Smoke can find its way onto hard and soft surfaces in the home. Whether it is from the latest fish fry or a former smoker who liberally lit up in the home, removing smoke odors from living spaces makes them more enjoyable, cleaner and healthier. Save time, money and effort by using the right techniques, tools and detergents when ridding the home of smoke smells.
Regular cleaning with basic deodorizers can remove smoke odors from the home.
Removing Smoke Odor From Appliances
Smoke from cooking can leave behind a residue as well as a noxious odor long after the cutlets, filets or stir fries have been consumed. The steam from frying oil can actually leave a coat of sticky residue on cabinet doors and countertops that can trap kitchen smells. Removing the greasy layer and thoroughly cleaning the area around the stove, toaster oven or hot plate that is used often can help to cut down on the scent of smoke in a home.
A good first defense for cleaning the appliances and cabinets is baking soda. A mix of 1 cup baking soda and 5 quarts of water deodorizes and cleans, according to How to Clean Stuff. This works well for truly sooty messes around cooking appliances and kitchen countertops.
Equal parts of white vinegar and warm water can also take down soot and cut through grease. A final cleanse with a mix of 1 tablespoon of mild dish soap, 4 cups of very warm water, a good sponge and plenty of elbow grease should remove any lingering odors and pockets of grime that have clung to the appliance, cabinets or flooring.
Smoke Odor From Cigarettes
Even having a quick smoke with household items in close proximity can leave behind a smoke odor. Whether you use cigarettes, pipes, smoke cigars or prefer to use unique homemade smoking devices, the odor left behind from this tobacco hobby can be problematic for furniture and other household items with soft fabrics that trap the acrid smell.
Before cleaning the furniture, walls and cabinetry in the home, Rainbow International Restoration suggests that you open all the windows and doors to give the home a good airing out. If the home has been the site of multiple smokers over a long period of time, then the walls, carpeting and interior of the home should be addressed. Wipe down the walls, ceiling, windows and windowsills with a mix of equal parts vinegar and water, although straight vinegar will work for serious odor problems and not hurt the surfaces.
Sprinkle baking soda over carpeting, couches, fabric chairs and area rugs and let it sit on the soft surfaces overnight. Vacuum up the baking soda and place furniture outside, if you can. The sun and fresh air will further help to remove the odor left behind by the former smokers.
Keeping Smoke Odors at Bay
After thoroughly cleaning the home, take time to keep the smoke odor from building up in your lovely living spaces. Cover frying foods or sizzling pans with mesh covers to keep the oil and steam from finding a way onto the cabinetry, appliances and surrounding materials. Open windows to air out the home regularly. Try to have smokers enjoy a puff outdoors rather than in the home. Vacuum carpeting and furniture weekly at the minimum to remove odors.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.