How to Get Rid of Smoke Smell in Your House

Cigarette Smoke

Whether it’s a house that you’re trying to sell or one you’re moving into, the lingering smell of smoke can be overpowering. Nicotine smoke from cigarettes and cigars can coat the walls, carpets, and countertops. This can also happen from the smoke of a wood stove or fireplace. The odor is very unpleasant and hard to tolerate. Inhaling third-hand smoke can be detrimental to your health and the health of your family.

There are many ways to get rid of the smoke smell in your house. With a little bit of elbow grease, the right materials, and time you will be able to erase the smell of smoke in these problem areas completely:


The carpet in your home will quickly trap the smell of smoke. Even with regular vacuuming, it will be hard to keep your carpet smelling fresh. The secret weapon to deodorize your smoke-filled carpet is baking soda. This natural deodorizer will virtually lift the smell from your carpets.

  • Vacuum your carpets thoroughly before applying the baking soda. Make sure to use the hose attachment to get the carpet near the corners and baseboards.
  • If you have time you can use a carpet shampooer first, allow your carpets to dry and then vacuum.
  • Once you have vacuumed, apply a generous layer of baking soda. Make sure to cover the surface of the carpet completely.
  • Allow the baking soda to sit for at least 48 to 72 hours.
  • Vacuum the baking soda up off the carpet, and you should notice immediate results. If your carpets are deeply saturated with smoke repeat these steps and add more baking soda.
  • If you repeat the process and still don’t notice any improvement, you should replace the carpet.

How to Get Rid of Smoke Smell in Your House


Smoke can actually be seen on walls over time. Smoke, especially from nicotine, tends to tint the walls a yellow color. It has also been known to leave a sticky film. When you go to wipe it away, it can smear and look like a bigger mess. Some people may just paint over their dingy walls, but that’s not going to cover up the smell.

  • If your walls are white, you can use hydrogen peroxide. Be careful though because it acts as a natural bleach so don’t use it on colored walls and always do a small spot test to be sure it won’t discolor your walls.
  • You can also use distilled white vinegar. Vinegar naturally breaks up the resin and tar of nicotine-laced walls. Use one-part vinegar to one part warm water.
  • Use this solution to saturate your walls and wipe clean. You may have to repeat this step in certain problem areas that are stained.
  • Always wipe down with clean, warm water afterward. Make sure to open doors and windows to help dissipate the strong vinegar smell. It will go away after a few hours.

Other areas that can hold the smell of smoke like cabinets, countertops, and furniture, should also be cleaned. Throw your drapes and bed linens in the wash. You can add a cup of vinegar to your laundry to help get rid of the smoke smell. Don’t dry your linens until the smoke smell is completely gone. Repeat washing until the smell is gone.

Air diffusers also work great to help get rid of the smell of smoke. You can try adding essential oils like lemon or citrus to the reservoir of your diffuser. The smells will help make the smell of your home more pleasant during the cleaning process.

Another great way to get rid of the smell of smoke in your home is using active charcoal. Charcoal naturally traps unclean spores and odors. This will work in any room but is great for rooms that have no windows, closets, or cabinets. Over a short period of time, the active charcoal will absorb the unwanted odors.

Make sure that you completely remove any and all traces of smoke. Even one unclean surface can cause the smell of smoke to linger in your home. Using these easy tips will have you on your way to a fresh, clean, good smelling house. This will make your home more appealing if you’re trying to sell or rent and will keep your home looking and smelling like new.