You’ve got a lingering smoke odor problem. You’ve tried to use the best air purifiers for cigarette smoke, but they don’t seem to be working. Now you’ve got company coming over and you’re afraid your place is going to smell like an ash tray.
What can you do?
There are some unusual methods to neutralize the odors of cigarette smoke that really do work. If you’ve done the traditional methods without success, then try these strange-but-true methods that can effectively remove cigarette smoke.
1. Use vinegar to clean your fabrics and upholsteries. The acidic nature of vinegar helps to cut through the residues that cigarette smoke leaves behind. Use vinegar in your washing machine, with your carpet cleaning, and on your upholstery. Curtains and window treatments that are delicate may need to be sent to the local dry cleaner.
You must clean all items at the same time. If you do not, the remaining items will re-distribute the cigarette smoke odor back to the other items and you’ll be back to square one.
2. Let baking soda sit on your items for 60 minutes. Use a flour sifter, colander, or pasta strainer and fill it with baking soda. Then evenly distribute the baking soda all over the house. Put it on your furniture, your carpet, and your rugs. Your place should look like it has received a light dusting of snow. Then allow the baking soda to sit there for at least 60 minutes. In tough cases, it may need 2 hours.
Do not allow any moisture to hit the baking soda. Water and baking soda make a paste that can stick to your carpet or upholstery.
3. Wash down your walls. You really do need to wash your walls to prevent cigarette odor from lingering. Products like Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser do an excellent job of cutting through the accumulated grime that can trap cigarette smoke odors in a thin film on your walls.
You can also use vinegar on your walls to clean them. If you don’t want your entire home smelling like vinegar for a day or two, cleaning with lemon juice can also be effective.
4. Vacuum the baking soda with a properly filtered machine. Your vacuum needs to employ a HEPA filter so you can remove the now-contaminated baking soda. Be wary of vacuums with odd exhaust ports so you don’t blow the baking soda snow all over your place. Use your vacuum attachments to remove the baking soda from your furnishings.
If you have a lingering odor after this, then repeat the baking soda treatment 1-3 times. Soft materials can trap the odor particles in deep pockets and it can take time for the baking soda to reach the most difficult regions.
Leave your fan on and keep the windows open for a couple of days while you are cleaning with these methods for best results.
If you still have a lingering odor after all this, then you’ll need an ozone generator to remove the tough smells. And, if the ozone machine fails to remove the smell, you may need to replace the carpet or repaint the walls.