You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your neighbors. And, if they smoke, you sometimes can’t avoid second-hand or third-hand smoke in your apartment either. However, there are measures you can take to fix that problem.
The obvious first choice is to talk to your neighbor. Good communication can lead to compromises. They could hopefully promise to smoke only outside, block their doors and windows that might lead smoke to your apartment, or stop smoking in common areas or corridors.
But, if that doesn’t work, there are a lot of things you can do to get rid of the smoke that’s already settled into your apartment.
How to Get Rid of Smoke Smell in Apartment
If your apartment already smells of cigarette smoke due to your pesky neighbors, and the damage has already been done, you should try the following solutions.
Ventilate the Smoke Smell
The first thing to do is to get some air inside your house or your apartment. Open all the windows and doors and get some air circulation.
If you have ceiling fans, make sure to turn them on, as they’ll help to ventilate the affected space more effectively. If you don’t, you could place portable fans next to the open windows and force the lingering smoke smell out of the apartment.
Absorb the Smoke Smell
In order to allow for the smoke that came out of your neighbors’ place to completely dissipate, you can place dishes filled with small amounts of vinegar around the space. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, kitty litter and baking soda are very good at absorbing the smoke smell as well.
If you want to go a step further, use powdered activated charcoal, which is one of the best smell neutralizers, and it’s also very cheap. You can leave the smoke-absorbing agents for a couple of days and let them do their magic.
Ultimately, you could even get an air purifier with a HEPA filter as the most efficient method of odor elimination — more on that later.
Paint and Clean the Walls and Ceilings
When people who don’t smoke go into a smoker’s house or apartment, one of the first things they notice, other than the odor, is the color of the walls. The caveat is that, by and large, the odor is coming from them as well. So, if the smoke smell from your neighbors’ apartment is at a level where it’s seeped into your walls, restoring them with fresh paint is a no-brainer.
But, before you do that, make sure to clean the walls. Use a combination of two cups of warm water, vinegar, and ½ cup of baking soda. Rinse the walls, and don’t forget to go over the ceilings at least two or three times. If you don’t favor the smell of vinegar, use a concoction made from two cups of water and two tablespoons of ammonia.
After you clean them, apply multiple coats of paint (or tell the house painters to do that). If you want to be especially thorough, add an odor-blocking primer — yet another magical product we’ll talk about below.
Clean the Carpets
Carpets are like walls but even more absorbent. Before the necessary vacuuming, you can do the following trick: sprinkle baking soda on the carpets and leave it like that for ten to thirty minutes. Then, vacuum everything. That may do the job and get rid of neighbors’ smoke smell out of your apartment.
If the smell still lingers, call a carpet cleaning company. Sometimes the homemade recipes are just not enough.
Clean the Floors
The floor is as much in danger from the smoke coming from your neighbors’ place as the walls, the carpets, and ceilings. If you want to completely eliminate the smell of smoke from your apartment, you have to think about that too.
It’s basically the same as cleaning the walls, but be sure to use the appropriate cleaner. Vinegar is bad for wooden and grouted floors or tiles. So, instead of that, use a neutral-pH soap with warm water. For laminate floors, on the other hand, you can use the vinegar/water combination, and it’ll do marvels for the smell.
As with the walls, be persistent and thorough: rinse at least two or three times, regularly changing the water.
Clean the Windows and Window Coverings
After you finish cleaning and washing everything in your apartment, don’t forget the windows and the window coverings. Drapes and curtains are one of the most attacked pieces in your house as they easily absorb the smoke. The windows and the coverings are actually the places of contact between your home and the home of your neighbors. So, wash them in hot water with detergent and one cup of white vinegar.
But be careful with the vinegar: there are rules for how to use it if you don’t want your curtains to change their color drastically, and swap the smoke smell with a potent smell of vinegar. To avoid both of these things, put the vinegar immediately before putting them (the curtains and drapes) into the washing machine. Also, never leave them sitting in the vinegar, as it will surely damage them.
Concerning the windows, the procedure is very simple. Just clean them regularly and mind the details. Pay attention to all the hard-to-get places, such as sills, corners, or curtain rods.
Clean the Furniture and Cabinets
Simply put, everything in your apartment needs cleaning if you want to get rid of the smoke smell in your apartment, even if it’s your neighbors’ fault. Smoke is very intrusive and finds its way into your furniture, cabinets, and even your mattress. But, there are a lot of ways you can remediate the situation. Just check out our other articles on No More Smoke Smell.
If you want to be really thorough, wipe your cabinets and drawers with a soft cloth and the vinegar solution we already talked about. Just make sure you clean the inside parts and leave them open overnight, so the odor can leave them in a natural way.