3 minute read

New occupants of a home where the previous residents smoked cigarettes inside the home do have several options to rid the home of the smell. It will take some work, but you can remove that foul, stale odor, and residue from the home.  Even apartment dwellers moving into a new apartment – previous occupied by a cigarette smoker can breathe easier knowing there is a remedy. As experts in odor removal, we know all too well that it’s a challenge to remove the smell of tobacco especially if you are a non-smoker!

Vinegar, which is comprised of acetic acid, is a fantastic deodorizer. The acidity of the vinegar neutralizes odor molecules and causes smells to dissipate almost immediately. Below, we’ve listed a simple process (although a lot of work), to deodorize your home and your personal contents.

The residue of tobacco smoke clings to everything it touches. Walls, ceilings, cabinetry, drapes, and all other fabrics.  The sticky tar-like residue will get into the smallest spaces, lingering there for years until neutralized or removed. Because it’s “greasy and sticky” it is extremely difficult to clean.  Tobacco smoke sticks to every surface by sneaking into even the tiniest crevices, leaving a tarry yellow residue, and making it extremely difficult to clean.

Here are several suggestions for removing the cigarette odor and residue:

Clean Walls With A Water and Vinegar Mixture

Most people don’t think about their walls when it comes to foul odors, but the residue left behind from smoke can line the walls of your home. Wiping down your walls and ceiling with vinegar will go a long way to remove the smell of smoke. Don’t forget your windows, doors, and mirrors! If the odors remain after cleaning, you may need to go as far as sealing and repainting your walls.

Spread Baking Soda On Carpets and Furniture

If you’re looking for an easy DIY solution to cleaning your carpets and furniture, simply spread a light coating of baking soda on your carpets and furniture. Be sure to keep the baking soda dry or you may end up with an even bigger mess than you started with. It may take multiple applications and vacuuming.

Launder All Fabrics With The Same vinegar Water Mixture

Any fabric materials, such as bedding, clothing, drapes, and pillows, (those that can be washed) should be cleaned with the same vinegar and water solution.

Baking soda liberally dispersed onto your furniture and will also absorb odors, so let it sit overnight, and then vacuum it all up the next day. Very heavy cigarette smoke may require you to replace the furniture if the odor is still too bad.

Have Your Carpets Professionally Cleaned

You can always hire a professional cleaner to clean your carpets. Be sure to hire someone with a “hot water extraction” process to improve the chances of a more complete odor removal. Talk with the carpet cleaning professional before you hire them to be sure they are aware of your concerns and have serviced this kind of project before. (Note: dry-cleaning draperies is also an option if they are expensive and custom window treatments.

Hire A Restoration Contractor

Many professional restoration companies are skilled in odor removal. Hire one that specifically has an IICRC – OCT (odor control technician) certification. Just like with the carpet cleaning firm, be sure to confirm with the restoration contractor that they are experienced in removing cigarette odor and residue. It will require much more than a “maid service” to achieve your goal of no cigarette odors! Many professional contractors have specialized equipment such as Hydrolyx™ machines (or Ozone Generators) that will help neutralize those nasty odors.