Smoke Smell Removal

“The smell of smoke gets into the house quite a bit. You might have incinerated your breakfast and your excellent start to the day because you forgot to close the windows: burnt toast, barbecues, and cigarettes. Nothing lingers quite as much as the smell of smoke.”


Smoke Smell Removal


Maybe you enjoyed a great barbecue in your garden, only to have the memory of it linger on for days. If you’re a smoker, you’re likely to find you’re unable to keep your home free of cigarette odor no matter what you do. What can you do for Smoke Smell Removal from your house?


How can you remove the smell of smoke in your house with three simple habits?

Despite what it seems like, you can do simple things to clear out that awful smell of smoke – starting with some daily habits.


Give your house a good airing.

Bringing fresh, clean air into your home will help dilute the odor, making breathing more accessible. If you notice smoke smells, ventilate your home immediately to prevent them from settling on your furniture or clothes. There is, however, no perfect solution to this problem. You must remove all sources of the odor to eliminate it.


Take out all ashtrays and empty them.

If you smoke or have a family member who smokes, the ashtray is a common source of cigarette smells. You can easily avoid cigarette smells by regularly emptying ashtrays around your home.


Keep your home smoke-free.

If you smoke outside, it’s best to prevent smoke particles from sticking to surfaces in your home. Third-hand smoke can stick to clothing, so while smoking outside of the house can help a lot, some sources of tobacco smell might not completely disappear. However, you will notice a noticeable difference if you adopt these three habits.


The Best Ways to Smoke Smell Removal

Several tools are available to remove smoke smells from your home. Some ideas are best for eliminating smoke odors from the air, while others help eliminate odors from furniture, carpets, and walls.

To eliminate all the smoke smells from your home or car, you’ll probably need to use several of these solutions, depending on the source of the odor.


Make your space airy.

Fresh air can help you remove smoke odors! Here are the steps you can take to use nature as a weapon in your fight against smoke odors:

The best way to remove cigarette smoke is to open all the windows and place a fan to pull smoky air from the room. Keeps the fan running for the entire day for the best results?

The UV rays can neutralize odors if you leave smoke-ridden furniture, books, and clothing in the sun for several hours. If you’re in a hot and bright environment, air out that smoke-damaged vintage shawl or embroidered pillow in a shady spot to prevent it from being damaged or faded.


Use baking soda to remove smoke smells.

Baking soda is an effective deodorizer since it absorbs smells rather than masks them. It can be used in a variety of ways, including:

  • Place several small bowls of baking soda around the room or car to remove smoke smells. Please leave them in place for at least 24 hours to remove the smell.
  • After brushing, sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda onto rugs or carpeting. Let it sit for at least two hours (preferably overnight).
  • A smelly sofa or upholstered chair can be treated by lightly coating it with baking soda, letting it sit for at least 2 hours, and then vacuuming it thoroughly.
  • To clean smoke-damaged items, add 1/2 cup of baking soda to a large plastic trash bag, add smoke-damaged items, and tie the bag shut if cleaning the items is impossible. Allow your belongings to sit for at least eight hours before removing them and dusting or shaking off the powder.


Use vinegar to remove smoke smells.

The low pH of white vinegar neutralizes odors but does not mask them. Its low pH alters the smoke molecules just enough so that they lose their smell. Don’t worry—the smell will naturally dissipate once the vinegar has dried or been thrown out.

You can remove automotive smoke smells or reduce old smoke odors indoors by filling several small bowls with white vinegar, setting them around the area, and leaving them overnight.

Deodorizing your home’s interior is easier if you heat vinegar over low heat, letting the steam waft through the air. During the steaming process, smoke smells are removed from the air.

If you want to learn how to get the smoke smell out of clothes, here’s the scoop: You can wash smoke-ridden clothes with 112 gallons of white vinegar in the laundry. As cigarette smoke and laundry detergent are alkaline on the pH scale, they won’t neutralize the smell as effectively. The acidic vinegar will break down the malodorous molecules.


Disperse activated charcoal in bags or bowls.

Briquettes can be used in a pinch. However, manufacturers process activated charcoal to increase its pores and absorption capacity without using flammable chemicals. Charcoal works by chemically “trapping” smells, clearing them from the air.

Many products marketed as smoke and odor eliminators at home improvement centers contain activated charcoal. You can get small fabric bags and big containers of activated charcoal. Then, you can put the charcoal into bags or bowls.

Activated charcoal can also be used to clean smoke-damaged furniture or carpeting. By placing a few bags or bowls around the room, activated charcoal can absorb odors. However, do not use unbagged charcoal directly on fabric because it may stain it.


Smoke Smell Removal with Steam.

Smoke smells can be difficult to remove from walls, floors, and upholstery by steam cleaning. During cooking, the heat melts hardened tar and oils that encapsulate smoke molecules, allowing microfiber cloths or sponges to wipe them away quickly.

You can rent a steam cleaner from home improvement centers for about $25 per hour or buy one. Machines with higher water tanks, more features, and a more comprehensive selection of accessories cost about $80 to $150.

The steam cleaner works simply by misting surfaces with the heated vapor while constantly moving the head to avoid saturating any area. Over-saturation with steam can harm delicate fabrics, including silk, and damage drywall.


Place a dehumidifier in the room.

The purpose of a dehumidifier isn’t just to remove moisture from the air but also to eliminate foul odors. Because odors linger longer in heavier air, drying out the air will help to eliminate the smell. Additionally, many dehumidifiers have built-in filters that remove pollutants such as dust, pollen, and cigarette smoke.

But remember, removing odors isn’t the primary function of a dehumidifier. This product won’t remove smells from surfaces and furniture. It will have to cycle the air many times in the room to work.


Purchase a cleaner for your home.

Air purifiers produce mixed results when removing the smell of tobacco smoke. Since most air purifiers collect particulates rather than gaseous pollutants, which tobacco smoke produces, they are ineffective against gaseous pollutants.

Air purifiers with charcoal filters are more effective. When trying to eliminate the acrid odor of cigarette smoke, choose an air purifier with a charcoal filter (also called an activated carbon filter).

Alternatively, a HEPA-filter air purifier may be your best bet if you live in a wildfire-prone area and are trying to eliminate wildfire smoke.


Replace your HVAC air filters regularly.

Although your HVAC system’s air filters won’t eliminate all pollutants that lead to smoke, they’re highly effective in eliminating tobacco odors in a home, especially when combined with the abovementioned tactics. Set reminders to ensure you change your air filters regularly.

Most experts say you should change the filters every quarter. But, if you’re fighting cigarette smoke, pet hair, or other ongoing pollutants, you should change them more often.

HEPA filters can be essential in eliminating smoky smells, but not all HVAC systems come with them. This step may not be as effective as consulting experts because your system’s airflow might need more robust to push through the denser HEPA filters. Ask your HVAC service technician whether installing HEPA filters is a good idea.


Clean your upholstered furniture thoroughly.

Smoke microparticles are easy to penetrate fabrics, including furniture upholstery, making it harder to eliminate smoke odors. You’ll need to clean these particles deep to eliminate smoke odors from the furniture.

To clean your upholstered pieces, remove any washable slipcovers or throw pillows and wash them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Next, tackle the parts of the furniture you can’t throw in the machine. If upholstered surfaces can be steam cleaned, steam cleaners are available for rent or purchase.


Remove any upholstery cushions.

Remove any upholstery cushions on the sofa, scatter baking soda on the seat below, and let it sit for at least two hours. Utilize an upholstery attachment to vacuum the baking soda once it has sat for two hours.

Besides leaving cushions outside and venting the room, you can also set up fans to move air around the furniture. If you can’t move the furniture outside, this will eliminate the smoke.


Use an odor-reducer spray.

Sprays can contain other fragrances that mask foul odors, but some can help minimize smoke. You’ll need to use a spray that neutralizes the odor in your vehicle or home unless you’re going for a smoky lavender or pine forest fire aroma.

This product captures the odor molecules and removes them from the air and upholstery rather than spraying over them. Zep Commercial Smoke Odor Eliminator removes smoke odors from the air. The Zero Odor eliminates the smell from upholstery, drapes, carpets, and walls.


The Best Way to Prevent Smoke Smells at Home

The best method to eliminate smoke smells from your home is to ban indoor smoking. If that is not possible, other ways exist to cut smoke odors.


The Best Way to Prevent Smoke Smells at Home


Smoking outdoors or near an open window can significantly reduce the smell of smoke in your home. While it may not eliminate all the smell, allowing much smoke to escape will drastically reduce it.

When you smoke, turn on an air purifier. Air purifiers help capture smoke particles before they settle on furniture, carpets, and other surfaces.

Before lighting the grill or fire pit, close the windows. Do not let the smoke waft indoors while having a backyard barbecue.

The HVAC returns to your home, pulls air into the unit, sends it to the air conditioner or furnace, and then sends it to the vents throughout the house. When smoke sucks up the returns, it spreads that smell in the home.


What is the best time to call a professional for Smoke Smell Removal?

You should hire a professional if you have severe smoke damage or none of the above options work. Cleaning services specialize in removing smoke smells from walls, floors, and upholstery, and have the expertise to use more potent chemicals and cleaners safely and effectively.

These services cost from $200 to $1,000, depending on your home’s size and the method used to remove smoke. You can find smoke remediation specialists online or ask your local home improvement store for referrals.


Final Thoughts: Smoke Smell Removal 

No matter what kind of smoky smells you’re experiencing, whether it’s smoke from cigarettes, a nearby wildfire, burned dinner, or backyard fire pits, the above methods can help you eliminate them.

If the smoke odors are deeply embedded in your home, you may have to use several of these methods to destroy them. If none of these approaches work, it is best to hire a professional cleaning service to eliminate the odor.