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Removing Cigarette Smoke Odors

Category Odors
The odor from cigarette smoke is strong, pervasive, and often difficult to remove. This is a guide about removing cigarette smoke odors.
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Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

January 3, 20051 found this helpful

To help eliminate smoke odors from ashtrays while in use, pour some baking soda in them. This also helps for easy clean up.

By Lisa S.

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February 28, 20120 found this helpful

Cigarette smoke permeates many materials of a car's interior, making it a challenge to remove the smell. This guide is about removing cigarette smoke odor from a car.

cigarette odors in a car

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November 21, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about removing cigarette smell from leather jacket. You will want to use the appropriate cleaning methods for leather when trying to remove cigarette odor from a jacket.

A man smoking a cigarette and wearing a black leather jacket.

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August 25, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about cleaning cigarette smoke odors on stuffed animals. Cigarette smoke is so pervasive. It clings to everything including a child's stuffies.

Child sniffing and hugging large stuffed bear

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November 15, 20110 found this helpful

Cigarette smoke permeates everything in a smokers household. Removing the odor of cigarettes can be difficult, especially from anything leather. This is a guide about removing cigarette smoke odor from leather.

Cigarette Left Burning in Ashtray

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 1 found this helpful
February 7, 2007

I need to know how to get rid of cigarette smoke in my house. My husband smokes. I have used all kinds of spray. Burned candles, still I can smell the smoke. What can I use? I have a small poodle, so I would need something that wouldn't hurt my dog.

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Shonda from Grand Rivers, KY

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February 7, 20070 found this helpful

You could ask your husband to smoke outside!

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 8, 20070 found this helpful

Do you have a Sam's Club nearby? If so, they sell a spray called Smoke Eliminator by Zep.
It has a nice fresh fragrance and works wonders.

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February 8, 20070 found this helpful

I am a smoker & what i do is. I take dryer sheet & fold them in half & then staple them together. Then i tape them over my heater duck & i even put them in front of 1 of my cold air returns. When people that don't smoke comes over i do ask them if they can smell smoke & they do tell me that they don't smell any smoke.

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 8, 20070 found this helpful

My husband used to smoke and no one ever smelled smoke in our house. I had lots of house plants! Some are better known than others to clean the air, do a little checking and get a few plants to kill the odors

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February 9, 20070 found this helpful

I also have found that putting out a dish or small bowl of vinegar absorbs odors.

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April 27, 20070 found this helpful

Another thought is to put vinegar and water in a squirt bottle and spray the room or rooms. I've used it on clothing too when it gets smokey smelling. Granted the clothes smell a little bit like a salad for a few minutes but that oder will dissapate.

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 31, 20070 found this helpful

Febreze is the way to go. It completely eliminates the smoke odors and it is safe with pets.

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 28, 20080 found this helpful

Vinegar and water.

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 29, 20090 found this helpful

I will try the vinegar and water or is it just vinegar? Any suggestions on how to approach the subject of smoking oustide (my husband and guest's) without hurt feelings? We liven in an apartment and when we can (weather permiting) we will open the sliding door but we live in west texas and the dirt blows a lot over here,, some advise please. FYI husband is a sensitive person.

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April 4, 20100 found this helpful

Fill a spray bottle 3/4 full with cold water. Pour in 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar. Every time your husband lights up, spray him down with this solution.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 3, 2011

My husband smokes cigarettes in the bedroom, but the whole house smells like an ashtray. I've tried to get him to smoke outside but to no avail. Is there anything I can do to get rid of the "ashtray" smell in my house? Thanks.

By Pamela

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By 0 found this helpful
May 22, 2017

There is a cigarette odour behind the base cupboards in a fitted kitchen. A small gap at the top of each cupboard and drawer allows the smell to permeate. As the smell seems to be on the wall behind how can I eliminate this?

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July 1, 20131 found this helpful

I just bought my new mobile (double-wide) home. New to me, but owned by a smoker. When I first viewed the home I did not smell smoke at all and I am a real shark for smoke smell (I hate it). I viewed the home 2xs in 2 weeks. No odor. My offer is accepted and I return for home inspection - smoke! I ask. Told it was the AC - deceased husband smoked just under the built-in AC. Hmmmm....OK. Returned for a gab and buy/sell with owner (real nice woman) barely a whiff. OK. Walk-thru gets put smack up to closing and at walk-thru I could hardly breath. I opened all windows for 2 days - still stinks to high heaven!

Question - and thanks for excellent tips here - I could never wash walls by hand (disabled) so I wondered if I might use a thick painting roller and roll the residue off? Even the ceilings could be done this way. I couldn't do that, friends will help, but I could roll the walls. What do you think of this as a method? Seeing as how I wasn't able to smell anything at viewings (I'm sure her realtor put the fear of god into her that buyers would flee if she didn't smoke outside, but once she had a P & S Agreement she slipped back and by move out time it was packs and packs galore). I'm hoping a wash with water and vinegar or TSP (but don't you have to also rinse TSP?). I sure could not do the cleaning 2xs) prior to KILZ primer and paint will do the job. I will also, of course, wash all shelves, cupboards, etc. What do you think? And sorry for the long (...)s, I know they make the reading harder. Bad habit. Thanks.

By Sue B

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July 26, 20110 found this helpful

I have a room attached to my garage that is sheetrocked and insulated, but is not painted or primed. My renters smoke very heavily in this room and now that room and the garage smells. When they took down the pictures that they had hanging up there is a brown tint around where the picture was hanging.

We have had the windows open but this does not help. What is the best way to get the smell out. Also, is priming it now just going to make the smell stick into the walls.

Please help with any ideas!

By Sue

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May 22, 20110 found this helpful

My house smells of cigarette smoke, thanks to the people who lived in it before me. I was told to bleach the walls to get out the smell, but was wondering if there were any other ways to get out that nasty smell. Thanks.

By Deborah A

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By 0 found this helpful
January 7, 2008

We are moving into a lower level duplex, the upstairs tenants are heavy smokers and moved out from the lower level a few days ago. I will deep clean the carpets and walls to get the smell out of the lower level, but am concerned about the continuing tobacco smoke from above, or the air ducts.

I am not sure how to clean. Will my cleaning will be null and void because of the continuous smoking from up above?

Anya from MN

Answers

By guest (Guest Post)
January 7, 20080 found this helpful

I would think that your air ducting wouldn't be connected, but if it is, I wouldn't know what to do, maybe consider special filters. If it is not connected, the best way to get that smoke smell out is to paint your ceilings/walls, clean carpets and a/c filter, and if someone-landlord could clean the a/c unit/ducts
it would be great. Ask the landlord prior to moving in if the units are connected by airduct-I know I couldn't live like that with 3 people with asthma in my family.

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January 7, 20080 found this helpful

i have this problem with my neighbor next store we are currently renting a townhouse this yr til we find a home here in town we moved recently and it kills me the smoje they smoke all day!!! i tried to no avail i gave up and i just bought the glade wall plug in oil units and i put in all rooms keep them refilled 1 time a month it helps i use the summer berries one it is best once that is in walls and pads of carpet it cant be gotten rid of!!!! sorry

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January 9, 20080 found this helpful

You have to get the air ducts professionally cleaned or removed. Nicotine has a tar like substance that comes out in the smoke, it will stick to anything! I remember when my parents used to smoke in the house (a LONG time ago) it wasn't until my Mom saw the brown drips on the bathroom walls (the tar stuff) did she realize how gross it was and how bad it was for me and my sister (go figure, I stopped having strep throat after that!).

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January 10, 20080 found this helpful

Honestly, I don't think you can get smoke out of an apartment. I lived in one like that for two years and every single time I was out (at church, at my parents' house) I could smell smoke on my clothes. It positively emanated from me and it was awful. Personally, as a nonsmoker, I would not rent a place that had had smokers, and as a landlord now, I won't rent to a smoker because if they smoke in the house, it wrecks it.

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January 10, 20080 found this helpful

Smoke permeates the wood in the walls, the floors, the drywall board, carpet, and everything. And yes, it gets into airducts. If it smells bad contact the landlord immediately, it will give you a legal reason to break the contract.

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January 14, 20080 found this helpful

Thanks for all the feedback, We are here and are "smoked out" regularly!

The Landlord knows, don't think he would want to change anything, he knows the people upstairs are "smokers" they were down here smokers first.

We bought 3 Windchaser Ionic Air Purifiers and some electrostatic duct filters, the purifies seem to clean out the air throughout the night and during the day when there is no active smoke coming through. When they are home and smoking, the residual smell still comes through the air ducts. The duct work is connected in this home. So I close the vents, then its really cold. So we will buy some type of room heater.

We are also going to try the Hepa filter in the duct work,
but there is no way to stop the smoke from coming in when the heat blows.

Also looking into a bigger better more powerful ion air purifier when we have the funds.

My lips tingle when the smoke starts to come, so I know to close the vents! fun!

Its a nice home, except for the smoke. I will never again
rent a duplex with a smoker or move into a place that had
smokers. This place will just be for a time.

Thanks again! for all your suggestions here and on all the other smoking threads.

Anya

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January 15, 20080 found this helpful

white vinegar white vinegar baking soda baking soda i'm a smoker

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By 0 found this helpful
February 4, 2009

I acquired a relatively new refrigerator from a house where someone smoked. The refrigerator has the smell of stale smoke inside. How do I get rid of this odor?

Gretchen from Cincinnati, OH

Answers

By guest (Guest Post)
February 4, 20090 found this helpful

I find that using baking soda is a great deodorizer, especially for refrigerators. You can either mix it with water into a paste to clean the whole fridge or pop open a box and let it sit in there for a while. I've never tried it with cigarette smoke, but it works well with onions.

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February 5, 20090 found this helpful

I think that you could take a few charcoal briquets set on a paper plate or a piece of foil, shut the refrigerator door for a day or so, and the briquets should absorb the smell and you can throw them away.

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February 5, 20090 found this helpful

If it were my refrigerator, I would place a bowl of vinegar in it overnight and the odor should be gone.

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 6, 20090 found this helpful

I would use a small bottle of vinegar poured into a bowl leaving it inside the fridge 24 hours or longer. Keep a small bowl of vinegar in the back of your fridge all the time to keep it smelling clean. DO NOT forget to change the vinegar out every week or two though.

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March 9, 20090 found this helpful

I too have the same dilemma as you do. I recently received a fridge from a relative that smoked heavily and their fridge reeks of smoke. I cleaned it outside with Fantastic and Clorox Cleanup (at separate times, of course) and let it sit outside for the day. We brought it in in the evening and set it up only to discover the next day that the smell was still inside it. I then put baking soda in it and checked it the next day and it did not help at all. I am now going to try cleaning the inside with vinegar since that is what my mom swears by for getting the smoke smell out of things. Good Luck!

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July 25, 20090 found this helpful

Have tried all of the above and now have a combo odor of vinegar and smoke. My grandson thought it was awful! I'm thinking the smoke odor must be coming from within the frig; I'm about ready to just give it away. Lesson learned; never purchase any appliance from a smoking family!

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By 0 found this helpful
April 1, 2009

I was given a raincoat which is a plastic material on the outside and a silky fabric on the inside. The previous owner was a cigarette smoker, and the coat stinks like cigarette smoke. The coat cannot be placed in the washer. I have hung it outside to air for over a week, placed it in the bathtub with Dawn dish soap and cleaned it with a rag, and I have sprayed it with Febreeze. All to no avail. Does anyone have a secret to getting this horrible smell out of the coat so that it can be saved?

By Joce141 from Pittsburgh, PA

Answers

April 2, 20090 found this helpful

Well, if you're sure that you're not comfortable washing it in a machine on gentle cycle, you've already tried most of what I would do (leaving outside, dousing with Febreeze, etc.). The only other thing I can think of was some advice I got years ago for getting the stinky plastic smell out of a small cooler.

The recommendation was to wipe pure vanilla extract all over the inside (or in your case the outside) and let it set for several days. I reapplied the vanilla a couple of times as it dried out and it seemed to work getting a nasty smell out of plastic (which is where I assume the cigarette smell is lingering - the cloth part should be pretty good by now).

Tomato juice is supposed to help de-stink skunk smell, so if the vanilla doesn't work you might move on to that, although I'd be careful of tomato stains on the cloth portion.
Good luck!

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April 3, 20090 found this helpful

Have you tried using Borax? Baking soda has gotten smelliness out of plastic toys for us, and vinegar has worked for baby bathroom "accidents". Borax has directions on the box on how to use as a deodorizor. This is a shame, because that cigarette smell is very hard on non-smokers and smokers alike. I am not a smoker and my kids and very sensitive to that particular smell. Good luck.

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April 3, 20090 found this helpful

Try tightly sealing the jacket in a plastic bag or a plastic clothes storage container with newspaper for a few weeks or more. Make sure to put the paper in the sleeves and inside the raincoat and cover the jacket with newspaper. Another thought would be to use baking soda or coffee grounds in the bag along with the newspaper. Prepare the jacket with the newspaper and lay it flat. Put baking soda or coffee grounds in a long shallow container, like an egg carton. Good luck.

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April 3, 20090 found this helpful

You can put it in the washer just put on gentle cycle and hang on a hanger some where in the house or outside until dried
I wash my vinyl table cloths that way and my tennis shoes just do not throw into dryer

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February 8, 20150 found this helpful

I have asthma really bad and get headaches when I smell cigarette smoke coming into my bedroom, even with my bedroom door closed. The AC/heat vents are blocked. I have used candles, and spray alot of air fresheners. Nothing is working. I have an air cleaner and that's not helping either? What can I used that might help keep the smells away from my room?

By Jonathan J R from Philadelphia PA

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December 23, 20140 found this helpful

Is there some legal action I can take about the smoke getting in my apartment from my neighbor downstairs? We are getting sick as if we ourselves smoked. I have a 9 years old affected by the contaminated air too. What can I do to make the air cleaner?

By Marina R

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September 3, 20120 found this helpful

My grandbaby is visiting soon and I have been doing everything I know to rid the house of cigarette smoke. I have gotten the carpets cleaned. I am also washing draperies and steaming my tile floors. But I still can smell a stale odor even though I haven't smoked in the house in over a year. I'm thinking the walls and my plastic blinds are holding the odor. I heard vinegar and water may work, but I'm afraid the strong smell of vinegar will run everybody out of the house. Suggestions?

By Molly

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May 5, 20120 found this helpful

How do you get rid of cigarette smell in your home?

By Linda

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By 0 found this helpful
January 28, 2011

I have been given a brand new wheelchair (electric) which I needed badly, but the lady who had it smoked a lot and it smells of strong cigarette smoke. Anyone have a good suggestion on how to remove the scent from the chair? I have tried Murphy's oil soap, Lysol, Febreze and setting it out in the sun all day.
The chair is regular wheelchair material. Thank you.

By knettles from GA

Answers

Anonymous
January 31, 20110 found this helpful

A vigourous cleaning using full strength distilled vinegar soaked rag on all surfaces (including the underside of the seat, arms, etc) and allow to air dry, should do the trick. You have to clean every nook and cranny. Be careful and don't clean the actual electric components though! This cleaning may need to be done two or three times but I know distilled vinegar will work and it's natural and safe.

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May 2, 20080 found this helpful

Could you help me get cigarette smoke out of a plastic covering on a used baby changing table?

Thanks,
Janine

Answers

May 2, 20080 found this helpful

That dreaded cigarette smoke smell ... Baking soda seems to work wonders on so many things to remove odors. Try spreading dry baking soda heavily all over one side and leave in the sun if possible. Next day do the other side. You might try washing with vinegar and then soapy water.

Peace and God's Blessings
Joan - Dilley TX

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May 6, 20080 found this helpful

Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with about a cup of white distilled vinegar and then dilute with another cup of water. Put this in a spray bottle and use like febreeze.. works better and great for cig smoke.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 22, 2015

My sister-in-law gave us a microfiber couch. It's in great shape except they are smokers. Is there anything that will get this cigarette smell out of it?

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November 4, 20130 found this helpful

I live in an apartment in a non-smoking building, but my upstairs neighbors were smoking like chimneys. The landlord told them they had to stop and only smoke outside. Though they are no longer smoking indoors, the cigarette smell is still coming out of my heating vents. Is there any way to get rid of this? I hate the smell and it wreaks havoc on my sinuses.

By Maggie

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September 29, 20130 found this helpful

How do I remove cigarette smoke from an ivory pipe?

By John from Salt Lake City, UT

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September 6, 20130 found this helpful

My mom is a smoker. I'm 13. I have been asking her to stop smoking around me because she won't wash all of my clothes in my room even though they smell like smoke because of her. People at school tell me I smell like smoke and I don't like it. How do I get the smell of smoke out of my clothes and room?

By Nonyabeeswax

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November 26, 20140 found this helpful

I have a fiber optic poinsettia tree. How would you clean this tree? It comes from a smoker's home. Does anyone know how to clean the tree?

By Pam

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November 20, 20140 found this helpful

I just purchased a fabric headboard and frame. It looks perfect and I got it for a great price, but, when I got it home I realized just how it reeked of cigarette smoke! I sprayed diluted white vinegar a few times and that didn't help. I also put out bowls of activated charcoal, but that didn't help either. Then yesterday I had it professionally cleaned and the smell seemed gone, but then once it dried the smell is back. Can I get rid of it, or should I just cut my losses and sell it?

By Beard

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By 0 found this helpful
December 9, 2013

How do I get rid of smoke smell in a room? Does brown vinegar work as well as white?

By Donal

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December 9, 20130 found this helpful

The renters moved out of my 1100 sq foot office. It stinks really badly. I must clean up before trying to rent. What can I do?

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By 0 found this helpful
March 14, 2013

How do I eliminate cigarette smoke odor?

By prabhakarkulkarni1958

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June 8, 20120 found this helpful

What is the best way to clean the inside canvas of a popup camper that we bought from chain smokers?

By Dianne E

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Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 28, 20110 found this helpful

How do I get cigarette smoke out of the house?

By Anastasia from Berkeley, CA

Answers:

Removing Cigarette Smoke Odors

For me, the only way I got rid cigarette smoke smell is washing my walls with bleach. You don't have to use lots of bleach. 1% will do it, and wash anything where you can use bleach. Covering the smelling just isn't enough. Try it! (08/06/2010)

By lilcookie

Removing Cigarette Smoke Odors

Keeping in mind to keep this up and out of the way of kids and pets, try a bowl of household ammonia, either the clear or yellow kind. Our first home was a used mobile home, and the previous owners were heavy smokers. While we were about redoing and cleaning the inside, I would put a bowl out, leaving windows and doors open while we were inside.

Then when we were done for the day and left, close all of the windows and doors, and the smell will be gone in no time.
Of course, if it is so bad that it has stained the walls (the yellow cigarette grease was even inside the refrigerator, coating the walls!), washing them down with vinegar, pine oil, or bleach should help. (08/07/2010)

By fatboyslimsmom

Removing Cigarette Smoke Odors

You will need to also professionally steam clean the carpet with a service like Stanley Steamer, not the rental or do it yourself ones. This will help infinitely. A dehumidifier will also help a lot. Good luck. (08/10/2010)

By yoder178

Removing Cigarette Smoke Odors

I use to clean bars that smelled terrible from cigarette smoke and we used OdoBan to clean with, it also kills 99.99% of germs; it's wonderful. I use it everyday in my home. You can use it on lots of things. Give it a shot. You can buy it at Wal-mart or Sam's club. Hope this helps! (10/14/2010)

By cathy45

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August 5, 20100 found this helpful

How do I get the smell of cigarettes out of a room?

By Betty from Houston, TX

Answers:

Removing Cigarette Smoke Odors

Try setting out a few small bowls of white vinegar. You may need to scrub your walls to remove the nicotine. And don't forget to clean the a/c vent. (03/05/2010)

By beckybd

Removing Cigarette Smoke Odors

After my mother visits (she is a smoker) I set out 2 glass bowls with regular cleaning ammonia in them, where they are out of reach of kids/pets. I leave them out for 4-8 hours, and then discard. (03/06/2010)

By fatboyslimsmom

Removing Cigarette Smoke Odors

I have got to let you know about Room Shocker product. My husband and I found the home of our dreams about 10 months ago. I was so sad when I walked into the home and smelled a horrible cigarette odor everywhere. We are not smokers and I am very sensitive to the smell. If we were going to live there, we had to remove the odor. We almost didn't buy the home because of it.

After doing a lot of research, I found Biocide Systems products. The testimonials convinced me that we could get the smell out. We bought two room shocker bundles (total 8 units). I was amazed when we entered the home after 24 hours. The smell was gone. We already had painters scheduled, so we went ahead and painted. But, I really don't think we would have had to paint.

It's been over 10 months now and none of the smell has come back. The smell of my home is one of the first impressions that a visitor gets and it's very important to me. Because of this product, we were able to buy the home of our dreams. (03/18/2010)

By Marisol72

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March 2, 20100 found this helpful

How do I eliminate cigarette odor from a mattress using only simple things in my household?

By Judithmae from Cadillac, MI

Answers:

Removing Cigarette Smoke Odors

Recently went thru that with a mattress that I bought. I sprayed it with a mixture of ammonia and water, and let that dry. Then covered it with baking soda, left for 4 days, vacuumed that up, turned it over, and did the same.
Helped tremendously. (12/06/2009)

By fatboyslimsmom

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December 5, 20090 found this helpful

How do you get cigarette smoke smell out of furniture?

By Pamelgw

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October 20, 20090 found this helpful

We recently bought a brand new dishwasher off Craigslist. The dishwasher had never been used, but had been stored in a garage that apparently had been used as the "smoking room". It smells so strongly of smoke.

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