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How to get rid of cigarette smoke smell


Does your house reek of cigarette smell? Don’t worry, we’ve listed down some easy and quick fixes to eliminate the smoky odour. 

© lightfieldstudios | 123rf

Smoking is not only harmful to smokers, but also to the people around them. The lingering cigarette odour, also known as thirdhand smoke, is residual nicotine and other chemicals left on indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke. This residue is known to cling to items like furniture, clothes, wall, carpets and skin even after you’ve done smoking. Inhaling them, in the long run, could lead to serious health problems like cancer and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). 

Simply airing the space by opening the window and turning on the fan won’t help either. The best way to eliminate cigarette odour is to stop smoking. If you’ve recently cut cigarettes out of your life and want to remove all traces of them, or if you’ve recently been in a smoky area and just want to stop smelling like a smoke house, then keep reading to find out how to get rid of cigarette smell and the toxic residue that it leaves behind.

How to get rid of cigarette smell in the house?

1. Sprinkle baking soda

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Baking soda is here to save the day again. Aside from cleaning kitchen appliances and removing durian odour in the house, this humble kitchen staple is also effective in eliminating cigarette smoke smell by neutralising the molecules. The steps are simple as well, just sprinkle baking soda in areas that reek of smoke like the carpets, bed or any fabric-covered surfaces. Leave it for a day and use a vacuum cleaner to clean the area after.

2. Spray the area with distilled white vinegar

You don’t have to spend hundreds on home fragrances to mask the acrid smell. Something as simple as the distilled white vinegar will do. One easy way to remove cigarette stench is to spray the area with vinegar solution. 

Here’s how to do it: 

  1. Mix one part distilled white vinegar with water bring it to a boil. You can also opt to add lemon slices to the solution. 
  2. Pour the solution into several containers. 
  3. Place the containers in areas that reeked of cigarette smell like behind the curtains, living room and bedroom. 
  4. As the steam permeates the air, it helps to remove the smoke smell.
  5. Do it twice a week until your home is clear of cigarette smell. 

For hard surfaces like the floor, table, and kitchen countertops, use a clean cloth soaked with a vinegar solution (mix vinegar with one-third water) and wipe down the surfaces.

3. Place coffee grounds in your house

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If you’re an avid coffee drinker, don’t throw the coffee grounds away after brewing it. Dry them and pour the powder in several small bowls before placing them in various corners of your home. If you grow indoor plants, you can even sprinkle some coffee grounds into the soil mix. Not only does it help soak up the toxin in the air, but it also helps to fertilise your plants. A win-win for you!

4. Use charcoal

Charcoal is as versatile as baking soda as it can be used for different purposes, from deodorising the refrigerator to whitening your teeth. This fine black powder is also said to be potent against strong smells. Leave small bowls of activated charcoal around the house for a few days, and they will lift the odour. If you happen to own an air purifier, make sure to leave them on as well to maximise the effect.

5. Grow indoor plants

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Good news for plant parents. If you’re looking for a natural way to remove ciggie smell at home, just place a few air-purifying plants like the English ivy, aloe vera and snake plants. In fact, the snake plant is regarded as one of the best air-purifying plants out there. According to a NASA Clean Air Study, snake plants can absorb cancer-causing pollutants, including CO2, benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene.

6. Light a scented candle

Another way to mask bad cigarette smell? Get some scented candles and light them up. Local brands like Lilin+Co., Kandle Kandle, Borneo Candle Studio offer a wide range of natural scents like cedarwood, vanilla and frangipani. Pick one that you like and let the sweet aroma fill your home. Remember not to let incense or candles burn when you’re not at home as they might cause fire hazards. 

What is the fastest way to get rid of cigarette smell?

Want a quick fix to remove all cigarette smell at home? Make your own natural air-freshening spray with essential oil. Mix a few drops of your favourite essential oil fragrant (rosemary, eucalyptus or tea tree) with a bit of vodka and water in a spray bottle. Spritz the solution around and your house will smell fresh again. 

How long does cigarette smell last in a house?

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It really depends on the ventilation and the size of the room. In a well-ventilated room, the smell of cigarette smoke will take a few hours to dissipate. Having an air purifier will speed things up as well. However, do remember that the reason why cigarette smoke stays in a room is that the smoke particles tend to seep into the fibres of any soft materials like carpets, curtains and sofas. Follow the tips above to eliminate the pungent smell once and for all. 

How to remove cigarette smoke from walls

Cigarette smoke isn’t just bad for the lungs, it’s also bad for your home. The tar and nicotine substance present in the cigarette will stain your walls. To remove the yellowish stain, you need to first vacuum the wall to remove any loose debris. Then, make a cleaning solution with 3 litres of hot water, 3 tablespoons of dish soap, and a half cup of baking soda. Dip a clean cloth into the solution and begin scrubbing the wall in a circular motion. Remember to dry the wall immediately afterwards to prevent moisture damage to your walls. 

Remember, everyone. Smoking brings more harm than good to you and your environment. If you’re thinking of quitting, there are many ways to help curb nicotine addiction. In fact, most clinics and hospitals in Malaysia have smoking cessation services where you’ll be guided to quit properly. Do reach out if have difficulties in your journey. 

How to get rid of cigarette smell on clothes?

© primagefactory | 123rf

Even if you’re smoking outside of the house or stand near a smoker, you’re bound to bring cigarette smell back with you. To get rid of the smoky odour, wash your clothes with regular detergent with a cup of baking soda. Instead of popping it into the dryer after, dry it out in the sun. If the smell lingers, repeat the washing process. As for delicate items, just add baking soda into the soapy water and clean it. 

No time to go home and get a change of clothes? Get a dry sheet and rub it on your clothes. That should help to mask the cigarette smell for the time being. Remember to wash your clothes when you get home or your room and your closet will reek of cigarette smoke. 

Disclaimer: The information is provided for general information only. Malaysia Sdn Bhd makes no representations or warranties in relation to the information, including but not limited to any representation or warranty as to the fitness for any particular purpose of the information to the fullest extent permitted by law. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate, reliable, and complete as of the time of writing, the information provided in this article should not be relied upon to make any financial, investment, real estate or legal decisions. Additionally, the information should not substitute advice from a trained professional who can take into account your personal facts and circumstances, and we accept no liability if you use the information to form decisions.

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