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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
We inherited some wood furniture from my mother in law who was a heavy smoker. I had to clean the wood numerous times. The cleaning cloths were a dark brown. At first I thought I had taken off the finish but it turned out to be the nicotine coming off. As you said the smell does seem to get worse before it gets better. I would suggest you clean the wood again. Good luck
White vinegar will take most smells out of things. You could spritz it on and let it evaporate, or wash the piano with it.
I would suggest, if it is at all possible, to keep the room the piano is in well ventilated. Secondly there is a product called RIGHT AWAY ODOR ELIMINATOR. It is sold on line thru places like the Shopping Channel, and it works.
Professor Amos Right Away about $20 - will absolutely do the job.
I used to be a house painter, and I always used a solution of water and TSP...Tri Sodium Phosphate. The smell is lingering because the nicotine is stuck to the wood. It's like tar after a while. This will loosen it and it will run off in big, brown puddles, so please protect your flooring. It if has rollers, take it outside if possible.
The baking soda is a good idea, too. I had a new cat in the house, and she crawled inside a tub of yarn and peed. I sealed the yarn (over 200.00 worth) in a plastic bag with a couple of cups of BS in it and within a couple of months, the smell was gone. I would also call someone who does home restorations after a flood...those people have secrets you can't imagine! Good luck!!
Fresh apples cut up and placed in containers around the room will also help absorb the smell. While you're trying to clean the piano, you should remove everything else from the room that you possbily can. Especially fabric items like furniture. You don't want your "clean" items to get smelly!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Marcie - just wondering if any of these suggestions worked out for you. We recently purchased a used piano and didn't realize it was a smoker's till the deal was done. Have tried vinegar and Murphy oil soap. Was able to get some of the goo off but the smell seems worse than before. Also, have baking soda in cups inside. What worked for you or did you decide to get rid of the piano?