How to Get Smoke Smell Out of Carpet

If your apartments smelled like smoke for any reason, and you’ve already given an anti-smoke smell treatment to your furniture and upholstery, you’ve done everything to get the smoke smell out of your home, but for some reason, it’s still there – you’re probably right. It’s the carpets. Now you’re probably wondering how to get rid of the smoke smell from the carpet, and we are here to help you out with that.

Similar to fabric furniture, rugs and carpets are excellent absorbers of smell. The odor molecules simply love those porous fibers, and smoke odor molecules are among the strongest, so the scent can be pretty intense and unpleasant.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps and methods of removing the smell of smoke in your carpet, or at least how to neutralize and mask it if complete removal is impossible.

How to Get the Smell of Smoke Out of Carpet

The method of choice for eliminating the smoke smell from your carpet will mainly depend on the origin of the smoke smell. Fire damage and cigarette smoke odor will use different methods of elimination, so this is how we will approach the problem too.

How to Get Cigarette Smoke Smell Out of Carpet?

When it comes to cleaning carpets, most people have expensive carpet cleaning solutions in mind, but there are low-cost yet highly effective homemade methods.


For this one we suggest here, you will need:

  • Lavender flowers or dried citrus peels. Keep in mind that lavender will probably have a stronger smell, and this is what we’re going for;
  • Vacuum cleaner;
  • Baking soda;
  • Broom.

Before making and spreading the solution, assess the level of damage or how strong the smell is. If it’s pretty intense, you may need to repeat the process, and feel free to go hard on the ingredients.


First, put the dried lavender (or dried citrus peels, if you prefer) and the baking soda together and mix them up well. If the baking soda box is convenient, you can put the lavender there directly and shake it up to spread it evenly throughout the box.

Now take the mix and spread it all over the carpet in the target room. If you’re dealing with an old, strong odor, you will probably need to use the brush as well, and give the surface a light pass. Use a dustpan brush or a broom.

Once you’re done with that, add more of the lavender/citrus peels and baking soda mixture. When the whole carpet is covered, let it sit for at least 8 hours, and if possible to leave it longer, even better.

Give your carpet a good vacuum cleaning and air out the room.

Come back and smell the room and the carpet. If you feel any residual cigarette smoke smell, give it another round.

Baking soda is one of the most popular and most effective smell absorbers, and its huge advantage is that almost every house has some baking soda on the shelves, and it’s quite cheap as well.

How to Get Burnt Food Smell Out of a Carpet

Burning food while cooking happens to the best of us. We get distracted, forget about the dish in the oven, or want to speed up the cooking on the stove, so we enhance the heat but forget to stir, so the food starts to burn easily.

The smell of burnt food can get into your carpet quite easily and make the smell of burnt food linger in your home.

Luckily, there are plenty of DIY methods that can help you get rid of the burnt food smell in your carpet once and for all.


For this project, you need the same set as for the cigarette odor removal, along with some additional items.

  • Bowls;
  • (Distilled) white vinegar.


Apply the baking soda as mentioned in the cigarette process. After you’ve vaccumed that up, pour the (distilled) white vinegar into the bowls and spread them around the room.

The vinegar bowls should remain for at least three days (and up to five days). The vinegar acts as an air purifier and takes in any odors that may be lingering in the air. So, after cleaning the rug, if there are any odor molecules left to roam the air, white vinegar will likely suck them in and get rid of them.

If you don’t love the smell of white vinegar, you can take things a step further and put a drop of vanilla extract into the bowls of vinegar. This will leave a pleasant smell across the room that might linger for a little while (the vinegar smell will likely disappear pretty quickly). 

How to Get Smoke Smell Out of Carpet After a Fire Damage?

Fire damage smoke is probably the trickiest one to get rid of, depending on the size of the fire and what was burning, which will dictate the type of smoke.

Different types of smoke are associated with different types of damage. For example, dry smoke appears when paper or dry wood is burning fast, while wet smoke appears when you have materials such as plastic or rubber burning slowly at low temperatures. Wet smoke is usually much more unpleasant and feels sticky. Protein smoke is produced when materials are evaporating, not when they’re being set on fire. It is almost invisible, but it has quite a pungent smell. There are also other types of smoke, like the one from tear gas or fuel oil soot, however, these are much less likely to be affecting your carpet.

Fire damage is usually pretty large and requires many steps of maintenance. There are not too many do-it-yourself tricks that work on this type of smoke smell, so most people call professionals.

Sometimes, people try to get rid of this type of smoke smell using ozone generators, but these will just mask the smell; they don’t solve the problem at its source. 

Other than that, after testing the above-mentioned techniques (and don’t be disappointed if they fail, fire damage smoke is extremely persistent), perhaps it would make sense to purchase one of those pricey carpet cleaning solutions and make that the third step. If that too doesn’t help, you will need to contact the professionals.

Final Word

Getting the smoke odor out of your carpet can be tedious and take a long time and many repetitions. However, if you are persistent, the simple DIY homemade solutions we suggest here can help you get rid of the smoke smell once and for all.

On the other hand, fire damage and smoke smell may require special attention and handling techniques, which is when we recommend seeking a professional. 

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