Removing Cigarette Smoke Smell
Home & Garden

Removing Cigarette Smoke Smell – Expert Tips & Tricks Revealed

July 27, 2023

A house or car that smells of cigarette smoke isn’t appealing to nonsmokers and can also detract from your resale value.

Cleaning walls and ceilings with products that neutralize odors may be necessary, followed by repainting with an odor-neutralizing paint. Also, leave bowls of baking soda in different parts of your home to absorb odors overnight.

Wash Your Clothes

When cigarette smoke lingers on clothes, it often clings to other fabrics in your home. Washing clothing quickly and thoroughly can remove much of the smell. If a garment is too saturated to be thoroughly washed, try hanging it outside in the sunlight and spraying it with a fabric refresher or odor eliminator in a pleasant scent such as orange, lavender, or eucalyptus.

If a garment cannot be washed or requires dry cleaning, use steam to eliminate the smoke smell. A clothing steamer or a home iron with a steam setting will do the trick.

If a strong odor remains on your fabric surfaces, consider investing in a commercial odor eliminator that uses activated charcoal. Be patient; it may take a few treatments before the odor disappears completely. Once it does, your home will feel and smell fresh again. Removing a persistent cigarette smell from your rental property will help attract and keep quality tenants if you’re a landlord.

Baking Soda

If you are dealing with an incredibly stubborn smoke smell, a basic, all-around household cleaner like baking soda can work wonders. Baking soda absorbs and neutralizes odors, making it an ideal cleaning solution for most surfaces, including floors and carpets.

You can sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda on fabric surfaces, such as rugs and carpets, and let it sit for at least two hours, or overnight, before vacuuming it up. This cigarette smoke smell removal technique can also help with cigarette smoke odors in the car.

For a more long-lasting, intense clean, try setting those smoky vintage shawls and embroidered pillows out in the sun for several hours to help neutralize the smell. This trick can also help remove cigarette smoke odors from shoes and clothing.

Essential Oils

The cigarette smoke smell is difficult to eliminate, especially if it’s been there for years. But don’t give up on your home — there are many ways to eliminate the odor and prevent future problems caused by nicotine stains and residues.

Aside from smelling unpleasant, thirdhand smoke contains chemicals that are harmful to your health. The toxins in secondhand smoke can cause respiratory problems and even increase cancer risk. That’s why removing the cigarette smoke smell is vital as soon as possible.

While cleaning every nook and cranny may be time-consuming, the results will be well worth it. Using natural odor, remover techniques will help you avoid harsh synthetic fragrances that can cause headaches, eye and throat irritation, and even worsen allergy and asthma symptoms. You can also use essential oil sprays, which may mask the odor and freshen your clothes and home. But don’t apply undiluted oils directly to your skin.


Cigarette smoke residue can stain fabrics and cause a musty odor that doesn’t go away. Laundering curtains and pillowcases in a mixture of one part vinegar to three parts water will help eliminate the smell.

Use vinegar to wipe down furniture, washable walls, floors, and counters. Add a cup of vinegar to your laundry and your usual detergent, and you’ll have fresher, cleaner clothes and linens.

If you’ve already tried cleaning and washing your items and still have that pesky cigarette smoke odor, it may be time to bring in the professionals. A local interior painter can apply a fresh coat of paint that will seal the cigarette odor and prevent stains.

Using some or all of these methods will significantly reduce and possibly eliminate the cigarette smoke smell from your home. Be patient, as clearing a house of cigarette smoke takes a while. And remember, smoking is not only bad for your skin, hair, and breath — it can also harm others.

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