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How to Get Rid of Smoke Smell in Your House

Updated on January 29, 2018
Smoking can cause terrible odors in your home.
Smoking can cause terrible odors in your home. | Source

It doesn't matter if you have smoke odors from cigarettes or a house fire, you may need some help to know how to get rid of the odor. Here you'll find all the tips you need.

Not only does cigarette smoke have a bad odor, but third hand smoke is the substance left on furniture, carpets and other surfaces after a person smokes. Third hand smoke can cause cancer. The substance mixes with other chemicals in the air and causes a carcinogenic substance that is especially dangerous to children. It is important to remove the residue.

The day after you had a party, your home can reek from the odor. Just burning something in the oven can cause a terrible smell for awhile too. Here is some help.

By expertvillage, Youtube

Getting Rid of Tobacco Smoke Odors in Your Home

Your plan of attack will depend upon just how bad the smoke odors are. Did you have a visitor that smokes or is someone a smoker in your home? Have you just moved into a new home and the past owner's smoked? If you just had a visitor, you may be able to get rid of the odor just by opening the windows to air out the house and spraying some air freshener.

If you moved into a home where the previous owner smoked or you have a smoker in the house, you are going to have a lot more work to do.

Clean the Air

Open all of the windows in the house. Leave them open for an entire day if possible. If you can't get rid of the odor, leave the windows open everyday for two weeks. This helps to air out everything. Leave small containers of vinegar around the house. Vinegar is good at absorbing odors.

Replace your furnace or air conditioning filter. It can make a world of difference. If this doesn't work, you'll need to clean the carpets, walls, and all surfaces.


Sprinkle all carpets with baking soda and leave it on for a few hours. Then you'll need to vacuum. The baking soda should absorb most of the odor. If this doesn't work, you'll need to shampoo the carpets. As a last resort, replace the carpeting.

Curtains and Drapes

If the odor is really bad, you'll need to launder all washable curtains. Be sure to check the care tags. Some drapes and curtains need to be dry cleaned.


If you rub dryer sheets on your sofa and upholstered chairs, the sheets will absorb odors. You can try placing dryer sheets under the sofa cushions too. It will give a pleasant fragrance.

If you still smell an odor,sprinkle baking soda on the furniture and then vacuum. This will help absorb the odor also and may do the trick.

If necessary, you'll need to shampoo the furniture.

Kitchen Cabinets

If smokers live in a house, you'll be surprised by the yellow film that builds up on the kitchen cabinets. Wash down all cabinets with a product for wood that will remove grease at the same time.

If you feel it is necessary, wash out the insides of the cabinets too.

Light Bulbs and Light Fixtures

Even the light bulbs can be covered with smoke residue. Wash the light bulbs, fans, and light fixtures with vinegar mixed with water. Do the same with lamps.


Scrub the walls with vinegar or baking soda and water. If this doesn't work, you may need to repaint. There is paint on the market now for just this purpose.

Hire a Company that Specializes in Smoke Removal

As a last resort, there are companies that will deodorize your house. I've heard that their services work. If you don't have time to do all the cleaning yourself, hire one of these

by cookingguide, Youtube

Getting Rid of Smoke from the Oven or Grease Fire

This is much easier than removing the smell from an entire house.

  1. First if there is still smoke in the house, you can remove it with a vacuum cleaner. Just hold the wand in the air where you see the smoke. This idea works well.
  2. You'll need to open all of the windows.
  3. Try Spraying the room with some room freshener.

by ehowathomechannel, Youtube

How to Get Rid of Smoke Odor from a Wood Stove or Fireplace

When we had our wood stove, one day I started the fire and all the smoke came pouring into the house. I didn't have the flue open or something. I didn't know what to do and I grabbed the vacuum cleaner. It actually vacuumed all of the smoke. Try that and then open all of the windows. Clean the vacuum afterwards by spreading baking soda on the carpeting and vacuuming it. Then you'll need to throw away the vacuum bag and inserting a new one. If your vacuum cleaner doesn't have a bag, just wipe out the cup that catches the debris.

If you have smoke odors in your home, you may also need this advice. How to Get Rid of Smoke Odors from Your Hair and Clothes.


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    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      3 years ago from USA

      Kristen, Thanks for reading the article. If it is warm out and there are no allergens in the air, keep the windows open during the day. That would go a long way towards helping.

    • Kristen Haynie profile image

      Kristen Haynie 

      3 years ago from Scotia, CA

      Good info! I rent my home, and the previous tenants (obviously) smoked very heavily in the bedroom. My hubby has athesma, and symptoms flare up at night when he spends just a few minutes in the bedroom. I'm certain the carpet has been replaced and the walls were repainted... but it's still so bad! I have to do something to remove the smell. I think I'll try the vinegar trick!

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      5 years ago from USA

      peachpurple, I'm happy I could give you some ideas.

    • peachpurple profile image


      5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      my neighbor usually burnt trash and cut grass in her backyard that causes smoke in our house. Your tips help a lot, tq

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

      Sharkye11, I am happy I don't have to deal with the forest fire smoke. The neighbors burning gross garbage is enough for me when it comes in the windows. We smoke outside most of the time. When it gets really cold though we smoke in the house. My kids really complain, so I try to keep the smoke odor out. Thanks for commenting.

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      My husband and I both smoke, but I use baking soda all the time to absorb the odors, and everything gets wiped down daily/weekly/monthly depending on what it is. Guess it works, my vehemently anti-smoking relatives (the kind that swear they can smell cigarettes being smoked in another state) didn't know I smoked. However...what REALLY stinks up a house are all the oil and forest fires we keep having here in OK. Sometimes the smoke gets so thick we can't even see the cars parked in the drive. Talk about a nasty smell! Will definitely try some of these tips this summer when the fires start up again. Voting up and useful!

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

      Gordon, I try to smoke outside myself. I have been using electronic cigarettes lately in an attempt to quit. That way you don't need to worry about odor or the mess of butts and ashes. Thanks for reading the hub.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image

      Gordon Hamilton 

      7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hi, Barbara. Like you, I am a smoker but I have never smoked indoors anywhere I have lived for at least ten years, regardless of the weather. I do have a lot of smoky, cooking smells in the house, however, so will definitely look at the cider vinegar and baking soda tips. Very informative Hub and useful I am sure to a great many people.

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

      mailxpress, I should add that it is cider vinegar. Thanks for pointing that out. Baking soda does work for a lot of cleaning jobs and laundry. Thanks for commenting.

    • mailxpress profile image

      Michelle Cesare 

      7 years ago from New York

      Excellent tips for odors in general. Is it red wine vinegar or white? Dryer sheets under the cushions, nice! I'm learning Baking Soda works great for lots of things.

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

      Angela, I like the wood smoke smell too. It does linger on your clothes though. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 

      7 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks for the great information -- I personally like the wood smoke smell but alas -- don't have a fireplace! Great Huib! Best/Sis

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

      bac2basics, I smoke like you. I do outside during the warm months and in the basement in the winter. The odor still gets in the house from the basement, but not quite so badly. I have kids that complain, so I am always working at ways to remove the odor. Thanks for reading.

    • bac2basics profile image


      7 years ago from Spain

      Hi Barbara. At the moment I am smoking like a chimney because of stress, I also have a wood burning stove in the house which when used by visitors often leaves a pong because they don´t know how to use it properly, so all these tips are both cheap and easy to utilize. I would never have thought of leaving bowls of vinegar about or tucking dryer sheets under cushions. I do know that onions cut in half and dotted about take away the fumes from house paint, which I really find gives me an upset tummy, but the vinegar and everything else you suggest I will try. Great hub and thanks for sharing.

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

      ChitrangadaSharan, You are welcome. I'm happy you found it useful.

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

      Carly, Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      7 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Nice and useful tips to get rid of smoke odor. Passive smoking is very harmful for health, you are right.

      Thanks for sharing this useful hub!

    • CarlySullens profile image

      Carly Sullens 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      Wow, this is good information. I hate the smell of smoke, so if I ever buy a used car or home, I would definitely keep this hub in mind.

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

      billybuc, My guess is they sold the house to a smoker. The odor can seep into paneling even. Thanks for commenting.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good information. Not a problem in our house, but I remember growing up the smells in the house. I don't know how they ever got rid of those smells after the house was sold. There had to be twenty years of smoke in that house. Yuck!


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