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How Do I Get Rid of Cigarette Smoke Odor in the House?

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We bought a house that had smokers living in it. We have stripped up all carpet and had the wood floors refinished. We have stripped and refinished the woodwork and painted everything else, but in the spring in the time between using the furnace and the air conditioner, we can still smell the odor. Does anyone have any suggestions?

By Betty


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By Kathy [51]02/22/2011

Before you go through the expense of having your ducts cleaned, get the furnace professionally cleaned first. Your ducts get dirty from the furnace. And, it takes more than just changing the furnace filters to clean a furnace and get it tuned up. Something the manufacturers recommend you have done once a year anyway. Then after the furnace is professionally cleaned, look at getting the ducts cleaned. Smoking and having pets all go through the furnace cycle and into the duct work. On average you will pay about $89 for a good reputable company to come out and professionally clean and tune up the furnace.

By KimO02/18/2011

An ozone generator will do the trick. I had a bad cooking incident in my home. I was told that I would have to repaint the whole house to remove the smell. I researched smoke removal and subsequently purchased an ozone generator from eBay for about $150. It was well worth it. I had tried everything to remove horrible smoke smell and nothing else worked. You can rent them, but I used it for several days to totally eliminate the odor, so purchasing the unit made sense. Good luck!

By Myrna [13]02/18/2011

Did you use Kilz primer with an odor blocker before painting? Most smokers occupy kitchen, livingroom and bedroom where smoke is more prevalent. Have you scrubbed closets, cabinets, appliances that went with the home? If you use a strong fragrance when cleaning like PineSol or a citrus scent and air the house this Spring that should help in time. Does the house have floor vents? Use the long hose on your vac or shop vac and get as far into the duct as possible moving it back and forth. This will get loose debris/dust that odors cling to and then you can scrub the interior so far back with a strong disinfectant cleaner (I like Lysol in brown bottle) and set a bowl of vinegar water or crushed/bruised lemon or orange peelings on a saucer inside the vent duct.

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By Anonymous [848]02/21/2011

Kim066's idea is a good one! Be sure to keep the furnace running while using the ozone generator so that the air is circulating through the vents. You might even consider moving the generator from room to room every few hours. Hospitals use these machines in closed off, vents closed rooms to kill bacteria and they even kill dust mites so you do need to know that no living beings, including pets, can be in the home while these are running and air out the place for at least an hour or two after turning it off.

By Betty [13]02/18/2011

I didn't list everything, but drapes and any window coverings were disposed of and replaced. Light fixtures were re-placed, and cabinets were scrubbed with ammonia(I use it for about everything). Windows were scrubbed and all casing stripped and finished, We have cleaned duct work as far as we can, but I am sure there is more.

I haven't tried the Febreze plug ins, but will. Thank you eveyone for your suggestions!

By Marty Dick [133]02/18/2011

Febreze spray will help ... they have different sprays for allergens, smoke etc
They also have the little plug ins. They are not cover ups. They actually remove offensive odors.

By Jean [2]02/18/2011

The only things you haven't mentioned cleaning are things like light fixtures, ceiling fans, window blinds, cabinets. If you haven't already, you can clean all these with any good household cleaner or use a mixture of 1/2 cup ammonia in a gallon of warm water. When you painted, did you paint the ceilings, too?
That's all I can think of for now.


Cigarette smoke leaves a brown film on everything, including the inside of duct work. You can have it professionally cleaned, but it would cost quite a bit.


Here are questions related to How Do I Get Rid of Cigarette Smoke Odor in the House?.

Question: Geting Rid of Smoke Smell Using an Apple

Does sitting an apple in a room that smells of cigarette smoke really remove the smoke odor like it is supposed to?

By Robyn from Tri-Cities, TN

Most Recent Answer

By Robyn Fed [388]02/27/2012

It is supposed to be cut in half. I forgot to put that on the question.

Thanks, Robyn

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