How to Get Cigarette Smoke Out of Upholstered Furniture

No matter what its upholstery fabric is made of, a piece of furniture exposed to cigarette smoke is likely to absorb some of the smoke odor. Stale smoke odors linger so long in some furniture that you may even find the smell in a secondhand sofa or chair long after it left a smoker's home. Natural odor-absorbing materials such as vinegar or baking soda help neutralize odors, making formerly foul furniture functional once again.

Cigarette smoking retro fifties cool business fashion man.
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Baking soda helps keep upholstery from smelling like an ashtray.

Step 1

Remove the cushions and pillows from the furniture, if possible. Air the loose items outdoors in a protected area such as a porch on a dry, non-humid day or prop them up near an open window for several hours. Skip this step if you are unable to remove the cushions.

Step 2

Sprinkle baking soda over the entire upholstered area, including cushions and pillows. If the cushions are off the furniture, sprinkle baking soda over the area where they normally belong. Allow the baking soda to sit for 30 minutes or longer.

Step 3

Vacuum the baking soda up using the upholstery brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner. Flip over any loose cushions or pillows and sprinkle the other side with baking soda, vacuuming the powder up after another 30 minutes.

Step 4

Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a bowl or spray bottle. Use a bowl if the upholstery is a smooth material such as leather, faux leather or vinyl. Mix the solution in a spray bottle for woven upholstery fabrics.

Step 5

Dip an absorbent white cloth into the vinegar solution if you are cleaning smooth upholstery, wringing out most of the moisture. Wipe the upholstered areas down with the damp cloth. For woven upholstery, spritz the fabric lightly with the vinegar mixture so it is lightly damp but not soaking wet. Vinegar helps remove odors from all sorts of materials, including upholstery.

Step 6

Pat the furniture dry with a white absorbent cloth if it still feels damp after 20 to 30 minutes.