Removing the smell of cigarette smoke requires a lot of patience, as the acidic smoke leaves resins and tars that stick to everything in the house. Years of indoor smoking can cause the smell of smoke to penetrate your walls. Fortunately, there are many ways to get rid of these unpleasant smells.
Why can the smell of smoke be harmful?
The smell of cigarette smoke is not only annoying and unpleasant, but it can also be very harmful to your health. Secondhand smoke contains over 7,000 different substances that pose a threat to your health. Many studies suggest that some toxic substances, such as nicotine, are still present in third-hand smoke, which sticks to upholstery, fabrics, and other surfaces in your home.
Third-hand smoke can be particularly harmful to small children, as they are more prone to put contaminated objects in their mouths. Removing the smoke smell not only frees your home from the disgusting smell of cigarettes, but also protects you from potential illnesses.
How to tell if you have damage caused by cigarette smoke
It can be hard to tell if you’ve bought a house from someone who smoked inside. A little air freshener can mask the smell of smoke. That’s why it’s important to know how to detect smoke damage based on various signs.
Smoke smell coming from upholstered furniture and fabric surfaces.
Yellow or brown stains on fabrics and soft surfaces, such as lamps, wallpapers, and curtains.
Yellowing along floors, walls, and ceilings.
Yellow or brown stains around door frames.
Burn marks on soft surfaces.
Cigarettes on the balcony, porch, or in the garden.
Ash and remnants of burned cigarettes.
How to completely remove smoke residues and smoke smells from the house?
Completely removing the smell of smoke can be difficult and very time-consuming. But the effect of this is certainly very beneficial for you.
Create air circulation
Tobacco smoke is nothing more than a collection of particles floating in the air, which can be dispersed with air. Cigarette smoke has a very intense smell due to the high level of concentration. To reduce the concentration, you need to increase the distance between the smoke particles, letting fresh air into the house.
Open all windows and entrance doors. You can also use fans and turn on ceiling fans to further extract smoky air from the inside.
In addition to improving the overall air quality in the house, this will also allow your home to be ventilated from all strongly smelling cleaning agents that will be used to remove the cigarette smell.
Let in some light
UV sun rays help neutralize odor molecules. If your furniture or decorations smell like smoke, take them outside and let them stay in the sun for a few hours.
Strong sunlight can cause fading of fabrics, so do not expose any valuable and antique items outside for a long time.
Use baking soda
Baking soda is useful for many home cleaning tasks. One of the most effective ways to get rid of the smell of cigarette smoke is baking soda.
Sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda on fabric surfaces, such as carpet, sofa, rug, soft armchair, etc. For best results, let it lie overnight, but if you can’t do this, let it work for at least two hours. After the appropriate amount of time has passed, use the upholstery nozzle on the vacuum cleaner and vacuum all the soda.
You can also use baking soda as an odor eliminator for smaller items, such as books. Simply fill a plastic garbage bag with half a cup of baking soda and tie the bag with all the contaminated items. Let it lie for a few hours before removing the items from the bag.
Rinse with white vinegar
This home product is another very useful solution for many cleaning tasks. The acidity of white vinegar neutralizes the high pH of smoke particles. That’s why vinegar is a great odor eliminator.
To prepare a cleaning solution, mix one part white vinegar with three parts warm water in a spray bottle. Use your prepared cleaner on hard surfaces such as countertops, floors, and walls.
Scrub with an ammonia solution
If the vinegar method didn’t give you the desired results, you can try using ammonia. Mix one tablespoon of ammonia with one cup of water. Take a soft brush or sponge and scrub hard surfaces with it.
Place bowls of activated charcoal
Activated charcoal is an excellent odor-absorbing agent. The carbon in activated charcoal traps odor-causing particles in the air, much like baking soda does. To get rid of the smell of cigarettes, hang bags of activated charcoal throughout the house. You can also place charcoal bags on smoke-smelling surfaces to help combat the odor. If you have loose charcoal, you can place bowls of activated charcoal throughout the house to absorb odors.
Replace the air filters in your air conditioning system
A clogged air filter blows smoke odors throughout the house and reduces airflow. This leads to a buildup of pollutants inside the ducts. When you replace the air filters, you will immediately notice a difference in the air quality in your house. It is recommended to replace the air filters in your HVAC system every three months, but it should be done more often if you’re a smoker.
Use an ozone generator
Ozone generators are perfect for purifying the air by oxidizing it. This clever device is a great tool for eliminating cigarette smoke odors. You can either rent an ozone generator or hire a professional who knows how to use it. Ozonizing treatment creates active oxygen molecules that hit odor molecules and immediately oxidize them. During this reaction, smoke particles are effectively trapped and eliminated.
An ozone machine for cars can effectively eliminate smoke odors from your car, releasing ozone (O3) particles that neutralize the smell. These particles penetrate surfaces and break down smoke particles, restoring the freshness of the interior.
Use odor eliminators
There are many different options available on the market for removing unpleasant odors. But none of them are able to get rid of them completely. Tiny microscopic odor particles linger and attach to walls and other surfaces, and these odor eliminators can help trap these particles.
When choosing an odor eliminator, pick one that contains an ingredient called cyclodextrin. Smoke particles bind with this substance, which pulls the odor out of the air, making it easier to wash the affected area with other products that permanently remove odors.
Wash all clothes, curtains, and covers in the washing machine
Cigarette smoke not only sticks to hard surfaces and upholstery, but literally every other soft product. Clothing also easily attracts and absorbs odors, so deep cleaning is key.
Use half a cup of white vinegar in the wash cycle to remove the smell. You can also add a bit of apple cider vinegar, which will also help in removing odors.
You should also consider washing other fabrics that cigarette smoke sticks to. These include:
- Net curtains
- Cushions and cushion covers
- Bedding and sheets
- Blankets and bedspreads
- After washing all materials, dry them outside, in the sun.
Clean all areas
Cigarette smoke usually sticks to places you least expect. To completely get rid of the smell of cigarettes, you must clean every nook and cranny of your home. You can use a store-bought cleaner that eliminates odors, or use one of the tips we’ve given above.
Areas and items that absolutely need to be cleaned include:
- Light bulbs
- Window coverings
- All filters, such as furnace filters and air conditioning filters
Replace and repaint
If the smell of cigarettes has been accumulating in your home for years, sometimes the best solution is to replace the items affected by it. Some of the things that might need replacing include sofas, carpets, and other furniture soaked with smoke.
Nicotine also tends to stain walls heavily. If any stains remain after cleaning the walls, simply apply a new coat of paint to cover them up.
You will need to use a primer and an odor sealer to get the best results.
Use a steamer to remove smoke odor
One of the easiest and most effective ways to get rid of smoke odor is steam cleaning. Steamers don’t require you to use any harmful chemicals to carry out a deep clean of your home. This device is very versatile and safe to use on all types of materials, even on upholstered furniture.
One of the best steamers on the market is the Fortador Volt Mini. This is a portable device that is easy to use for almost all cleaning tasks. It comes with multiple attachments that you can apply to facilitate cleaning various areas of your home.
The combination of high temperature and intense heat penetrates through every material and cleans it from the inside out. Many products only clean the surface, not eliminating the entire problem at its root.
The steam from the Volt Mini is so strong that it can not only kill any odors in your furniture but also remove stains and other stubborn dirt from nearly any material.
How to clean walls from cigarette smoke using a steamer
Using the Fortador Volt Mini steamer is an effective solution to eliminate smoke odor, especially from walls affected by cigarette smoke. The Fortador Volt Mini provides a thorough cleaning process from the ground up. The combination of high temperature and intense heat allows for comprehensive cleaning, providing a fresh and smoke-free environment.