Removing Cigarette Smoke Odors From a Piano

Getting a piano at a good price or as an inheritance is exciting, unless it comes with a lingering cigarette odor. There are methods you can use to remove this offensive odor from your new acquisition. This is a guide about removing cigarette smoke odors from a piano.


October 10, 2008 Flag
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How do I get the cigarette smoke smell out of a piano? The people we bought it from smoked, and we are serious non-smokers. We should have known better, but we thought it would come out with a simple dusting! I now have a musical ashtray. It has smelled up my entire house. We are all sneezing, and that includes the dog.

I have packed it with newspaper, and gave it a double bath with Murphy's oil soap. Then dusted it again with a lemon oil. It now is worse than before. Any suggestions other than selling? Do you think it will eventually wear out or we will just get used to it? We don't want to get used to it, we would rather sell. Help!

Marcie from Athens, GA

October 14, 20080 found this helpful

White Vinegar is useful for so many things. Put several small saucers of white vinegar INSIDE the piano....where ever you can find a flat place to sit something. And scatter throughout the room, other saucers of white vinegar. Under the couch, under tables, window sills, and so on.

Years ago, when guests smoked cigarettes, Helloise suggested the saucers of vinegar. Discretely hidden from sight of course !! And it actually did work !! This was long before we had Plug ins, or the fragrant oils.

There are still Candles on the market to remove cigarette odors. I wouldn't suggest that you set the piano on fire, but perhaps the candle in a container that is carefully watched might help a little bit.

When I was given some books, and furnishings from a dear friend who smoked forever! I used Bounce dryer sheets; put one inside the books, then page forward several pages, another bounce sheet, and so on.Put the books inside a large plastic bag,until the dryer sheets work their magic. And I put a small table inside a large garbage bag, with bounce sheets for a long period of time.It still smelled, and I tried the white vinegar trick. And it did help.

A furniture dealer told me that it is the nicotine that turns everything "Yellow" and does the damage. And the nicotine is 'sticky." So I suppose that is why it holds onto the cigarette odor.

Let us know what happens, with all these hints, maybe something will work.

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October 14, 20080 found this helpful

Don't use mothballs. They are a terrible smell. Much worse than nicotine. Coffee and baking soda both work, and you can use both of them. You may have to keep changing the coffee and baking soda. I would put small dishes of each inside the piano. It might take a few weeks. And of course, the people who have suggested washing with the various substances are likely right on.

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October 14, 20080 found this helpful

Another reader suggested odor elminator for around $20. You can go to WalMart and purchase the same thing in the automobile section. They are where the car air fresheners are located. I had fish is my vehicle and the smell lingered after the fish was removed. A large container is $4. better than $20. Enjoy your piano. Also my daughter rented a house that former renter smoked, it took all the smell away.

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October 28, 20080 found this helpful

I am an asthmatic & I don't think you can ever get cigarette smell completely out of anything. It is really not healthy to inhale those chemicals. I would get rid of it. When I go to the Half Priced Book Store the first thing I do is smell the book. It really can make you sick smelling smoke & a lot of people don't realize it.

I know I will probably get admonished for saying anything about smoking but I grew up in a smoker's house before they knew it was harmful (I grew up with the ads on TV). I was sick much of my childhood until I moved away from home. I get sick when I am exposed to smoke such as in a restaurant etc. My son used to have a girlfriend that her parents smoked & when she came over she would hang her jacket over a kitchen chair & it absolutely reeked. My parents quit smoking when I was grown, but my father died from cancer at 53 years old. I am not meaning to harp but if you have kids talk to your family doctor & see what he says.

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November 29, 20080 found this helpful
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