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How To Get Rid of Stale Cigarette Smoke Smell

Updated on March 29, 2010


Regardless if you are a cigarette smoker or not, most people do not like the stale smell that cigarette smoke leaves behind.

Here are some easy and creative ways to get rid of that smoke smell from your furniture, car, or rooms in your home where your or someone else has been smoking.

Open Your Windows or Air Out Area

This is the first place you should start when trying to eliminate the odor of stale cigarette smoke.  Open all the windows in the room or car that you want to freshen up.  If you have cushions, blankets, pillows or furniture that the smell seems to be clinging to, put those pieces outside for a few hours to give them a chance to air out thoroughly.


Clean All Surfaces with Regular Cleaning Products

The second thing you should do is to clean the surfaces that have been exposed to it. Use Windex on all windows, furniture polish on all wood furnishings, pine oil on floors. If the smell is in the car, use Windex on all windows and Armor All for all car interior pieces that are not material.

Don’t Forget Your Light Bulbs

Usually overlooked, light bulbs will attract cigarette smoke while a person is smoking and will then redistribute the smell when the light is turned on again at a later time. So be sure to clean or replace any bulbs that might have been exposed to the smoke.


Put Out Bowls of White Vinegar

Plain old white vinegar can be used for many home remedies and helping to neutralize stale cigarette smoke is one of them. Simply place a bunch of bowls filled with white vinegar around the room you are trying to disinfect and leave to sit for about 24 hours.

Put Out Bowls of Charcoal

Another easy and surprising cigarette smoke odor remover is charcoal. Fill a few bowls with charcoal and place them around the room or in your car overnight. You should see an amazing difference as early as the next morning.

Put Out Bowls Of Ammonia

Putting out bowls of ammonia will work just as well as white vinegar and charcoal in neutralizing smell,  but beware if you have children or animals in the house. The consumption of ammonia can be very dangerous. If you do have children or pets, it is probably safer to use the white vinegar or charcoal remedies mentioned above.

Use Baking Soda

While most people are aware of how effective baking soda is in removing odors from the refrigerators and freezers, they probably don’t realize this can also work on removing the odor of stale cigarette smoke as well. This is the perfect solution to use on carpets, couches, chairs, pillows, mattresses or car seats made of material. Simply sprinkle baking soda on effected areas and vacuum away after a few hours.  Be careful when using this remedy on finer furniture however. You might want to try a small test area to ensure there will be no discoloration of certain fabrics.

Wash Down The Walls

The finale step in ridding a room of stale cigarette smoke is to not forget the walls and floors.
Wood walls should be washed down and could then be followed up with furniture polish. Wood floors can be finished up with a wood floor cleaner (never use furniture polish on a wood floor - way too slippery and dangerous).

If your walls have wallpaper try combining 1 gallon of warm water, 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup plain ammonia, and 1/4 cup washing soda (can be found in most laundry aisles of your supermarket). Be sure however to try this on a small test area first. While some studier wallpapers can handle getting wet, others older or more delicate may not take to it well and might peel or tear.



More Home Remedies and Cleaning Ideas

For more home remedies and cleaning ideas using items you already have around the house please visit Home Remedies for Everything.


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    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 7 years ago from Arizona

      I was told and tried, Coke on my windshield of the jeep and it cut through the build up fast and easy. I'm sure there are many but Windex doesn't seem to work to well it leaves the residue streaked and it's at night when you see it the worst, that's what prompted the use of Coke, as the glare of oncoming traffic one night was making the windshield appear blocked and the only thing in the cooler was a coke and I remembered someone telling me about it and I stopped and poured some on a rag and it cleared the mess a window cleaner left behind. 50

    • profile image

      Michelle 7 years ago

      Very useful tips, i really hate the smoke and odor of cigarettes and i used to practice the tips from this article: http://www.unique-stuff.co.cc/how_to_eliminate_cig...

    • Cowboycoffee profile image

      Cowboycoffee 8 years ago from Lexington, Ky

      As a Smoker these are some Great Tips, I have Found That Simple Green Cleaner is one of the few products to take the tar off of most surfaces. : )

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