How to Get Rid of Cigarette Smell - Dry Effect Restoration of Cincinnati

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How to Get Rid of Cigarette Smell

Don’t let the stale odor of cigarette smoke contaminate your indoor air quality. Removing cigarette smoke demands patience. The process for eliminating smoke odor in your house depends on the severity of contamination. If someone smoked inside for a decade, restoration may require a more invasive approach, such as throwing items out or even replacing the drywall and carpet. If the room smells like an ashtray, consider throwing out items that don’t have sentimental value – sometimes that overstuffed couch is just too smelly and not worth the time and money you would spend on restoring it.

 

Start with Hard Surfaces

Begin by opening all windows and doors to provide ventilation while you clean. Use a spray bottle and a rag to wipe down all hard surfaces with a 50 / 50 solution of white vinegar and hot water. You may also wash the walls and ceiling with a mixture of 1/2 cup ammonia, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup baking soda and a gallon of hot water.

Leave no surface untouched: Clean walls, doors, knobs, light fixtures (bulbs too), ceilings, fan blades, and anything the smoke came in contact with. Wipe down all knickknacks, photo frames and decorations as well. Consider throwing out items such as lampshades and throw pillows that absorb odors well and are easy to replace. To reach high spots, use a ladder or an extension pole with a rag clamp.

 

Wash Fabrics

Next, focus on fabric, carpet and upholstery – beginning with what you can’t throw in the washing machine. Sprinkle everything with baking soda, and let it sit for a few days. Once the baking soda has had a chance to absorb the odor, vacuum it all up and repeat as necessary. Then steam clean the carpets. If you don’t have a steam cleaner, you can buy or rent one at your local hardware store. If your steam cleaner has an upholstery attachment, use this to clean drapes or upholstered furniture too.

Wash your laundry-safe fabrics (couch-cushion covers, some drapes and curtains) in the machine with 1/2 cup vinegar instead of detergent. Follow up with another wash cycle with your preferred detergent. It’s best to let these items air-dry outside to prevent shrinkage.

 

Air Circulation & Purification

If weather permits, keep windows and doors open for as long as is practical. Use fans to encourage air circulation – have one fan blowing air from outside on one side of the room, and put another fan across the room to exhaust the air outside. An air purifier with a HEPA filter can help remove odor-causing molecules. If the odor remains after you air out your home, place activated charcoal or bowls of white vinegar (or even apple cider vinegar) around the rooms to absorb odors. Replace the charcoal or vinegar every few days. Be wary of scented “odor removal” products, which may just mask the smell instead of removing it.

Homeowners should also replace HVAC air filters. Your home’s air filters help remove odor-causing molecules, and they work best if they’re replaced every two to three months. Consult with the furnace or AC unit manufacturer to find a filter that may help with odor removal (e.g., charcoal or HEPA filters). You should also inspect your ducts for any dust or debris that may contain smoke molecules; this may be contaminating the fresh air in your home as it travels down your ducts. If you see buildup, hire a professional to clean your ducts.

 

Ozone Generator

If smoke odor still lingers after you complete all these steps, an ozone generator is your next best option. Ozone is a powerful cleanser and is very effective at eliminating odors. Ozone generators create activated oxygen. By oxidizing the smoke molecules, they can eliminate the smoke smell entirely (if used properly). Homeowners can rent or purchase ozone generators from their local hardware store. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, which usually involve leaving the machine running in a closed room for a specific period of time.

 

Distribute baking soda

“Carpets tend to be the biggest offenders in terms of absorbing the smell of smoke,” says Manomano. “If you find that even after significant airing your room still smells of smoke, it might be time to thoroughly clean your carpet.”

Sprinkling baking soda all over carpets naturally removes odours and has the added benefit of making it look like it’s been snowing in your lounge. Leave the baking soda for an hour and then simply vacuum it up.

 

Call the Experts

Removing the smell of cigarette smoke can be a frustrating process. If you’re too busy to scrub walls or you just can’t seem to remove that stale odor, Dry Effect can help. We utilize state-of-the-art tools and techniques for professional odor removal. Our experts are certified by IICRC, the leader in professional odor removal certifications. Just call us at 855-724-6269, or schedule an appointment online.

Even if the odors go away entirely or almost entirely, there may still be discoloration on your walls or ceiling caused by cigarette smoke. A fresh coat of paint not only covers remaining cigarette smoke damage; it also refreshes your home with a new look! Ask for your free estimate from Dry Effect, another member of the Neighborly network of trusted home service providers.

 

Removing cigarette smell from your hair

If you’ve ever left a smoky environment only to revisit the stale smell of cigarettes once your head hits the pillow, you know how much smoke hair can absorb.

  • Rinse and repeat. Shampooing and conditioning your hair is the best way to remove cigarette smell. That goes for beards and mustaches, too.
  • Spray on some dry shampoo. If you can’t wash your hair, dry shampooing can help reduce cigarette odor.
  • Grab a dryer sheet. You can also try rubbing a dryer sheet all over your hair, ears, and the back of your neck. Make sure to rub your entire head of hair, including the underneath layers.

Removing cigarette smell from your skin

  • Wash your hands. Holding a cigarette makes your fingers smell. You can eliminate this by washing your hands immediately after smoking. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to several squirts of liquid hand soap in your palm, mix together, and rub vigorously under warm water. Pay attention to the skin under your nails and to the area between each finger.
  • Cover up. Covering up as much skin as possible while you smoke will help keep the smell off your skin.
  • Cleanse your face. Using facial cleanser pads on your face will help eliminate cigarette smoke residue, although this will also mean you’ll need to touch up any makeup you’re wearing.
  • Use hand sanitizer. Some smokers use alcohol-based hand sanitizer on all areas of exposed skin. This will remove some odor, although it may also burn or irritate sensitive skin, and shouldn’t be used around the eyes.
  • Take a shower. It may be impractical to take a bath or shower after each cigarette, but do make sure to bathe as often as you can, especially after activities that make you sweat.

 

Removing cigarette smell from your hair

If you’ve ever left a smoky environment only to revisit the stale smell of cigarettes once your head hits the pillow, you know how much smoke hair can absorb.

  • Rinse and repeat. Shampooing and conditioning your hair is the best way to remove cigarette smell. That goes for beards and mustaches, too.
  • Spray on some dry shampoo. If you can’t wash your hair, dry shampooing can help reduce cigarette odor.
  • Grab a dryer sheet. You can also try rubbing a dryer sheet all over your hair, ears, and the back of your neck. Make sure to rub your entire head of hair, including the underneath layers.

 

How to remove cigarette smell from your home

Thirdhand smoke accumulates with each cigarette smoked. It can continue to permeate homes for months or longer, after that last cigarette has been smoked.

It can be very hard to get rid of because thirdhand smoke contains toxic particles and gasses which can permeate both hard and soft surfaces. Nicotine even contaminates dust.

How to remove an old, lingering smell

If you’re moving into an environment that smells like cigarettes, try these solutions:

  • Ventilate the entire home by opening windows and running fans.
  • Prior to painting, clean the walls with a heavy-duty cleaner designed for this purpose, such as trisodium phosphate. Then, use a primer that contains an odor sealant.
  • Rip up any carpets and remove any other soft surfaces on the walls.
  • Varnish wood floors.
  • Clean tiled surfaces with a 90-to-10 solution of water and bleach, or water and white vinegar.
  • Make sure that the HVAC system has clean filters and that air ducts are open and clean.
  • If all of this doesn’t work, having a professional ozone treatment may be necessary.

 

Avoiding thirdhand smoke buildup

If you smoke at home, taking proactive measures to reduce the smell on a daily basis will help eliminate buildup. These measures can include:

  • keeping open containers of charcoal or white vinegar in each room, to absorb the smell and changing them weekly
  • ventilating your environment, perhaps by directing a fan to blow smoke out the window, and smoking cigarettes only near open windows
  • running air purifiers with HEPA filters in each room
  • changing filters and cleaning out air ducts of air conditioners, heaters, or furnaces as often as possible to avoid reintroducing the smell
  • steam cleaning upholstered furniture, carpets, and other soft surfaces
  • washing curtains, draperies, tablecloths, and items such as stuffed animals, once a week
  • storing items airtight in closets
  • using dryer sheets to rub down mattresses and pillows and items that can’t be washed, such as books
  • washing floors, walls, windows, and other hard surfaces with cleaning solutions that contain baking soda, bleach, or vinegar
  • masking the smell by burning incense or using essential oils

 

How to remove cigarette smell from your car

If you smoke in your car, the smell is bound to linger. You can reduce it by:

  • only smoking with the windows open
  • washing the inside of your windshield after each cigarette
  • avoiding leaving cigarette butts in your car
  • washing car seats and carpets with a solution of bleach and water, hydrogen peroxide and water, or white vinegar and water, at least once a week
  • hosing down rubber mats with detergent
  • keeping open containers of charcoal in the car

 

Conclusion:

Third-hand smoke from cigarettes leaves a strong smell in the air, which may be more apparent and distasteful to non-smokers. This smell is not only unpleasant, it’s also dangerous to health.

 

You can reduce third-hand smoke cosmetically, but the best way to eliminate it completely is by not smoking.

 

The number of programs and methods to help you stop smoking has grown dramatically in recent years. Speak with your healthcare provider today!

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