How to Get Rid of the Smell of Cigarette Smoke in a Home

Moving into a new home is exciting, but it’s also a lot of work. Unfortunately previous owners sometimes leave things behind, and the things they leave behind aren’t always visible. Those who regularly smoke indoors leave behind the remnants of cigarette smoke on walls and in carpets. This isn’t always apparent when the windows are open, but when the house is sealed up tight, the smell can be overwhelming, especially for those who don’t smoke.

It is possible to get rid of a cigarette smell in a home without time-consuming and costly repainting. Simply covering up the smell of cigarette smoke with another fragrance isn’t a lasting solution. Your home will end up smelling like the cover-up scent and cigarette smoke. It might take a lot of work, but sometimes a little elbow grease is necessary to get rid of the smell of cigarette smoke for good.

Curtains and Drapery

Fabrics hold onto the odor of cigarette smoke, and if curtains and drapery were in the home before moving in, they will need to be laundered. Read fabric label instructions before machine washing curtains and drapery of any kind. It may be necessary to have them dry-cleaned. If the drapery isn’t worth the expense of dry cleaning, take a chance and toss it into the washing machine. Wash it in cold water with mild detergent, and line dry for best results. Otherwise, this is a good time to invest in new curtains and drapery.


Just like curtains and drapery, carpets hold onto the odor of cigarette smoke. On a warm breezy day when windows can be opened, clean the carpets with a carpet cleaning machine, or have it professionally cleaned and deodorized. After the carpets are completely dry, take an extra step to get rid of the smell of cigarettes for good, and sprinkle on an odor neutralizing powder. Vacuum away the remaining smell of cigarette smoke, and consider the additional ways to get rid of the smell if necessary.


Washing walls is an arduous chore, but when they’re coated with the remnants of cigarette smoke it may be necessary to wall them to get rid of the smell of cigarette smoke. Using a product especially for cleaning walls, or use a mixture of baking soda and warm water. Wash down the walls and rinse if necessary. Not only will the walls smell clean and fresh, but they will also look brighter when they’re not covered in brown residue caused by cigarette smoke.


Wood can absorb the smell of cigarette smoke, especially if it isn’t properly sealed. Wash wood cabinetry with a solution of Murphy’s Oil Soap and warm water, and follow product label instructions for best results. Murphy’s Oil Soap leaves a fresh clean smell and a protective layer of oil that creates a beautiful and lasting shine.

Furnace Filter

The entire house can be clean, but an old furnace filter can harbor the smell of cigarette smoke. Remove the old furnace filter, and replace it with a filter permeated with baking soda. You can also buy an insert that will send fragrance throughout the home through the furnace ducts, and it will last for weeks on end. It’s a great way to make a home smell fresh and clean any month of the year.

Once the walls, drapery, carpets, wood cabinetry, and furnace filter is clean, all traces of the smell of cigarette smoke should be gone. If the smell has become embedded in the paint on the walls, it might be necessary to repaint to get rid of it. Consider having a fragrance added to the paint you choose. It will help cover up and get rid of the smell of cigarettes in the home once and for all.

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