Removing Cigarette Smoke Odors From a House

Category Odors

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August 7, 2001

I'm moving into a house where a smoker has lived for 30 years. It smells like it, too. Any suggestions to get that deep down smoky smell out?

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By Angela

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August 12, 20010 found this helpful
Best Answer

If the walls are sheet rock, wash them down with
baking soda and water, then paint with a stain blocker mildew inhibitor, I used Kilz, Kmart and Walmart have it, there are other brands available. Make sure you do it on a day that is OK to keep your windows open because it's pretty stinky stuff. Then paint the walls with paint. Kilz is also great for water stains on walls and ceilings.

Regular barbeque charcoal is good to put around too for smells.
- Liz

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January 14, 2011

How do you clean cigarette staining off kitchen worktops and cupboards?

By Deborah Kenning from Northern Ireland

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January 14, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Ammonia diluted with water works the best. Make sure the room is well ventilated and change the water/ammonia solution frequently.

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It is also great for cleaning any food grease.

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January 14, 20112 found this helpful
Best Answer

Distilled vinegar works like a charm (I would use it straight to remove nicotine) and the advantage of using it is that it is not harmful to your lungs or other organs and the odor goes away in a just a few minutes. Also, it is environmentally friendly and super inexpensive and you can use it to clean and sanitize everything from windows and floors to sinks and toilets and in the rinse cycle of your washing machine as a fabric softener.

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December 4, 2016

My mother in law just recently gave my husband and I her house. She was a heavy smoker and the house smells pretty badly of smoke, among other things. I really want to get rid of it and make it smell nice and I want the air to be healthier for when we have kids.

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Is there any advice you can give to treat the house?

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December 5, 20160 found this helpful

It is almost impossible to remove cigarette smoke, gasses and particles from a home. There are three types of cigarette pollution from smoking in the home:
*Unburned or partially burned cigarette particles that fall from the cigarette onto surfaces.
*Cigarette smoke itself with gasses that permeate fabrics, carpets, etc.
*Smoke particles that fall onto surfaces. These particles last for years and are inhaled by adults, children, babies and pets from furniture surfaces, rugs and carpets, bare floors, etc.

The most effective way to remove most of the pollution is to permanently remove all rugs and upholstered furniture, repaint walls and ceilings, and wash all hard surfaces in the entire home.

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Even then, there will most probably be some exposure from the smoke gasses and smoke particles as these last for years.

Good Luck!

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December 5, 20160 found this helpful

Wash the walls and paint with a stainblocker to seal in any odor. Put in new carpet and pads. Try salvaging any upholstered furniture with a vinegar/detergent solution with baking soda to remove the smoke smell. New air filters on furnace and air purifier unit as well. A diffuser with essential oils such as eucalyptus, lavender or lemon will make a big difference and add a beneficial healing for persons' breathing of the air in the home.

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December 5, 20160 found this helpful

Use vinigor and baking soda spray

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December 8, 20160 found this helpful

My daughter had this problem in a house they bought. They had to paint the walls with Zprime. That was the easy part. The insulation in the fridge was permeated with smoke, there was smoke stains behind the toilet.

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Even their wooden front door was tainted as was the aluminum screen door. They hired a cleaning service to to scrub the walls and felt it was money well spent and they are very frugal.

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December 8, 20160 found this helpful

I work in a paint department. There are Primers, a type of treatment you use before painting the walls and ceiling, that are made to seal in odors. I won't be brand specific, as most if not all primer brands offer a primer that seals in odors. You will use your chosen primer, wait only the amount of time on the label, then paint. If you have carpet, you will want to remove it, and clean the floors. If they are wooden, you can shellac them after cleaning to seal in the odor; just be sure to let the shellac cure fully according to the directions before putting down rugs or carpet or they will stick.

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If you are keeping the floors bare, clean them then use a few coats of polyurethane as your sealer. Any fabrics as well as any filters such as furnace filters, will need to be replaced. A quick internet search for 'natural cleaners for cigarette smoke' will give you recipes for ingredients you have available in your area. You will need to use this cleaner on any surfaces you are not priming or shellacking to seal in the odors. You will still be able to smell it coming from areas which are inaccessible, but it will be greatly diminished.

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December 8, 20160 found this helpful

The long-term solution might be to call in professionals.. Too important to mickey-mouse it.

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Anonymous
December 8, 20160 found this helpful

My son bought a house that had mice and the smell was awful. I bought a bag of Natural Magic Odor Eliminator that cost less than $7.00...took about 1 week but it really worked, and it can be re-used.

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December 8, 20160 found this helpful

My Hubby paint's when heavy smoke has gotten in walls they Kiltz it first than paint color you want rest use vinegar & water,...

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December 9, 20160 found this helpful

As has been stated by many - it will be very difficult, if not impossible to remove all of the tobacco smells from your "new" home, but - you can do a fairly good job - may even be able to make it safe to live in.

If you can afford to have it professionally removed then, certainly, that is the best way to go. If that is not the case, there may be some ways to remove most of the hazard.

Other respondents have given excellent advice/suggestions that should give you some ideas on how to get started.

I have worked/volunteered with Red Cross when families were forced (financially) to return to a home that had extensive smoke damage. Now this is not the same type of smoke but it is still dangerous to live in without some type of good cleaning.

The first thing we did was to open as many windows and doors as possible. Then we started with one room and determined what could be safely removed - even down to the electric covers.
Of course, any carpet had to be removed immediately.
Usually bedrooms could be striped and sealed and repainted. I am not familiar with the type of sealer and paint used.

Kitchens and bathrooms were usually the most difficult areas to remove the smoke as there are so many "built ins" that just cannot always be removed/replaced.

The cleaner that we used was 50% water with 50% ammonia.
Try to use a sturdy pail with a handle that will not tip over. Dirty water should be carefully discarded in an open area away from the house.
Do not add anything else to the cleaning solution.
Now ammonia can be dangerous and should not be without proper care/instructions.
This can be dangerous and should only be used by responsible adults - but - it works well and does not seem to damage cabinets or appliances but should be tested in small areas before full application.

1. Windows/doors HAVE to be open for ventilation.
2. gloves have to worn at all times.
3. face mask should also be worn as you are dealing with a chemical that you do not want to breath.
4. have several/many cleaning "rags" available as they will get filthy in a short period of time and you may not wish to spend time and energy trying to wash this slime/filth just to reuse the rag/cloth.
5. we did not "rinse" the solution off the cabinets (optional) but we did wipe more down than one time with the cleaning solution to make sure we had removed all of the smoke.

This may seem an elaborate solution but it did work and the Ammonia/water solution could also be put in a spray bottle and sprayed into corners where we were unable to reach.

As stated before - this can be dangerous if all stated safety rules are not followed to the letter.

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December 11, 20160 found this helpful

I would go with a professional service! Especially since you were given the house. Better to invest wisely into your home than make it worse. Good Luck!

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December 30, 20160 found this helpful

Activated charcoal will absorb some of the smell. Open windows and use fan to air out the home. You can also wash non-fabric surfaces with a diluted bleach or cut vinegar solution.

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I moved into an apartment which used to be rented to a heavy smoker who lived here over 7 years. They repainted, had the unit professionally cleaned, replaced the carpeting and treated it with some kind of chemical bomb thing which was supposed to kill residual nicotine smells.

I have now lived here since April, and I can still smell nicotine. I recently went on vacation for two weeks and when I returned, the smell was overwhelming. I use plugins, Febreze, and burn scented oils, which helps, but I am very discouraged. It was not so bad over the summer since I kept windows open, but now we are heading into colder weather. I live in Nevada which has very cold winters.

I love my apartment and I am on a one year lease. (I am a senior woman.) Do you have any good suggestions to help me with this problem?

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How can I remove cigarette smoke smell from my home? A smoker visited and had it on their clothes.

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We painted the yellow nicotine stained walls. To take the smell away do I have to clean and repaint again?

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July 16, 20150 found this helpful

When we moved into our house, one bedroom had been used by a smoker. We had to rip out and replace the carpet, clean the walls and ceilings with Mean Green (straight), and apply two coats of Kilz. Then we painted and laid new carpet, and finally the room was inhabitable.

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April 29, 20160 found this helpful

Need to resolve the nicotine problem first, paint will not adhere to the surface.

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December 25, 20160 found this helpful

Classidur Paint will, not cheap but fantastic.

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May 15, 2013

I have an apartment rental where the previous renters were chain smokers. The walls were dripping with nicotine residue. My handyman completely repainted the entire apartment from floor to ceiling with two coats of semi-gloss in the kitchen and bathrooms and then he did two coats of egg shell paint in the rest of the apartment. He also painted the cottage cheese ceilings. My problem is that he did not clean the walls before he started. He painted over the nicotine drenched walls. My question is will I ever get the horrible cigarette smoke smell out of this apartment? Would it do any good to wipe the walls with vinegar and water? All of the cabinets have been refinished; there is all new tile, blinds, and carpet.

By Joyce

Answers

October 3, 20130 found this helpful

An all-natural paint additive has been developed that converts any newly painted wall surface, into a perpetual air, purification system no electricity or filters required. The Air-ReNu, technology permanently maintains healthy indoor air quality and eliminates offensive pet or smoking odors. One treatment will last 10-12 years.

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February 7, 20151 found this helpful

This product really works, we bought a home that had smokers, when we repainted and added the ionic paint additive to the paint, in about two days all smoking odor was gone. Vance Edwards

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June 7, 2015

How can I eleminate cigarette smoke smells from my home when someone smokes in his room daily?

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June 7, 20150 found this helpful

There is no way to remove cigarette smell/smoke from your home if someone smokes inside as the smoke permeates the entire house. You can use very powerful (smelly) room fresheners but they do not remove the smell; they provide a different smell that only lasts a certain period of time. The smell can last for years even though the house may be repainted, curtains and carpet replaced, etc.

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