Smoking indoors is a bad idea. In fact, it’s been determined that smoking inside a house can lower the property value by as much as 30 percent! If you’ve moved into a house or apartment that has a lingering smoke odor, or you own a rental property previously occupied by smokers, it can be hard to remove the tobacco smell. Cigarette odor removal is a tedious process best handled by professionals with the knowledge and equipment to do the job correctly. However, if you’d like to give it a try, we have some DIY smoke cleaning tips.
- Don’t bother with air fresheners. A commercial-strength air freshener can mask the smell of smoke, but it does nothing to clean the air. Once the smell of the freshener is gone, the smell of smoke will return. What’s more, the chemicals in these air fresheners can be toxic to birds.
- Air it out. Open all the windows, leaving them open for as long as possible. Use fans to direct the air outside, and go ahead and replace your air filters, furnace filters, and AC filters. Using an air purifier can also help, as can placing bowls of vinegar, coffee, activated charcoal, or kitty litter and baking soda around the house to absorb the smoke. If the smell lingers after you’re done with the cleaning process, consider having your ducts cleaned and replacing your filters with HEPA filters.
- Tackle the hard surfaces. Using a spray bottle and a rag, wipe all surfaces, including the walls and ceiling, with a half-and-half solution of white vinegar and hot water. Clean everything, including doors, knobs, light fixtures, ceiling fans, cabinets, drawers, photo frames, knickknacks, and decor. Walls and ceilings can also be cleaned with a mixture of ½ cup ammonia, ¼ cup vinegar, ½ cup of baking soda, and a gallon of hot water.
- Clean the soft surfaces. Throw pillows and lampshades are likely to be casualties of smoke odor, because they’re hard to clean and easy to replace. Smoke removal can be difficult on upholstery and carpets, but it’s not impossible and those are big ticket items. Sprinkle baking soda on upholstered furniture and carpets, let it sit overnight, and then vacuum it off. You can also use a lint-free rag and white vinegar to clean fabric, and a fine mist of one part vinegar and two parts water on the rugs. If all else fails, call a professional carpet cleaner or replace your furniture and rugs.
- Tend to the little details. Did you know that lightbulbs can become contaminated by smoke and disperse nicotine residue throughout the house? Change all the lightbulbs while you’re cleaning. Window coverings, too, can hold on to the smell of smoke. Clean or replace curtains, shades, and blinds.
- Repaint. Now that everything is clean, paint the walls and ceilings, starting with an odor-blocking primer.
If you need help with cigarette odor removal, call the experts at Pacific Flood Restoration. We offer full-service, 24-hour, on-call emergency services, and we’ve earned a reputation for being dependable, on time, courteous, and ethical. No matter the extent of your damage, our trained technicians have the experience, proven techniques, and state-of-the-art equipment to restore your home in the North County San Diego area, fixing whatever damage it may have sustained. Call 760.516.8549, or contact us through our website.