Best Ways to Get Rid of Cigarette Smell from a Rental Unit


Did your previous tenant smoke inside your property? You’re probably wondering how to get smoke smell out of house furniture and other components like the walls, fans, and carpets. Below are some of the best ways to get rid of cigarette smell in your property.

How to Remove Smoking Smell from House Furniture

A large part of removing the smell of smoke from your home is removing the smell from the fabric items in your unit like couches, rugs, and window drapes. In some cases, you may have to replace the furniture all together. First, try these tips and see if they help. 

For fabric items, upholstery, or rugs, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the item and let it sit overnight. The baking soda will absorb the smell, so allowing ample time for the baking soda to do its part is important. After at least 24 hours, vacuum up the baking soda and dispose of it. If there is still a smoke smell on the fabric, hire a professional cleaning company to clean it using steaming or dry-cleaning methods. 

For window drapes and curtains, wash them in hot water with detergent and a cup of white vinegar. Don’t let them soak since the mixture could bleach the fabric. Repeat this process until the smell is gone. If the odor persists, send them off to a dry cleaner to see if they can get the smell out.

If the previous tenant smoked in the unit for a long period of time, it could be time to invest in new items. Smoke lingers in fabric easily, and the longer the smoker resided in the property, the tougher it could be to get rid of it. 

How to Remove Smoke Smell Out of a House

Smoke not only can get absorbed into fabrics, but it also gets stuck in paint. Your walls and ceilings could possibly be causing the smoke odor to linger. Smoke particles can also settle into places you’ve never considered, like the top of your refrigerator, cabinets, and other surfaces. 

Here is the best way to get smoke smell out of a house

#1: Aerate the area

Increasing air circulation will help you draw out smoke particles lingering in the air. If you can, set up an air filter or dehumidifier to help the process.

#2: Scrub hard surfaces

Using a good pair of rubber gloves and some good old fashioned elbow grease, you can continue to absorb odors that have settled on those surfaces. Use a mixture of either two tablespoons ammonia and two cups water, or one cup vinegar mixed with one cup of water. When scrubbing cabinets, remember to leave the cabinet doors open. 

#3: Clean Flooring

For laminate flooring, your water and vinegar solution should do the trick. However, for tiled/grouted floors, vinegar could damage them, so it’s recommended that you use ammonia instead. For wood floors, mix a neutral-pH soap with warm water and use a mop to spread the mixture over the floor. 

For carpets, try sprinkling an odor-absorbent. If that doesn’t help, hire a professional carpet cleaner.

#4: Clean Your HVAC Units

Smoke, dust and ash can build up in your HVAC unit. Hire a professional to remove all that residue to ensure that the smell is completely eradicated from your property.


Before you can rent out your property again after a tenant smoked inside it, it’s crucial that you know how to eliminate cigarette smell from your unit. Unfortunately, this process can be long and frustrating. The best way to avoid this issue is to have a firm no-smoking indoors policy in your lease and explain to each new tenant that you conduct regular inspections and will penalize violations. 

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