You don’t have to be a smoker to have a cigarette smell in your apartment.
It may be that the tenant who lived there before you was a chain smoker.
Or it could be that your next-door neighbors smoke and the perennial cigarette smell that permeates their living room seeps through the common wall.
So now your living room has a stale smoke smell too.
Or maybe you quit smoking recently. In that case congratulations, but too bad the odiferous damage was already done.
But no matter how that cigarette smell found its way into your house, there’s a way to usher it out.
Dealing with Annoying Cigarette Smells in Your Apartment
The following methods of dealing with the stubborn smell of cigarettes may work for some and not for others.
Some may not be enough due to the size of your apartment.
Others may cost too much for your budget or be too high-tech for your taste.
But nonetheless, whether they do too much or not enough, they all work when it comes to getting rid of the smell of cigarettes in apartments.
So read on and try those that appeal to you and feel free to ignore those that don’t.
Ventilate It Out
As with any unpleasant smell, the easiest way to get cigarette smells out of your apartment is to ventilate the heck out of your apartment.
It’s also a no-brainer. Weather permitting, open all the windows as wide as they will go to let the fresh air in.
If you have ceiling fans, turn them all on at full force. Bring in all the portable fans you have and let them rip.
If you don’t have one or two for each room, see if you can borrow some from friends or family.
The more fan power you can generate, the more the odors will blow out the window, and the more the fresh air will flow in to take its place.
Sure, you may have to turn on the heat when you’re finished but consider it a reasonable price to pay to get rid of that confounded smell.
Neutralize It Out
Pouring bottles of vinegar into open bowls and leaving them open in affected rooms for several days is perhaps the easiest, least costly, and most low-tech way to neutralize the odors in those rooms and in so doing, remove them.
If you find the smell of all that vinegar too much to take, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil into each bowl to make it more to your liking.
Activated Charcoal is also a good neutralizing agent, And the powdered form is just as easy to use as vinegar.
Simply fill several bowls with activated charcoal powder and leave them in place for several days.
And if you were bothered by the smell of vinegar you don’t have to worry about activated charcoal. It doesn’t smell
But don’t put the vinegar away yet. Read on
Wash it Out
The smell of cigarettes clings to walls, counters, and other hard surfaces.
This is not only because of the residual cigarette smoke that once filled the room but also because particles of smoke debris dropped out of the air to reside on the hard surfaces in the apartment.
One way of loosening their grip is to wash down the floors, walls, windows, counters, and cabinets (both the outsides and insides) with a mild soap solution along with a half cup of vinegar to neutralize the smell.
And since you’re not using harsh chemicals, you don’t have to worry about harming the counters or bleaching the paint on the walls.
But still, you may want to go ahead and repaint.
Paint it Out
Repainting the walls will go a long way in getting rid of the cigarette smell in every room.
But first, don a mask and gloves and wash them down with a product that contains trisodium phosphate, a powerful chemical cleaning agent.
Next use an odor sealing paint primer for a first coat before finishing with a fresh coat of paint.
Throw it Out
Smoke clings to fabrics of all sorts.
So it will help if you can rip up and discard wall-to-wall carpeting and discard it.
Of course, you should check with your landlord first.
Steam Clean it Out
If for any reason your landlord does not go for the idea of ripping out his carpet, another solution is to rent a steam cleaner.
Hot steam is one of the best ways to get odors out of fabric.
And before you bring the machine back to the home improvement center or supermarket where you rented it, you can also use it on draperies and upholstered furniture.
OIl it Out
After the rugs and furniture dry, applying a deodorizing spray to them is a good way to finish the job.
There are many on the market, so it shouldn’t be hard to find one that appeals to your sense of smell.
But If you prefer to take a more natural approach you make your own essential oil spray. Dispense 15 drops of your favorite essential spray into an atomizer or spray bottle.
Add a teaspoon of salt as an emulsifier and fill it with distilled water. That’s all it takes. And since a little goes a long way it will last quite a while.
Varnish it Over
If your landlord didn’t mind your ripping up all the carpeting in the apartment, you might want to finish the job by varnishing the floor.
Putting down a fresh coat of varnish can do a good job of eliminating cigarette smells.
However, varnishing isn’t an easy one, nor is it quick. Before applying the varnish you need to sand the floors to remove any old varnish or paint,
And you can’t walk on it until it is dry — Unless you want to leave footprints, that is.
So you might want to spend the night with a family member or friend.
HEPA Filter it Out
You may have already completely aired out the apartment with fans, but you can also filter out any last bits of odor-carrying smoke particles with a HEPA air purifier.
HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air, an acronym coined by the DOE (Department of Energy) and applied to a special mechanical pleated air filter
According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), using an air purifier equipped with a HEPA filter can remove up to 99.7% of any smoke particles in your apartment’s air as well as dust, pollens, bacteria, and mold.
A Few Final Simple Steps to Get Rid of Cigarette Smell
If you haven’t already tried these simple ways to deal with the odor, they’re worth taking a few minutes to do so.
- Set out a few bowls of baking soda. Baking soda will absorb the residual odor in the air just as it does those in your refrigerator and freezer.
- Light a fragranced candle in each room.
- Take a few of the dryer sheets you use for your laundry and use them to rub down mattresses, furniture, pillows, and anything else that can’t be washed. Don’t forget books. You’d surprised how much odor they can harbor.
Last But Not Least, Turn to the Ozone
Ozone is an unstable gas that has three molecules in contrast to its “cousin once removed”.oxygen that only has two.
For this reason, oxygen is written as O2 and Oxygen O3.
Ozone is generated both naturally and mechanically when a molecule of oxygen splits in two and one of its molecules attaches itself to another oxygen molecule, giving it three.
In nature, ozone is generated when the sun’s UV (ultra-violet) rays split a molecule of oxygen into two.
O3 has been found to be effective in removing doors because it wants to shed that extra molecule and return to being oxygen and will shed it to any molecule it comes into contact with.
And so when it comes into contact with an odor molecule, it transfers that extra molecule to the odor molecule.
This chemical process known as oxidation changes the chemical makeup of the odor-bearing particle and in so doing destroys the odor molecule.
If you want to use ozone as a deodorizing agent, you need an ozone generator. There are two types of ozone generators available for use in commercial or residential spaces.
Some use an electrical plate to create an electric arc to split the oxygen molecule, Others take a cue from the sun and use ultraviolet light bulbs.
The electric arc method is considered to be the more effective way to generate ozone and so this type of generator is the more expensive of the two.
However, neither type is inexpensive. For this reason plus the fact that ozone can be harmful to the lungs, it’s advisable that you hire a professional who has been trained in generating ozone.
A Final Thought
The residual odor of cigarettes is not only annoying, it is harmful to those who are allergic to it as well as those who suffer from asthma.
And then there’s the matter of lung cancer. So if we back up and look at the big picture dealing with the annoying cigarette smell in an apartment is not only an inconvenience, it can send some people to the hospital.
But hopefully, the knowledge that you have so many choices in how to go about ridding your apartment of cigarette odors will bring a breath of fresh air into your life, just as using them will bring fresh air into your apartment.
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