How to Get Rid of Cigarette Smell in Your House, Car, Hair, and More

1. Let It Breathe

The first step of deodorizing a rental property is to clear out any surface odor – ventilation. Open all windows and leave them open for as long as possible; during the entire cleaning process as well as afterwards. Turn on available ceiling fans and place portable fans next to windows facing outward to blow out any remaining smoke in the space.

Removing cigarette smell from your skin

  • Wash your hands. Holding a cigarette makes your fingers smell. You can eliminate this by washing your hands immediately after smoking. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to several squirts of liquid hand soap in your palm, mix together, and rub vigorously under warm water. Pay attention to the skin under your nails and to the area between each finger.
  • Cover up. Covering up as much skin as possible while you smoke will help keep the smell off your skin.
  • Cleanse your face. Using facial cleanser pads on your face will help eliminate cigarette smoke residue, although this will also mean you’ll need to touch up any makeup you’re wearing.
  • Use hand sanitizer. Some smokers use alcohol-based hand sanitizer on all areas of exposed skin. This will remove some odor, although it may also burn or irritate sensitive skin, and shouldn’t be used around the eyes.
  • Take a shower. It may be impractical to take a bath or shower after each cigarette, but do make sure to bathe as often as you can, especially after activities that make you sweat.

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Don’t want to use chemicals? Here’s how to get smoke smell out of your house naturally

If you’re concerned about toxic or harsh chemicals that may be in some cleaning products, there are several naturally-derived things you can do. Place activated charcoal, apple cider vinegar, or white vinegar in a bowl in each room. If you are a coffee lover, you could also use coffee grounds. All these substances can help to absorb odors in a non-invasive way.

You can also mask the smoke smell with vanilla extract. Use a cloth to wipe it over different surfaces in the home, or put some on cotton balls. You can also do the same with essential oils or use scented candles to get rid of the smell. House plants are also excellent at absorbing chemicals and purifying the air. Buy some and place them throughout the house.

3. Repaint Ceilings Walls

Ready to get down to business? Let’s start with the biggest chunk of the job – ceilings and walls. This part may not sound like your idea of fun, but it’s necessary, and the reward is huge.

First, you will need to wash the surface. Mix a cup of white vinegar with 2 cups of warm water and ½ cup of baking soda. Dip a sponge in the mix and start wiping down the ceilings and the walls. Washing the ceilings and walls with vinegar can both deodorize and clean the surface. Wipe with a clean sponge after. Repeat 2-3 times.

Next, repaint the ceilings and walls with multiple coats of paint, depending on how stained the walls are. It is crucial to wash and dry the surface first, as simply repainting the wall might not stop the nicotine stains from seeping through. Also, paint sticks better to a cleaner surface. Again, if you’re willing go that extra mile, you can apply a layer of odor-blocking primer before regular paint. Odor-blocking primers are very effective at preventing odor molecules and stains from penetrating the new paint.

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Conclusion

For many people, the smell of smoke is what warrants immediate attention, and so the DIY methods presented in this article are a good first line of defense for getting rid of the immediate noxious smell of smoke. But for those who are more concerned with long term health and indoor pollution, air purifiers and filters might be a better way to go. Regardless, the best and most effective way to remove the effects of cigarette smoke’s second and third-hand effects is to limit, if not entirely eliminate, your exposure to cigarette smoke.

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