By Bobbie A from Jeffersonville, IN
Everything will need to be cleaned; smoking gets residue even inside your lights, TV, and other appliances. Clean your furniture, pillows I would toss and replace. Have you also wiped down mirrors pictures, and glass? Change your vacuum bag and air filters for your a/c and heat. It will be in your blankets, clothing, luggage, towels - everything.
It may take several years for it to totally go away. A friend of mine had her home professionally cleaned by a special smoke removal company after she quit smoking, and on damp days the smell still came out 2 years later.
Place some pans of heated vinegar around the house for a few days. You can also place pans of charcoal (activated, if available). The vinegar smell will linger, but is very short lived. The smoke odor in fabrics might be reduced by spraying with Febreze?
Have you cleaned your furniture? Upholstered furniture and mattresses will hold on to that smoke smell. Even wooden furniture (be sure to clean the sides, not just the top) and cabinets need to be cleaned well to remove the tar and nicotine residue. You might not be able to see it, but it's there.
I had to clean a home once that we bought, the prior owners were smokers.
I washed the walls down with lemon ammonia in water, using a sponge mop.
I did that 3 times, leaving the windows and doors open while doing so.
Then the last time, I washed them with Murphy's oil soap in water.
I had to do the same with the cabinets, and had to shampoo the carpets.
There was even that greasy yellow film inside the fridge, and stove.
After all of that, I set out bowls of ammonia, in places where kids and animals couldn't get to, such as on top of the fridge and in the kitchen cabinets, leaving the doors of cabinets open, and all the windows.
It did make a difference.
You can take regular baking soda and then add a few drops of fragrance oil. Mix in the oil and then sprinkle on your carpets and let it sit for 10 - 20 minutes. Then vacuum up the powder and as the smell comes back (and it will) repeat.
After about 4 applications like this the smell will reduce dramatically. The longer you can leave the powder on the floor the more smell the baking soda can absorb. We did this after moving into a house where people cooked spicy food every day without ventilation.
It works! White vinegar is also a great product to use for fabrics and upholstery. Anything that can be taken off and washed in a washing machine will also help with the smell. Also vanilla does a great job of covering up the smell of smoke.
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