My roommate and I have been heavy smokers for years. I want to clean my entire house, walls, rugs, appliances, furniture, etc. to remove all nicotine from my home. This is why we do not have very much company at all family or friends. I need to change my lifestyle so I can also start breathing properly. Basically, I need help with everything that has to do with nicotine cleaning from my home and body. Is there any help out there?
By Sherri from Boston, MA
You didn't state if you were giving up smoking or not, but there are e-cigs that operate as a mist and you can buy vials of flavored non nicotine liquids to refill the ecigs. It's better healthwise for you than smoking cigarettes if you want to try giving them up and the best thing about ecigs is it's odorless and no nicotine building up in lungs, clothing, and home, etc.
In the future anyone who smokes should do it outdoors, so your home remains odor free of cigarette smoke and remove all temptation by getting rid of the ashtrays. To clean a lot of your heavily coated household items like sofa, chair, carpet, drapes or anything else fabric, is not going to be easy. You may look on the internet for commercial cleaning products that get down deeper than what you can get in the supermarkets.
If you can afford to replace upholstered seating, I'd do that to save a lot of effort and time. You can buy almost new sofa/chair if you look around in newspaper ads or on the 'net if you can't buy new. I feel the same way about your carpet; years of smoke buildup and nicotine stains present in fabric won't all come out.
If you need to go cheaper on cleaners w/o replacing a lot of furnishings, use these two products but not together: PineSol and Lysol in brown bottle and wear gloves as too much on hands feels like they are burning a little. You'll have to go over and over everything to totally notice a big difference. The carpet padding may also have the odor in it and that's why you may not totally remove all odors especially noticeable on rainy days.
For walls if painted, scrub thoroughly to remove buildup and then repaint using a primer that deals with odors first. The primer will state it takes care of odors.
For woodwork, wash with PineSol and a lot will lift out and change the water frequently. Try a degreaser spray too. This may help lift some of that stubborn nicotine. You can use Scots Liquid Gold or a good wood polish afterward to bring back that newer look.
Sorry there's no EZ fix getting the job done, but it'll be cleaner and you'll be in a healthier lifestyle.
TriSodiumPhosphate or TSP is a powder you mix in water. It is the best thing for all walls, cabinets, paneling, etc.
Baking soda just in tubs or in the boxes around the house will help, as will the plants. Your body will detox on it's own. Lots of water in your system will help with the sallow look and the yellow fingers. You are a champion if you are giving up smoking. If you are not, then look around your home and imagine that the inside of your body.
A good way to get the odors out of your house is to open the windows on a nice warm day. Plants can improve the air quality. There are sprays that get rid of smoke in the air too. You may want to put baking soda in bowls around the house.
Cinnamon, orange and Lemon scents are excellent and can get rid of the smoky aftermath.
For the cleaning of the walls, try a solution of
Dawn dish soap and water in a spray bottle. Spray and wipe with an old clean rag.
For hard to clean items like furniture, I would try fabric refreshers like febreeze and use pine sol on wooden furniture. You would want to follow up with a furniture polish after you are done cleaning the furniture.
For items that can be washed (clothes), You can use a pinch of baking soda with some laundry detergent. If it's warm enough, hang it outside to dry.
It is difficult. My father smoked and there was fifty years of nicotine on everything. It even went into the glass picture frames. I washed and washed the things I wanted to save. It took forever to get the yellow off of some of it. Anything glass I put in the dishwasher and that took care of it. furnature was hard. I actually used soapy water on some of it but dried it right away. For couches and chairs call a carpet cleaner like Stanley Steemer. Have them do the rugs too. And of course paint the walls.
Good advice here except for the e-cigarettes. Last Spring the FDA provided information that they are also cancer causing.
Just take one room at a time and clean/wash everything as best as you can. If you haven't quit smoking yet at least smoke outside even if the temperature is below zero. I commend you for wanting to clean yourself and your place up! I am telling you this as a former forty year smoker!
25 years ago we bought this house from a man/wife, he was the smoker and dying. The professional who came to do our ceilings/walls said that they had to use special paint to cover up the damage of tobacco smoke. We have stained woodwork, doors, etc a 100 yr old house with original beautiful wood. We have scrubbed for years trying to get all the nicotine off the wood. Every time we do top to bottom and scrub stairways, doors, etc your rag is full of nicotine. The house smell is gone, but the stains live on. Think what your lungs look like. Glad you are changing to healthy.
For smell, the vanilla is the best remover of nicotine. You will have to invest in a lot of special painting to help change up the walls, etc. I had to go to oil paint, as the latex would not do it. Washing did not solve anything, it would bleed through. The oil paint helped. Keeping furniture is hard after contamination of smoke from anything. Sending them out to a professional cleaners, check local drycleaners or cleaning companies that help after house fires.
Photos,etc may have to be scanned to be kept before cleaning. They absorb so much contaminates.
For the carpets, and I use this for any dog smell, put 1 teaspoon in the rinse water of my carpet shampooer and run warm water over after I have shampooed. You can't smell anything. You have to get the household one.
Bentonite clay will pull the nicotine and tobacco toxins from your body I would recommend taking capsules and drinking A lot of water, drink a lot of fresh juices veggie and fruit. As to cleaning walls I have had good success with a good microfiber cloth like the purple ones available from Flylady (google it) dawn and some water followed by spraying a solution of half white vinegar half water and scrubbing until everything comes clean. Have removed some nasty nicotine stains this way.
I would find a cleaner that has an ozone room for your furniture to put it in there after cleaning. You can get bentonite clay and capsules to put it in from www.thebulkherbstore.com
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