Removing Smoke Odors from Furniture

Whether you are a former smoker or have acquired some used furniture from smokers, the odor is not pleasant and can be difficult to remove. This is a guide about removing smoke odors from furniture.

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My husbands Aunt gave us a chair with a stool. The problem is that she smokes and the chair smells terrible. I tried to Febreeze it. I Febreezed it to death but can't seem to get rid of the smell. The chair was well taken care of otherwise. I don't know what to do. Please help.

Denise from Marion, NY

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Maybe you are using the wrong Febreeze. Try Febreeze Antibicrobial. My friend works for a car company and she uses this to clean the insides.

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How do I remove smoke ordor (from a fire) from wood furniture?

By John from CT

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OK, just been down this road. Bought a really nice walnut dresser, art deco circa 1960s and was it probably around smoke since.

I realized it was a smoker's home when I walked in, but didn't figured on how difficult it would be to remove the smoke smell. I came home the next day and the whole apartment wreaked of cigarette smoke. I almost gagged while trying to sleep, and I'm an occasional smoker.

I washed it every day for a week with vinegar and baking soda. Every pail of water I dumped out looked like coffee with a bit of milk in it and smelled like nicotine. The water would only get marginally lighter. This piece had a varnish on it as well so I know I was not removing stain. The stain did not fade

Bottom line, after all the cleaning, washing, rinsing, incense, freshners, deoderizers, I decided to revarnish it with a Minwax dual stain / Polyurethane. Three coats, including inside the drawers. Finally, the smoke smell is 95% gone. If I try harder and sniff real close, I can still detect it, or maybe its in my head. But at least the smoke smell is gone from the house. It that hadn't worked, I would have thrown it out.

This $35 dresser ended costing an extra $25 with all the stuff I tried.

So my advice; if you are not up to refinishing the item, then don't buy it. Forget trying to clean it.

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After cleaning the cabinet with vinegar and keeping a pan of charcoal in the cabinet for a couple of days, it still smelled like smoke. I sprayed it inside and out with orange scented furniture polish, then wiped it down. Now it smells like oranges!

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    How do I remove smoke odor (from a fire) from wood furniture?

    By John from CT

    Removing Smoke Odor from Wood Furniture

    Things You'll Need:

    • Baking soda
    • Vacuum cleaner
    • Odor remover in a spray can
    • Air freshener
    • Electronic air purifier
    Step 1 Air out the smoke-damaged furniture. If possible, move furniture outside on clear, sunny days. A carport or other covered area is ideal for airing out furniture. If moving larger items such as a sofa is impractical, open windows and circulate air with electric box fans. Smoke odors will gradually seep out of porous wood and fabric--that's why you continue to smell smoke--so keeping the air moving will speed up the process.

    Step 2 Sprinkle baking soda on upholstered furniture and let it sit for as long as possible, at least 24 hours. Baking soda absorbs odors and will help pull the stench out of the furniture fabric.

    Step 3 Vacuum the baking soda using a crevice attachment on your vacuum cleaner. Repeat the baking soda process as necessary until the odor begins to fade.

    Step 4 Buy and plug in an electronic air purifier. These units draw odors and contaminants out of the air and into a filter system, which will hasten the process of drawing smoke odor out of your furniture.

    Step 5 Spray the furniture with a smoke odor remover available in spray cans from home improvement stores. Test an inconspicuous area of fabric on the furniture before spraying the product directly on the upholstery.

    Step 6 Avoid using furniture wax or polish while you are getting rid of the smoke odor. Waxes will trap odors in the wood, only to release them once more when the wax begins to fade.

    Step 7 Use solid air fresheners to help obscure the smoke stench while the furniture is airing out. Good luck. (01/22/2010)

    By kffrmw88

    Removing Smoke Odor from Wood Furniture

    If you have a Sam's Club near you, they have a product called Odo-Ban. It's amazing.
    I know several dog breeders who use it in indoor kennels, and I've used it personally to get the smoke smell out of the paneling and cabinets of my Mom's mobile home after a small kitchen fire.

    We shop there a lot anyway and if you ask me, the membership is well worth it. (01/26/2010)

    By Shosha

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    We're looking for advice on how to clean cigarette smoke smell from a coffee table. The top is marble, and the base is wood. Any tips for what is the best cleaning agent for the marble and the wood? Thank you!

    Tara from St Paul, MN

    Smoke Smell Removal from Furniture, Rugs, etc.

    For smoke smell I have used the orange cleaner that has d'limonene in it, and you can use this for any smoke smell and it works great. For the wood and marble table you can use the orange cleaner then treat it after with this method. 12oz Granite and Marble Spray Polish works great on the marble. Home Depot sells it at a low price.

    By smilingfaces88

    Smoke Smell Removal from Furniture, Rugs, etc.

    A product available at Home Depot that is made by ZEP. It comes in a spray can and is a Smoke Odor eliminator. All you do is spray the room 2 times a day and the smell will go away. Got this tip from my son's Realtor when he was listing his home for sale. He is a smoker and she suggested he use this and smoke outside until the home is sold. At the end of a week she returned and could not smell smoke odor. Great stuff. (01/27/2008)


    Smoke Smell Removal from Furniture, Rugs, etc.

    Just got a smoker's leather couch. I used a lot of different ways, to get the odor off. Finally, dog odor remover helped. (01/07/2009)

    By Pepper

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    We inherited a nice leather recliner that reeks of cigarette smoke. How do we remove the odor? I don't want it in my house until this is done.

    Yvonne from Portland OR

    Smoke Smell Removal from Furniture, Rugs, Etc.

    I would call your local "ServiceMaster" or similar cleaning business & seek their advice. They have to deal with removing smoke odors after fires, etc. So they should know. (12/31/2004)

    By FrugalFriend

    Smoke Smell Removal from Furniture, Rugs, Etc.

    I have heard that vinegar and water work well. If you put apple cider vinegar in a bowl and let it sit it will absorb the odor. Also after my house fire we used Orange Glow cleaner to clean our wood products and paneling and it really helped (01/08/2005)

    By Jennifer

    Smoke Smell Removal from Furniture, Rugs, Etc.

    I am in the same boat. I bought a couch at a yard sale, and it smells awful of cigarette smoke. I have shampooed it twice, once with a product that was guarenteed to remove the oder, which it did not. I am thinking I am gonna have to get rid of the couch, cuz it is stinking up the whole house. I don't know what to do. Good Luck (11/12/2005)

    By Linda

    Smoke Smell Removal from Furniture, Rugs, Etc.

    We had a wooden dresser from my in-laws when we got married. It stunk of smoke. I put about 5 charcoal brickets in each drawer for a full week. After that, I put a new dryer sheet in with our clothes in each drawer for about a month. That worked alright. But if it is not a dresser, like a rocking chair I have this problem with, I don't know if charcoal will absorb the odor. (11/28/2005)

    Smoke Smell Removal from Furniture, Rugs, Etc.

    Anything with Cinnamon will neutralize heavy smoke order: going through a 3-level apartment fire, we came out with heavy smoke and water damage. We saved our Enduro suede couch by covering every inch with "carpet fresh" baking soda that included cinnamon. We left it on for a minimum of twenty-four hours, then vacuumed it. That was one year ago in April, and the smell never returned. Scope (two capfuls in laundry) will also remove the heavy smoke odor without perfume, it is the TSP (trisodium phosphate. I think) that is what the American Red Cross gave us. I never came across the smell on my wood, but I aam wondering if you spray the scope, then wipe it down? I also washed down all my wood with Murphy's oil soap after we moved (to remove dust/ash and leaves) so maybe that helped. (08/06/2006)

    By camo_angels

    Smoke Smell Removal from Furniture, Rugs, Etc.

    Because wood is porous and soaks up odor the only 100% way to remove odor from wood is to seal the odor into the wood using shellac or blowing the furniture up. :P This is very inexpensive and will do the job everytime. A quart will run around $8-12 depends on where you buy, but make sure you buy clear shellac and not anything tinted if you wish to keep the same color of the wood. Just apply the shellac like painting any peice of furniture.

    If you need smoke removed from your house or apartment you absolutely need to seal the walls and ceiling. I personally recommend BIN becuase it is shellac based and it dries within 10-15mins after application, however if the odor is not strong you might get away with Killz. A gallon of sealer can be $20-26 (BIN being more expensive, but WELL worth it!) 5 Gallons will cover around 2400 Sq Feet. Keep in mind you need to account for each wall and cieling when figuring your Sq footage. After the sealer dries apply your choice of paint and you are finished.

    You may still have smoke odor in your cabinets, those will need to be shellaced. You can use either Parson's cleaner or Murphy's cleaner to prep the areas first.

    The vents will have the smoke odor also, however depending on the what material the duct work is. If fiberglass duct work was used the smell is in here for good unless you rip it out. You can minimize the odor by getting a better air filter.

    By sealing the walls, ceilings, and cabinets you should be able to remove 95-100% of the smell.

    By Brian Jarrett

    Smoke Smell Removal from Furniture, Rugs, Etc.

    I bought a dresser form a garage sale and it smelled so badly. I used Orange Glow and it worked for a while but I find the smell keeps coming back, but it's no longer that strong. Please advise what can I use to get rid of the smell totally. (09/03/2007)

    By Siza

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
    Home and Garden Cleaning OdorsJanuary 16, 2013
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