Getting Cigarette Smell Out of Wood Furniture

Updated on March 28, 2011
S.P. asks from Swarthmore, PA
11 answers

Hi Mom's

Recently, we were given 2 beautiful wood bedroom sets from a relative's home. They are fabulous, old, wonderfully crafted real wood pieces. The newer of the sets does have a veneer finish but underneath is solid wood. It wreaks of cigarettes, terribly. It apparently was in the bedroom where said relative spent the last 8 years watching TV, smoking and drinking. I have washed it inside and out with vinegar, then murphy's soap, I have had baking soda sitting in the drawers for almost 2 weeks, then I bought this "volcanic rock" type odor absorber for locker's/duffel bags - and still it's a nasty old ashy tray smelling thing. Ugh. It's disappointing because the furniture is great quality, except for the cigarette smell. Does anyone have ANY other ideas for getting rid of this horrible odor?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all of the suggestions. The drawers have been out baking in the sun all weekend. I am going to try to get the rest of the dresser outdoors soon too. In the meantime since baking soda, murphy's, old english, lysol and target wood good cleaner haven't helped it I'll go get some coffee beans and fill the drawer areas and see if that'll help!

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answers from Philadelphia on

For inside the drawers, put a cup of ground coffee (in a cup!). I had a really smelly fridge and that's the only thing that worked. As for the outside, good luck!

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answers from Washington DC on

I agree with putting them out in the sun for a few days if you can - that UV light can do amazing things. Also, you might try stripping the old finish if possible, or just a light sanding and recoating with new varnish or polyurethane. Of course, with some beautiful wood pieces, applying a coating would be a shame. But that smell is unbearable - it might be worth a shot.

One last thought - if there is any open grain wood on parts of the furniture that you don't see all the time (backs and undersides, inside the chests, etc.) you could try Febreezing the heck out of it. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Harrisburg on

I bought a wooden aquarium stand on Craig's list that made my son's room reek. I used lemon furniture polish on it every day for a week or two and opened the windows and eventually you couldn't smell it anymore. Good luck!



answers from Austin on

Lemon oil does wonders. As for inside of drawers, coffee beans (cannot be ground) is supposed to eliminate odors. Not sure if it works for cigarette smells but its worth a shot.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I was going to suggest Murphy's Oil Soap--but you've already tried that! Is there any way you can put the pieces outside & in the sun for a few days? (As we are finally starting to get some sun in PA!)



answers from Philadelphia on

put is outside in the sun. The fresh air and the sun will help bake it and get rid of some of the smoke odor. sorry for the horrible odor. May be talk to someone who sells used furniture or someone at a furniture store.



answers from Jacksonville on

You can try sprinkling some baking soda in the drawers,and later remove it, I'd give it a few days. For the wood, rub it down with some Old English Lemon Oil. As before, you can sit it outside for a while and let it air out in the sun and then do the baking soda and lemon oil. It's worth a shot ! You might also try putting some fabris softner sheets inside the drawers and just leave them there !

C. S.



answers from Erie on

Fresh air, fresh air, fresh air... Take the drawers all the way out of the dressers and stand them on end in a breeze (making sure that they won't tip over and crack).

If you don't want to wait until spring or don't have the room to put them outside, I would call a furniture refinisher. Ask them what they would do. It may be a light sanding of the unfinished surfaces (to get down to the fresh oils of the wood) or perhaps they have a product that you could buy. It may be a lot of work, but it sounds like the pieces are worth it. Good luck~



answers from Philadelphia on

If you can't get them outside....take all the drawers out & put them around the room. Open all the windows (close the door) & turn on a fan or two. Blow as much air through the room as possible. This may take a few days, but it should help.



answers from Oklahoma City on

My sister slices up apples and puts them in the drawers of furniture to get rid of the smoke smell. She swears by it.

I buy odor remover spray from Walmart in the air freshener area. It seems like it's in a small white spray bottle. I use it on the kids "accidents" on the carpet and it works wonders. I have also used it in the general air just to get rid of trash smells or when I found out what was smelling up the pantry (potatoes gone bad).



answers from Salt Lake City on

put it outside and let it air out a little bit- try getting a wood cleaner degreaser then applying orange oil or beeswax

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