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16 Ways to Clean Your Home’s Cigarette Stink

Drew is a rental property owner. A pharmacist and a writer. He has dealt with various after-rent issues and learned how to fix them.


As a rental property owner myself, I know that getting rid of cigarette odor is one of the toughest problems a landlord must face. You can put no-smoking signs or even talk to your tenants. But that will not work if you, your tenant, or your family is a habitual smoker.

After all, you can’t stop smokers 24/7 when they’re itching to blow off steam, or when you’re itching yourself. And before you know it, your apartment is already in one stinky trouble. There are also health issues to consider.

That’s why I created this guide after suffering from such a problem. Here are 16 simple tips on how you can eliminate the smoke smell out of your home and properties.

1. Remove Cigarette Smell with Vinegar
2. Sprinkle Baking Soda
3. Absorb Odor With Activated Charcoal
4. Unleashed Your Ammonia
5. Go Organic With Coffee Grounds
6. Mask It With Vanilla
7. Freshen It up With Essential Oils
8. Vacuum Every Nook and Cranny
9. Wash All Fabric Items
10. Spare Not Your Hanging Decors
11. Let Your Room Breath
12. Clean Filters and Air ducts of Air Conditioners and Furnaces
13. Make Your Home No Smoking Zone
14. Ozone Generators
15. Repaint Your Walls
16. Call the Cleaning Expert

Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty and freshen up your home.

1. Remove Cigarette Smell With Vinegar

What absorbs cigarette smoke smell? Try vinegar.

White vinegar has a natural way of getting rid of cigarette odor. Mix one cup of vinegar and half cup of water. Use it to wipe down your furniture, floors, and walls. You can also put several bowls of vinegar around the room, leaving them for days.

Simmering vinegar can also neutralize the lingering smoke smell. But if you can’t stand the smell, you can try the other tips below. But at least try.

2. Sprinkle Baking Soda

Spread out some baking soda around your home. Put a few bowls on your furniture and floors. Leave it for a few days for a better result. Like vinegar, baking soda also has a natural way of absorbing tobacco stench.

Of course, don’t forget to vacuum it away after use.

3. Absorb Odor With Activated Charcoal

Using activated charcoal is another do-it-yourself way to absorb stinky cigarette smell. As a pharmacist, I can bet on activated charcoal. It is also known as the universal antidote and will help you cure away your cigarette poisoned home.

It works by trapping toxic gases and chemicals. Absorbing and neutralizing the smell around your home. You can look for it in various online marketplaces. The best thing about this thing is, it is dirt cheap and easily available. Well, most of the time.

Use it like vinegar and baking soda. Put a few bowls inside your smoke-infested home. Leave it for several days for better results.

Anyway, don’t confuse activated charcoal with camping briquettes you use for your grills and barbecues. Those are different and some briquettes might worsen your problem.

4. Unleashed Your Ammonia

Cigarette smell can be stubborn, so you must be ready to bring out your secret weapon. Meet Ammonia, our smoke smell eliminator.

To use, mix one cup of ammonia and four liters of warm water. Open all your windows for proper ventilation before use. Wear gloves and take a sponge. Use the solution to scrub those smelly spots that just wouldn’t go away. It might get a bit smelly, but don’t worry, the ammonia smell will go away on its own.

When you use it, please also make sure you don’t have bleach products around. Ammonia plus bleach? That’s toxic.

Aside from that, don’t forget to read the label and follow directions carefully.

5. Go Organic With Coffee Grounds

If you’re a coffee addict and want to go all green while saving money. You can use coffee grinds to absorb lingering smells in your home. Using coffee grinds also leaves a nice brewed coffee smell around your home. Yeah, like your local coffee shop.

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Put a few bowls around your home. Leave it for several days. And walla! You are now loved by nature. You also now have a good excuse to drink a few more mugs of hot coffee.

6. Mask It With Vanilla

Who said vanilla is only for cooking? Well, surely not me.

Add a few drops of vanilla extract to a sponge or wet rag. Then wipe down surfaces, furniture, and decors using it. Vanilla can mask the scent of cigarette odor while also dealing with other unwanted smells.

You can also put a vanilla extract on a few cotton balls and leave it around your home for better results.

7. Freshen It up With Essential Oils

Yes, you have read it right. You can use your essential oils to get rid of lingering cigarette odor. Got a few to spare? You can use it.

How? Get an empty spray. Then mix and blend various essential oils of your choice into the bottle. Mint, lavender, orange, sage, eucalyptus, etc. You can also add a little vodka and water.

Seal your spray and it’s done. A simple DIY smoke-smell buster created by you. So what are you waiting for? Spray away to your heart’s content.

8. Vacuum Every Nook and Cranny

It might sound simple, but you must vacuum every nook and cranny of your home. Carpets, floor, furniture, curtains, and everything. After all, you might not see it, but smoke grease can stubbornly stick on your property.

You can also use it together with the baking soda tip for better results.

9. Wash All Fabric Item

Cigarette smoke sticks to almost everything when given a chance, especially on fabrics. Look for a sunny day and set a date with your laundry.

Wash all your curtains, quilt, blankets, pillow covers, linens, sofa covers, clothes, and all other fabrics. Dry them at a smoke-free place. Once done, bring them back for a better smelling home.

10. Spare Not Your Hanging Decors

Your walls along with your hanging decors can also suffer from a smoke smell. Believe me, cigarette smoke will not spare them, especially if it’s made of wood, canvas, and textiles.

So take your decors out of the house. Get some mild soap, warm water, and a washcloth. Gently wipe your decors clean and let them dry outside before putting them back again.

11. Let Your Room Breath

Don’t forget the old classic way. Open up all your windows and let your smoke-suffocated home take a breather. It is a cheap way of cleaning those smoke smells.

You can also put fans towards your windows and doors to help ventilate your house better. Turning on the fan will increase airflow. And if used wisely, it can drive away smoky odor faster.

12. Clean Filters and Air Ducts

Your air conditioners and furnaces filters and air ducts can trap smells and cigarette contaminants. If you live it be, you might get every cleaning tip right, but still fail.

Clean your filters and air ducts to keep that nasty smoke smell away. Doing so will help you stop the smell from circulating inside your house. It will help you keep your house clean and stench-free.

13. Make Your Home No Smoking Zone

Or at least have a smoking zone. Simple but essential step if you want to remove nasty cigarette smell from your home. Put a no smoking sign and remove anything related to smoking out of your home.

Like the adage had said, "out of sight, out of mind."

Put those ashtrays and lighters outside the balcony. You can also make a comfy smoking zone outside. It will make sure smokers will stay outside when they itch for a smoke. It will also help smokers build a habit of not smoking inside.

14. Ozone Generators

Ozone generators are products that can help you eliminate or reduce smoke odor from your house. Even though it can help against lingering tobacco odor, this method must be a last resort. It can’t eliminate smoke odors that have already permeated through the walls, carpets, furniture, etc. So focus on those issues first before using an ozone generator.

Please also take note that it’s on the more expensive side and must be used carefully. For health and safety reasons, you must also make sure that no one is in the house. When excessively exposed, it can be dangerous for pets and humans.

15. Repaint Your Walls

You have done everything, but your wall still stinks. What in the world is wrong with your home? Sorry folks, but it might be time to repaint your walls. Call your buddies and start slugging paint against your stinky walls.

Well, what can I say? Learn from your lesson and make sure smokers will never get inside your home again. And if you’re the smoker, er, smoke outside, pretty please?

16. Call the Cleaning Experts

What? After all was said and done, nothing had changed? The smell of the cigarette still lingers, and it’s haunting the hell out of you?

Now that’s real trouble in your hands. A kind of trouble that I never want to experience. Since we have already done our best. Perhaps it’s high time to call in the cleaning experts. Look on the internet and check them out. Make sure you’re searching for cleaning experts with an excellent reputation.

Aside from that, if you have no time on your hand and are willing to spend, our friendly cleaning experts might just be your top choice. Whelp, perhaps I’ll just call them immediately next time.


What else absorbs cigarette smoke smell? You.

You might not smoke and might doesn’t allow secondhand smoke to get near you. But now, thanks to humanity’s genius, despite only having two hands (pun intended), we now have a thing called third-hand smoke.

Third-hand smoke is chemicals left on indoor surfaces by smokers. It clings on your furniture, carpets, drapes, walls, beddings, and almost everything we tried fixing in our list. Worst, if you inhale, swallow, or touch it, you might suffer from tobacco-induced health problems like ordinary smokers.

Deal with the smoky issue while it's still early. Get rid of that smoke stink now and save yourself and your family from avoidable smoke-related health threats.

Want More Smell Cleaning Tips?


  • Hays, J.T. (2020, August 21). What is third-hand smoke, and why is it a concern? Mayo Clinic.
  • Jacob, P., 3rd, et al. (2017). Third-hand Smoke: New Evidence, Challenges, and Future Directions. Chemical research in toxicology, 30 (1), 270–294.
  • Matt, G. E., et al. (2021). Remediating Third-hand Smoke Pollution in Multi-unit Housing: Temporary Reductions and the Challenges of Persistent Reservoirs. Nicotine & tobacco research: official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, 23 (2), 364–372.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Drew Agravante

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