Moved Into a Smoker’s House? How to Get the Odor Out of Your Home
In addition to having an unpleasant smell, cigarette smoke is also quite dangerous. These types of odors will often linger in a home for years, and many people feel as if it is nearly impossible to completely remove the smell of cigarettes. While this project will take some hard work and patience, you should be able to banish these stubborn odors in just a few weeks with the proper cleaning strategy.
Invest in Air Purifiers
A high-quality air purifier won’t immediately get rid of the smell, but investing in a few of these devices is a great first step. Larger air purifiers are generally attached to a home’s HVAC system, and they can remove most contaminants in a short period of time. For those who aren’t ready to spend that much money, two or three smaller purifiers should be placed in a few strategic rooms throughout the home. Products with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters tend to be the most efficient purifiers.
Deep Clean or Replace Your Carpets
Within a short period of time, cigarette smoke will permeate all of the fabric inside a home, and removing those smells can be incredibly difficult. One option is to clean all of your carpets with a wet-dry shop vacuum two or three times to see if that removes the odors. Unfortunately, some of the contaminants might be trapped below the surface of the carpet where the vacuum can’t penetrate. If the carpet still smells after being vacuumed, then you might need to replace it entirely.
Disinfect the Ceilings and Wall
Many people are surprised to hear that walls and ceilings can trap smells as well. Even though these surfaces generally look solid, they actually contain billions of microscopic pores where contaminants will linger for years. Most of these surfaces can be disinfected with a glycol-based cleaner that has been diluted with a little warm water. Those who are comfortable working with potentially dangerous chemicals might also want to consider an ammonia-based product.
Clean and Tune the HVAC System
Even if you have recently upgraded your HVAC system, there could still be lingering toxins in the ducts. An experienced HVAC contractor can help you inspect, clean, and tune the entire system in a single afternoon. They have specialty tools and equipment to sterilize the ducts deep inside the walls where you might not be able to reach. They can also swap out any old filters that contain carcinogens and test the system for any issues that are impacting its efficiency.
Use Essential Oils
Of course, using essential oils immediately will only cover up the smell temporarily. This is an option that you should consider after doing all that you can do to get rid of the odor. By that point, the smell should have lessened or be gone completely. However, we can sometimes still convince ourselves that we smell something after being around it for a while, and so using essential oils to make the place smell good will help your mind truly believe that all is well and that the house is smoke-free.
Deep cleaning your home and removing unwanted smells might be more important than you think. Studies are now showing us that “thirdhand smoke” can linger for years, and long-term exposure to those toxins is extremely dangerous.
Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She graduated from the University of California-Sacramento with a degree in Journalism.