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Fire Restoration August 10, 2015

How to Remove Cigarette Smoke Odour from Interiors

Cigarette smoke odour comes from the gluey, yellowish-brown residue that sticks to every surface in ‘smoker-friendly’ interiors. To eliminate cigarette smoke odour, the tobacco smoke residue must be thoroughly cleaned from every surface and every nook and cranny in the building.

For starters, fresh air must be allowed to enter the rooms and then everything in the building should be systematically cleaned. As a temporary solution, baking soda can be used to absorb smells from carpets and upholstery, and bowls of white vinegar, coffee or activated charcoal can be placed around.

The best way to get rid of tobacco odour is to clean the rooms:

  • All windows and doors should be opened to let as much fresh air in as possible.
  • The air filters, furnace filters and AC filters should be cleaned or replaced.
  • Walls and ceilings must be cleaned using products with ammonia and glycol – two ingredients that neutralize bad odours.
  • If cigarette odour is still noticeable after cleaning, the walls and ceilings should be repainted with latex paint. A sealant designed to lock in odours should be applied before painting.
  • Everything in the affected rooms ought to be cleaned: floors, windows, carpets, furniture, upholstery, draperies, blinds and other household surfaces, fixtures and items. A professional cleaning company should be hired if the tobacco smoke residue is too difficult to remove.

For inexpensive short-term solutions, these can help:      

  • Air purifiers
  • Baking soda can be sprinkled on the carpets to absorb bad smells and then vacuumed the next day.
  • Indoor plants can absorb up to 87% of indoor pollutants.
  • The following can be placed around the rooms to neutralize the smell:
    • Scented or non-scented candles
    • Saucers of white vinegar
    • Small bowls of coffee
    • Orange peels
    • Pineapple slices
    • Bowls of activated charcoal

Completely removing cigarette smoke odour from a building is a very time consuming process. If the situation is severe, a professional smoke remediation specialist, such as PuroClean, should be contacted to remove the odour. 

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