Cigarette Smell - how to remove?

9 Replies

Any tips on how to get cigarette smell out of house? I don’t smell it but a lot of potential buyers say they can and it’s not a good first impression. I think it must be in the carpet...maybe removing is the best bet. Looking for other suggestions. Thanks!

@Eric Kulling

If it is very faint, you might be able to do ozone treatment on the house and get rid the smell altogether. Usually ozone treatment is part of a multi-layered approach to bad smells but I've seen it(err smelled it?) work wonders before.

@Eric Kulling

Hi Eric,

If you use an Ozone machine, make sure you and every living thing is out of the house when it's on, and wait a while before going back in.

Ozone can kill living things. Look up how to safely use the equipment on the internet.

Good Luck!

Years ago, my husband used to smoke in the house.  Spray some cleaner like 409 or similar on a section of a wall, and wipe down with a white paper towel.  See if there is nasty yellow residue on the towel, which is from tobacco.  If so, you'll need to clean the walls/ceiling to get rid of the smell.  No need to repaint.  

@Eric Kulling I hate dealing with cigarette smoke! No short cuts to getting rid of the smell and probably $4000. You need to start by washing everything (walls, ceilings, cabinets, doors, lights, etc with a generous portion of tsp (trisodium phosphate - available at your hardware store). Use a scrub brush and dunk it in a bucket with the tsp solution. Yep it gets sloppy! Rip out the carpeting and paint the floor (concrete or wood) with Kilz. Then paint the ceilings and walls with Kilz. When that is dry you can paint the ceilings and walls with regular paint. The Kilz seals everything. Throw away any drapes / blinds etc. You may have to have the ductwork professionally cleaned as well. In a sfh I would turn on my ozone generator at the end of the day to do its job. Plan on airing out the house every morning for 30 minutes before starting work. One last thought, throw away the bulbs in every light! Otherwise when they heat up, they will emit cigarette smell. If I am looking at a house that has been smoked in, I automatically discount it by 10 grand or I’m not interested.

So I had a massive chain smoker in a unit, cigarettes and cheap cigars. 

I had to have the duct work cleaned, (no carpet, but would of torn it out), scrubbed the entire unit top to bottom, painted every paintable surface (walls, ceiling, and kitchen cabinets) with the oil based kilz with two or three coats.  We ran a Ozone machine for about a week in the property and after all that it was finally clean and free of the smell. 

Cost thousands of dollars but totally worth it.  I send out notices to units that smoking is not allowed and they know I took that tenant to small claims court and won, smaller town people talk.  

Could simply take up

Yea...people are getting pretty sensitive to smoke smell. Funny to me how some "offensive" odors are acceptable and others are not...but I digress.

Carpet is a catch-all for things stinky and nasty. Start right there for all the right reasons (far beyond the smell of smoke).

The walls depend on the amount of smoking that occurred. Might just need a good scrub down. Or maybe, a repaint. If it is really caked on there, you will need a scrub down and repaint (scrub down so the paint sticks).

If the smell is in the ducts (assuming you have changed out the filter), then I don't know. Probably would need to clean out the ducts and do the ozone thingy - I haven't had that problem yet.

IMO, nothing smells worse than grease. Light smoke smell tends to go away on it's own after a while (assuming no carpet) - especially after people move in and layer over with their own set of new know, cook a few burgers, etc.