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Removing Smoke Smell from Apartment

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We just had a family member move into an apartment. The person who lived there before was a heavy smoker. Does anyone have ideas on how to get the smell of smoke out of the apartment? The carpets have been shampooed and the landlord painted, but the scent is still there. Any idea would be great. Thank you!

Stacy from El Paso, IL

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Recent Answers

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By karin m (Guest Post)10/10/2008

We had a house fire a few months ago, the home were re-build - I managed to save my brand new curtains never been used, but the smell of smoke is so deep in the fabric, we've tried dry cleaning, soak in vinegar, air outside, but to no avail! The minute we iron/press the curtains you get that horrible smell again. Who can help!

By Sam (Guest Post)03/20/2008

We had a purchased trailer that smelled like smoke and rotten seafood - Ugh! We painted the walls, but used a primer called Bin (probably purchased at Home Depot) - the stuff seals stains and smells. It worked wonders. We did also remove all the upholstery and I'm sure this helped too.

By Colleen (Guest Post)03/17/2008

We went through a similar isssue. We used most of the other suggestions posted and all seemed to help but did not completely eliminate the smell. Finally, a friend suggested we cut apples in half and place them all over the apartment. Apples aren't cheap, but it worked.

By (Guest Post)03/15/2008

We have used charcoal. Get a few bags put into buckets place around the home.

By Sarah Leach [8]03/14/2008

Take a spray bottle (like an old Windex bottle) and fill it with White Vinegar. Add about 6 drops of Tea Tree Oil (you get that at the health food store) shake well and spray everythig until it's slightly damp. It's smell for a little while but in a couple hours all you should smell is a soft clean "tea tree oil" smell. I learned this from my Grandmother who is a terribly heavy (two to three packs a day) smoker... she does that and you can' tell someone snoked in there!

By Jana [7]03/13/2008

Febreeze, Febreeze, Febreeze! (or the generic equivalent) Put that on the carpets, curtains walls, etc. Keep doing it, several times a day if possible. Also use Renuzit "Super Odor Neutralizer" Fine Mist Spray for the air and can also be used for fabrics & carpets. This is abit more expensive than regular air fresheners (I pay about $3 a spray bottle at Dollar General), but well worth it as it works better than any other that I've found and has a deliciously lovely scent. Also, what about one of those "smoker's candles"? They are designed to pull the smoke odors out of the air, so that may help too over time.

By danika [1]03/13/2008

Key to cleaning, but could rub a tad off the paint. Smell or Odor is created by bacteria, Bleach will kill any Smell or Odor. Use warm or as hot as you can take water in the sink and dilute bleach with water, hey my theory is the more bleach the better. Use a huge sponge and scrub the walls with the bleach water. Bleach kills all odors! Guarantee it!

By melody_yesterday [213]03/13/2008

Fill a mister bottle with with vinegar & spritz. May or may not help but it doesn't cost a huge amount to try.

By catnip (Guest Post)03/13/2008

Don't use Ammonia if you have cats or they'll pee right over it and then you'll have a whole new problem to deal with. Cat urine is high in ammonia and that's what gets them confused. Many commercial cleaners have ammonia in them and then people are surprised when Fluffy pees on the freshly shampooed sofa.

Anyway - the stench from the nicotine is probably still on the walls. It often takes several layers of paint to cover that. So, perhaps ask your landlord for permission to repaint and if you tell him why, he might let write some of that off the rent check. Another solution is to scrub the walls down:
1 cup baking soda to 5-10 drops of essential oil (not synthetic!) Orange smells lovely or Lemon, Bergamot is a great scent as well for a room.
mix that well, put some old tennis socks over your hands and start scrubbing the walls with it. Let it sit for a bit and then vacuum any residue off with the brush attachment. It really works, but if there's a thick layer of nicotine under the paint it might take more paint. Good luck.

By Bill (Guest Post)03/12/2008

I have heard that the toilet hangy things (that is the technical name) hung on the doors will absorb the smell. Good luck.

By Rosalie03/12/2008

Hi hope this helps we use bicarb in our cleaning water removes any kind of smells including dogs toilet smells. Rosalie

By (Guest Post)03/11/2008

We used baking soda on the carpets and lots of fresh air, and febreeze after we vacuumed the baking soda, even though we did also shampoo the carpets the smell was gone after the soda and febreeze treatment good luck!

By A Record (Guest Post)03/11/2008

Our daughter bought a mobile home that had been lived in by heavy smokers. We were told to try put-
ting cups of ammonia in the corners of the rooms. It helped a lot.

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