How to get rid of the smell of smoke: removing cigarette odors
Does your old apartment smell like cigarette odors? Smoking in an apartment can leave behind permanent odors that last long after a tenant leaves. If you want to get rid of the smell of smoke from your apartment, read on for various remedies to this problem.
The smell of smoke will cling to surfaces like the floor and walls. Here’s what you can try:
- Walls: Scrub walls with water and a cleaning agent containing ammonia or other harsher agent. Very mild soaps will not be enough. Be warned that harsh cleaning agents may damage paints and wallpaper, so you will need to be careful and test a small portion of your wall first for compatibility. This is why in extreme cases repainting or fresh wallpaper is required.
- Floors: If you have tiling or a hardwood floor, clean them as you might the walls, with a similar warning about testing cleaning agent compatibility first. If you have a carpet, the smell of smoke will have soaked into the fibers. One common suggestion is to coat the carpet with dry baking soda, which absorbs odors, leave standing for an hour, and vacuum. Repeat the cycle a few times. This is cumbersome and doesn’t work very well. A professional carpet cleaning vacuum is usually more effective. You can rent them or hire a service. If professional carpet cleaning is not good enough, you may have to re-carpet your floor.
- Fabrics: Wash curtains, table cloths, or other fabrics . Use an appropriate detergent, but be sure to read the washing instructions carefully for each fabric.
- Furniture: Wipe down hard furnitures just like walls and floors, being careful that the soaps are compatible with the varnishes or other surfaces. You can repaint wooden furniture as well if necessary. If you have upholstered furniture, there are fewer options. A vacuum can help, but you may need professional reupholstering to eliminate all cigarette odors.
- Windows and mirrors: Don’t forget to clean the glass surfaces. Use standard glass cleaners or a vinegar solution and be sure to rinse with a clean cloth or paper towel. For coated windows or mirrors, again, test for compatibility of your cleaning agent.
Refresh the apartment air
Renew the air in your apartment to remove any lingering smell of smoke. Open your windows and ventilate your room for at least an hour. If you do not have a strong breeze, try using a fan to increase airflow. Better yet, use an air purifier to help remove the smoke particles in your room. Charcoal does not clean air in the same way that an air purifier does, but charcoal does help remove odors. You can leave a tray of charcoal in your room. Finally, you can add light scent of perfume or other odor masking agents if you are in a rush and need immediate but temporary odor relief.
Eliminate future sources of smoke
Clearly, you shouldn’t smoke in your apartment if you do not want smell like smoke. Be sure all roommates and guests adhere to this policy. If your neighbor smokes, sometimes the smell can reach you. Many municipalities have laws requiring the ventilation of different units to be separated. In reality, many landlords are in violation of these regulations and you will have little recourse. Be sure to asking about smoking policies when renting or pay attention if you notice the smell of smoke during an apartment viewing. You may want to move to a different unit if there are too many smokers in your immediate vicinity.