Fortunately, there are ways to remove smoke odor from your home, allowing you to reclaim your house and have a clean, comfortable area.
The Dangers of Smoke Odors in Your HomeWe are all aware that smoking is bad for our health. We’re also aware that exposure to secondhand smoke, that is simply being near an active smoker can lead to harm. But what if you simply smell cigarette smoke? Besides the unpleasantness, is there any real danger from being in a room that has no smoke but simply cigarette smell?
In fact, there is.
Third-hand smoke is now linked to a wide variety of health problems. Essentially, if you can smell cigarettes, you are being exposed to the same chemicals and carcinogens that make lingering smoke so harmful. Because smoke, along with the harmful chemicals, settles on fabrics, carpet, and other materials, you need to be extremely cautious if you notice a smoke odor in your home.
How to Remove Smoke OdorsThe good news is that there are many ways to remove smoke odors from your home. Follow these practices and your home will be smeller fresher.
Place Small Bowls of Vinegar Around the HomeThis is an old trick that many people have used for years to remove odors in the home. Vinegar helps absorb the smells that are lingering about the house, and if you replace the vinegar in the bowls daily, you may remove the smell faster than you thought.
Wash the Ceilings with a Cleaning SolutionThe smell of smoke floats upwards, so if you want to remove it effectively, any cleaning efforts should start with the ceiling. Using a solution of water and vinegar, (about two parts water, one part vinegar) wipe down the ceiling. Be sure to ring out the rags thoroughly before raising them to the ceiling so you don’t spill, and it wouldn’t hurt to lay sheets or a towel to protect the floors. If your ceiling is textured, you can use a spray bottle to mist the ceiling, then wipe gently with a rag.
Wash the FlooringThe floors may also be holding a smoke odor, but you can clean the hardwood floors and other areas to help refresh the home. Use a non-toxic cleaner on hardwood floors, and always be extremely cautious to not use cleaners that will damage the flooring.
Re-carpet Your HomeThis is obviously an extreme solution, but if you simply can’t remove the pungent smoke smell from you home, it may be time to replace the carpeting in your house. Carpet fibers can hold smoke smells for years, so even if no one has smoked in the house for a long time, if you have tried all the above techniques and nothing seems to work, consider having the carpets replaced.
Clean the Drapes and BlindsIf you have a pungent smoke smell in your home, one of the best ways to remove it is by cleaning the drapes and blinds. These items can collect a lot of the smoke residue, so cleaning them not only removes the smell, but can give your home healthier air.
Your drapes may need to be dry cleaned, and if this is the case remember to tell your dry cleaner about the smoke smell; they may have a special technique for removing it. If you can wash the drapes at home, wash them with hot water. You can also add a small amount of vinegar to neutralize the smell. About one cup of vinegar per load will do and be sure to fill the clothes washer with water first, then add the vinegar, then add the drapes. Pouring undiluted vinegar directly to the cloth could cause stains.
Blinds can be difficult to clean, but a good technique is to fill your bathtub with water and use it as a cleaning sink. Let them soak in the tub, then hang them out to dry for about 15 minutes.
Repaint the InteriorIf you can’t get the smoke smell to go away, you might consider repainting the home’s interior. This not only covers the smoke smell that is clinging to walls, it’s a great opportunity to remake the home as you desire. If there is a room where a previous resident smoked, you can start by repainting that area, however, you can also clean the entire interior to refresh the home and (hopefully) remove the disgusting smell.
Use an Air Purifier in the HomeA great strategy for removing odors in your home can be the use of an air purifier. Air purifiers actively remove indoor pollutants, as well as the microscopic airborne particles that cause smells. By taking in air and removing contaminants, air purifiers can be used effectively to remove smoke. High efficiency air filters and carbon activated filters are particularly important if you want the contaminants to be removed.
Activated carbon acts like a sponge for odors and holds them in. In fact, they can act as a smoke eater provided there is enough carbon and the quality is good.
VentilationGetting fresh air from the outside is important in improving your indoor air quality. Opening your windows can bring in smoke-free air while pushing out unwanted odors from inside. To accelerate this process consider a whole house fan to quickly pull in outside air and push out smoky indoor air.
Wash the WindowsYou might not think of the windows as a place where smoke will settle, but washing the windows, as well as the frames and screens, could help reduce the smells in your home. Washing the window panes will restore the shine and remove smells, and you should also take off the screens and rinse them with a hose, which will remove any lingering smoke residue.
Clean Your HVAC SystemIf you had a smoker in the house, it’s likely that smoke worked its way into the ductwork. That means smoke residue is lingering in the ventilation system and will be released when you run the air conditioning or heat. Contact a professional duct-cleaning service and they will be able to clean the system properly. You should also replace the filters on the furnace often, which will help stop many harmful contaminants.