How to Get Rid of the Smoke Smell When Using Woodburning Stoves

Even with a well-sealed wood stove, it's inevitable that smoke will escape at least occasionally, such as when you add more wood. When smoke escapes, it carries tiny ash and greasy creosote particles with it, the source of which can eventually become an acrid smoke smell. The only sure-fire way to eliminate the smell of smoke from your home is to scrub your wood stove thoroughly, from ceiling to floor as well as cleaning curtains and carpets too, which is not too practical on a day-to-day basis. However, a few simple housekeeping steps will keep your home smelling sweet, even in winter.

...
Regularly remove cold ashes from your stove to help control odor.

Step 1

Remove cold ashes from your wood stove immediately to an outdoor ash bin. Ashes are a concentrated source of odor, so removing them regularly helps control the smoke smell.

Step 2

Pour undiluted white vinegar into small decorative dishes and bowls. Add activated charcoal to larger decorative containers. Place the containers around the room in inconspicuous locations. Both white vinegar and activated charcoal absorb unpleasant odors.

Step 3

Sprinkle baking soda onto carpets and upholstered furniture – preferably at night – and vacuum it in the morning. Baking soda absorbs some smoke "grease" and eliminates odor, leaving a fresh smell.

Step 4

Wash curtains more often than usual if you have washable curtains anywhere near your wood stove. Not only does this help eliminate the smoke smell, it will make your curtains last longer, since greasy smoke residue build up weakens fabric threads.

Step 5

Spray upholstered furniture, drapes, curtains and carpeting with commercial odor eliminators such as Odor Ban or Fabreze to control the smell of smoke.

Step 6

Use a simple homemade cleaning solution and deodorizer spray. Mix 1 tbsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. lemon juice and 2 cups water in a pump spray bottle to clean walls, upholstery, windows, mirrors and glassware. In larger batches you can also use it to clean carpets. Alternatively, use equal amounts of white vinegar and water.


Kim Joyce

Kim Joyce has been a journalist for more than 20 years, specializing in healthy foods and environmental health. She also served as communications director for the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges and production editor for Scholars Press. Joyce holds a B.A. in environmental studies and analysis, as well as an M.F.A. in creative writing from California State University, Chico.