The smell of smoke and nicotine can stick to interior walls, window screens, and household linens and carpets, creating an unpleasant smell throughout the home. Thus, learn how to get rid of smoke smell once and for all. Smoke odors are caused by leftover resin and tar which can be difficult to deodorize. Removing smoke odors from your home may require a total cleaning of the house, purifying the air, and even replacing carpets and paint if the smoke damage is particularly extensive.
Remove all sources of smoke. Remove cigarette butts, ends of cigars, ashtrays, etc. from your home and outside space. Leaving these items in your home will lead to continual absorption of the smell of smoke. Dispose of these items after they have been completely extinguished. Place them in a grocery bag and tie it closed before putting it in an outdoor trash bin.
Open all windows and doors to air out the house. Do this frequently throughout the cleaning and deodorizing process. You can place fans strategically throughout your home for increased airflow. Point your fans in corners of the room that may not have good airflow to push air out of the room. Or, point fans toward doorways and windows to help stale air leave the home.
Purchase deodorizing products. Some products will advertise things such as odor control or odor removal. However, it’s important you use products that have a cleaning agent included. Products that simply mask odors will not get rid of the smell of smoke. Look for products that have:
– Baking soda. Baking soda naturally neutralizes odors and does it by bringing acidic and basic odor molecules into a more neutral pH or state.
– Activated charcoal. Charcoal is used often to filter dirt and particles from water but it also acts as a great deodorizing agent that absorbs odors and smells.
– Hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide deodorizes by giving oxygen to a contaminated or smelly area. However, this chemical can act like bleach and should be used carefully and only on certain surfaces.
Gather all your clothing, duvets, pillows, and curtains. Anything that is cloth or linen and can be washable should be gathered into bags to be washed.
You may think a certain item doesn’t smell, but you may have gone noseblind to it. This means you have gotten used to the smell of smoke and can’t distinguish it from the environment anymore. It’s safe to say that if something in a home smells of smoke, most or all items will probably smell like smoke.
Wash or dry clean all items. It’s important to clean your clothes as well as clothes, linens, and pillows before you plan to clean the rest of the home. Cloths and linens are able to soak up odors more effectively than other types of materials. By getting them out of the way, it makes cleaning other surfaces easier.
Consider washing and storing your clean cloths and linens outside of the home. Bringing them back into the home after cleaning runs the risk of your items soaking up smoke odors left in the home.
Survey your carpet. If it is extremely dirty and the smoke smell is intense, consider replacing it. If you cannot, clean it by:
– Shampooing it. You can rent a carpet steam cleaner and shampoo the carpet yourself. Or you can hire a professional to clean the carpet for you.
– Sprinkling baking soda. Sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda on top of your carpet surfaces and leave it to soak for a day. The baking soda will absorb the smell of smoke and any moisture in the carpet. Then vacuum the carpet to remove the baking soda. You can do this several times a week until the smell disappears.
Use vinegar or diluted bleach to clean non-fabric surfaces. Bleach, and especially vinegar, do well to break up the tars and resins in cigarette smoke. The smell of bleach and vinegar may be off putting at first, but unlike smoke, these odors will dissipate in time. Mix equal parts of white distilled vinegar and warm water to create a cleaning solution. Mix 1/2 cup (115 mL) of chlorine bleach to 1 gallon (4 L) of water to clean surfaces like sinks, showers, bathtubs, countertops, glazed tile, vinyl, and floors. Always rinse surfaces with water thoroughly after cleaning, before use. Do not use bleach on the same surface that you applied the vinegar mixture to. Wash the floors, ceilings, window screens, walls, and other fixtures. You may need a ladder to reach all the washable surfaces in your house. Wipe all the wood, plastic, and metal furniture and appliances with distilled white vinegar. Put the vinegar in a spray bottle and wipe it clean with a rag. Follow up by rinsing with water and drying with a clean rag, if the furniture is delicate.
Image Credits: RT