We bought a house that had smokers living in it. We have stripped up all carpet and had the wood floors refinished. We have stripped and refinished the woodwork and painted everything else, but in the spring in the time between using the furnace and the air conditioner, we can still smell the odor. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Did you use Kilz primer with an odor blocker before painting? Most smokers occupy kitchen, livingroom and bedroom where smoke is more prevalent. Have you scrubbed closets, cabinets, appliances that went with the home? If you use a strong fragrance when cleaning like PineSol or a citrus scent and air the house this Spring that should help in time. Does the house have floor vents? Use the long hose on your vac or shop vac and get as far into the duct as possible moving it back and forth. This will get loose debris/dust that odors cling to and then you can scrub the interior so far back with a strong disinfectant cleaner (I like Lysol in brown bottle) and set a bowl of vinegar water or crushed/bruised lemon or orange peelings on a saucer inside the vent duct.
An ozone generator will do the trick. I had a bad cooking incident in my home. I was told that I would have to repaint the whole house to remove the smell. I researched smoke removal and subsequently purchased an ozone generator from eBay for about $150.
Before you go through the expense of having your ducts cleaned, get the furnace professionally cleaned first. Your ducts get dirty from the furnace. And, it takes more than just changing the furnace filters to clean a furnace and get it tuned up. Something the manufacturers recommend you have done once a year anyway. Then after the furnace is professionally cleaned, look at getting the ducts cleaned. Smoking and having pets all go through the furnace cycle and into the duct work. On average you will pay about $89 for a good reputable company to come out and professionally clean and tune up the furnace.
My roommate and I have been heavy smokers for years. I want to clean my entire house, walls, rugs, appliances, furniture, etc. to remove all nicotine from my home.
By sherri from Boston, MA
You didn't state if you were giving up smoking or not, but there are e-cigarettes that operate as a mist and you can buy vials of flavored non nicotine liquids to refill them. It's better healthwise for you than smoking cigarettes if you want to try giving them up and the best thing about ecigs is it's odorless and no nicotine building up in lungs, clothing, and home, etc.
In the future, anyone who smokes should do it outdoors, so your home remains odor free of cigarette smoke and remove all temptation by getting rid of the ashtrays. To clean a lot of your heavily coated household items like sofa, chair, carpet, drapes or anything else fabric, is not going to be easy. You may look on the internet for commercial cleaning products that get down deeper than what you can get in the supermarkets.
If you can afford to replace upholstered seating, I'd do that to save a lot of effort and time. You can buy almost new sofa/chair if you look around in newspaper ads or on the 'net if you can't buy new. I feel the same way about your carpet; years of smoke buildup and nicotine stains present in fabric won't all come out.
If you need to go cheaper on cleaners w/o replacing a lot of furnishings, use these two products but not together: PineSol and Lysol in brown bottle and wear gloves as too much on hands feel like they are burning a little. You'll have to go over and over everything to totally notice a big difference. The carpet padding may also have the odor in it and that's why you may not totally remove all odors especially noticeable on rainy days.
For walls if painted, scrub thoroughly to remove buildup and then repaint using a primer that deals with odors first. The primer will state it takes care of odors.
For woodwork, wash with PineSol and a lot will lift out and change the water frequently. Try a degreaser spray too. This may help lift some of that stubborn nicotine. You can use Scots Liquid Gold or a good wood polish afterward to bring back that newer look.
Sorry, there's no easy fix, but it'll be cleaner and you'll be in a healthier lifestyle.
TriSodiumPhosphate or TSP is a powder you mix in water. It is the best thing for all walls, cabinets, paneling, etc.
I'm moving into a house where a smoker has lived for 30 years. It smells like it, too. Any suggestions to get that deep down smoky smell out?
If the walls are sheet rock, wash them down with
baking soda and water, then paint with a stain blocker mildew inhibitor, I used Kilz, Kmart and Walmart have it, there are other brands available. Make sure you do it on a day that is OK to keep your windows open because it's pretty stinky stuff. Then paint the walls with paint. Kilz is also great for water stains on walls and ceilings.
Regular barbeque charcoal is good to put around too for smells.
How do you clean cigarette staining off kitchen worktops and cupboards?
By Deborah Kenning from Northern Ireland
Ammonia diluted with water works the best. Make sure the room is well ventilated and change the water/ammonia solution frequently. It is also great for cleaning any food grease.
Distilled vinegar works like a charm (I would use it straight to remove nicotine) and the advantage of using it is that it is not harmful to your lungs or other organs and the odor goes away in a just a few minutes. Also, it is environmentally friendly and super inexpensive and you can use it to clean and sanitize everything from windows and floors to sinks and toilets and in the rinse cycle of your washing machine as a fabric softener.
I use to smoke in my house and company did as well. I have cleaned all my walls, curtains, and carpets, and I still smell cigarette smoke. I use wall deodorant plugs, and wall sprays and candles. I also got a crock pot and put hot water and potpourri oils in it. I still smell it, but no really heavy smell. My house smells.
By Bobbie A from Jeffersonville, IN
Have you cleaned your furniture? Upholstered furniture and mattresses will hold on to that smoke smell. Even wooden furniture (be sure to clean the sides, not just the top) and cabinets need to be cleaned well to remove the tar and nicotine residue. You might not be able to see it, but it's there.
Place some pans of heated vinegar around the house for a few days. You can also place pans of charcoal (activated, if available). The vinegar smell will linger but is very short lived. The smoke odor in fabrics might be reduced by spraying with Febreze.
To rid your house of cigarette smoke smells, place little bowls of vinegar through out the house. It works!