The odor from cigarette smoke is strong, pervasive, and often difficult to remove. This is a guide about removing cigarette smoke odors.
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To help eliminate smoke odors from ashtrays while in use, pour some baking soda in them. This also helps for easy clean up.
By Lisa S.
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Here are questions related to Removing Cigarette Smoke Odors.
I have a room attached to my garage that is sheetrocked and insulated, but is not painted or primed. My renters smoke very heavily in this room and now that room and the garage smells. When they took down the pictures that they had hanging up there is a brown tint around where the picture was hanging.
We have had the windows open but this does not help. What is the best way to get the smell out. Also, is priming it now just going to make the smell stick into the walls.
Please help with any ideas!
By Annie Rios Hill10/22/2011
There is a tried and true product easily found at Lowe's, Home Depot etc. It is called TSP my friend smoked like a fiend and never would open windows to air out! When she would move we would go tet TSP and scrub the walls with it, I helped just to see the clean walls.
How do you get rid of cigarette smell in your home?
I also use bread and vinegar. I put a piece of bread on a small plate and saturate it with vinegar, then set it out in the rooms. Seems to work.
My husband smokes cigarettes in the bedroom, but the whole house smells like an ashtray. I've tried to get him to smoke outside but to no avail. Is there anything I can do to get rid of the "ashtray" smell in my house? Thanks.
I've never lived with a smoker and won't let anyone smoke in my home or in my car. That said, I'd beg, plead and cry if I had to in order to try to get him to smoke outside. I have a couple friends who smoke and they are very considerate. My sister whom I haven't seen in years burned a hole in my living room carpet and one in my car. I know this doesn't answer your question which I don't have an answer for but if it bothers you as much as it seems to I'd probably get away from him every time he lights up by going outside. Maybe he'd see how much it bothers you.
My grandbaby is visiting soon and I have been doing everything I know to rid the house of cigarette smoke. I have gotten the carpets cleaned. I am also washing draperies and steaming my tile floors. But I still can smell a stale odor even though I haven't smoked in the house in over a year. I'm thinking the walls and my plastic blinds are holding the odor. I heard vinegar and water may work, but I'm afraid the strong smell of vinegar will run everybody out of the house. Suggestions?
By PENNY K10/02/2012
White vinegar is a great deodorant if allowed to dry completely, mix with water, not full strength.
But I would use dawn [blue] and a tablespoon of bleach in a bucket of water. Cigarette smoke contains tar, which is sticky so that's for the Dawn, and bleach will deodorize. The walls need that treatment and it will help. Much of the smell will be gone in few hours. Don't overdo the bleach.
My house smells of cigarette smoke, thanks to the people who lived in it before me. I was told to bleach the walls to get out the smell, but was wondering if there were any other ways to get out that nasty smell. Thanks.
By Deborah A
I used Murphy's Oil Soap to clean my walls for the same reason. It worked well. Good Luck.
What is the best way to clean the inside canvas of a popup camper that we bought from chain smokers?
By Dianne E
I have been given a brand new wheelchair (electric) which I needed badly, but the lady who had it smoked a lot and it smells of strong cigarette smoke. Anyone have a good suggestion on how to remove the scent from the chair? I have tried Murphy's oil soap, Lysol, Febreze and setting it out in the sun all day.
The chair is regular wheelchair material. Thank you.
By knettles from GA
If she was a heavy smoker, the smoke has gotten into the mechanism also. I would use baking soda (dry) sprinkle it everywhere, then vacuum in an hour. Coat it again with the baking soda and just leave it to wear off naturally. You can also try the carpet deodorizers for pets and smoke. I get mine at the local dollar store.
I acquired a relatively new refrigerator from a house where someone smoked. The refrigerator has the smell of stale smoke inside. How do I get rid of this odor?
Gretchen from Cincinnati, OH
Have tried all of the above and now have a combo odor of vinegar and smoke. My grandson thought it was awful! I'm thinking the smoke odor must be coming from within the frig; I'm about ready to just give it away. Lesson learned; never purchase any appliance from a smoking family!
I need to know how to get rid of cigarette smoke in my house. My husband smokes. I have used all kinds of spray. Burned candles, still I can smell the smoke. What can I use? I have a small poodle, so I would need something that wouldn't hurt my dog.
Shonda from Grand Rivers, KY
By Steve Haven04/04/2010
Fill a spray bottle 3/4 full with cold water. Pour in 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar. Every time your husband lights up, spray him down with this solution.
How do I eliminate cigarette smoke odor?
I just bought my new mobile (double-wide) home. New to me, but owned by a smoker. When I first viewed the home I did not smell smoke at all and I am a real shark for smoke smell (I hate it). I viewed the home 2xs in 2 weeks. No odor. My offer is accepted and I return for home inspection - smoke! I ask. Told it was the AC - deceased husband smoked just under the built-in AC. Hmmmm....OK. Returned for a gab and buy/sell with owner (real nice woman) barely a whiff. OK. Walk-thru gets put smack up to closing and at walk-thru I could hardly breath. I opened all windows for 2 days - still stinks to high heaven!
Question - and thanks for excellent tips here - I could never wash walls by hand (disabled) so I wondered if I might use a thick painting roller and roll the residue off? Even the ceilings could be done this way. I couldn't do that, friends will help, but I could roll the walls. What do you think of this as a method? Seeing as how I wasn't able to smell anything at viewings (I'm sure her realtor put the fear of god into her that buyers would flee if she didn't smoke outside, but once she had a P & S Agreement she slipped back and by move out time it was packs and packs galore). I'm hoping a wash with water and vinegar or TSP (but don't you have to also rinse TSP?). I sure could not do the cleaning 2xs) prior to KILZ primer and paint will do the job. I will also, of course, wash all shelves, cupboards, etc. What do you think? And sorry for the long (...)s, I know they make the reading harder. Bad habit. Thanks.
By Sue B
By Diana Sue M.07/08/2013
I heard cut a green apple in half and lay around,, not too long -per fruit flies. Google this to get proper instructions.. Ciao!
We are moving into a lower level duplex, the upstairs tenants are heavy smokers and moved out from the lower level a few days ago. I will deep clean the carpets and walls to get the smell out of the lower level, but am concerned about the continuing tobacco smoke from above, or the air ducts.
I am not sure how to clean. Will my cleaning will be null and void because of the continuous smoking from up above?
Anya from MN
white vinegar white vinegar baking soda baking soda i'm a smoker
Could you help me get cigarette smoke out of a plastic covering on a used baby changing table?
By Sarah Leach05/06/2008
Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with about a cup of white distilled vinegar and then dilute with another cup of water. Put this in a spray bottle and use like febreeze.. works better and great for cig smoke.
My mom is a smoker. I'm 13. I have been asking her to stop smoking around me because she won't wash all of my clothes in my room even though they smell like smoke because of her. People at school tell me I smell like smoke and I don't like it. How do I get the smell of smoke out of my clothes and room?
By Allysa D. W.12/22/2013
One way to help reduce the smoke in your room is honestly to make sure your door is always closed. Keep all your clothes in your room and not around the house or it will pick up the smoke scent. Sitting on fabric or leather furniture also picks up the smell so before you go to school maybe limit the amount of time on these things to reduce the smell of smoke. Also cleaning your room with baking powder deodorizer will help with the smell. Something like arm and hammer carpet cleaner powder or simple baking soda. My mother would smoke all the time in the house and these are things I starting doing.
How do I remove cigarette smoke from an ivory pipe?
By John from Salt Lake City, UT
I live in an apartment in a non-smoking building, but my upstairs neighbors were smoking like chimneys. The landlord told them they had to stop and only smoke outside. Though they are no longer smoking indoors, the cigarette smell is still coming out of my heating vents. Is there any way to get rid of this? I hate the smell and it wreaks havoc on my sinuses.
By Frugal Sunnie11/11/2013
About the only way to get rid of the odour is to have a professional company clean the ductwork. Perhaps the landlord can charge the upstairs tenant for the cost of having their mess cleaned up!
How do I get rid of smoke smell in a room? Does brown vinegar work as well as white?
The renters moved out of my 1100 sq foot office. It stinks really badly. I must clean up before trying to rent. What can I do?
I use to smoke in my house and company did as well. I have cleaned all my walls, curtains, and carpets, and I still smell cigarette smoke. I use wall deodorant plugs, and wall sprays and candles. I also got a crock pot and put hot water and potpourri oils in it. I still smell it, but no really heavy smell. My house smells.
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.
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I am cleaning a home for someone who is allergic to cigarette smoke and the house just reeks of it. Any suggestions on how to get it out of the carpet and off the walls?
Jenny from Anamosa, IA
For the walls and ceilings I used vinegar and water. I used a sponge mop to apply it. I also cleaned the windows and other places with vinegar Windex. There was a lot of yellow nicotine buildup on the smooth surfaces and when I finished my vinyl windows looked white again!
Oh, we also moved in June so we were able to leave plenty of windows open with fans on to bring in the fresh air.
Good Luck! (02/21/2006)
Our realtor let the Seller know that I was coming to look at her house and that I had a "hypersensitivity to cigarette smoke." It is not an allergy, as some people perceive. There are no allergy tests available for the simple fact that it is not an allergy but a "hypersensitivity" to cigarette smoke. The Seller concealed the odors by numerous scented lighted candles in the house the morning we looked at it, which blocked the nerve endings in my nose to be able to detect that she was a smoker.
The Seller also intentionally frauded me when I personally asked her on 3 occasions before closing if she was a Smoker, for which she denied smoking each time. We learned later that it was her intent to conceal to us and mask the fact that she smoked in her hope for a quick sale. We took her word for it that she did not smoke, plus when seeing the house, the odors were masked. We lived 7 hours away and did not return to see the house again for we, and our Realtor were convinced that she was telling us the truth, that she was a non-smoker and had never smoked in the house. We bought the house, she left, moved out, took all of her belongs, the lighted scented candles were gone. When we arrive to take possession of the house, it reeked with the residue of her 1 pack per day smoking. During Trial she lied and said she told me she smoked one pack a day for several years. She also lied and told the Court that she told my Realtor she smoked and blamed it on him for not telling me she was a Smoker.
So obvous was the odor that we could not move our furniture in and spent the next 3 weeks gutting the house, trying to rid the house of the smoke odor to no avail. My body responded with tingling on my face, lips, swelling of my tongue then throat. In 3 weeks I developed lung pain, then infection and was forced to leave this house, buy another one and begin the process of trying to decontaminate the house. Two years later and 25,000, we managed to clean the house from the odor. We loved the neighborhood, and we determined that with our investment to remove the smoke, if we ever sold the home, we would recoup our loss as home values in this neighborhood increase.
Vinegar has little affect. Only commercial sealing products painted over all surfaces will seal a portion of the odor. Yes, it is very important to wash all the surfaces first, before painting. We learned from the Experts that cigarette smoke nicotine is also a waxy substance and that surfaces must be washed with a product such as 409 to dissolve the substance. However, we then learned that 409 does not reach the gases of the smoke that saturated the drywall and insulation! We also learned that vacuuming the ductwork in the home has no affect. Paying a duct cleaning company to remove cigarette smoke from ductwork will have zero affect. The ductwork must all be removed and washed with a 409 product to clean the residue from the ductwork. We discovered that the price of removing all the ductwork to clean it and put it back would cost the same as replacing all the ductwork so that is the route we took.
It also penetrates the coils of air conditioning units and furnaces, so when those units are turned on, the house fills again with the smoke particles, gases and chemicals so we were forced to put in a new air conditioning system and furnace. Air filters will not work either, no matter what the air filter companies claim. It destroy carpets, going deep into the fibers and pads, it also finds its way into oak wood floors, which we had to professionally seal also. The waxy substance in the nicotine itself clings to everything. The gases of the cigarette smoke travels through air cleaners. The smoke bleeds through dry wall and penetrates the dry wall and insulation, saturating both. Depending on the weather outside, for instance if it is a hot day, the heat in the atmosphere outside of the home, heating the roof and the exterior of your home, will actually cause the gases of the cigarette smoke inside the drywall and insulation to push through the Kilz and the paint. Water based paint is more porus so if you are using a Kilz product along with painting, oil base acts as more of a sealant, although not 100%.
Depending on your own body's hypersensitivity, sealing the interior of the home completly with an oil base Kilz and then paint, may be enough for your body to adjust, however, if you are like me and you are highly hypersensitive, expect to still have a reaction at times, depending on the weather. I learned that a vinyl wall paper, or many quality wall papers will block the gases from escaping more effectively than painting. However, over time, depending on the saturation of the house, how heavy the cigarette smoke was in the house, the gases will eventually push through the papers and of course the ceiling.
Over time, often many years, the gases in the cigarette smoke that penetrated the walls and drywall will become less potent, however, depending on the amount of saturation it could take years. In our state if a Seller lies to a Buyer and denies they are a smoker when asked, it is considered fraud. We are working with legislature to make it law to add this question to all Seller's Disclosures, however, as politics go, this may take some time. Thankfully on our side was the law that if we asked the question and the Seller lied to us, we could sue.
We also learned too late that the numerous lighted scented candles in the house that morning when we looked at the house should have been a major red flag. The Seller was anxious to sell, she was told by my Realtor before I saw the house that I was hypersensitive to cigarette smoke and we learned that she immediately went to work to mask it so I could not detect it. A tragic lesson learned. If ever I buy a home again and I see a number of candles lit inside, I will view it as a reason for concern, will leave and ask that the candles all be removed from the home, then return. Experts told us had I done that, and gone back, with all the candles out of the house, we would have been able to tell it was a "smoke house"
The Seller is now threatening Bankruptcy so we can't collect on our lawsuit, however, we still feel a sense of closure and justification that we did not let this go. The attempt to mask and fraud us was so intentional, we had no other choice to sue this individual and thankfully we won the lawsuit. If any one you reading this post has a hypersensitivity to cigarette smoke, insist that when you look at a home to buy that all lighted candles be removed from the house, and drop by unannounced to "look at the house again." We lived 7 hours away and this was not possible for us to do so we relied solely on the Buyer's statements to us that she was not a smoker and had never smoked in the house.
I made the mistake of believing this individual. Call it naive if you will, I certainly expected honesty when I asked her direct on 3 separate occasions if she smoked. I also went into great detail with her how my body would respond if I came into contact with cigarette smoke and she still had the nerve to lie to me, and convince me she never smoked inside the house. The Seller went to great lengths to mask the fact as well. We are pleased that we won our lawsuit and have learned a very painful, and costly lesson. (02/27/2007)
Ours was a home fire, not cigarette smoke, but believe me it was much worse than cigarette smoke!
We got ripped off when buying our place too: They left it a disgusting DIRTY mess! We had to throw out the oven it was so bad. PLUS they left a BUNCH of junk in the garage including an old fridge & a huge heavy, old metal desk from the 50's. No wonder the Realtor refused to let us see the place the day we signed the papers even though our Title Company insisted.
(We were afraid to sue them when we found fist marks in every one of the aluminum doors... The guy obviously had an anger problem & we didn't want trouble!) (02/27/2007)
The only place I am scared of is the grout in the kitchen and bathroom. I suspect the grout will need to be cleaned with muriatic acid, then sealed in order to make it not "leak" smoke whenever I decide to turn on the shower or scrub the floors.
Another note: Since I have sensitivities to chemical cleaners, and I feel they are bad for the planet, anyway, I try to stick with natural cleaners. My "409" is a 50/50 combo of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. I use a non-toxic scrubbing cleanser like Bon Ami instead of Comet, and I use an eco-safe toilet bowl cleaner which is scented with actual pine oil. Please consider the impact you make on the air, water, land, and fellow humans and animals when you buy cheap chemical cleaners at the Mega-Mart! (02/28/2007)
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