Removing Cigarette Smoke Smell from an Apartment?

March 11, 2008

An ashtray on a computer desk in an apartment.We just had a family member move into an apartment. The person who lived there before was a heavy smoker. Does anyone have ideas on how to get the smell of smoke out of the apartment? The carpets have been shampooed and the landlord painted, but the scent is still there. Any idea would be great. Thank you!


Stacy from El Paso, IL


March 14, 20081 found this helpful
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Take a spray bottle (like an old Windex bottle) and fill it with White Vinegar. Add about 6 drops of Tea Tree Oil (you get that at the health food store) shake well and spray everythig until it's slightly damp. It's smell for a little while but in a couple hours all you should smell is a soft clean "tea tree oil" smell. I learned this from my Grandmother who is a terribly heavy (two to three packs a day) smoker... she does that and you can't tell someone smoked in there!

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By Sam (Guest Post)
March 20, 20080 found this helpful
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We had a purchased trailer that smelled like smoke and rotten seafood - Ugh! We painted the walls, but used a primer called Bin (probably purchased at Home Depot) - the stuff seals stains and smells.


It worked wonders. We did also remove all the upholstery and I'm sure this helped too.

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June 17, 2016

The woman who lived in the apartment before me was a chain smoker. The walls were prepped and painted. The smell seeped through after a month. The super in the building used something to bomb out the apt. and then put pellets in the vents and after that used an ionizer to clean the air. Well that didn't work either. I had to have the pellets removed because of the chemical smell.

I even had to be on an inhaler for a while because of my breathing. It's hard to live here with a constant sore throat and smell. I want to wash down the walls and clean the rugs again myself. I don't want to have to paint the walls. I heard vinegar and water should do the trick.


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June 17, 20160 found this helpful
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Cigarette smoke settles everywhere, changing from second hand smoke in the air to third hand smoke, which consists of old cigarette particles that cling to literally everything. You must thoroughly clean literally everything from the ceiling down-lights, wall switches, etc. and replace rugs and wall coverings. This is why the smell lingers for years or more.


In addition to the constant smoke smell, you are also constantly breathing in third hand smoke, the cigarette particles. They are as cancerous as the original cigarette and second hand smoke.

Unfortunately, the best plan for you is quickly to move out of the apartment and be certain that your next apartment has always been smoke free.

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March 27, 2019

I moved into my apartment almost two years ago. About 6 months or so ago my boyfriend and I started noticing a faint cigarette smell and thought it might be coming from our neighbor's connecting bathroom vent to our master bath vent. They moved out and the smell slowly is getting worse and worse.

We're thinking whoever lived in here before us smoked inside and right before we moved in, the complex just painted over the nicotine stained walls (the move in process was delayed because they wanted to re-paint). Perhaps the nicotine was preserved due to the paint, but now it is seeping out since the paint is getting older?

The smell was so strong when I got home today and I can't take it anymore! The walls are drywall, and I would love some tips on the best way to eliminate the smell without messing up the paint if that's at all possible.


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March 27, 20190 found this helpful

Use a product called Nok-out, available on Amazon. It takes care of unwanted odors.

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March 27, 20190 found this helpful

Talk to your landlord and get their take on it. Maybe they could try repainting again if you really think it is from the walls. I have never heard of smoke smell coming from walls that much after the fact.


More than likely it is coming in from some other way...either the vent, a window, etc. I used to have a neighbor who would smoke under my apartment window (I was on the first floor, but it was a raised first floor and I faced the back of the building so she would stand out there under my window and smoke. It leached in all year round for the year she was there.

Many buildings where I am are going smoke free...maybe your landlord would consider that going forward. Can't hurt to ask.

Post back what he/she tells you. Good luck.

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December 4, 2015

How do you get cigarette smoke out of your apartment?


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 969 Posts
December 5, 20150 found this helpful

This works on so many surfaces like walls, ceilings and floors. Replace or have the carpet professionally cleaned. Very good stuff!

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