How to Deodorize a House of Cigarette Smoke

Most unpleasant odors quickly dissipate, but cigarette smoke is pervasive and can penetrate every nook and cranny in your house, lingering long after the cigarette has been extinguished. Often, the odor of cigarette smoke intensifies, becoming stale and even more unpleasant as time goes by. Although removing cigarette-smoke odor can be difficult, there are a number of remedies that deodorize your home, leaving the atmosphere fresh and odor-free.

Cigarette in hand
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woman ashing cigarette on table
Tangerine peel
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orange peels

Step 1

Place bowls of vinegar or activated charcoal in smoke-affected rooms, leaving the bowls overnight, to absorb mild cigarette odors. Alternatively, use sliced orange peels, leaving the peels until they shrivel.

Woman hovering rug
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woman vacuuming rug

Step 2

Sprinkle baking soda on carpet in affected rooms. Allow the baking soda to remain on the carpet for a few hours, or overnight, before vacuuming using a clean filter and bag. If possible, use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. If the smoke odor is severe, rent a steam cleaner or contact a professional carpet cleaner.

electric fan and apple
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fan on desk

Step 3

Ventilate the area as much as possible. Place fans in affected rooms or turn on ceiling fans. If possible, open your windows and doors.

Hand changing a regular light bulb for LED
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unscrewing lightbulb from lamp

Step 4

Remove lightbulbs from lamps and/or overhead fixtures, as warm bulbs may attract cigarette-smoke residue. Wash the lightbulbs carefully. Allow the bulbs to dry thoroughly before replacing them in the fixtures.

Young woman dusting plant in living room, laptop in foreground
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woman dusting plant

Step 5

Scrub walls with an ammonia-based cleaning product and cloths or sponges. Clean or dust other hard surfaces, furniture or woodwork.

Woman washing clothes with machine
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woman using washing machine

Step 6

Clean window blinds by wiping them with a damp cloth or sponge, or scrub the blinds in your bathtub. Launder washable curtains. Take draperies to a dry cleaner.

Senior man opening air conditioning filter in ceiling
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man replacing air filter on ceiling

Step 7

Replace furnace filters or air filters, as filters absorb smoke odor.