get that cigarette smell out of the house

Get That Cigarette Smell Out of the House

If you’ve just bought a house that was lived in by a heavy smoker, you’ll definitely want to get that cigarette smell out of the house. The lingering residue of smoking – the odor and the stains on the walls and windows are just plain nasty!

Below are some suggestions for how to get that cigarette smell out of the house and making your house smell nice again. If you’re hiring a professional home stager to get the property ready for resale, be sure to share these ideas!


Retail Cleaning Solutions for Walls, Woodwork and Flooring

TSP/90. You should be able to pick this stuff up at most True Value hardware stores. If you don’t have any place local that carries it, Amazon sells it.

get that cigarette smell out of the house cleaners

Just add one to two tablespoons of TSP/90 to a gallon of water. Wipe the walls down with the solution and then wipe dry. You can use it on paneling and any woodwork in your home for a good cleaning.

Clear Magic. This cleanser doesn’t even need hot water because it’s cold water activated.

Simple Green is a fantastic product for cleaning your walls and floors and anything else that needs a good scrub.

Kilz. If the other products don’t work on the walls, you may need to use Kilz first as a primer/sealer and then repaint the walls.

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DIY Solution: 1 part vinegar to 3 parts hot water.

Cleaning Solutions for Carpets

Good luck with that. Unfortunately, there are no easy or inexpensive remedies for cleaning the smoke odors out of carpets. Whatever you try will only be temporary and the odors will come back through over time.

The best thing you can do is replace the carpets. But before you have new carpets installed, use one of the above solutions to clean the floors first.

get that cigarette smell out of the house  carpets

Get That Cigarette Smell Out of the House Once and For All

Before starting in on the cleaning the house, you should have the smoker or smokers move out of the home. Sounds harsh, I know, but the smoke odors get into everything in the house – starting with the smoker’s clothing.

It will be virtually impossible to get the odors out of the house if the smoker still lives there. He/she will “infect” everything with the cigarette smells.

Obviously, getting the home staging done is a lot easier if the owners have already moved out. But if they haven’t, the smoker will absolutely have to leave.

If this is your house and no one else smokes anymore, naturally, you don’t have to move. But the following steps are still necessary to get your home clean again, whether you’re selling it or not.

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Caution: This may cost you some money and it’ll definitely cost you time, but it’s still cheaper in the long run than continuing to smoke!

If you have more money than time, you can always hire a professional cleaning service to do the job for you. Just make sure they don’t miss anything! This is going to be an in-depth, more than just a spring cleaning!

Air It Out!
If you live in a warmer climate or it’s a beautiful spring day, be sure to open as many windows and doors as possible to let some fresh air breeze through the house while you’re cleaning; air the place out!

get that cigarette smell out of the house open window

Get Rid of the Soft Stuff Where Odors Permeate and Linger
Will it fit in your washer? Can you take it to a dry cleaner? If not, it goes in the trash. Seriously.

That includes the your pillow fillers too. If the filler can be dry cleaned, no problem. If not? Get a brand new pillow.

Time to rip out the carpet and the padding. Clean the floor thoroughly with one of the products mentioned above. It may be best to give the flooring a double cleaning to make sure you’ve eliminated all of the residual odors.

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Cleaning the Hard Surfaces Around the House
Use any one of the solutions mentioned above to clean all of the walls, windows, ceilings and all of the linoleum or wood flooring. If any of the walls are stained beyond cleaning, you’ll probably need to repaint them.

You may even want to remove any wallpaper and then scrub the walls before repainting. Kilz is a good product to neutralize the odors and cover any stains before repainting or putting up new wallpaper.

For tile, stone or granite floors, shop for a good cleaner specifically made for those surfaces. Using anything else may damage the flooring.

Remove and Clean or Replace Light Bulbs
Did you know that nicotine from cigarettes collects on light bulbs? Once you turn that light on, the bulb heats up and acts like an odor diffuser. And that’s one odor you do not want wafting around the same house you’re trying to rid the odor from.

Replace Air Conditioner Filters
In fact, any appliance in the house that uses filters needs to be replaced because cigarette smoke gets into everything! And you don’t want air conditioners, humidifiers, dehumidifiers or any other appliance circulating those odors.

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