Have you ever moved into a new apartment and discovered that you can’t cope for long because of a repugnant smoke smell that won’t go away, even if you open all the windows and doors? Obviously, the previous occupant was a smoker or couldn’t maintain the fireplace properly and now it’s up to you to get rid of the smell.
Smoke odor is quite stubborn and tends to remain on walls, carpets and furnishings around the home for a very long time. Depending on how severe the odorous event was will directly impact how difficult it will be to clean up. Many fire damaged homes are simply unrecoverable due to the amount of smoke produced and soaked into the furnishings. However, rest assured, there are a few strategies you can employ to get rid of persistent smoke odors. Itemized below are 6 great tips you can use to get rid of most smoke smells.
- Apply natural odor removing cleaners
Natural cleaners can be very impressive at getting rid of smoke odor with the added benefit of being environmentally friendly.
Despite the fact that it emits a very strong odor of its own, Vinegar has long been used as a deodorizer. Make sure you buy white vinegar as others will stain anything they come into contact with. Vinegar is especially good for cleaning fabrics and soft furnishings, especially when combined with Baking soda. Mix up a solution similar to the one found here. Apply it to all furnishings and leave it to soak for 5 minutes before vacuuming anything it came into contact with.
- Install an air purifier
Air purifiers’ primary function is to get rid of contaminants in the air. These portable gadgets help ensure that any smoke emitted into the air is purified. Whilst this device won’t be able to tackle the root cause of the problem once the odorous event has already taken place, it will certainly help to pick up and neutralize any particles whipped up into the air.
They can be used to eliminate many forms of particulate including smoke, pollen, mold spores, dust, and bacteria. Very simply, the air filter pulls bad air in whilst simultaneously pushing good air out, thereby filtering particles that are invisible to the human eye.
Be careful when selecting an air purifier that it’s designed for the job at hand. In this case, you need to find one that’s really good at tackling smoke. A good place to start is this guide.
- Wash all the fabrics in the house
Smoke loves to linger on fabrics like sofa covers and curtains and can be the most stubborn part of the problem to deal with.
In many cases, if the smoke exposure was bad, or drawn out over a significant period of time, you will have to get these fabrics chemically cleaned by professionals. Whilst this could cost a fair bit of money, it may be your only chance of rescuing these items.
If however, the odor emitting from them is not too severe, then you can try a combination of the vinegar + baking soda solution and some other store bought fabric deodorizer before vacuuming them.
If you intend to wash any fabric in a machine, ensure you check the label first to be sure it is safe to do so.
- Clean all mirrors and glass
Mirrors and glass tend to attract a great deal of cigarette smoke. Use vinegar again to wash the glass panes and mirrors, and rinse them with soap and water afterward. Ensure that you test the vinegar on a small portion before trying it out on the whole surface. If vinegar isn’t available, you can also make use of a glass cleaner. Try to follow the user instruction on the label before proceeding.
- LayoutCharcoal Bowls
Charcoal is an efficient and safe cleanser used to eliminate bad taste from water and detoxify the body. As a result of its wonderful ability to absorb toxins and impurities, it makes a superb choice to filter air too.
The charcoal should be placed in a few bowls and left in your home for about 2 to 3 days. If the smell still persists, replace the charcoal with fresh blocks. It is better to spread the charcoal into many containers rather than dumping it all in one.
Charcoal briquettes are the preferred choice for home odor problems. Activated Charcoal will still work, but the normal briquettes are more porous which aids in their odour absorption ability.
- Scrub the Walls and Ceilings with Ammonia and Water
Most smoke odours linger on the surface of floors, ceilings and walls for a long time. If the methods mentioned above don’t solve the problem, try out a mixture of water and ammonia to get rid of that smell. Like Vinegar, ammonia can be used in many different ways. When working with this solution, it’s imperative that the area is well ventilated.
Itemized below are some methods you can employ.
- Mix two cups of ammonia to a gallon of water. Allow the mixture to boil for a while and leave the vapour to diffuse through the air.
- Place ammonia bowls in and around you home for about 24 hours to absorb the odour.
- Mix a cup of ammonia and a gallon of warm water and use it to wash the smell off the wall, floors and ceilings.
- Add a little ammonia to your clothes while washing. This will help eliminate the smoke odor from your laundry.