Removing Cigarette Smells from Rooms - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
 
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post #1 of Old 04-21-2008, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
 
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Removing Cigarette Smells from Rooms

Greetings Everyone,

I have two homes where I have had the toughest time removing the odor of cigarettes. Both homes have designated rooms where the clients smokes and after sprinkling carpet powder down(and letting it set for some time) on the carpet and spraying fabric freshner, I still smell the odor...its as if its seeped in to the walls. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Nikia
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post #2 of Old 04-23-2008, 08:35 PM
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I do not know if this will help with the smell of cigarette smoke but it helps with other odors. You can buy odor bombs at a Janitorial supply store. They are around $4.00 ea. You will need one for each room. We have used them to get rid of pet smells and other bad odors such as trash and I have even heard of them being used to remove odors where something has died such as an animal.

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post #3 of Old 04-24-2008, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Kendra! I'll check those out and let ya' know!
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post #4 of Old 04-24-2008, 10:21 PM
 
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If you don't own one already, you should consider renting a fogger from your local carpet cleaning distributer or from a professional cleaning company. You use a oil chemical in the fogger (options vary in several different fragrances my favorite being Kentucky Blue Grass) which will draw any odor out of the walls carpet furniture or whatever and neutralize that odor. Good luck.
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post #5 of Old 04-26-2008, 09:55 PM
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Will an ozone generator work?

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post #6 of Old 05-08-2008, 07:01 PM
 
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Cigarette smoke is one of the hardest smells to remove. To permanently remove the smell one would have to paint the walls and the ceiling and replace any carpeting then do a really good deep clean. I do know that leaving bowls of vinegar out will help absorb the odor, but if the person is going to keep smoking in the room it won't really be effective. I would think that if the person is a smoker they probably won't care as to whether the smell has been eliminated fully.
I would encourage a more non-toxic effort than an odor bomb.

Last edited by Vanessa; 05-08-2008 at 07:03 PM.
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post #7 of Old 05-08-2008, 07:46 PM
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I used an ozone generator in one of my apartments where the tenants had smoked. Of course they denied smoking. Why do smokers think that crap does not stink?

I once pressure washed an exhaust system over a table where the smokers gathered. the residue was a nasty brown after hitting it w/SH. Some of the brown residue dripped on my arm. My heart rate went up from the nicotene. Give me a resturant hood anytime, even a BK is better than cleaning a smoker's hood.
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post #8 of Old 05-08-2008, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Hicks View Post
I used an ozone generator in one of my apartments where the tenants had smoked. Of course they denied smoking. Why do smokers think that crap does not stink?

I once pressure washed an exhaust system over a table where the smokers gathered. the residue was a nasty brown after hitting it w/SH. Some of the brown residue dripped on my arm. My heart rate went up from the nicotene. Give me a resturant hood anytime, even a BK is better than cleaning a smoker's hood.
What is an ozone generator and how does it work?

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post #9 of Old 05-09-2008, 07:11 AM
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The one I rented came from a carpet cleaner. I think there are little people inside the machine who take the little O's from the air. By a secret process they scrub the nasty smells from the air, and then put the little O's back in the air. The little people are related to the little people who live in the radio, makeing the music and acting in the tv. Either that or it is magic.
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post #10 of Old 07-30-2008, 07:08 PM
 
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Put a small cup of amonia somwhere out of kids or pets reach, over time it will remove cigarette smells
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post #11 of Old 09-12-2008, 12:05 AM
 
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I know this is somewhat of an old post, but what the heck.....

Ozone destroys the odor by destroying the odor mollecule. Unfortunately it also consumes the oxygen in the room and must be used only in vacant homes. There is another option that I use in areas that contain people, it's called a VaporShark. It works with essential oils, which attach themselves to the odor mollecules and render them nuetral or "submissive".

Ozone is more effective, but both will eliminate odor in textiles, such as carpet and curtains, even walls.

When painting to rid the house of smoke odor, add a little vanilla to the paint.

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post #12 of Old 09-12-2008, 02:16 AM
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Vanilla to the paint! never heard of such a thing.

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post #13 of Old 09-12-2008, 10:10 AM
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Will an ozone generator work?

yes. I had one tenant ignore the "non-smoking" agreement he signed. He of course blamed his friends. he had other more pressing issues and moved someplace where he got "3 hots and a cot". That place had a real non-smoking ban. I used an ozone generator to get rid of the smoke smell.
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post #14 of Old 05-23-2019, 04:48 AM
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Removing Cigarette Smells from Rooms Reply to Thread

Getting Started
The first 4 steps I detail below are inexpensive and should remove the residue from a short-time smoker. The last 2 are more costly, but should do the trick for removing the scent from even long-time smoke exposure.

First things first: open up all the windows in your home and turn on as many fans as you can. This will help to start airing out the home while you do the rest of the cleaning.

Next, gather your supplies. You'll need:
  • Vinegar. At least a gallon.
  • Baking soda.
  • Clean rags/towels. Youíll go through a bunch, so stock up, You can pick up some in the automotive section of your local supermarket or go for microfiber.
  • Bucket
  • Colander or strainer
  • Ozone Machine. This is only for extreme cases.

Step #1: Use Vinegar on Fabrics
If youíve ever gone to a smoky bar, you were probably reminded of your outing the morning after - when you could still smell smoke on your clothes. The same thing applies to the fabrics in your home, which will hold onto any lingering smoke from your rule-breaking guests.

While it might not necessarily be practical, or possible, to remove all the fabric from your home (a couch can be a beast to move to the patio!), do remove all the fabric items you can from the smelly room. This includes any pillows, bedding, blankets, and curtains. If you have a large washing machine, you can throw all these through a cold wash cycle with 2 cups of vinegar added to the load..

See also: How to Use Vinegar to Clean Your Home

Then, whatever you do, do not use high heat to dry them; from my research, the heat seems to reactivate the smoke smell, and even sets it into the fabric. Instead, use a low heat or fluff cycle - or, if you have the ability to line dry them in the sun, that will be even more effective in removing the odor.

For larger, bulkier items, you may need to enlist the help of your local dry cleaner. Bag up all the smelly items and take them to the cleaners, and make sure to let them know that you need help removing the smoke smell, so they can work their professional magic on the items.

This is also helpful for delicate items like curtains and window treatments. Window treatments arenít cheap, so itís better to get professional help than risk shrinking or damaging them in your washer.

Once the fabric items have been washed and the odor has been removed, the last thing you want to do is bring them back into a smoky home. So put them in large garbage bags and store them in an alternate location until you are able to complete the next few steps to remove the odor from the rest of the home.

Quick note: The next 3 steps need to be completed in a relatively quick manner. If you do one without doing the others, the odor will get redistributed around the home. If multiple rooms have been affected by the smoke, work on one room at a time, then do your best to seal the clean room off to prevent the yucky odor from drifting in from other areas.

Step #2: Use Baking Soda on Carpets and Furniture
After youíve removed the majority of small, soft items from the room, you will likely be left with large items like furniture, mattresses, and carpet. For these items, baking soda is going to be your best friend.

Your goal is to sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on all the soft surfaces in your home. The easiest way I've found to do this is to use a 2-cup liquid measuring cup and a large colander. Fill the measuring cup with baking soda, then carry it to the area you want to sprinkle. Pour some baking soda into the colander, then shake the colander over the carpet or fabric. This will help you disperse it evenly over the surface.

Continue to move around the room until all carpet, fabric, furniture, and mattresses are covered in a layer of baking soda. It should look like you have a thin layer of snow in the room.

Whether itís from cigarettes or a candle, smoke leaves a greasy residue on walls and the ceiling, as it floats through the air and settles on the first hard surface it comes in contact with. The majority of the residue attaches to high areas like the upper half of walls and the ceilings.

Next, let the baking soda work its magic by letting it sit for about 30-60 minutes. During this time, you can help work the baking soda in to the soft surfaces by gently rubbing your hand over the mattress or fabric, or by walking around the carpeted room with socks on your feet.

Try to keep moisture (including dog drool and oils from your feet) from touching the baking soda, as they can create a paste that isnít as easy to remove.

While the baking soda is absorbing odors from the soft surfaces, itís time to clean the hard surfaces.

Step #3: Use Vinegar on Walls
Whether itís from cigarettes or a candle, smoke leaves a greasy residue on walls and the ceiling, as it floats through the air and settles on the first hard surface it comes in contact with.

The majority of the residue attaches to high areas like the upper half of walls and the ceilings, but if there was a significant amount of smoke in the room, it is likely hanging on all the way down the walls - and on the floor, too.

The best thing for removing smoke residue from walls is a vinegar/water mixture. Fill half your bucket with about 75% vinegar and 25% water. If this is too strong for you to smell or touch, you can add a little more water until itís tolerable to work with.

I would also recommend only filling 1/3 or 1/2 your bucket with this mixture at a time. It is going to get dirty very quickly, so I've found itís better to use small amounts of cleaning solution and then change it out often, so you have a clean mixture.

Submerge one rag or towel at a time into the mixture, and squeeze it to remove most, but not all, of the liquid. Starting at the top corner of a wall, wipe down an approximately 3 foot-by-3 foot section of the wall, then rinse your rag and repeat on the next section.

When youíve completed that part of the wall, continue repeating the process around the room until all parts of the wall have been cleaned. If the ceiling of the room is flat, repeat the process across the ceiling, as well.

I've discovered that this step doesnít need to be done meticulously to be effective. The goal here is just to quickly swipe the walls and leave them with a thin layer of the vinegar mixture to absorb the odor.

I've also tried using a spray bottle of the vinegar mixture to do this part, but I would advise against this method. Spraying the vinegar mixture didn't seem to provide the amount of coverage that the damp rag did, and it was fairly irritating to my senses, buring my my eyes and throat after just a couple minutes.

Step #4: Vacuum the Baking Soda (and Repeat?)
If the smoke smell is still present, repeat the baking soda step. Itís likely that any lingering odor is being trapped in the softer materials, so this step may need to be repeated a couple of times.

After you've wiped down the walls - or when you just need a break from the vinegar smell - move on to vacuuming all the baking soda up from around the room. Use the attachments on furniture and mattresses, and use the roller brush to vacuum the carpet.

At this point, once all the baking soda is vacuumed and the walls are wiped, Iíd advise going to get yourself a nice lunch or a cup of coffee. This is not only to treat yourself for a job well done, but also to give your nose a break - so you can evaluate upon your return if the smoke odor has truly been removed from the home.

If itís still present, repeat the baking soda step. Itís likely that any lingering odor is being trapped in the softer materials, so this step may need to be repeated a couple of times. Luckily itís the easiest step to do, and is super cheap!

Hopefully, after a couple turns, the odor will be almost completely removed. Leaving your windows open and letting your exhaust fans run for another day or two should help freshen the space right up, too.
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