Every year, thousands of Australians attempt to quit smoking cigarettes. And, inevitably, a short while later thousands of Australians buckle in to their cravings. But if you are of monk-like self-restraint, you’ll kick the habit for good.
And if you’ve smoked in the house for a long time, the next thing you’ll need to think about is how to get rid of the smoke smell. Doing so doesn’t need to be as hard as kicking the habit itself. Follow these tips to rid your house of lingering cigarette smells.
Keep it breezy! Air out the room as often as possible
Start by opening as many windows as you can to increase the airflow through the house. Do this as often as you can (weather and local flora & fauna permitting). Doing this regularly will, over time, help push the smoky air out.
Wash all your fabric items
Any fabric which has absorbed cigarette smoke should be thoroughly washed. This includes curtains, sofa and cushion covers and blankets. Smoke can linger in these items for a long time, so run them through the washing machine (more than once if necessary).
Baking Soda on Furniture
Regular readers of the Helpling blog will know that we swear by baking soda as a natural cleaning ingredient. So it’s no surprise one of our tips for removing cigarette smells from the home involves baking soda. Scatter it on to smoky-smelling furniture, leave it overnight, and then vacuum it off the following day. Repeat this a few times over the course of a week. The baking soda will absorb the smoke smell, leaving your furniture smelling fresher.
Scrub the walls and ceilings
This step requires a bit of elbow grease. Getting the smoke smell out the air and furniture might not be enough, particularly if you’ve smoked heavily in a room. You may need to give your walls and ceilings a proper clean. A tough cleaner containing glycol or ammonia is best for this job. But be wary that these ingredients are harsh chemicals, so keep the room well ventilated and small children and pets at a safe distance. We recommend you start with just a small area that’s easy to hide away, just to be sure that your paintwork can withstand the cleaning product.
Carpet absorbs odours easily. So if you’ve smoked a lot in a room with carpet flooring, you will need to clean it to properly get rid of the smoke smell. You could invest in a professional carpet cleaning services or, if you’re feeling a bit handy, you could do it yourself. Check out our carpet cleaning tips post.
Air out your books
This may sound like an odd one, but if the smoky room contains a lot of books, airing them out can help get rid of the smoke smell. Books can absorb and retain odours for a long time. Carefully hang them outside over string or a clothes line for a few hours (on a dry day, of course). Be sure to keep them in a shaded spot, as the sun can bleach the pages. It may be best to avoid doing this with older, more fragile books to avoid damaging them. While your neighbours may think you’re mad for hanging your books on the washing line, it will be sure to reduce the stale cigarette scent.
Place charcoal around the room
Charcoal has air purifying qualities that make it great for freshening up a smoky room. Put some out in a bowl in the room you are trying to air out. You may, understandably, be reluctant to leave lumps of charcoal lying around your house, but you can try to make the charcoal fit with the design of the room. Or if you want to be a little more discreet, you can place the charcoal somewhere out of view.
You can also check out our 8 ways to combat nasty smells at home to tackle some of the other more invasive home scents. After putting all that effort into airing out your home, cleaning your carpets and scrubbing your walls, you might not feel up to doing the rest of the cleaning. And that’s where we come in…