Getting Ridofthe Smoke

One of the first things you will want to do once you stop smoking or are no longer smoking

in your apartment is to start to get the tobacco smells out of your home.

Cigarette smoke gets into everything including the walls, carpets, bathroom fixtures,

sheets, clothes, and furniture. Getting rid of that smoke smell is a two-step process.

Step One: Wipe down all the hard surfaces.

If you smoke in your apartment, you will need to wipe down every hard surface in your

place once your apartment is smoke-free. You’ll be amazed at how much gunk you’ll be

cleaning off your kitchen cabinets and other surfaces. When you smoke, that smoke settles

down onto surfaces in an invisible residue. Cleaning this residue of nicotine and tars and

resins is the essential first step to eliminating cigarette odors. For the walls, ceilings and

other permanent flat surfaces in your apartment, make sure you check with us to make

sure that you are using the correct cleaning products so as not to damage the paint.

Step Two: Wipe down all of the soft surfaces, and wash curtains.

Once you’ve wiped down all of the hard surfaces in an apartment, it’s time to move on to

the soft surfaces. A whole lot of the lingering cigarette smell in your home comes from the

smoke residue which gets into your carpet and furniture. This stuff gets down in the fabric

and never gets out.

The suggestions below will help you get the smell of cigarette smoke out whether you are

cleaning hard surfaces or soft surfaces like your furniture. These are the least toxic and are

environmentally friendly.

Vinegar – There’s something about vinegar that gets rid of smoke smell.


the smell of smoke is caused by the leftover resins and tars, vinegar is a great way to clean

those surfaces because it is an acid. Be careful on fabrics. You will need to test to make

sure that it will not harm anything. You may need to do this several times. It is

advisable to open a window and let your apartment air out while you are doing this.

Baking soda is a good way to get rid of smoke odor.

Now, this takes time because

what you want to do is get a box of Arm & Hammer, sprinkle the baking soda on the

furniture and the carpets (if they haven’t been shampooed), and leave the baking soda to

settle for a day or so. That will give it time to absorb some of the smoke smell and moisture

around it. Then, vacuum it up. Depending on how long you have been in your apartment,

you may need to repeat the process if you are a heavy smoker. One word of advice:

before sprinkling on fabrics, test the baking soda out on a concealed part of the surface to

make sure the surface or fabric won’t fade or be damaged.

Shades, curtains, and fixtures need to be cleaned to get rid of smoke odor. A lot of

people forget to clean things like shades, chandeliers, curtains, and wall hangings, but these

things have probably collected quite a bit of tar and resin over the years. Again vinegar or

a solution of baking soda should do the trick. Again, you may need to do this several times.

Commercial Odor Removing Products If it doesn’t have a cleaning agent in it, you’re

not going to get rid of the smoke smell. Scent-generating deodorizers only serve to mask

the smell. Two examples of odor removing products are:

  • Febreze which uses a chemical compound that has been used in household and

    custodial cleaning products for quite some time. The sugar-like substance doesn’t

    necessarily “clean” the odors out, but acts as an absorbent like baking soda or

    charcoal, to help soak the odor out.

  • Activated charcoal cleaning products are used not only to filter water and other

    things, but are also used to soak up odors, just like baking soda. If you see activated

    charcoal in an odor removing product, it’s likely to succeed at removing smoking

    odors over time.


How to Get Rid of Things.