How to Get Smoke Smell Out of the House

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Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum cleaner

  • White vinegar

  • Carpet shampooer

  • Fan

  • Baking soda

  • Bucket

  • Clean cloth or sponge

  • Dry towel


Air fresheners, scented candles and potpourri are great ways to give your house a pleasant smell, but they won’t get rid of the smoke odor.

Not only does lingering smoke smell bad, it's unhealthy too.

In addition to the smell of smoke being unpleasant in the house, it's quite unhealthy as well. The lingering odor is more than just a smell but a collection of particles, residue and metals left behind and referred to as third-hand smoke. Getting this unpleasant odor out of your home takes a little time, but can be accomplished with the right materials. Enlist the help of white vinegar in your laundry to eliminate lingering odors.

Step 1

Vacuum the carpets and use the brush attachment to vacuum the upholstered furniture and draperies. Remove blankets, seat covers and any other washable fabrics and send them through the washing machine. Add a cup of white vinegar to the wash to remove odors.

Step 2

Shampoo the carpet with a carpet shampooer. If you don't have one, rent one from a home improvement store. Be sure to read and follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.

Step 3

Sprinkle baking soda over furniture and carpets once they are dry. Leave the soda overnight to help absorb lingering odors and vacuum it up in the morning.

Step 4

Open up doors and windows to help circulate fresh air through the house. Place a fan facing outside in one of the windows or doors to help push out the smell faster.

Step 5

Fill a bucket to the halfway point and add 2 cups of white vinegar and a heaping scoop of baking soda. This solution will fizz so be sure the bucket isn't too full to avoid a mess. Dip a clean cloth into the solution and wipe down the walls in your home to remove smoke residue. Wipe them with a clean dry towel afterward to absorb excess moisture.


Melynda Sorrels

Melynda Sorrels spent 10 years in the military working in different capacities of the medical field, including dental assisting, health services administration, decontamination and urgent medical care. Awarded the National Guardsman’s Medal for Lifesaving efforts in 2002, Sorrels was also a nominee for a Red Cross Award and a certified EMT-B for four years.