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How to Rid Your Home of Cigarette Smoke

You go house hunting, you buy a home, you get settled in, and…what is that smell? There is nothing quite like the potent smell of cigarette smoke.

Whether you are moving into a used home where the previous owners were smokers, or you are a smoker and looking to sell your home, All My Sons of Birmingham can help you rid your home of that cigarette smoke stench.

If you are renting a space or leasing, be sure to check with your landlord before you follow our cleaning tips. In some cases, it may be the responsibility of your landlord to pay to get rid of the smell BEFORE you move in, so make sure that you bring it to their attention so that they can get it taken care of.

If you own your home, start with cleaning the air. Sound funny? Open all windows and let as much fresh air in as possible. Fill bowls with white vinegar and place them in every room (at least one per room).  If you have an air purifier that will also help. Leaving windows open as much as possible when you are home will help tremendously, but it is important to keep in mind that it will take a while before you reach full results since cigarette smoke soaks into furniture, carpets, drapery, clothing, and air vents.

An air purifier will be one of your best friends so if the cigarette smell is bothersome to you, you may want to invest in an air purifier if you do not already have one. Place the air purifier in the room that you use most during the day, and then move it to your bedroom or a family member’s bedroom that may have asthma or allergies at night.

The next step in getting rid of cigarette smell is to clean the walls and ceilings. Cigarette smoke lingers on close to every surface so cleaning the entire home from top to bottom is necessary. Most homeowners do not know that ceilings retain smoke so the ceiling is one of the most important things for you to clean in order to get rid of any smell.  After cleaning the ceiling and walls, clean the floors, doors, windows, and mirrors. Use cleaning products that contain ammonia and glycol, which are key ingredients to neutralizing odors. Keep in mind that these are harsh chemicals to inhale so it is best to keep pets and children out of the room that you are cleaning. Keep the windows open as stated above so that the fresh air will help to alleviate the strong chemical smell and then your pets and children will be able to enter a room that you have finished cleaning, as you move on to the next one.

If your walls are painted you will want to test an area before you divulge in cleaning the entire wall; make sure that the paint can withstand it. If it is a new home and you do not mind repainting anyways, then have at it, it will only help get the cigarette smell out so do whatever you think will best suit your needs and goals. You may immediately be able to NOT smell the cigarette smoke after cleaning the ceilings and walls; however, give it a couple of days. The cleaners can mask the smell in the walls and ceiling and you may need to repeat the process. If a couple days pass and you still cannot smell the cigarette smoke then you can go to your local hardware store and look for paint. Grab a sealant to paint the walls with before applying paint in order to help the cigarette smoke smell from seeping through fresh paint.

Once you have cleaned all walls, ceilings, hard floors, and hard surfaces, get any carpeted floors cleaned. Carpeted floors, just like the ceiling, retain a lot of odors. You can first try to clean the carpet yourself with a strong rug cleaner by spreading it generously all over the room, making sure to get corners as well, let it sit for the allotted time that the product instructs, and then vacuum the carpet thoroughly. If the smell of cigarette smoke is still lingering you may want to call a professional carpet cleaner.