Get Rid of Cigarette Smoke Smell in Your House With These All-Natural Hacks

Maybe you bought a house that smells like cigarette smoke, maybe the forest nearby caught on fire, maybe you’ve burnt the fried chicken one to many times… What ever the reason may be your house has a smoky smell to it and you may be wondering how to mask it. Well, you’ve come to the right place to learn how to get rid of cigarette smoke smell in your house.

House smells like smoke, what should you do?

House smells like smoke, what should you do?

One night on the barbecue may give off a smoky smell, but it will be much easier to get rid of than years of smoking cigarettes. In this article we will go over how to get rid of mild surface level cases of smoke as well as deeper, longer lasting ones.

Often smokers will not notice the smoke smell because they are used to it, but it can be an unattractive trait to potential buyers if you are trying to sell. A study conducted by Realtor Magazine, shows that houses with a smoky smell reduces the value of a home by up to 29%.

The smoke smell can be really irritating. It can make people nauseous or can give them headaches. The smell tends to stick to everything from walls to furniture and laundry. The odor can last for weeks or months and be really hard to deal with. Getting rid of the smoke smell in your house is often a big priority.

The first thing you need to know is the importance of  getting rid of the source of the smoke. Sure, you might be able to mask the smoky smell with scented candles or cans of febreze, but that will only mask the smell temporarily. In order to fully get rid of the smoke smell for good you need to tackle the source, not just mask it.

Here are some steps on tackling the source.

Airing out your house

Airing out your house by opening the window

First, you want to air out your house. This sometimes is the only step you need to follow in order to get rid of the smell. (No worries if it’s not. We have more tips below.)  Open all the windows in your house and turn on all the fans and vents. All of them. If you have portable fans point them facing the window so they will draw the smell out.

Fans and open windows will help the air circulate and get rid of the smell.

How to clean hard surfaces

Once you have followed step 1 and have begun the process of airing out your house it is time to deep clean from top to bottom. You want to clean every surface in your house to fully destroy the smoke smell. Here’s how:


Cleaning walls

Vigorously wash the walls with a solution of 1 part vinegar to 1 part water. The smoke smell can cling to the walls so it is important to wash every surface. (In some major cases people have had to remove the drywall in order to get rid of the smell.) Most often, just washing the walls will help fight the smell immensely.

Another thing you can do in a serious smell situation is to repaint the walls (after you’ve finished washing them.) Paint can cover up the smell and de-odorize the room. (However, paint should be used in addition to these other steps. Often when the “new paint” smell leaves the smoke smell can return, if you haven’t properly gotten rid of it.)

If you are following the other steps then painting the walls can be a great way to start fresh in a room.

Walkways, entryways, doors

Walkways, entryways, and doors are more hard surfaces to deep clean. Find a favorite cleaner, or continue with the vinegar and water solution to scrub all hard surfaces in your home.

Counters, cupboards, and dressers

Woman wiping the cupboards

This may seem tedious to have to wipe down every surface in your home, but that is what will get rid of the smoke smell quickly and permanently.

Clean inside drawers and cupboards as well as wiping down counters, book shelves, and other hard surfaces.  Another thing you could do would be to fill a bowl with baking soda or activated charcoal and place them in rooms. Baking soda and charcoal are natural deodorants and will help draw the smoke smell out of your house.

How to clean soft surfaces

These following steps are very important as well, as smoke doesn’t just cling to the walls, but also any carpet, furniture, and other soft surfaces.


Sprinkle baking soda on the carpet and leave it on overnight (or up to a few days if needed,) before vacuuming it out. As with walls, sometimes people have needed to take out the carpet to get rid of the smell, but only is very serious situations. It could also be a good idea to steam clean your carpets.

Curtains, rugs, upholstery

Taking soft covers to laundry

Next, remove curtains, furniture covers, or other soft surfaces and either wash them in the laundry or let them sit outside in the sun for a few hours. Steam clean them, sprinkle baking soda on them, and vacuum them.

How to get rid of smoke smell on clothes

Chances are the smoke smell made its way to your clothes too. In order to get rid of the smoky smell wash them in a normal load on warm or hot water. Adding a 1/2 cup of vinegar to your detergent can help get the smoky smell out.

After your clothes are washed smell them. If they still smell smoky run them through the washer again before you put them through the dryer. The dryer will lock in the smoke smell so you want to make sure it’s gone before you dry. You can also bring smoky clothes to a laundromat.

Best cleaners to use to get rid of smoke smell

Some of the best cleaners to use for smoky houses include:

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Ammonia

Still a lingering smell?

If you have tried all of those steps and the smoke smell still lingers you can try hiring a professional cleaning service that specializes in getting rid of smoky smells, changing the air filter for your heating and cooling units, or get an ozone generator to eliminate it for good.

Selling a home that smells like smoke

Fixing up your house to sell may require a lot of time and money, especially with a long lasting smoky smell.

Another option you can do would be to contact Gary from He will give you a cash offer on your home (even if it smells like smoke) and you can move on to your next step., hassle free.


I was a part owner in an electrical contracting firm in the late 1990’s and started to get interested in real estate around 2001. My business partner and I bought our first rental property in 2002. From there we did several real estate transactions until we decided to close the electrical business and part ways. In 2009 I started Gary Buys Houses which is owned by my wife, Eileen, and I. I felt like I could offer one on one personal service to people that wanted to sell their house quickly or not worry about repairs and such. Today, I have built a reputation of being fair and honest with people no matter their situation, so the business continues to help people and be successful. I have been married for 34 years, and have one son, two step sons and 4 grandchildren. I like to travel and spend time in Southern Utah exploring.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *