14 answers

Best Way Get Rid of Cig Smell.

My husband and I both are quitting smoking. ( We did it cold turkey and so far we are doing good! ) I need to go through and wash all of our laundry and everything that can be washed or washed down ( furniture, walls etc) to rid the smell. But what is the best way to get the smell out of "house"?

I dont want to just cover up the smell with cleaners. Its suppose to be nice today (45) and I can open the windows for a bit. I do have bowls of baking soda in each room and changing them e/o day.

What else can I do.. or has worked for you?


** Is there a way with out repainting? I wouldn't mind in my bedroom... that has needed it for a while lol. But my living room and kitchen were both painted not even a year ago.

There is no carpeting in our house at all. Other than the living room and bathroom and 1/2 the kitchen, the rest of the walls are plaster in the house. will that make a difference?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Paint. Smoke will stay in the walls unless you prime with Killz (an awesome sealant), air out, and then repaint.

Congrats on quitting!

3 moms found this helpful

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The poluttants in the cigarette smoke settle on everything. That's why it will smell until you wash them off or paint over them. OR you can just wait it out and the smell will eventually go away. If you smoked in your car, have the car detailed. That will take away most of the smoke smell, but the chemicals in the duct work will have to just fade away.

Don't forget to replace the airfilters in your home and vehicles.

Good luck to you and yours.

3 moms found this helpful

Congrats on quitting!! That is AWESOME! I would buy an air purifier along with the repainting and hopefully that would suck up the smell of both of them.

3 moms found this helpful

Paint. Smoke will stay in the walls unless you prime with Killz (an awesome sealant), air out, and then repaint.

Congrats on quitting!

3 moms found this helpful

Fantastic! Both you and your husband are smart people to quit and I wish you the best as you start a smoke-free life. You'll be around to see your kids grow up.

I went through this with both our own house, which a smoker had owned previously, and with my mom's house, which I had to prepare for sale after she died. (Of a lung-related disorder brought on by years of smoking.) You're right to start with clothes and walls and furniture but basic cleaning won't be enough. Yes, do keep windows open every day you can, as long as you can, even if it's chilly. But baking soda only does so much to absorb odors.

As others have noted, cigarette odors are extremely difficult to get rid of. I second those who say you must have all the curtains dry cleaned or wash them (it may take more than one wash or cleaning or you may need to buy new ones).

Get the upholstery of your chairs and couches cleaned too; you might be able to rent a machine or hire someone to do that. (Just spraying "Febreze" on fabrics will not work more than a few days! Go for real, professional "wet" cleaning because the scent is way down in the foam core of the furniture, not just in the fabric upholstery.)

Wash all the windows on the inside because it's on the glass, believe me.

Do a steam cleaning on your wooden or tile or laminated floors (you can rent floor cleaners at many supermarkets for a pretty small fee).

You can wash down all the walls and ceilings -- yes, think of the ceilings; the smoke rises and it's clinging to them. But I would strongly advise washing and then repainting. If you can't afford a huge repainting job, wash every room but then go back and repaint the room or rooms where you smoked the most often.

Do launder everything -- and I do mean everything, the bedspreads, etc. too. But also go into the drawers and wipe them down inside well.

Don't forget the bathrooms. You may even find that the grout in your bathroom is yellowed. Ours was, because the smoke gets into the white grout and yellows it. So it's holding smells as well as looking bad. Consider grout cleaners or those "pens" that clean and whiten grout.

If your house has more than one level, be sure to clean the stairwell walls. Why? If you smoke on a lower level, the smoke is rising to the highest place, so it goes right up the stairwell like it's a chimney--every single day. When we got our house and scrubbed down the basement, the off-white walls of the stairwell from the basement to the main floor looked a little dingy -- but when we washed them, they ran a dark brown, sticky goo that stank of cigarettes. So be sure to get the stairwells cleaned well.

This is a huge job and I hope it does not daunt you or make you give up. Having the cigarette smell out of the house will help your lungs and nose open up and you will find you smell things so much better and regain the lost sense of smell many smokers suffer without realizing it! In the brief time my mother wasn't smoking, she regained her sense of smell in a big way, so she could taste food fully again; and her skin went from gray and ashen to pinker and fuller.

You CAN do this cleaning job--put on some great music or a beloved movie in the background and make it fun. It's for life. Take care of yourselves and be sure to reward yourselves well when it's done. It will be well worth the money spent on paint or cleaning machine rentals.

3 moms found this helpful

I bought some odor stuff at Walmart that was awesome. It was a small pump bottle, shaped like Windex not hair spray, it took out urine smells, pet smells, cigarette, cigar, pipe, etc...they have several options too.

I think my sister would cut apples and put them in drawers to draw out the musty and smoke smells when she did antiques. They should be empty I think...lol.

The curtains, picture frames, TV screens, windows, dining room chairs, etc...all those things that live in the house with you that you don't really touch are covered with a fine brown substance that is tobacco debris. They need to be cleaned so they don't put off an odor.

The first time I went and cleaned my FIL's house I went to clean the glass on the pictures in the hallway and his certificates from living at the North Pole for a year and my rag was brown on the first one alone. Each and every one of them had to have their own paper towels after I realized the rag was too dirty to wash out. Even the fan blades on the ceiling fans had to be taken down and "rinsed" off with soapy water.

3 moms found this helpful

You can try rock salt. I know one of our grocery stores sells it in big bags. Rock salt absorbs odors. The people who owned the house before us had animals and the rock salt absorbs odors. Do you have carpets or area rugs? Carpets absorb smoke like crazy. I recommend getting them cleaned by someone like ZeroRez. You don't want to use anyone who uses soaps and shampoos. The solvents in it will just make it worse.

I totally agree with others, wash the walls and paint. Get your ducts and vents cleaned can really help. Ducts hold on to so many things. Get your furniture upholstery cleaned. (Again, steam cleaned.) Or replace it. Don't get anything dry cleaned for the smoke. (drapes, comforters, etc.) The chemicals will make it really worse. Replace ALL your pillows. Get a good air purifier.

2 moms found this helpful

Don't forget to wash curtains and wipe down shades.
Particles from the smoke coat surfaces.
If you are removing the particles from surfaces, the cleaners are not covering up a smell so much as they are removing the source.
Washing walls, ceiling, carpeting and floors will help to remove the smell.
Use a wood polish on cabinets, furniture and paneling.
It can take some time but the smell will go away eventually.

2 moms found this helpful

Good for you! When my mom quit smoking she literally washed every wall down with vinegar and water and then repainted what she could. There were nicotine stains on the walls and around the pictures, it was pretty gross, so be prepared!

You could probably rent a steam cleaner to get carpets and large pieces of furniture and throw everything you can in the wash with some vinegar.

2 moms found this helpful

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