Eliminate odor and refresh your home

Try Air Wick© Auto Sprays for 24/7 odor neutralization. Available in a variety of scents from fruity to fresh to floral, the Air Wick© Auto Spray can help you fight those lingering smoke odors while providing a burst of freshness you’re sure to love.

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4. Lay Out Bowls of Coffee Grounds

Don't throw your coffee grounds away after you brew your cup of joe. They have many alternative uses. In this case, you can use them to remove bad odors like smoke smells from your home.

  1. Allow the coffee grounds to dry.
  2. Place them in small bowls or containers.
  3. Pace them in problem areas around the house or in your car.
  4. Leave them overnight.
  5. Remove or replace if the smell is still there.

Coffee grounds, like baking soda and charcoal, can absorb odors from your room. The strong smell of coffee also helps overpower any lingering smells. If you don't want your house or car to smell like coffee, then go with baking soda, which has no odor.

Vanilla extract can get rid of smoke smells and other bad odors, leaving the area with a nice, sweet aroma.

2. Absorb the smoke

Place small bowls of vinegar around the rental unit. Similarly, fill bowls with kitty litter and baking soda to help absorb the odor. If you’re willing to go one step further, grab some powdered activated charcoal from your local pet store or health food store. As one of the best odor neutralizers, activated charcoal is also very affordable. Leave small bowls of activated charcoal around the suite for a few days, and they should slowly start to lift the smells.

If you happen to own an air purifier, make sure to leave them on as well. With the powerful HEPA (High-efficiency particulate arrestance) filtering system as well as activated carbon filters, air purifiers are able to absorb vast majority of the surface chemicals and odor.

8. Use an Air Purifier With Carbon Filters

Although they're less economical than the other methods, air purifiers with activated carbon-based filters will remove all traces of smoke smell and other odors from the air.

Make sure that you get an air purifier with a carbon filter.

Even HEPA filters alone are only designed to remove particles as small as 0.1 microns, including dust mites, mold spores, and allergens such as pollen and pet dander. However, they cannot effectively remove odors and chemical vapors, which are smaller than 0.1 microns. That is why most HEPA filters also have a carbon filtration layer to remove odors like cigarette smoke.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2012 Cliff Mendrez

Gear Up Before You Enter

Before starting the analysis process on your home, make sure that you are taking the correct safety precautions. Don’t step foot onto your property without a mask and goggles. Make sure your equipment is designed to protect against fire damage. If possible, wear long-sleeved clothing to prevent smoke particles from leeching into your skin.

How Volcanic Rocks Work

  • absorb moisture and odors
  • natural, non-toxic and environmentally friendly
  • place them in discreet places i.e.: under beds, sofas, etc
  • recharge by placing them in the sun

Crazy, right? We started using them last fall, only putting them out in the sun twice and when we returned to our lake cottage this spring, there was absolutely no evidence of odor thanks to these volcanic rocks! They are a truly effective smoke odor eliminator.

I’m still blown away. Who knew it could be so easy?

Volcanic rock is the easiest way to get rid of smoke smell in a house and it works for other odors, too!

Removing cigarette smell from your clothing

Even if you go outside to smoke, you’re bound to bring a cigarette smell back inside with you, unless you remove it immediately from clothes and shoes. If you don’t wash your clothing after each use, your closet will also smell like cigarettes. These solutions can help:

Machine or hand-wash with baking soda

  • Wash your clothing in regular detergent with a cup of baking soda added. Let it line dry if possible. If one washing isn’t enough to eliminate the odor, wash as many times as needed prior to drying in a machine. Dryers can bake the smell in, making it harder to remove.
  • You can add baking soda to soapy water to hand wash delicate items.

Use dryer sheets

If you need to remove cigarette smell from your clothing in a pinch, rubbing a dryer sheet on each entire garment you have on will help. Don’t forget hats, scarves, gloves, shoes, or boots.

Try a deodorizing spray

Spraying your clothing with an air freshener made for fabric, or with a spray-on antiperspirant, is another way to remove cigarette odor from clothing. This hack may be overpowering, however, given that you need to spray the entire garment in order to get results.

Mask the odor

Essential oil sprays won’t absorb thirdhand smoke smell, but certain scents may be effective at masking it to some degree. These include orange, grapefruit, eucalyptus, and lavender.

Don’t put undiluted essential oils directly on your skin.

4. Details Matter: Light Bulbs and Air Filters

Change your light bulbs. Working similarly to scent-diffusers, light bulbs may disperse nicotine residue throughout your rental space the same way once they’re turned on.

Heating and air filters tend to spread smoke odors and residuals around the living area; your best bet is to replace them altogether.

Don’t want to use chemicals? Here’s how to get smoke smell out of your house naturally

If you’re concerned about toxic or harsh chemicals that may be in some cleaning products, there are several naturally-derived things you can do. Place activated charcoal, apple cider vinegar, or white vinegar in a bowl in each room. If you are a coffee lover, you could also use coffee grounds. All these substances can help to absorb odors in a non-invasive way.

You can also mask the smoke smell with vanilla extract. Use a cloth to wipe it over different surfaces in the home, or put some on cotton balls. You can also do the same with essential oils or use scented candles to get rid of the smell. House plants are also excellent at absorbing chemicals and purifying the air. Buy some and place them throughout the house.

How to Get Rid of Smoke Smell

Here’s a few ideas, many of which we tried. Perhaps a combination of any of these options will work in your home!

  1. Prime and paint.
  2. Remove wallpaper.
  3. Update curtains.
  4. Clean or replace carpet.
  5. Have ductwork cleaned.
  6. Wipe everything down with white vinegar.
  7. Leave bowls of white vinegar out to help absorb scents.
  8. Baking soda in a bowl
  9. Steam clean carpets, window treatments etc.
  10. Volcanic rock – the easiest method!

How to wash walls to get rid of smoke smell

Although many homeowners swear by using an ammonia mixture to remove smoke smells, there are natural alternatives to harsh chemicals that you can try first. According to Fiona, "A less harsh but also effective method is to mix a good Castile soap with water and essential oils of your choice, and then scrub the walls with a microfiber cloth." 

Tip: You can also make a mixture using ½ cup baking soda, ¼ cup white vinegar, and hot water. This will also help remove any stains on the walls that may be contributing to bad odors. Follow these steps to clean the walls, including making sure the sponge or cloth you're using is just barely damp, not soaking wet, to reduce drips on the wall.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Smell of Smoke go Away?

Though it is a persistent odor, the smell of smoke should go away eventually, either on its own or with the help of a good baking soda scrub.

Is the Smell After a Fire Dangerous?

The smell after a fire is simply the residual leftovers of smoke, so, yes, it can damage your respiratory system in much the same way (though to a far lesser extent).

What Does a Smoker’s House Smell Like?

The obvious answer to this question is cigarettes, but it may also smell like a potent combination of air fresheners in a bid to mask the scent.

How Long Does it Take for Smoke Smell to Wear Off?

On average, the smell of a cigarette will linger up to eight hours after you have smoked it.

Does Febreze Get Rid of Smoke Smell?

Febreze can mask the smell of cigarettes, but it can’t eradicate it entirely.

Why Does My House Smell Like Cigarette Smoke When I Don’t Smoke?

Sometimes the smell of cigarettes can accumulate on a third-party basis. If you spend a lot of time with smokers, you may bring the scent home with you.


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