How to Get Rid of Smoke Smells From Cigarettes, Fire & Food

Updated January 11, 2022
Person Smoking Cigarette Indoors

Combating smoke smells in your house can feel like marching into war. But it's not impossible to remove them. With the right tools from your cleaning drawer and a can-do attitude, you can learn how to remove smoke smells with ease.

How to Remove Cigarette and Fire Smoke From House

If you're a former/current smoker or had a fire, you know getting rid of that distinct smell can be difficult. Your first thought might be to reach for the scented candles or aerosol spray. Sadly, those are only going to mask the odor. To get rid of the smell, you need to attack it at the source. So, you've got a bit of work ahead of you. Neutralizing the odors in the air is going to take a few tools.

Air Out Your House

One of the best things you can do for cigarette odor removal is to open the windows and let nature do its work.

  1. Put a fan or two in front of your largest windows, pulling the smoke from the room and putting it out the window.
  2. Allow the windows to be open for at least a whole day.
  3. Move smoky furniture and upholstery outside if possible.

This can quickly and easily pull any lingering smoke out. This can often be enough to get rid of minor smoke smells.

Pull the Odors Out of the Air

In the winter, opening the windows for several days isn't really going to be an option. Plus, cigarette smell is good at lingering in the air. Your next step is to grab an odor absorber.

  1. Grab several small bowls and fill them with activated charcoal, coffee, baking soda, or white vinegar. These will pull the odors from the air.
  2. Replace the bowls as needed.

Try an Air Purifier

If you aren't having any luck with the natural odor eliminators, you might want to invest in an air purifier. The machine has a HEPA filter to work to filter out any lingering smoke and smells. You might want to consider one with an activated carbon filter for dealing specifically with smoke.

Woman adjusting a home air cleaner
  1. Set the air purifier in the smoky-smelling rooms.
  2. Allow it to run until the smell is gone.

Get Smoke Smells Out of the Walls and Hard Surfaces

When it comes to how to get the smoke smell out of your house fast, prepare yourself for a long cleaning session. One of the impossible things about smoke is that it clings to every surface in your home. To clean your walls and hard surfaces, grab:

  • White vinegar
  • Broom
  • Mop
  • Bucket
  • Floor cleaner
  • Steam cleaner
  • Cloth

With your materials at the ready, it's time to throw on your favorite jam and get to work.

  1. Create a mixture of 1:1 water and white vinegar.
  2. Use the mixture to wash all the walls, ceilings, desks, tables, glass, mirrors, and other hard surfaces with the mixture. (This is going to require a ladder unless you are tall.)
  3. Don't rinse the mixture.
  4. Sweep and mop hard floors (hardwood, laminate, etc.)
  5. Repeat as necessary.

If you have a steam mop, you can also use this to help get the smoke smell off the walls and floors. You can also use dish soap for areas where it isn't safe to use white vinegar. If you find the smell is still clinging to your walls, then you might want to consider repainting.

Get Smoke Smell Out of Furniture and Carpets Naturally

Now that you've dealt with all the hard surfaces in your home, it's time to take a look at your furniture and carpets. Fabrics are great at sucking in cigarette smell, so you need to clean them to get it out. For cleaning your furniture and carpets, you need:

Baking Soda And Vinegar On Table
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Ammonia
  • Steam cleaner
  • Cloth
  • Vacuum
  • Spray bottle

How to Get Cigarette Smell Out of Furniture With Vinegar

White vinegar is a powerful odor neutralizing agent. So, you can use it to clean your furniture quickly.

  1. Vacuum the furniture.
  2. Check the label to make sure it can handle water cleaners.
  3. Mix a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water.
  4. Dip a cloth in the mixture and wring it well.
  5. Dab every area of the furniture with the mixture.

Use Baking Soda to Remove Smoke Smell

Like white vinegar, baking soda is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to smoke smells. Well, when it comes to nay smells, really. To clean your carpets and furniture, follow these instructions.

Woman Using Vacuum Cleaner On Carpet
  1. Vacuum the furniture and carpets well.
  2. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the furniture and carpets.
  3. Allow it to sit for several hours.
  4. Vacuum it up.
  5. Repeat as needed.

How to Get Rid of Smoke Smell on Leather Furniture

Leather furniture is a different beast than fabric upholstery. So, the method for cleaning it is a bit different.

Hands in gloves disinfecting coffee table
  1. Mix a 1:4 ratio of white vinegar to water.
  2. Add it to a spray bottle.
  3. Spritz the furniture.
  4. Wipe it dry.

Steam It Out

If you are still struggling to get rid of that horrible smoke smell. Try steam cleaning.

  1. Follow the instructions for setting up the steam cleaner.
  2. Steam clean your carpets and furniture several times.
  3. Allow to dry.

Effective Ways to Get Smoke Smell Out of Clothes and Fabrics

Fire and cigarette smoke are great at getting into your coats, pillows, curtains, clothes, etc. Any fabric you have in the house, smoke smell will definitely cling to it. To get them clean, you need:

  • Baking soda
  • Large plastic bag
  • White vinegar
  • Washing machine
  • Odor-neutralizer

Wash With White Vinegar

For fabrics or clothing that is washable, you can just throw it in the wash.

  1. Add ½ cup of baking soda or white vinegar to the wash cycle.
  2. Add ½ cup of baking soda or white vinegar to the rinse cycle.
  3. Enjoy the clean.

Create an Odor-Neutralizing Soak

For clothes and fabrics with a powerful stink, the washer might not be enough to do it. In this instance, create a soak.

Soaking clothes in a blue basin
  1. Add 1-2 cups of baking soda or white vinegar to a tub full of warm water.
  2. Give it a little stir.
  3. Add your clothing and fabrics.
  4. Allow them to soak for at least 2 hours.

This works great for drapes and large blankets that don't fit in your washer.

Remove Odors With Baking Soda

Some materials just can't be put in water. But that doesn't mean you are out of luck. Instead, you can use a bit of baking soda to soak up those odors.

  1. Put a cup of baking soda in a large plastic bag.
  2. Add your fabric to the bag.
  3. Tie it tightly.
  4. Allow it to sit for a day.
  5. Shake out or vacuum to remove any baking soda cleaning to your items.

Consider a Deodorizing Spray

If you are still fighting lingering smells in the air, you might want to consider trying an odor-neutralizing spray like Febreze.

  1. Either create your own or buy Febreze at the store.
  2. Spray this on pillows, blankets, etc. with a lingering smoke smell.
  3. Enjoy!

Easy Ways to Remove Smoke Smells From Kitchen

Did you have a minor kitchen disaster? Everyone is guilty of a charred dinner occasionally. Life is busy. However, that doesn't mean that you must be resigned to that smell lingering. To remove irritating kitchen odors, you need:

Organic cleaners. White vinegar, lemon and sodium bicarbonate
  • Lemon
  • White vinegar
  • Pot

Removing smoke smells in the kitchen doesn't take much. It just depends on your preferences.

  1. Fill a medium-sized pot halfway with water.
  2. Add a cup of white vinegar or a few sliced lemons.
  3. Allow the pan to simmer for 30 minutes or so.
  4. Breath in that fresh smell.

When to Call a Professional

If, after you've tried to clean your home and eliminate the odors and still find the smoke smell pervasive, it might be time to call in the professionals. Professional cleaning services use specialized technology to pull odors out of your home. Be sure to get a referral for someone in your area and go with a company that specializes in odor removal. While it's not always necessary to call a professional, some smoke odor problems are so deeply ingrained into the house that using professional services may be the only way to get the smell out.

Smoke and Cigarette Odor Removal

Whether you've experienced a house fire, had a minor accident in the kitchen, or are dealing with cigarette smoke, you have options for removing the odor from your home. It's going to take a bit of elbow grease and a lot of baking soda and vinegar, but it can be done.

How to Get Rid of Smoke Smells From Cigarettes, Fire & Food