If you, or a member of your household is a smoker, you may find that over time the build up of smoke in the air and the stale smoke smell on furniture and clothing can become quite unpleasant. Alternatively, if you are expecting visitors who do not smoke, you may want to freshen up your home before they arrive so they don’t complain about the smoky air or the tobacco odour.
Of course, the best thing to do is not to smoke inside, or if you do, only to smoke out of open windows or under an extractor fan. Another good idea is to switch to an electronic cigarette when you are indoors (click here to find out more about ecigs), because these don’t leave a tobacco or smoke smell.
If you do have a problem with a smoke smell in your house, here are some easy tips that can help you fix it:
Air Out the House
The first thing to do is to simply air out your house. Open every window and if possible the doors, and let fresh air blow through the house, pushing out the stale air and smoke. If you have net curtains, remove these while you do this for better air flow, and run them through the washing machine (they are likely to smell of smoke too) with a little bit of vinegar to help neutralise the smell.
It is best to do this on a windy or breezy day as this will do a much better job of replacing the air in your home, but if that isn’t an option, consider using fans to help move the fresh air in and the old, smoky air out.
Use Activated Charcoal or Vinegar to Neutralise the Odour
There are commercial products that can absorb and neutralise odours, but in actual fact a bowl of distilled white vinegar left to evaporate in a room can do just as well. This is best done after the room has been aired out, with the windows and doors sealed. Leave a bowl in each room affected by the smell and simply let it evaporate into the air. If you don’t have much time or the smell is very bad, use activated charcoal instead. This is a component in many air filters, and will neutralise the smell and remove particles far more quickly.
Baking soda can neutralise odours on furniture, clothes and rugs without leaving behind a smell of its own. Simply sprinkle it on to things that smell of smoke, or seal smaller items like clothes and cushions in a bag with it. Leave it for a while (at least overnight) then simply hoover it up!
You can also, of course, use commercial fabric sprays and air fresheners, but always look for ones that neutralise the odours rather than masking them with a heavy perfume. Electronic air filters and ionisers are also an option if the problem is severe or ongoing.