How do you get rid of the cigarette smoke smell from your home? It’s a common problem that people face when they have smokers living with them. There are many ways to remove the odor, but knowing where to start can be quite the task.
If you’re trying to get rid of the smell of cigarettes from a previous occupant, someone you live with, or if you’ve just quit smoking yourself, then this is the article for you.
We’ll go over some methods and tools you can use to help you get rid of the smell, leaving you with a home that smells fresh and smoke-free.
So let’s get started!
How Does Cigarette Smell Build Up?
Anyone familiar with the smell of cigarette smoke knows that it lingers. whether it’s in your hair, your clothes, or on the surfaces of your house, the smell of cigarettes is going to stay for a long time. But how does this happen?
The answer lies in the chemistry behind the process. When you light up a cigarette, the chemical reaction takes place in two parts: The tobacco leaves and the chemicals found in the cigarette itself.
As the cigarette burns, it breaks down into several chemical compounds. These include tar and carbon monoxide (which are two of the main components that make smoking so bad for your health), along with dozens of others such as ammonia, formaldehyde, and hydrogen cyanide – just to name a few.
These chemicals are what make cigarettes smell so bad.
Because cigarette smoke contains these chemicals, it leaves a residue on its surroundings. The tar, in particular, helps cigarette smoke cling to practically any surface it touches.
Because this residue is so tough to clean off, it leaves that smell of cigarettes in your house even when no one has been smoking; this is even worse when a person or people have been smoking inside for a prolonged period.
Combine that with the poor ventilation of the indoors and the amount of surfaces available for cigarette smell to mingle with, and it’s not hard to see how cigarette smell can linger around your house.
How To Clear Cigarette Smell From Your Home
While clearing the smell of cigarettes from your home can seem like an impossible task at first, there are several ways you can clear out the stink.
Not every method will work for every surface, so you’ll need to do different things depending on what you’re removing the smell from.
Here we’ll break down each method and how it works for each surface.
Getting The Smell Of Cigarettes Out Of The Air
If someone’s been smoking in your house for years or even just months, the very air can smell like cigarettes. This typically happens when the residue from cigarette smoke builds up in your ventilation and its smell is distributed around your house.
One way to get rid of the lingering cigarette smell is to air out your house. Open windows and doors to help generate a good airflow, and use a fan to improve this if there isn’t much of a breeze moving through your house.
Air purifiers are also a good way to do this, particularly if they include a HEPA filter – these are much better at capturing any particles floating in the air and absorbing the residue leftover from smoking.
This won’t tackle the cause of the smell, however, and you’ll need to clean out the ventilation in your house to ensure the smell is gone from the air.
Open up the vents you have access to, and wipe them down with a cleaning spray or a mix of white vinegar and water. While this will remove the residue and smell from the parts you clean, you probably won’t be able to reach your entire vent.
To help reduce and prevent the smell from spreading in the future, put some dryer sheets behind the vents. Not only will this give your house the smell of fresh laundry, but it will also absorb and trap the smell of cigarette smoke to keep your home smelling smoke-free.
Getting Cigarette Smell Off Surfaces
Walls, counters, and cupboards can be a hotspot for cigarette smell, as they are easy surfaces for tar and residue to settle on. Cleaning the sticky residue off of these surfaces with water and soap alone won’t be easy, so here are some ways to get it done hassle-free.
First, try using a mixture of baking soda and salt to scrub away the residue. Baking soda is alkaline, which means it’s going to react with the acidic components of tobacco residue.
Salt is another ingredient that reacts well with acids, so it helps neutralize the acidity and make the residue easier to wash away.
Mix equal amounts of both ingredients together, add some water (but try not to dissolve the solid mixture) then apply to the affected area and let sit for about five minutes. Now, use a cloth or a sponge to scrub away at the surface and rinse it thoroughly.
For surfaces like walls which are harder to let things soak on, mix up some white vinegar with water. You want to aim for a combination of 75% vinegar to 25% water.
This mixture will be able to cut right through the residue and make it much easier to remove. After you clear off the initial layer of grime, wipe the walls down with a cloth soaked in clean, warm water.
From here, wipe down the walls again with the vinegar solution and let it air dry naturally. Repeat the same steps for your ceilings.
Removing Cigarette Smell From Curtains and Furniture
Curtains are one of the worst culprits when it comes to trapping cigarette smell. Their large surface area and fabric material make them great at absorbing smells; unfortunately, this makes it easy for cigarette residue to get trapped inside.
Furniture is a close second and can be even harder to clean depending on the material.
Leather furniture is easier to clean and can be wiped down with specialized leather cleaner to remove the residue from smoking. alternatively, use a 50/50 water-and-vinegar solution and a microfiber cloth to gently lift out the grime on the leather.
Try not to let too much moisture soak into the leather as this can cause it to shrink and crack. Afterward, treat the leather to make sure it stays in good condition.
Fabric furniture is trickier to deal with. The best way to clean fabric furniture is to first vacuum it, then sprinkle some baking soda over it.
Baking soda has natural odor-absorbing properties that will soak up the smell of cigarettes. Leave the baking soda for 15-30 minutes, then vacuum it up and spray some air freshener to finish off.
Curtains are much easier, and you can get rid of most of the smell by simply washing them. Add some vinegar into the wash to remove more odors.
You may also want to wash them multiple times to ensure that all the residue and smells are gone. After they’ve dried, repeat the baking soda trick and hang them back up.
Clearing The Smell From Carpets
Carpets are one of the trickier parts of the house to clean, and your best bet is to use a specialized carpet cleaner to get rid of the cigarette smell without wrecking the carpet.
If you don’t have one, mix some water, white vinegar, and salt in a bucket, then scrub down your carpets with a carpet brush.
Leave it to soak for 5 minutes and wipe it down with a damp cloth. let the carpet air dry, maximizing the ventilation in the room. When it’s dry, add some baking soda and vacuum it up after 15-30 minutes.
There are many ways to get rid of the smell of cigarettes in your home, and you don’t have to live with the smell forever. By using these easy methods, you’ll be able to get rid of the cigarette smell for good, leaving your house smelling fresh and clean.
So all that’s left for you to do now is put these tips into practice, and you’ll have a smoke-free house in no time!