Getting Rid of the Smoke Smell: 6 Simple Methods

in Health & Safety on by

Getting rid of a smoke smell when you move into a new apartment, or after guests leave, is a top priority for any non-smoker. How to eliminate the cigarette smoke smell is the question. Here are some simple and effective methods to get rid of the smell.

1 – Clean With Vinegar

Cigarette smoke seeps into everything. That’s because of the resins cigarettes leave behind. Use white vinegar diluted with water to clean all of your hard surfaces. Vinegar is a great cleaning agent, and will rid your apartment of the cigarette smoke. The smell from the vinegar will diminish as well, but at least it isn’t damaging to your health.

2 – Vacuum With Baby Powder or Baking Soda

Both baby powder and baking soda are great ways to get rid of carpet odors, including getting rid of a smoke smell. Simply sprinkle either of these on your carpets, and allow them to sit for about 20 minutes. Then just vacuum them away. You can repeat this a few times if necessary.

3 – Clean Your Curtains and Drapes

We always forget to clean the curtains and drapes. If you have fabric window treatments, they are sure to have absorbed the cigarette smoke. So, to eliminate the smell, strip your windows. Place your curtains in a pillowcase, tie the pillowcase, and wash them on a gentle cycle. If the material is embellished or really delicate, you can take them to your local dry cleaners to be cleaned. If you have blinds, or other non-fabric window treatments (other than wood), clean them with the vinegar solution too.

4 – Buy an Air Purifier to Clean the Air

Air purifiers can be found in most stores that sell home products. The cost of the air purifier goes up based on the size of the area it is needed for. The larger the area, the more powerful and expensive the purifier. If your apartment does not have expansive open areas, a smaller air purifier should do. Hook it up in each room for awhile, and let it do its thing. You can also use the air purifier on a consistent basis if you have allergies.

5 – Make Your Apartment a Non-Smoking Apartment

If you are a non-smoker then there is no reason why your guests should not respect your choice. They should go outside to smoke. If you are a non-smoker searching for a new apartment, look for rentals that do not permit smoking in their apartments. Remember that even if the previous tenant in your unit didn’t smoke, if their neighbor did, then there is a good chance the smell could have wafted into your apartment. Non-smoking buildings are best for non-smokers.

6 – Repaint to Eliminate the Cigarette Smoke

Yes, even the walls can smell. When you walk into a smoker’s apartment, usually the white walls are tinged with yellow from the smoke. Chances are when you move into a new apartment, however, the landlord has (hopefully) put on a fresh coat of paint (or you should request one), but if that is not the situation, repainting is a quick fix for smelly, stained walls.


Emily Gojko: I am a writer, marketer, and manager with a strong background in real estate development and management. I am also a native New Yorker with an obsession for home design shows, so I have personal and professional experience making the most of small spaces, and dealing with good and bad living situations.

One Response to “Getting Rid of the Smoke Smell: 6 Simple Methods”

  1. July 19, 2017 at 12:07 pm, Ridley Fitzgerald said:

    It's great to know how to get rid of that smokey smell. Our home had a small fire in the kitchen, and now it smells like smoke there. We'll have to try using vinegar to clean up the area.


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