Keeping Your House Smelling Nice With Smokers


How do you keep a smoker's house smelling nice?

By julied140 from KY


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By Frances Adams 11 557 06/17/2009

I mean no offense, but I grew up with 2 heavy smokers, and we lost our sense of smell. I never noticed until I got married and moved out! I don't think you keep a house smelling clean, as long as people smoke indoors daily. When I have visitors that insist on smoking in my home (my mother) I set out bowls of ammonia on surfaces where they can't be seen (behind the photos on the tv, top of bookcases, etc). When she leaves, the liquid it brown! I leave it out till the morning, then pour it down the sink.

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By Melissa M. 26 107 06/17/2009

I've been a smoker for 35 years, I've been smoking outside for 30 years. It's your house, if mom can't handle going outside then maybe she shouldn't come over. I chose to smoke but my kids didn't, all my smoker friends know that there is no smoking in the house. It starts by putting a sign on the door. If that's offensive then people shouldn't come over. When I go to other smoker's houses, I still go outside even when they tell me it's ok to stay inside. I don't like my house smelling like an ashtray either.

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By Susan 5 39 06/17/2009

May I just add. If you are a smoker who is going outside to smoke, be considerate of your neighbors. I live in an apartment complex and our neighbor lady doesn't want to smoke in her apartment, so she goes outside to smoke. I have my windows open to enjoy the fresh air and cool breeze only to have her smoke come into my window and fill up MY apartment. She might as well be standing IN my living room! So if your going outside to smoke, pay special attention to where the second hand smoke is going. Stand AWAY from open windows of your neighbors. Thank you!

Now for the original question. I used to be a smoker over 6 years ago. Now that my nose is clear and my sense of smell is back to normal, in my opinion there really isn't anyway to get rid of it besides stopping smoking and cleaning everything. I've had to throw out bedding, clothing and drapes that were just saturated in the smell. No amount of washing got it out. I had to scrub walls and get new furniture. My daughter and her husband smoke and when we visit their house smells like smoke and candles. They think it doesn't stink, but it does, just like I didn't think my home smelled. Also when the grand baby comes to visit SHE smells like smoke! I have to wash her down and put clean clothes on her if she's staying for any length of time.

So from an ex smoker, there isn't a way to keep a smokers home from smelling like smoke unless you don't smoke in it. The smell gets into your hair, clothes, drapes, furniture, walls...etc.

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By MaryKay 3 22 06/17/2009

In the craft store HOBBY LOBBY in the candle section are smokers candles. They last a long time and really take the smell out! When I cant smoke outside, I use them!

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By Michawn 18 488 06/17/2009

You don't smoke inside plain and simple. If a smoker smokes inside, the smell that they have in the house and bring with them everywhere, is overpowering! At least if you smoke outside the smoke is able to float away some. But I can tell a house smoker a mile a way, they stink, are yellow (nails, skin, clothes) and just plain icky. Ever seen the yellow drops in the bathroom or on the walls from condensation, they are brown with smoke, nicotine, tar. Do it outside, away from neighbors windows.

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By Kathy 64 334 06/18/2009

You know, I thought this site was about sharing ideas and solving problems. Why is it non-smokers are so self-righteous? Smoking is an addiction. I'm proud of all of you who are so pure as to have never had an addiction. Yes, the addiction can be broken, but this person was asking for ideas, not your humble opinion. The last time I checked, smoking is still legal in the USA. Please keep your opinions to yourself if you don't have anything to add to solve the requested problem. I think the editor of this site should have deleted the posts that did not give any suggestions as to how to solve the problem of the "smell of smoke", not quitting smoking.

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By Linda from Bloomington, IL 76 172 06/18/2009

I do not smoke but my family does. Two things I/we have done are: anyone smoking has to have a candle lit near them. I understand the special smoker's candles are better, but we have always used voltive candles. The flame of the candle absorbs the smoke in the air, it does not get on clothes etc. I live alone, my kids smoke when they are here and first thing they do is light the candle before the cigarette (or mom will get after them). Also melted wax is saved to make more candles in the future. Second one is to set a bowl or cup of vinegar near by. The vinegar absorbs the smoke and turns dark. When to change the vinegar? Depends on how much smoking is being done. When the top of vinegar gets completely dark, change it. The smell of the vinegar will become unnoticable after a while.

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By Donna Ehr Smith 06/18/2009

I was a smoker for 48 years when I quit. It's been 9 years now. Thought I would never be one of those 'preaching non-smokers'. I can tell you (who think just because it is legal. It's ok to make others suffer). Cigarette smell is disgusting! No amount of cover up is going to help. There is no smoking allowed in our house since I have now 'cleaned up' after myself. If anyone wants to smoke, they go outside.

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chef4u, the opinions posted that you didn't like were not deleted for the same reason your opinion was not deleted.
I am a 41 year long smoker (who is stupid to continue because recently diagnosed with Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema) and even I do not now nor have I smoked inside my own home for well over a decade.

There is absolutely no way to get rid of the tar residue and smoke smell short of scrubbing all walls and ceilings with vinegar and/or detergent and re-painting and also washing every single stitch of furniture, clothing, carpet, etc. The only thing that can be done beyond that is not to smoke inside in the first place or, preferably, not smoke at all.

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By gretta 9 52 06/18/2009

I found a list of indoor plants that help clean the air inside
English Ivy, Dracaena marginata, Janet Craig, Warneckei, Chrysanthemum, Gerbera Daisy, Peace lily, Azalea, Philodendron, Spider plant, Golden Pothos, Bamboo palm, Corn plant, Chrysanthemum, Mother-in-law's tongue. Many other websites give details like NASA and www.coopext.colostate.edu/4DMG/Plants/clean.htm.
Or check on line.

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I am a 41 year long smoker and do not smoke inside my own home and don't allow anyone else to because there is absolutely no way to get rid of the tar residue and smoke smell short of washing all walls and ceilings with vinegar and/or detergent plus clean every piece of furniture, clothing, carpet, windows, etc. because the tar and smoke permeates everything. You can temporarily mask the smell with candles, incense, plugins and sprays but the odor will still linger :-(

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By Carly St.Clair 7 80 06/27/2009

I saw on "How Clean Is Your House?", Kim told a smoker to put baking soda in the ash trays. You can put some lavender essential oil on light bulbs and a few drops with the baking soda in the ash trays.

As far as drawers, closets, car, etc. you can make pomanders by using any citrus fruit: lemon, lime, orange, mandarin and poking holes all over it and placing whole cloves in those holes. Let cure for 1 month and place anywhere you want to have your air fresher.

Open windows and doors when the weather permits and allow air to circulate. Use fans to help circulate air. Use an air purifier and/or air purifying indoor plants. There are plants that thrive in no light at all. Just check on the web and do your research.

When you clean and wipe things down in your home, use a vinegar/water mixture and make it smell better by adding a little lavendar essential oil to it. Vinegar is a really good smoke odor remover. There are many essential oil scents. Just do your looking at places like Super Supplement or GNC.

I don't recommend any strong chemicals because I don't think they work as well. Before you vacuum, sprinkle baking soda on the carpet and sofa and chairs. Let sit for 10 to 30 minutes and vacuum it all up.

If you are just "hanging out" and smoking is part of the fun, open a window and /or turn on a fan. Put some essential oil on light bulbs and make sure the ash trays are ready with baking soda in them.

You can also burn incense at the same time while you are smoking. Those are my ideas guys, hope they are helpful.

Remember, there are many people out there with asthma and smoking outside isn't always the answer for that reason because the wind may be blowing it into someones windows that has asthma and a few minutes later they are forced to use their rescue inhaler, ll because someone thought it would be better to smoke outside.

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Archive: Keeping Your House Smelling Nice With Smokers

Having a nice smelling home is hard at times. We have smokers here and also 2 dogs and a cat, so pet odors are more than likely present. I'm wondering if anyone has some ideas on how I can keep my house smelling clean and fresh.

Thanks for any help.

Yvonne from Ontario

RE: Keeping Your House Smelling Nice With Smokers and Pets

I heard that if you boil vermouth on the stove in water you can clean the air of almost everything that smells bad. You could also try boiling spices on your stove, that works for sure. (01/05/2006)

By Colleen from Ottawa

RE: Keeping Your House Smelling Nice With Smokers and Pets

I boil vinegar on the stove to get rid of the smoke odor. My girlfriend places a small cup of vinegar in the room when people smoke. My son lights incense. I love the smell of apple pie spice and vanilla simmering on the stove.

Love & Prayers, Linda (01/05/2006)

By lindaljh1

RE: Keeping Your House Smelling Nice With Smokers and Pets

Hi Yvonne,

Along the same lines as Linda and Colleen, I bought some potpourri that doesn't do much if you put it out in a dish, but if I simmer it on the stove, the scent goes all over my 1-BR apt. And if you buy a fairly good quality potpourri (I know it can be expensive) you can keep using it over and over.

But the thing with simmering on the stove is the evaporating water! It can be dangerous (for me and other absent-minded people) because it's easy to forget to keep an eye on it. But it's great if you have visitors coming over, because it smells nice as soon as you walk in the door.

I also put some Bounce sheets in a very tiny vase in my bathroom and the scent lasts for days. Looks a little silly, but smells great!

Hope that helps,
Donna M. (01/06/2006)

By Ladymadonna

RE: Keeping Your House Smelling Nice With Smokers and Pets

Placing baking soda in the ash trays and also in the litter boxes. You can shake some on the carpet and let it sit in for few minutes before you vacuum. You can also add things like cinnamon or nutmeg, or lemon peel (dried spices) to the baking soda and then sprinkle it on your floor before vacuuming. It's natural so it doesn't hurt animals. (01/06/2006)

By onixxx888

RE: Keeping Your House Smelling Nice With Smokers and Pets

Love all the ideas. Thanks so much everyone!

Hugs, Yvonne (01/06/2006)

By Canookie

RE: Keeping Your House Smelling Nice With Smokers and Pets

All smoking OUTSIDE to start with. Much healthier for any who don't smoke. Less smell inside. (01/06/2006)

By aardvark

RE: Keeping Your House Smelling Nice With Smokers and Pets

Try dabbing a little vanilla on your light bulbs. Also you can put cotton balls with vanilla on them around in hidden places. (01/07/2006)

By Bonnie

RE: Keeping Your House Smelling Nice With Smokers and Pets

After the holidays I bought some apple spice tea/ mulling spice at a very good price (75% off). I put 2 of the tea bags, a few whole cloves, and 1/2 of a small cinnamon stick (several pieces from the 99 cent store) in my electric potpourri pot. I have arthritis in my hands so I use pliers to break the cinnamon sticks. I now use just one tea bag and it makes the whole house smell nice. Now and then I have to go to the kitchen anyway so I can add hot water as needed to the pot. Just set an alarm clock to ring before you go to bed (or leave the house) to remind yourself to unplug the simmering pot. (04/12/2006)

By Great Granny Vi

RE: Keeping Your House Smelling Nice With Smokers and Pets

I'm a smoker also. I keep baking soda in my ashtrays, empty often, and I empty and clean them at night. Also a couple times a week before I go to bed I sprinkle all my carpets with baking soda and vacuum the next morning. (06/08/2008)

By keeper60

RE: Keeping Your House Smelling Nice With Smokers and Pets

Every morning I open all my windows. No matter what season (summer open them early) I burn oils from bath and body works, and man are they nice! I have two cats and everyone that comes to my house is very surprised that my house doesn't smell. I also keep my whole house very clean. I make sure no dishes are left out, blinds wiped at least once a month, I change my sheets every week, wipe the bathroom down everyday, and damp mop my hardwood floors everyday. (06/25/2008)


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