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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Quick Tips on Removing Cigarette Odors from New Castle County Home

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

As experts in deodorization, SERVPRO of Bear / New Castle is trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors

Cigarette smoke creates an odor that is notorious for its ability to saturate living spaces and persist long after its source is gone. Inspectors may be asked by clients who recently purchased a smoke-infused home, or by sellers before their house goes on the market, about how to remedy the situation.

Facts About Cigarette Smoke and its Residue

  • Smoke particles can be as small as .001% of the width of a human hair, which allows them to penetrate almost any part of a house. Cigarette smoke can easily circulate through a building’s ventilation system or come up through apartment floors.
  • While cigarette smoke is a known carcinogen, little is known about the health effects of the particles that are left in the air after you can no longer see the smoke.

Odor-Absorbing Materials

The following materials are believed to be capable of absorbing or neutralizing cigarette smoke odors, at least temporarily:


Place a bowl of vinegar in each affected room overnight.


Leave a large amount of citrus peels in your home for several days or until they have become desiccated.

Baking Soda

Sprinkle baking soda over the smoke-affected area and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming it up. Be sure to test the baking soda on a small part of the surface to ensure that the surface or fabric doesn't react unfavorably to the baking soda.

Coffee Grounds

Pour coffee grounds into several coffee filters and tie them closed, leaving them in affected areas.


As you would with vinegar, place charcoal into bowls and leave them in smoke-infused rooms overnight.

Removal Strategies for Smoke Odor

  • Open all windows and turn on fans. Ventilation is probably the best way to remove any odor.
  • Clean light bulbs. Just as some scent-diffusers rely on heat from light bulbs to disperse the aroma of the scented oil, it's possible that the oily residue from nicotine and other cigarette byproducts is dispersed throughout the living area the same way. 
  • Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces, preferably with cleaners that contain ammonia, although woodwork requires cleaners that are not as acidic.
  • Surfaces may be painted to trap odor, although it may be possible for odors to gradually seep through paint barriers.
  • Remove carpeting, as it is nearly impossible to remove smoke particles from carpet. Thoroughly scrub the flooring beneath before installing new carpet. If the carpet cannot be replaced, have it professionally cleaned.
  • Soak blinds in a bathtub full of all-purpose cleaner, scrub them thoroughly, and hang them to dry.
  • Send curtains out to be professionally cleaned or replace them.
  • Purchase a chemical sponge to remove smoke residue from lampshades, books, and other materials.
  • Use an ozone generator. Ozone, as it has three oxygen atoms, is highly unstable and will oxidize easily. When it is introduced into an area, ozone attaches itself to the odor molecules and oxidizes them into their basic elements—carbon dioxide and hydrogen, which have no odor. Beware that ozone is dangerous and ozone generators should be used only in unoccupied spaces.
  • Use a HEPA filter.
  • Burn “smoker candles.” Candles that contain enzymes to help neutralize and remove smoke odors are widely available. They may also be used to remove cooking and pet odors.
  • Replace all heating and air filters regularly, as they tend to harbor cigarette odors and other irritants.

Here at SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle we are trained to handle nicotine cleanings in homes, businesses, and cars. We are also highly trained in fire, smoke and soot restoration and cleanup, water removal and dehumidification, biohazards, vandalism, crime scenes, mold, air duct cleaning, carpet and stain cleaning, odor deodorization, and upholstery

Give SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle a Call at (302) 392-6000 and let us make it “like it never even happened.”

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