By John from CT
OK, just been down this road. Bought a really nice walnut dresser, art deco circa 1960s and was it probably around smoke since.
I realized it was a smoker's home when I walked in, but didn't figured on how difficult it would be to remove the smoke smell. I came home the next day and the whole apartment wreaked of cigarette smoke. I almost gagged while trying to sleep, and I'm an occasional smoker.
I washed it every day for a week with vinegar and baking soda. Every pail of water I dumped out looked like coffee with a bit of milk in it and smelled like nicotine. The water would only get marginally lighter. This piece had a varnish on it as well so I know I was not removing stain. The stain did not fade
Bottom line, after all the cleaning, washing, rinsing, incense, freshners, deoderizers, I decided to revarnish it with a Minwax dual stain / Polyurethane. Three coats, including inside the drawers. Finally, the smoke smell is 95% gone. If I try harder and sniff real close, I can still detect it, or maybe its in my head. But at least the smoke smell is gone from the house. It that hadn't worked, I would have thrown it out.
This $35 dresser ended costing an extra $25 with all the stuff I tried.
So my advice; if you are not up to refinishing the item, then don't buy it. Forget trying to clean it.
I use a product called ScentQuest. It works great on all pet and non-pet odors. Plus it is a broad spectrum disinfectant and not a cover up. It eliminates the source of the odor. We have a 2 year old, a dog, and a cat so we use a lot of ScentQuest in our house. Just do a Google search to find out where to buy it.
We had a house fire, so I learned some "tricks" from the pros:
Anything you can put in the washing machine, add a can of regular Coca-Cola (NOT sugar free) to the laundry along with your laundry soap. This removes the smell from clothes & other washables. For wood furniture, use ammonia, for counter tops, use Dow scrubbing bubbles (or another foaming bathroom spray) . One of the best things that cleans MANY things is a dry-cleaning sponge (see below).
But the absolute best thing you can do is to rent an ozone machine. Start it running, then leave the house. Keep it 2 days & move it to different parts of the house. Our house was a huge 5 bedroom 3 bathroom two-story & in the 2 days we had the (large) Ozone machine, it removed ALL TRACES of smoke odor from our house including INSIDE the upholstered furniture & the wall to wall carpeting. I couldn't believe it! An Ozone machine removes oxygen from the room, so either leave the house or go to another part of the house with a window cracked in the room you're in. Don't run the ozone machine while you sleep!
An ozone machine is worth it's weight in gold after a house fire! (rent one at any rental store. Call around prices differ)
DRY-CLEANING SPONGES: (many are only sold in bulk)
http://www.standardchemicalinc.com/ ... spx?gclid=CObj0Ij9nJECFQmmYAodFHAZdQ
To clean your carpeting, look at this dry-cleaning method. It' does not go down INTO the carpet padding like steam does, but this stuff is simply AMAZING! & because it's not wet, it doesn't cause mold growth.
http://www.centralvacuumfactory.com ... t-carpet-care-cleaning-products.html
* You'd need the cleaner, & the brush & a good vacuum.. You simply sprinkle on the cleaner (it's in tiny sponges) then rub it into the carpeting or upholstery with the tool, then wait & vacuum up with a good vacuum.
Instructions Things You'll Need:
Baking soda Hand held vacuum Hand held steam cleaner Rug shampooer with attachment Febreze
Step 1 Sprinkle baking soda on the furniture and let it sit for a few hours or more before vacuuming it off with a hand held vacuum. Baking soda is a natural deodorizing tool. It's all right if some of the baking soda is left behind because it will sit in the fibers and continue to deodorize the furniture.
Step 2 Steam clean the upholstery with a handheld steamer. Hold it about 4 to 6 inches from the fabric surface when steaming, and go over the upholstery a few times. The hot steam gets deep into the upholstery to kill odor and help bring it out of your fabrics.
Step 3 Shampoo the upholstery with a rug shampooer that has a brush attachment, preferably a rotating brush to really work the odor out of the fibers of your upholstered furniture. Insert a mixture of carpet cleaner, Febreze or a similar odor-eliminating liquid, and hot water.
Step 4 Spritz your upholstered furniture with a Febreze type of product after you have finished cleaning it. The Febreze spray helps to replace the odor with a fresh scent, at least temporarily. Good luck.
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