Get Rid of Smoke Odor with Essential Home Remedies

Edited by Vanessa Alexandra Avisado, Anonymous, Rebecca M., Lynn and 19 others

Yassora 1503152149-meme.jpg

Do you know that cigarette smoke odor is not as easily removed, even when you use sprays to mask it? Are you aware that third-hand smoke can be trapped on home surfaces such as ceilings, walls, carpets and even dust? Thus, if you are moving into a house that has been inhabited by a certified smoker, you will need to do a deep cleaning and paint the walls to get rid of the lingering smoke odor.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Ironically, even smokers would agree that this lingering smell is better eliminated, especially when there are kids or non-smokers co-inhabiting the house with them. The smoke residue and particles can contain harmful carcinogens or cancer-causing agents, heavy metals, and even radioactive substances. Some of the known toxins found in cigarette smoke are formaldehyde, toluene, acetone and ammonia.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

You need not wait for the kids and other household members to be exposed to third-hand smoke. You need not find out first if it will affect your health and that of your family. You need not even spend big bucks on costly commercial products that can neutralize and deodorize cigarette smoke odor. You can simply use inexpensive and safe home remedies to get rid of smoke odor in your home

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Contents
Ad

Sources of Smoke Odor

There are various sources of smoke odor. Each has a distinct smell that can be considered as irritant to the olfactory nerves in the nose of a person. These can be found inside your home or maybe at your workplace. Here are some common sources of smoke odor:

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  1. 1
    Cigarette or Tobacco:
    S2VAR12-2.JPG
    Number one on the list is none other than cigarette or tobacco smoke. It not only smells awful, but it is also harmful to health, especially with chronic exposure.
    Advertisement
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Burnt Food in the Oven:
    S2VAR12-3.JPG
    There is no household that wants food burning inside the oven. There are a lot of factors why food may be burned. Whatever the reason is, it a common cause of smoke odor in homes.
    Advertisement
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  3. 3
    BBQ Smoke:
    S2VAR12-4.JPG
    The intensity of the flavor of any barbecued dish is downright mouth-watering. The aroma of cooked meat can whet any individual's appetite. While the smoke odor is so temptingly delicious, you would not want this smell lingering in your house all day long.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  4. 4
    Overheated Appliances:
    S2VAR12-5.JPG
    This is an instance when you can thank your nose for sensing it as soon as fire or smoke is produced. This can lead to fire if you will not be able to control it right away. Common reasons why appliances overheat are poor quality of the appliance, extended use the appliance or exposed wiring.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  5. 5
    Fireplace:
    S2VAR12-6.JPG
    The blazing fire in a fireplace is something you will definitely appreciate in the cold days and nights of winter. Take note, however, that it is another source of smoke odor in your home. The smell of the burnt wood can overpoweringly create discomfort to the people living in the home.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Thankfully, there are appropriate solutions that you can use to deal with smoke odor. Specifically, there are ingredients found around your home or garden that you can use to get rid of smoke odor. The irritating scent will be gone in no time if you know how to use these homemade solutions.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Essential Home Remedies for Getting Rid of Smoke Odor

  1. 1
    The power of deodorizing charcoal.
    S2VAR12-7.JPG
    It might seem counter intuitive but charcoal has an amazing ability to purify both water and air. Put the charcoal in a bowl and place it somewhere in your house, office or wherever the smoke odor is. The charcoal will absorb the smell. It works just like a Brita water filter which also uses charcoal to filter bad taste and smells out of water. You may need to use several bowls of charcoal in each room so be creative. Perhaps include it as part of a candle base. Tip: if you are frequent smoker, place the charcoal close to the ashtray.
    Advertisement
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Sweet as ever - cinnamon sticks.
    S2VAR12-8.JPG
    Do you like the aromatic smell of cinnamon? There are two amazing ways you can use cinnamon to remove the smoky odor from your house.  
    1. Bake it. On a baking pan, place the cinnamon sticks wrapped in aluminum foil. Bake this at 325 degrees Fahrenheit (185 degrees Celsius) for about 10-15 minutes. Before turning it off, open the door of the oven and allow the wonderful aromatic smell to waft and sweeten your house.
    2. Boil it. If you do not have an oven, another cool way to remove the smoky odor is by boiling the cinnamon in a pot of water for about 20-30 minutes. Its pleasant scent can drift around the house to eradicate the smoky odor.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  3. 3
    Loving blend - coffee.
    S2VAR12-9.JPG
    It not only tastes good, but it can also be utilized to remove smoke odor from inside your home. In a bowl or any medium container, place dry coffee grounds. Put it in the kitchen, living room, bedroom or any other parts of your home that stinks because of smoke. Leave it for at least 20-24 hours.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  4. 4
    Another lease on life - old newspaper.
    S2VAR12-10.JPG
    The newsprint itself has the ability to absorb the smoky odor. So, rather than stack them out of sight, why not use them? You can use it by crumpling some newspapers sheets and placing them inside cabinets. Let the newspaper do its thing for 48 hours.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  5. 5
    Smelling like dessert - vanilla extract.
    S2VAR12-12.JPG
    Get a cleaning rag and allow the rag to soak in the vanilla extract for 3-5 minutes
    .
    Place the soaked rag in the center of the area reeking of smoke. Vanilla extracts has a wonderful smell. Interestingly, it is also functional as it can eliminate smoke odor by absorbing it.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  6. 6
    Get it washed - borax and dishwashing detergent.
    S2VAR12-13.JPG
    Sometimes, the smoke odor does not only linger inside your house, but it can also stick on walls. The smell may be gone instantly or it can stay on the walls for a long, long time.  
    1. If this happens, all you need is to make a mixture consisting of 1/2 cup (4 oz) of borax and 1/2 teaspoon of dishwashing detergent on 2 gallons (7.5 liters) of hot/warm water. Using the solution, wash down the wall with a sponge or a washcloth.
    2. Get it off the wall later by rinsing with water.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  7. 7
    Trust old, faithful vinegar - cider or white vinegar.
    S2VAR12-14.JPG
    This is a multi-purpose home remedy to the rescue. You can place apple cider vinegar or just conventional white vinegar in a bowl. Put it in the corners around your home or any space where the pesky smoke odor lingers. Vinegar is a good agent to remove almost any awful scent.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  8. 8
    Steam Clean - Rent a steam cleaner for carpets, curtains and couches.
    It doesn't cost very much but can be very effective. Be sure not to skimp on the carpet cleaner they sell along with the rental. Steam clean not only the carpets, but also your curtains, couches and any other clothed based surfaces you might have. Tip: If the steam cleaner you are renting smells like mildew DO NOT USE IT. You will just add another bad smell into the mix and make your problem worse. Return it and get your money back and rent from another company. IMPORTANT: Be sure to suck all the water back out of the carpets. If you don't you will not actually be lifting the smell out of the carpet or couch fibers.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  9. 9
    Clean or Paint the walls - Smoke residue cause by tiny particles of burnt material can stick to almost any surface.
    To eliminate odors you will need to clean them well with the vinegar solution described above and if that doesn't work, you will need to paint the surfaces. I know there are so many jokes about not "painting over the problem" but in this case it works. Painting will ensure there are no tiny particles of smoke residue on your walls.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

    Advertisement

Tips, Tricks and Warnings:

  • Keep children safe. There are ingredients or materials that are harmful to the kids. Make sure to keep these out of reach of the little ones.
  • Air it out. Opening the Windows, doors, and turning on a fan is a great method for removing smoke odor.
  • No smoking rules. To prevent odor caused by smoking cigarettes or other tobacco products, implement strict rules, particularly inside the house, on what areas are off limits to smoking. In this way, you can minimize or eliminate the prime factor of smoke odor.
  • Shut the doors. When using barbecue grill for your barbecue party or for ordinary Sunday gatherings, make sure to close the Windows and doors of your house when the barbecuing starts to halt the smoke.
  • Bring in the sunshine. Smoke odor can also penetrate on carpets, clothes, or any fabric mattresses. Good exposures from sunlight or sunshine helps get rid of the smell.
  • Be practical. You do not have to hire professionals or buy expensive appliances just to remove the odor of the smoke. Remember the best solution can be found in your regular household materials and ingredients.
  • Clean up regularly. Regular cleaning can also be a big help. If you want a smoke odor free environment, make a habit of cleaning your house, and don't forget areas that are hard to reach.

Smoke can be very irritating, and even very harmful, especially cigarette smoke. If people only pay attention, eliminating is not as hard. Using home remedies are not only safe, but they are also inexpensive. So, are you tired of the smoke odor around your house? Go and sweeten up your home.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Questions and Answers

Cottage closed up reeks of old stale smoke?

Not my place but friends coming to stay - afraid to tell owner how bad the smell is but have access to place

You can use the remedies mentioned earlier in this guide to get out that old, stale smoke smell. Just make sure that you also keep the cottage Windows open for a few nights or more. Also, be sure to take out all of the blankets and let them air out. Wash any linens with a strong smelling detergent, and make sure to vacuum any rugs or carpets. If they have a shampooer, that's even better.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

How to get rid of smoke smell in house?

I am a smoker wanting to sell my house. Everyone tells me my house stinks of cigarette smoke and I will never be able to sell my home. Can you help?

If you're continuing to live in the home, then yes, this can be a problem. However, you can open all of the Windows, and make sure to change linens and bed covers, afterwards closing those doors so that no smoke smell can go into the cleaned rooms. In this way, you can limit the exposure of items in your home to cigarette smoke. Then, you can also restrict your smoking to outside, or near a window, which will further give the impression to potential owners that you are only visiting, and just temporarily smoking, should they see you smoking or smell any smoke in the house.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Also, in this case we would not recommend natural home remedies, but rather something chemical, such as Febreze.

See more questions like this: The neighbours have BBQ's but it's very thick smoke - it gets in the house - and we have allergies - it's uncomfortable and I cannot get rid of the smell

My previous tenant was a smoker, and her porch still has a lingering smell. I have used vinegar, and other washes; and also repainted. I am going to try using some coffee grounds or vanilla. Do you have any other tricks up your sleeve for this problem? Thanks?

Do you have any other suggestions on how to remove the lingering odor.?

You might need to clean all surfaces of the porch again. Smoke pollution even clings to screens so clean that as well. Scrub the floors well and air out the porch as much as possible. Don't bother with the walls since you've already repainted them. Sprinkle some baking soda all over the floors and allow it to sit for several hours, then vacuum it up. If the smell remains, place bowls of activated charcoal on the porch to absorb it. If the porch has carpeting, clean it with an extraction carpet cleaner.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

My mother-in-law smokes in her bedroom the smell permeates the house and creates a stale mix of fresh smoke and old smoke?

She leaves at 2 pm and I have 8 hours to lessen the smell. It is permeating into all areas of the house via the return ducts. It is horrible, any quick tips.

Open all of the Windows and turn on fans. If the weather isn't ideal for this and you have central air, turn on the fan to recirculate and filter the air. Consider buying a few small air purifiers that reduce smoke pollution. Place one in your mother-in-law's bedroom and elsewhere in your house. To freshen the house, sprinkle the carpets with baking soda, let it sit, then vacuum. Try roasting some cinnamon sticks or placing a few cloths soaked in vanilla extract throughout the house for a pleasant aroma. You can also try simmering cinnamon sticks, lemon or orange peels, cloves and a few drops of vanilla extract in water on the stove. Mix and match these, or try fresh herbs such as basil, mint and rosemary.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

HOW DO I REMOVE 'BAD' CIGARETTE ODOR FROM CLOTHES PLEASE - THANK YOU?

CLOTHES WERE STORED THROUGH SUMMER IN SOMEONE DRAWERS. NOW THEY ARE WITH CIGARETTE SMOKE SMELL.

Wash the clothes in the hottest water safe for the fabric. Add 1 cup of white or cider vinegar to the wash load in addition to detergent. Use the strongest, highest quality detergent you can find. Smell the clothes when you remove them from the washing machine. You may need to rewash them if any smoke smell remains. If you dry them in the dryer and they still smell like smoke, the heat can set the odor and it will be extremely difficult to remove later.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

I am not allowed to have my grand daughter (now 2 years old) in my home or car because of third hand smoke smell. I cleaned like crazy before my son came to visit with her. I usually clean a lot of things with vinegar but will utilize it on more surfaces. Also read that coffee grounds help. Can they be used coffee grounds or fresh?? Both parents smoke outside their home and wash hands and brush teeth when they come back in. But third hand smoke is still an issue as they hang their jackets inside. Can I use Febreze along with my cleaning routine before she visits? I can only go visit her (almost an hour away) and have health issues myself that keeps me home often?

Can I get rid of third hand smoke smell with vinegar, coffee grounds and Febreze?

Cleaning with vinegar (or baking soda) will certainly help with the smoke smell. Try placing bowls of fresh, dry coffee grinds around the areas where you smoke, and spray Febreze to help absorb the odor. Open Windows when you smoke, if possible, to air out the house.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

See more questions like this: How to remove clean deodrize leather furniture after house fire

See more questions like this: Give a solution to decrease smoke smell in cooked chicken?

I have a stale smell of fire smoke left in my sitting room how can I get rid of it?

I have a stale smell of fire smoke left in my sitting room and I can't get rid of the smell

Clean the hard surfaces and walls thoroughly with 1 gallon of water, 4 tablespoons of baking soda and a few drops of dish detergent. Shampoo the carpet, or sprinkle it with baking soda, let it sit for an hour, then vacuum. Air out the room as much as possible by turning on a fan and opening Windows. Use an air purifier, and place bowls of fresh coffee grinds, powdered activated charcoal, vinegar with a few drops of your favorite essential oils or baking soda throughout the room to absorb the odor.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

See more questions like this: Fire smoke comes in my home from nearby garbage dump?

Removing cigarette smoke in a mattress I purchased from a friend?

Removing cigarette smoke in a mattress I purchased from a friend?

Sprinkle one side of the mattress with baking soda and let it sit for an hour, then vacuum it up. Flip in over and do the same thing on the other side. Prop the mattress up against a wall and open all of the Windows to let it air out. It's best to do this for at least a whole day. Spray the mattress with Febreze or an all-natural fabric refreshing spray. It's difficult to remove all traces of smoke odor from a mattress because there is no way to thoroughly clean it, but these methods will help reduce it significantly.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

What is the best way to get the smoke out of my kitchen lounge?

I burned a pot of pea, well I had a shower there when got out in the hall-way and I need to get it out in cheap possible way without having to repaint the room

If you're concerned about repainting, try cleaning the walls first with the borax and dishwashing detergent solution listed above, or mix 4 tablespoons of baking soda into 1 gallon of hot water, and add a few drops of dish detergent. This will help deodorize your kitchen. Clean all hard surfaces in the kitchen with this solution, then open Windows and doors or turn on a fan to air it out.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

I am wondering how to get the smoky smell out of a piece of carry on luggage?

It was previously owned by a heavy smoker.

Try sprinkling the inside of the luggage with a generous amount of baking soda, fresh coffee grinds, loose tea leaves or cat litter. Close the luggage and shake it up. Allow it to sit for at least one whole day, but more is better. Open the luggage and shake out the material. Wipe off the luggage with a damp cloth and leave it open to air dry, preferably outdoors but not in direct sunlight.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Hi, I recently dropped a lamp onto my laminated floor?

And the flame continued to burn for about 15 min, the smoke smell still lingers. I have kept my Windows open but it is still there. what can I do? Please help.

Clean all surfaces where you smell the smoke. Wash all hard surfaces with one of the cleaning solutions listed in the article, or mix 4 tablespoons of baking soda in to 1 quart of water to use as an all-purpose cleaner and deodorizer. Mop the floor with 1 gallon of water mixed with 1/3 cup rubbing alcohol, 1/2 cup white vinegar, a few drops of dishwashing detergent and 10 to 20 drops of your favorite essential oils (optional). If there is carpeting in your home, sprinkle it with baking soda and let it sit for about an hour. Vacuum it thoroughly. Keep the Windows open as long as possible to air out any remaining smell. Try simmering some cinnamon sticks, orange peels, lemon peels or other aromatic spices to refresh your home.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

It is an old fireplace and smells like real old burnt wood?

It just stinks the living room of a really awful burnt wood smell.

When it's cool, clean out the fireplace and dispose of any ash, burned wood and other debris. Use a stiff-bristled brush to sweep up the ash, then spray the exterior of the fireplace with water followed by a mixture of 2 ounces salt and 2 ounces dishwashing detergent. Rub this into the stone or brick with a cloth or gloved hands. Let it sit for 20 minutes, then scrub with a cleaning brush. Rinse with a bucket full of clean water and a cloth. Let it air dry. Clean all other surfaces in the living room with one of the cleaning solutions listed in the article. Sprinkle the carpet with baking soda, let it sit for an hour, then vacuum. Open Windows to air out the room until the smell dissipates.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

How can I best use Cinnamon sticks to reduce/remove smoke/soot odor?

We had a fire in our HVAC ducts, spreading soot odor everywhere throughout the vents. We've cleaned, painted, used ozonators, tubs of charcoal and other specific post-fire deodorizer products, but there's still some residual soot odor. Someone just gave us several bags of cinnamon sticks, so I'm trying to find out the best way to see if they can both offer support for reducing the smell, but also hopeful that in FL that they don't attract any living creatures...

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Try roasting the cinnamon sticks as directed in the article above, or place them in a pan of water and simmer for several hours, replacing the water as needed when it gets low. You can also add some citrus peel or cloves to add an additional scent. Run the HVAC at the same time to circulate the aroma throughout your home. Some people suggest using cinnamon as a deterrent against ants coming into their home, but the effect is questionable and there are no guarantees that cinnamon will make a difference in attracting or repelling insects or other living creatures either way.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

See more questions like this: How to remove smoke from paper when burning it?

A tenant moved out of a small 1-room efficiency apt and left it smelling very badly of cigarette smoke. I've washed the walls and the floor with Lysol and a sponge mop and every other surface with bleach, soap and water. It still smells just as bad. No carpeting and no fabric other than mattress that was covered. What else can I do to remove this sickening odor?

A tenant moved out of a small 1-room efficiency apt and left it smelling very badly of cigarette smoke. I've washed the walls and the floor with Lysol and a sponge mop and every other surface with bleach, soap and water. It still smells just as bad. No carpeting and no fabric other than mattress that was covered. What else can I do to remove this sickening odor?

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

If you've already cleaned and aired out the apartment, it might be necessary to repaint the walls. There are several odor blocking primers available on the market that trap odors from cigarette smoke.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Does wooden furniture retain toxic if exposed to a fire?

We had a fire at home and the insurance company is telling us the furniture is still safe even though it is covered in soot and reeks of smoke. We have 3 toddlers in our home and I do not want them exposed to anything that might be toxic.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

If the soot isn't oily, vacuum any excess with a HEPA filter vacuum using a brush attachment. Wipe down the wood with a dry chemical sponge (melamine), then spray the wood with a solution of equal parts water, white vinegar and 1 tablespoon dishwashing detergent. Scrub with a nylon scrubber and rinse with clean water. If any soot remains after the wood dries, lightly sand it with fine sandpaper then wipe away the dust with a damp cloth. Sanding will affect the finish of the wood, so only do it if absolutely necessary.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

After 50 years using a wood burning stove in the fireplace we are switching to a gas log insert. We are trying to get rid of the heavy stink left in the house as a result of the wood burning stove?

How do we get rid of the smell?

You'll need to scrub all walls and hard surfaces in the home with a strong cleaner, such as the borax and dishwashing detergent solution listed in the article above. Shampoo the carpets and furniture, wash all linens, and refresh your home's scent by roasting or boiling cinnamon sticks. You can place bowls of vinegar, baking soda or powdered activated charcoal throughout your home to absorb the odor. If this isn't effective enough, consider purchasing an air purifier. As a last resort, you can rent an ozone generator to eliminate the smell, but you have to leave your home while it's working.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

See more questions like this: How to eliminate natural gas odor from your house

My wife overheated the cats blanket in the micro...turned on the oven fan and a fog of smoke filled the living room, etc?

Tried to vent with open window, but it still remains...How to get rid of the smell?. I have tried: Ventilating. I think it was caused by: Burnt terry cloth towel

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

Where do you buy activated charcoal?

We are trying to remove cigarette smoke odor from a condo.

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

Comments

VisiHow welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.




Rs alexa05
Premier Author
46 Articles Started
660 Article Edits
9,530 Points
Rs alexa05 is a premier author with VisiHow. Rs alexa05 has achieved the level of "Sergeant" with 9,530 points. Rs alexa05 has started 46 articles (including this one) and has also made 660 article edits. 847,000 people have read Rs alexa05's article contributions.
Rs alexa05's Message Board
Rs alexa05: Hi, my name is Rs alexa05.
Rs alexa05: Can I help you with your problem about "Get Rid of Smoke Odor with Essential Home Remedies"?
 

Article Info

Categories : Home

Recent edits by: Shelley, simmgarl, Naaz

Share this Article:

Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 55,153 times.

Do you have a question not answered in this article?
Click here to ask one of the writers of this article
x

Thank Our Volunteer Authors.

Would you like to give back to the community by fixing a spelling mistake? Yes | No