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Written by Andy Gurczak

October 27, 2022

Remove Smoke Smell-How to Remove Smoke Smell from Your House

How to Remove Smoke Smell from Your House?

Smoke from cigarettes, nearby wildfires or a fire in your home clings tenaciously to furniture and clothing. Additionally, it works its way into carpeting, floors, walls and ceilings. Of course, you want to remove the smoke odor from your home. Fortunately, there are several ways to remove smoke smell from your house.

Cigarette smoke produces smoke molecules which are encapsulated in microscopic bits of oil and tar. These particles adhere to all types of surfaces wherever they land.

Smoky evidence of burned food can also stick around after the meal has been discarded.

In a house fire, smoke can move throughout a house. Indeed, smoke will work its way behind walls and ceilings, into vents and under flooring. It will go into rooms that were never touched by flames.

The small particles of ash, nicotine, or cooking grease that settle on surfaces cause the lingering odors.

A commercial air freshener can remove smoke odor in mild cases of stale smoke. However, these sprays only mask odors rather than absorbing or neutralizing them.

Most likely, after the air freshener’s aromas fade, the smoky smell will return.

Consequently, getting rid of the smoke smell rather than masking it is the goal. Therefore, there are several methods to remove, rather than mask, smoke smell.

In reality, you may have to try different ones to completely remove the smoke smell.

Nevertheless, having a smoke-odor-free house will be worth the effort:

Air Out Your Home

First, open some windows and air out the space. Don’t underestimate the power of fresh air circulation.

If your home smells stale and smoky, open all the windows and place a portable fan or two in front of the largest ones. Adjust the fans so they blow the air out of your house.

Keep this up for a full day, if you can.

You can also put smoke-ridden furniture, clothing outside and other household items in a sunny spot for several hours. UV rays can also neutralize odors.

Baking soda absorbs odors

Baking soda is an effective deodorizer. Unlike air fresheners, it absorbs smoke smells rather than just masking them.

To remove a smoke smell from a room or a car, place several small bowls filled with baking soda throughout the space. Leave the baking soda in place for at least 24 hours.

For rugs or carpeting, sprinkle baking soda on them. Let it sit for several hours and then clean the carpet with a vacuum.

Sprinkle a smelly sofa or plush chair with a light coating of baking powder, let it sit for at least 2 hours. Use a soft-bristled brush to gently work the baking soda into the upholstery fibers. Then vacuum up.

As another example, to deodorize books, decorative items, and clothing that aren’t easily washable, put the offending items into a large plastic trash bag. Then pour one-half cup of baking soda into the bag. Tie the bag shut. Wait 8 hours before shaking off the powder and removing the items.

You can also use baking soda in a cleaning solution to wipe down walls with a smoky odor.

Remove Smoke Odors with a Vinegar Wash

White vinegar will remove smoke smell (and other offending odors). Its low pH “attacks” the higher-pH smoke molecules, altering them just enough to reduce their odor.

And vinegar’s pungent smell will dissipate once it dries or you wipe it away.

To reduce the smoke smell in a room or vehicle, fill several small bowls with white vinegar, set them around the space, and let them sit overnight.

You can simmer a pan of vinegar on the stove for an hour or two. As the steam wafts through the air, it will help remove the smoke smell.

In addition, to deodorize smoky, machine-washable clothing, use ½ cup of white vinegar rather than laundry detergent when you throw the clothes in the washing machine. Acid in the vinegar will help break down the smoke molecules.

Regular laundry detergent won’t have much effect on them.

Use Activated Charcoal

Carbon molecules in charcoal chemically trap various smells, clearing them from the air. Don’t use charcoal you grill with. Instead, get activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is processed for better porosity and absorption power (and, as a bonus, isn’t treated with flammable chemicals).

Most home improvement centers carry a range of activated charcoal products. They’re often packaged in small fabric or burlap bags. In addition, the store usually labels them as smoke or odor eliminators.

Hang several bags of activated charcoal around a smoky room or car to remove odors. You can place the bags atop smoke-damaged upholstered furniture or carpeting. Don’t set loose activated charcoal powder directly on fabric. It may stain the fabric.

Steam Cleaning Can Remove Smoke Smells

Using a steam cleaner can be effective on smoky carpeting walls, floors and upholstery. The heat from hot water melts the hardened tar and oils encapsulating the smoke molecules, making it easy to wipe them away with a sponge.

To remove the smoke smell, mist the stinky surfaces lightly with hot steam. Be careful to keep the steam cleaner’s head moving continuously. You don’t want to saturate the item you are cleaning.

Change the Air Filters in Your HVAC System

Air filters in an HVAC won’t remove all the pollutants that cause smoke odors. Nonetheless, they’re an important part of a comprehensive strategy to get rid of smoke smell. Indeed, change your air filters regularly. Many experts recommend changing them quarterly. However, if you have a smoker or a pet that sheds, you may have to change them more frequently.

An HVAC system armed with HEPA filters is more effective in removing smoke odor. However, not all AC systems can accommodate HEPA filters.

Talk to your HVAC service team about whether installing HEPA filters in your system makes sense.

You May Need Professional Help to Remove Smoke Smell from Your House

For very severe smoke damage, you may have to hire a smoke remediation professional. They have the equipment and knowledge to treat walls, floors, and upholstery with stronger chemicals and cleaners than the public can buy.

In addition, they’re trained in the proper techniques to use them safely and effectively.

If Your Home Has a Smoke Odor Problem, Call AllCity Adjusting

We are a family-owned claims company with five decades of combined adjusting experience. As a result, if there’s one thing we understand, it’s that you need 100% of your claim value.

We have handled hundreds of smoke damage insurance claims over the years. If there was a fire in your home, smoke remediation is one claim you will be making.

We can help you identify the smoke problem and how to address it. Additionally, we can also make sure your homeowners’ insurance company fully reimburses you for the cost of smoke remediation in your home. Call us at 844.692.3587. Or you can email us at info@allcityadhjusting.com.

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