Smoke Odors

I have been given a brand new wheelchair (electric) which I needed badly, but the lady who had it smoked a lot and it smells of strong cigarette smoke. Anyone have a good suggestion on how to remove the scent from the chair? I have tried Murphy's oil soap, Lysol, Febreze and setting it out in the sun all day.
The chair is regular wheelchair material. Thank you.

By knettles from GA

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Most Recent Answer

By Mary 5 51 02/02/2011

If she was a heavy smoker, the smoke has gotten into the mechanism also. I would use baking soda (dry) sprinkle it everywhere, then vacuum in an hour. Coat it again with the baking soda and just leave it to wear off naturally. You can also try the carpet deodorizers for pets and smoke. I get mine at the local dollar store.

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Question: Cigarette Smoke on Plastic

Could you help me get cigarette smoke out of a plastic covering on a used baby changing table?


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Most Recent Answer

By Sarah Leach 10 150 05/06/2008

Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with about a cup of white distilled vinegar and then dilute with another cup of water. Put this in a spray bottle and use like febreeze.. works better and great for cig smoke.

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Question: Removing Cigarette Smell from Microfiber Sofa

My sister-in-law gave us a microfiber couch. It's in great shape except they are smokers. Is there anything that will get this cigarette smell out of it?

    By Karen Sta [1]

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    Most Recent Answer

    By Myrna 15 1,068 10/04/2015

    You can use 1 part white vinegar diluted in 2 parts water and keep wiping it over the sofa making sure not to soak it. It will take a lot of swipes before odor has diminished. Let dry and repeat. You'll see the cloth and water turning color; keep it changed while doing this. You may not get ALL of it lifted, but a majority will certainly help. If the armrests have zip off coverings, you can launder those and let air dry. Sitting it outdoors out of sunlight would probably help some while cleaning the fabric as it will dry faster and sofa can air out. That's the least expensive way to deal with this, but a carpet/furniture cleaner could probably do more for the sofa quicker. I'd probably contact a pro after I've done all I could to hopefully have remaining odor lifted.

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    Question: Cigarette Odor Coming from Heater Vents

    I live in an apartment in a non-smoking building, but my upstairs neighbors were smoking like chimneys. The landlord told them they had to stop and only smoke outside. Though they are no longer smoking indoors, the cigarette smell is still coming out of my heating vents. Is there any way to get rid of this? I hate the smell and it wreaks havoc on my sinuses.

    By Maggie

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    Most Recent Answer

    By Frugal Sunnie 11 1,654 11/11/2013

    About the only way to get rid of the odour is to have a professional company clean the ductwork. Perhaps the landlord can charge the upstairs tenant for the cost of having their mess cleaned up!

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    Question: Getting Smoke Odor Out of Clothes

    My mom is a smoker. I'm 13. I have been asking her to stop smoking around me because she won't wash all of my clothes in my room even though they smell like smoke because of her. People at school tell me I smell like smoke and I don't like it. How do I get the smell of smoke out of my clothes and room?

    By Nonyabeeswax

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    Most Recent Answer

    By Allysa D. W. 1 12/22/2013

    One way to help reduce the smoke in your room is honestly to make sure your door is always closed. Keep all your clothes in your room and not around the house or it will pick up the smoke scent. Sitting on fabric or leather furniture also picks up the smell so before you go to school maybe limit the amount of time on these things to reduce the smell of smoke. Also cleaning your room with baking powder deodorizer will help with the smell. Something like arm and hammer carpet cleaner powder or simple baking soda. My mother would smoke all the time in the house and these are things I starting doing.

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    Question: Cleaning a Fiber Optic Poinsettia Tree

    sitting on a tableI have a fiber optic poinsettia tree. How would you clean this tree? It comes from a smoker's home. Does anyone know how to clean the tree?

    By Pam

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    Question: Removing Cigarette Smoke Smell from Fabric Headboard

    I just purchased a fabric headboard and frame. It looks perfect and I got it for a great price, but, when I got it home I realized just how it reeked of cigarette smoke! I sprayed diluted white vinegar a few times and that didn't help. I also put out bowls of activated charcoal, but that didn't help either. Then yesterday I had it professionally cleaned and the smell seemed gone, but then once it dried the smell is back. Can I get rid of it, or should I just cut my losses and sell it?

    By Beard

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    Question: Removing Cigarette Odor in a Room

    How do I get rid of smoke smell in a room? Does brown vinegar work as well as white?

    By Donal

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    Question: Removing Cigarette Odor

    The renters moved out of my 1100 sq foot office. It stinks really badly. I must clean up before trying to rent. What can I do?

    AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

    Question: Removing Cigarette Smoke from Ivory Pipe

    How do I remove cigarette smoke from an ivory pipe?

    By John from Salt Lake City, UT

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    Question: Eliminating Cigarette Smoke Odor

    How do I eliminate cigarette smoke odor?

    By prabhakarkulkarni1958

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    Question: Removing Cigarette Smoke Odor from Popup Camper

    What is the best way to clean the inside canvas of a popup camper that we bought from chain smokers?

    By Dianne E

    AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No


    Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.

    Archive: Removing Cigarette Smoke Odors

    I am cleaning a home for someone who is allergic to cigarette smoke and the house just reeks of it.

    Archive: Removing Cigarette Smoke Odors

    What can I do to get cigarette smell out of my house?

    Pat from NC

    White Vinegar

    Set bowls of white vinegar around in your home. It will absorb the odor and is a frugal way to deodorize your home. You can also use Apple Cider Vinegar too. I have it sitting around since I have pets and nobody can smell anything. Just be sure to change them out every few days,I change mine out every 3 days, but that is just me. It is a frugal costing room Odor Eliminator. (05/09/2007)

    By grammaoftwo


    Walmart has a generic febreeze that works well. (05/09/2007)

    By hagathna


    If it's in the walls, the smells can be hard to get out. I would cleanse really well and then place a treatment or paint on the walls that is made to keep out smell, I think I saw one called Killz? For pet odors? I would check with your local hardware store and they would probably be able to help you out. No amount of "stinky spray" as we call it here, for those stinky moments, will get out something like smoke. The tar leaves marks all over your walls, especially in a bathroom, when the walls get moisture on them you'll see brownish orange spots on the wall, from the tar, ewwwww. Good luck! (05/10/2007)

    By michawnpita


    Wash the walls and what you can, with water/vinegar mix. Mist spray water over what you can and cover the rest with baking soda. it absorbs the odor. May have to do it a second time. As for wood furniture, wipe well a few times with straight vinegar, sprinkle baking soda on it and "scrub" it. Sorry, I am allergic to cigarette smoke and it is such a vile habit..why people smoke is beyond me! (05/13/2007)

    By eyelovecats


    We had a rental home that the tenants smoked in for several years. When they moved out we tried everything to get rid of the smell but couldn't. We looked on the internet and tried several of the remedies but to no avail. Our next step was to replace carpets, paint walls, or rent it to another smoker. Before we did that we decided to try a product called vamoose 1808t and were actually very surprised that it did remove the cigarette odors. We highly recommend you try the vamoose product to get rid of cigarette odors. (05/14/2007)

    By 1ShellyP


    I actually experienced this when I moved into a rented house that was sealed like a drum and a smoker lived there. I washed the walls, woodwork and ceilings with buckets of oxyclean. It not only made the water turn a nasty rusty color but, it also got the odor out, I shampooed the carpets as well, the mini blinds were soaked in the tub with oxyclean and the landlord thought I bought new blinds. It's a lot of work but, in the long run it's cheaper. (06/16/2007)

    By trishab002

    RE: Removing Cigarette Smoke Odors

    I wish I would have seen these stories before I purchased my house in May. The nicotine on the woodwork and cabinets is horrific. I have removed the cabinet doors and washed them in the laundry tub with TSP and hot water. I plan on painting them so it is not a problem; however, now I fear what is lurking in the duct work and what expense this might entail. This is just more of a "project" than what I had bargained for. I am going to try the vinegar remedy as soon as I get home from work. I have used rubbing alcohol and this works also. Thanks for all of the valuable suggestions. (06/21/2007)

    By Patricia


    Sol-u-mel is amazing, it removes all sorts of things. When I get home I can get the recipe. (07/09/2007)

    By Ashley L

    RE: Removing Cigarette Smoke Odors

    Hard surfaces can be washed, carpets can be shampooed. You can vacuum your vents as deep as you can reach. If you have an in vent humidifier, a little vinegar in the tray is recommended occasionally anyway. Any time you can open the windows is great. Citrus smells like lemon and orange are great for eliminating all kinds of odors. (07/09/2007)

    By Sheraone

    RE: Removing Cigarette Smoke Odors

    I would be very cautious using muractic acid to clean the tile grout. It may etch the tile since it etches concrete. Also since you have sensitivities to chemical cleaners you will probably react to the muractic acid. Use with caution. (10/18/2007)

    By certified

    RE: Removing Cigarette Smoke Odors

    I agree with Shelly, Vamoose 1808T works wonders. In the time it took Sonia to write her testimony, she could have been well on her way to a smoke-free home...and no need to resent the seller. Then again, if the seller had used the product there wouldn't have been a need for candles in the first place. (11/12/2007)

    By In The Service Business

    Archive: Minimizing Cigarette Smoke and Odors

    I don't smoke but my family does and I know these work. To get rid of smoke and smoke odor, there are two things you can do. One: keep a candle lit while smoking, the flame draws the smoke and absorbs it. Or, two: keep a small dish or cup of vinegar near by. The vinegar absorbs the smoke. You can tell when to change the vinegar by the color. When the top becomes dark, dump it and pour fresh. How often you need to change it depends on how much smoking is going on.

    By Linda Lush

    RE: Minimizing Cigarette Smoke and Odors

    buy some cheap oranges push whole cloves in hang or put on a dish this will smell nice and the citrus in the orange cuts through smoke and cooking smells. (08/12/2006)

    By anybabs

    RE: Minimizing Cigarette Smoke and Odors

    I keep candle warmers, or coffee warmers, which ever you care to call them, around the house in various locations with a mason jar full of water and a few drops of eucalyptus and citronella essential oil. they are known odor fighters. I have used the vinigar method and an amonia method by placing vases with either solution in out of the way places, decorative and useful. All of the above work wonders.

    You can also keep a simmering pot on the stove with orange peelings or lemon peelings. Tina (08/12/2006)

    By trbrown22

    Archive: Removing Cigarette Smoke Odors

    How can I help get rid of smoke and damp odors in my home? I am still a smoker.