Facebook

How to Get Smoke Smells Out of a House

Updated
Try these tips for easy breathing again.

Yikes. You’ve just moved into a new house, or perhaps you’re having guests over, and you want that smoke smell gone — now.

While smoke can be a lingering and pesky smell to remove, there are definitely ways you can say goodbye to it once and for all.

Keep reading to find out 15 methods for how to get the smoke smell out of your house for good.


How to Get Smoke Smell Out of the House

These handy methods will help you get rid of the smoke smell rather than just mask it. With 15 different tips, you can keep trying until you find the method that works best for you. We’ll also share some products that actually help remove that smoky smell.

1. Remove Smoking Accessories

If you have anything in the room related to smoking, such as ashtrays, cigarette butts, cigarette packets, lighters, and more, remove them immediately. This won’t completely remove the smell, but it’s a great place to start.

2. Air the Room Out

Open your windows and air the room out. A simple but super effective step! This can get rid of the smell once and for all, totally neutralizing it rather than masking it. We recommend keeping the windows open for as long as possible, ideally a full day.

Extra Tip

Place some fans in front of the window, aiming them outside. This will pull the smoke smell and push it outside.

3. Get Rid of Smoke Affected Items

Time to cleanse your home of items that have absorbed the smell of smoke for good. This may include bedding, furniture, books, and clothes. Place them outside in the sun for a few hours to air out fully. If you do this and the smell remains, it may be time to replace these items entirely.

4. Ozone Generator

An ozone generator is a good way to get rid of the nasty smoke smell completely. We recommend this one by Enerzon. These work by destroying and neutralizing odors.

The ozone layer reacts with the contaminants that remain in the walls, fabrics, and air in your home, working to destroy them. These aren’t super expensive either and may save you time trying other methods.

Warning

Remove plants, pets, and people from the area before using an ozone generator. These are hazardous machines to these items.

5. Remove Fabrics

This may be an expensive move, but it’s often necessary. Removing fabric items, such as carpets, curtains, and furniture can quickly eliminate the lingering smoke smell in the house.

6. Ventilate the Area

Using ventilators to increase air circulation can help to remove the smoke smell from the air quickly. One ventilator can push air throughout a room, while a second ventilator near a window can push the air outside of the house entirely.

7. Baking Soda

Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and can definitely help with smoke stench. Here are some ways to utilize it:

  • Leave bowls full of baking soda around the house for 24 hours.
  • Sprinkle baking soda onto carpets and rugs, leaving it overnight before vacuuming.
  • Sprinkle baking soda over furniture and leave it overnight before vacuuming.
  • For items that can’t be washed, such as home decor pieces, place them in a plastic bag. Add ½ cup of baking soda, tie the bag and leave overnight.

8. Deep Clean Wood Floors

Wooden floors are much harder to remove and replace. So it’s essential to deep clean wood floors. If that doesn’t work, then try refinishing them, sanding them back. This will remove the layer of flooring that’s clinging to the smoke smell.

9. Wash and Paint Walls

Walls can also cling to the smoke smell. Wash the walls with water and vinegar spray (a 1:1 solution) before repainting them. This also allows you to decorate the place the way that you’d like, at the same time as removing the lingering smoke smell.

10. Wash the Entire Room

We’ve already suggested washing walls and floors, but you should aim to deep clean every inch of every room. Mix together a 1:1 solution of hot water and white vinegar. Spray it all over the room, including fan blades, light fixtures, light switches, banisters, skirting boards, picture frames, and everything else you can think of.

11. Try Charcoal

Activated charcoal is another great natural way to remove odors. Activated charcoal contains a large amount of oxygen which makes the charcoal porous (1). This allows it to absorb and trap odors.

You can buy charcoal bags. Place them around the room and let them work for a while to eliminate the smoke. You can also use this in your car, in closets, in gym bags, and more!

12. Clean HVAC System

It’s crucial to get your HVAC system (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system) professionally deep cleaned. There will be lots of smoke odors lingering here that are then blown out into your home every time you use the system.

13. Try Intense Cleaning Solutions

If the other natural methods aren’t working on getting rid of the smell in ceilings, walls and other hard fixtures, try this recipe:

  • ½ cup of ammonia.
  • ½ cup of baking soda.
  • ¼ cup of white vinegar.
  • One gallon of hot water.

Mix this together and spray where necessary. It will also help to remove those stubborn yellow smoke stains.

14. Steam Clean

Steam cleaning is another way to remove smoke smells, but also smoke residues, like hard tar and oils. You can use a steam cleaner for the floors or a handheld steamer for walls and other hard items. Just be sure to mist lightly to ensure that you don’t cause any damage to anything in the house.

Don’t

Don’t steam certain fabrics, like silk, or certain materials, such as drywall, as this can cause permanent damage.

15. Contact a Professional

Sometimes the smoke smell is far too intense to remove yourself. If you’ve tried all of these methods but nothing works, contact a professional cleaning service specializing in smoke remediation.

FAQs About Smoke Smells

How Long Does It Take Smoke Smell to Go Away?

It depends on how frequently and for how long somebody smoked in a certain area. If they smoked for years and never aired out a room, it can take a very long time.

However, in general, after smoking a cigarette and quickly airing the room, it should only take a few hours for the smoke smell to dissipate. In more serious cases, it can take a few days for the smoke smell to disperse.

How Do You Get the Smell of Smoke Out of Your House Fast?

If you need to remove the smoke smell quickly, we definitely recommend airing out your house. Open all doors and windows and let the smell escape naturally. An ozone generator is also a good idea. You can set it to a timer and let it do the work while you’re out of the house.

What is the Best Smoke Odor Eliminator?

Professionals tend to recommend ozone generators for extreme cases. However, airing out a room naturally is also a very popular and successful method.

Does Febreze Eliminate Smoke Odor?

Febreze Air actually works to eliminate odors rather than just masking them. It uses a chemical compound called cyclodextrin, which absorbs odors (2). However, it’s also scented so that it will leave behind a pleasant scent.

Unfortunately, though, if you have extreme smoke smells, it may not work. Spraying Febreze may actually mix together with the smell of smoke and create a new unpleasant scent.


See Ya, Smoke Smell

Moving into a new home that stinks of smoke is not a pleasant experience. But thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to try and eliminate the odors once and for all.

Once you’ve got rid of them for good, try a nice room spray or blend of essential oils to add new life and fragrance to a room. Soon, the smoke smell will be a distant memory.

Headshot of Beth McCallum

About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a 20-something freelance writer & book blogger with a degree in creative writing, journalism and English literature. Beth firmly believes that a tidy house is a tidy mind. She is always looking for new ways to sustainably clean and tidy her house, that's kind on the environment but effective in the house, too!

Leave a Comment