Smoke Smell in Wood Cabinet

Category Odors
Unfinished wood surfaces can absorb smoke odors that can be a challenge to remove. This is a page about smoke smell in wood cabinet.


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August 14, 2007

I purchased an oak dining set from my grandmother who was a smoker. It is in beautiful condition but smells very strongly of cigarette smoke. Does anyone know how to remove the odor from this wood set? Is my only option letting it sit outside, which would be difficult for me to do.

Amy from Waukesha, WI


By sharon (Guest Post)
September 8, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

I washed the unfinished surfaces with Oxy crystals dissolved in hot water and rinsed immediately with strong vinegar water. Sometimes a second attempt is necessary but it really works! I would not use it on the finished surface as it could mark or ruin it

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August 15, 2007

I have wood dining table and buffet that came from a cigarette smoking environment. Even in my smoke free environment I can still smell the smoke. Both pieces are in great shape and do not need refinishing. I am looking for something to clean and eliminate the order. I have been told boiled water and white vinegar 50/50 may do the job. Any recommendations, suggestions will be appreciated.



Smoke Smell in Wood Cabinet


The Bath & Body company I'm an Independent Consultant with has a wonderful line of "Home Scent" items that come in a Smoke & Odor Eliminator fragrance that would work for you. When you get a chance, visit my site & check them out.

Marla - Our fragrances leave lasting impressions. (04/01/2005)

By Marla Ball

Smoke Smell in Wood Cabinet

Vinegar: spray it inside and out, the mild acidity of the vinegar will neutralize odors, might smell like a big pickle until it dries but then the vinegar smell should dissipate.

There are also cedar and pine sprays you can buy to make it smell like wood. Orange or lemon oil will help it smell good and protect at the same time, although if the wood is not sealed the oils and possibly the sprays may make it look darker. (04/01/2005)


By Barbie

Smoke Smell in Wood Cabinet

Good luck on this one! I bought a box of wooden hangers at a yard sale and they were drenched in cigarette smoke. I sprayed them with vinegar, furniture polish and many other things, left them out in the sun for 5 days and even the rain, all to no avail. Good luck!(04/01/2005)

By suzi homemaker

Smoke Smell in Wood Cabinet

Just in case anyone was interested, I think I determined some of the source of the odor--one side of the cabinet was much darker than the rest, as was as portion of the top surface underneath where the hutch part sits. The top part was VERY dark brown, like coffee, while the rest of the wood is "blonde" colored. We thought it was just some sort of chemical reaction that occurred since the hutch sat on top for so many years...until someone scratched it with their fingernail and the coffee color came off-- like many other pieces of my grandparent's furniture, this thing was coated with nicotine! I used some Lysol Basin Tub and Tile Cleaner on the dark parts and eventually got all the nicotine off. The cabinet is now all the same color and smelling much better. (Either that, or I am getting used to the smell, oh well!) I took before and after pictures, but I can't find the cable to attach the camera to the computer.


Maybe I can post them later. (04/04/2005)

By Allison

Smoke Smell in Wood Cabinet

We had a similar problem in a dining room table and I used Murphy's Oil Soap. Wash it down thoroughly and then if you're feeling really ambitious, use lemon oil on it to shine it up. It still stunk for a week or so more, but then the smell went away. (Thank god! I'm allergic to cigarette smoke!) (07/12/2005)

By Kathleen K.

Smoke Smell & Staining on Light Wood

I see remedies for smell but I have very light wood furniture and the nicotine has penetrated the surfaces. I am ready to buy new upholstered furniture and want to get the smell and stain out prior to its arrival! (09/03/2005)

By Melissa

Smoke smell on book

I'm trying to remove a horrible cigarette smell from an old bible that I purchased online. It's so bad it's making me sick every time I open it. Anyone have a suggestion? (09/15/2005)


By Karolina

Smoke Smell in books

If you put the book in a plastic bag and pour about 1 cup of baking soda in the bag, shake it around a little so that the soda gets in between the pages and let it sit for a few days.

Then shake out the books and see if it has removed all the smell. If it hasn't, try more baking soda and some more time. Eventually, it will remove all of the odor.

Susan from ThriftyFun (09/15/2005)

By ThriftyFun

Mildew Smell in Wood Cabinet

I have a wooden cabinet I just purchased from a garage sale. It was in a shed for a few years and picked up mildew/old/garage odor. I have tried dryer sheets, a pot of vinegar, and Febreze, but nothing seems to be working. Any thoughts? (09/29/2005)

By Nancy Burke

Smoke Smell in Wood Cabinet

I read stains are either acid or alkaline. Nicotine (tobacco) is acid and needs an alkaline based cleaner. Washing soda and Borax (found in laundry section), baking soda and most soaps are alkaline. Dining furniture covered in a sticky, nicotine residue caused an asthma flare-up and wheezing. I used a washing soda, water and dish detergent solution, sprayed on, then immediately rinsed off. It took several applications but worked. Be careful, too much washing soda or left on too long, will take off the finish. I think I used about a teaspoon of washing soda, 1/2 tsp. detergent to 1 quart water. Followed up with a white vinegar rinse. (05/07/2007)


By Donna

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