How to banish cigarette smoke smells for good (14 top tips from the experts)

How to banish cigarette smoke smells for good (14 top tips from the experts)

Cigarette smells are almost harder to get rid of than smoking-addictions themselves! They can be extremely stubborn, but they're no match for us here at Expert Home Tips.

Whether you've moved into a property once owned by a smoker, managed to kick the habit yourself, or just having Mum pop over to visit, it's time to tackle those smoking smells once and for all. Learn how to get rid of cigarette odour the easy way today, with our top 14 methods.

How to mask the smell of cigarette smells

Perhaps your Gran is coming over to visit, or you're hosting a posh dinner at home - you'll probably want to freshen things up a bit.

If you smoke in the house, and want to temporarily reduce the smell of smoke in your home, there are several quick techniques you can try.

1. How to get rid of cigarette smells using a towel

cigarette butts ash tray
Does your house smell of cigarettes? ©VisualHunt

This clever tip is really easy and works a treat with fresh tobacco smells.

Dampen a clean dishcloth in a bowl of vinegar, wring it out thoroughly, then wave it around in the area where the smoking smells are worst.

The cloth will absorb and counteract some of the smells, leaving the room smelling neutral and clean.

2. Remove all signs of smoking

Even when a cigarette is no longer lit, it will still make the environment smell stale and smoky.

The quickest way to get rid of smoking smells? Remove ashtrays and cigarette butts from the room. Dispose of them in the outdoor bin to immediately make your room smell fresher.

3. Open windows and doors

clean windows
Let the fresh air flood in.

The key to getting rid of tobacco smells? Fresh air, and lots of it.

The day your guests arrive, open all the windows and doors to give cigarette smoke a chance to escape and fully aerate your room. It should help freshen up soft furnishings too.

4. How to remove smoking smells with an air freshener

Air fresheners aren't able to remove smoking smells, but they will help mask them whilst your guests are round.

Even better, get an air freshener that sprays a perfumed scent into your room periodically to keep it smelling fresh all day long.

You seriously have to check this one out...

5. Remove tobacco smells with this weird hack

Another quick and easy way to eliminate some more-recent cigarette smells that are still hanging in the air is using bread.

Saturate a piece of bread with white vinegar and place in a bowl in the smelly room. It will absorb and neutralise the odours to leave your home smelling clean.

6. Burn incense & light candles

candles & reed diffuser

We love any excuse to get the incense and candles burning here at Expert Home Tips.

If you want to eliminate cigarette odour, this could be just the trick. Not only will they make your room look lovely, but scented candles and incense will help mask the smell of tobacco too.

How to get rid of cigarette smells (for good!)

If you've moved into a property that still has lingering smoky smells, or managed to kick your habit for good and want to get rid of cigarette smells long-term, you'll need tougher methods.

Smoking smells build up over time, and can be stubborn to remove. Here's what we recommend trying to get rid of them once and for all.

7. Deep clean hard-surfaces

cleaning kit
You'll need something stronger to remove stubborn tobacco smells.

This doesn't mean a quick wipe down with soapy water.

If you really want to tackle smoking-smells, you'll need to put in some elbow grease and use more powerful products.

We recommend an ammonia-based cleaner or white vinegar. Both of these will really help to lift engrained smells and give your surfaces the deep clean they need.

8. Freshen up soft-furnishings

One of our favourite tips of all time is using bicarbonate of soda to freshen soft furnishings.

It's so easy, and the results really are amazing.

To try it: sprinkle bicarbonate of soda onto rugs, sofas etc. Leave for 30 minutes, then vacuum off.

Ahhh - freshness at last!

9. Clean all your linen

throw pillows on sofa velvet
Don't forget throw pillows!

Linen is the worst for absorbing those nasty smoking smells.

If you're serious about getting your house smelling great, you'll want to wash all your household linen. This includes bed linen, as well as pillow covers, curtains and throws.

Wash what you can at home, on a high temperature or with a strong, quality detergent. Take the rest to the launderettes to get it smelling brand new again.

Want the secret to fresh-air for life?

10. How to get rid of smoking smells by filtering the air

Prepared to spend a bit of money?

Air purifiers can be extremely effective at removing old tobacco smells. Best of all, once they've done their job, you'll be able to use them to improve the quality of your air forevermore.

11. Washing the walls will help eliminate tobacco odours

It's amazing how deep smoking smells can get - even your walls will absorb them. To really banish cigarette odour for good, even your walls will need to be washed.

The recommend wall-cleaner is something called TSP (trisodium phosphate). Mix 1 cup TSP with 20 cups water and spray onto walls before wiping with a cloth.

REMEMBER: always use rubber gloves when using harsh chemicals.

If you've moved into a new home or managed to kick your habit, why don't you treat yourself to a fresh lick of paint?

Not only will it make your home look fresh, but smell so too!

12. Steam clean the carpet

vacuuming carpet
That's better!

Have you been meaning to use that steam cleaner you bought on a whim for ages?


Now's your chance! Steam cleaning your carpet is a sure-fire way to removing tobacco odours and make your home smell much nicer.

13. Air out the furniture

It's amazing what a bit of fresh air can do.

If you've moved into a furnished property, this too will need to be treated to remove smoking smells.

One of the easiest and most effective solutions is simply getting your furniture outside and giving it a chance to 'breathe'.

Just make sure you do it on a dry day!

You probably haven't even considered this one...

14. How to remove smoking smells by replacing light bulbs

cigarettes in ashtray
Get that smell gone once & for all! ©VisualHunt

Believe it or not, smoke can even take its toll on light bulbs and other fixtures.

Not only should these be cleaned thoroughly, but preferably, replaced. Several reports suggest that heat attracts smoke residue, which then collects as a coating on the bulb.

Do you have any clever ways of elminating smoking smells? We'd love to hear about them in the comments below.



Stephanie C


Lover of all things fashion & foodie...I look to satisfy my tastes without obliterating my budget. Wannabe interior designer, I'm an avid cushion cover maker and charity shop hunter.

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  1. Author sandra on August 5, 2018 at 8:21 am

    worst advice ever. I spent a lot of time and money wiping down the room with TSP and it did absolutely nothing to remove the smoke smell which permeates the walls- but it did make a big mess requiring repainting. i will be buying kilz paint after wasting two weekends with the advice here.

    1. Author Joanne A on August 10, 2018 at 2:33 pm

      Hi Sandra. Did you follow all the advice in the article? It might be that another step helps, other than the TCP. We're sorry this didn't work for you. We would definitely recommend repainting anyway to help keep the smells away!


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