How to keep your home from smelling like smoke

How to keep your home from smelling like smoke

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Where there’s a kitchen, smoke happens — a bag of popcorn pops too long in the microwave, or a pan of food is forgotten about on the stove or in the oven. The smoke itself may dissipate quickly, but its odor lingers on surfaces, in chair cushions or curtains, or even in the air if left untreated. Clean all surfaces in the kitchen, including fabrics, to eliminate the odor once and for all.

Hard-Surface Cleaner

Smoke sometimes leaves behind a greasy film on cabinets, countertops, walls and even the ceiling near the cooking area. One sniff of these surfaces reveals a smoky odor as well. Vanquish that odor by cleaning walls, countertops and cabinets by wiping them down with a mixture of 2 cups vinegar per 1/2 gallon of water. Wipe down somewhat porous surfaces, such as paneling, with pure vinegar, wringing the rag or sponge out as much as possible first to avoid saturating the panels. Wipe again with a sponge in a mildly soapy water, then again with a clean damp sponge. Pat paneling dry with towels. Avoid using vinegar on unsealed stone surfaces, because it may damage them.

Textile Treatment

Spritz a mixture of 2 parts water, 1 part vinegar over textiles such as upholstered seat cushions or cafe curtains to remove odors from the fabric. Launder machine-washable fabrics as recommended on the care tag, adding a cup of vinegar to the wash load to help remove the odor. If the fabrics can’t be washed, for example, permanently attached dining chair cushions, take the chairs outside after spritzing with vinegar and water. Leave them outdoors for several hours or until the odor dissipates. Spray the cushions with the vinegar solution every hour or two, if needed, to help speed the freshening process. Do not saturate the material; lightly coat the surface with the spray instead.

Stubborn Smoke

A significant amount of smoke may cause stubborn odors and residue on the walls, counters and ceiling. A chemical sponge — a specialty cleaning device — erases the odors when you rub it over the surfaces. This sponge is used while dry and also works on fabrics. Once one part of the sponge looks dirty, rotate the sponge to reveal a fresh area. When the sponge looks grungy all over, shave the outer layer away with a utility knife or razor blade to reveal a fresh, clean surface.

Freshen the Air

Open the windows to help remove lingering smoke odors and replace the stench with fresh air instead. Open any available windows or doors in the kitchen itself, as well as in adjoining rooms, to create cross ventilation. A ceiling fan in the kitchen or nearby rooms helps the air circulate, or use a portable fan with the air current blowing toward an open window or door. A window fan set to blow air out of the room also helps. Place bowls of white vinegar around the room when windows or doors are closed to remove airborne odors. Coffee beans set in a bowl absorb and remove odors inside cabinets and cupboards.

Dear Lifehacker,
I just signed a lease on a new apartment, and it turns out my downstairs neighbors are multi-pack-a-day smokers. This means the smell wafts up through the floor almost all the time. I’ve cleaned the place from top-to-bottom and tried to seal off any drafts from below, but it’s still awful. What else can I do?
Kind Regards,
Sad with Smoke

Dear Sad with Smoke,
We feel your pain. It’s really annoying when you’re a non-smoker or a light smoker and your neighbor downstairs in an old or drafty apartment building won’t hesitate to burn through several packs every day. Luckily, you have options.

Deodorize the Carpets

You may have covered this in your top-to-bottom cleaning, but a lot of the smell may be in or coming from the carpets. It won’t change the smoke coming into the apartment from the neighbors’ downstairs, but if that’s the direction its coming from, you’d be surprised how much is probably trapped in there. Sprinkle some baking soda down on the carpet and grind it in a little bit. Leave it there while you move from room to room, doing the same thing in every room. Let the baking soda rest for a few minutes, and then break out the vacuum cleaner.

Start in the first room that you put baking soda down in, and just vacuum the floors as normal. With luck, you’ll bring up not just the baking soda you sprinkled on the floors, but some of the nasty smoke smell that may be trapped in the carpet as well. Then spray down the carpets with a little Febreeze or other similar odor-removing fabric spray.

If that doesn’t work, you may need to take the carpet cleaning to the next level and actually rent a carpet cleaner or shampooer (most grocery stores have them available to rent by the day,) move your furniture out of the way, and attack your carpets to get that nasty smell out. Photo by Kai Schreiber .

Break Out the White Vinegar

Vinegar smells pretty strongly on its own, but cigarette smoke—especially old, stale cigarette smoke—smells much worse. So if you don’t mind your apartment smelling like a salad for a little while, pour some small bowls of white vinegar and let them sit in the worst-smelling rooms of the apartment for a while. Lightly soak a paper towel or rag with white vinegar, and rub down your upholstery if it’s gotten into your furniture, and rub down the walls as well—if your neighbors have been there longer than you have, the smell is likely in the walls, too.

The smell of vinegar should dissipate in a few minutes—less if you throw open the windows while you do this. If you really can’t stand the smell of vinegar, mix in a little essential oil, like lavender or vanilla, which will hopefully stick around after the smell of vinegar—and cigarette smoke—have faded away.

Change Your Air Filters

Again, while this won’t stem the tide of smoke rising from the apartment below, it may help your apartment’s air conditioner or heater better handle the smoke that does make its way in. Check your air filter, and if the filter is old, replace it. Most air filters should be replaced every three to six months, but you may want to swap yours out a bit more often. Also, consider a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter or other high-efficiency filter. They may need to be changed more frequently, but they’ll also pull out more of the dust, dirt, and smoke that may be hanging in the air in your home. Photo by Joshua Marks .

Use Activated Charcoal

Baking soda can do a good job at small odors, and can really help lift the smoke smell out of your carpet if you use enough of it, but if you’re ready to use the big guns, it’s time to invest in some powdered activated charcoal. You can usually get it at pet stores (where its often used in aquarium filters,) health food stores (where it’s become something of a fad,) or large department stores. Pour a little activated charcoal into a few small bowls and put them around your apartment. Leave them in place for a few days: they should slowly but surely start to absorb the odors.

Additionally, if you see any other odor control product with activated charcoal in it, like kitty litter or carpet powder, it’ll probably do a decent job of taming the cigarette smell coming from your neighbors downstairs. If you can find kitty litter with charcoal in it, it may be cheaper to put that around your apartment (assuming you don’t have a cat!) than buying large containers of activated charcoal alone, so give that a try.

Buy an Air Purifier

Your mileage may vary here, but a good air purifier can make a big difference. Make sure to buy one appropriately sized for your space (for example, you may want a larger unit if you live in a studio apartment, while a small bedside model will do well for a single room) and that you get a HEPA filter to scrub out the smoke and dust in the air.

Just Talk to Them

Finally, all the regular cleaning and scrubbing and air filters in the world won’t help if you don’t do something about the source of the problem. If you intend to stay for the duration of your lease, you may want to drop by your neighbors downstairs and introduce yourself. Let them know that the building is pretty drafty (something they likely already know) and let them know that their cigarette smoke comes up through the floors into your apartment above. Don’t walk into the conversation with an assumption of how it’s going to go: they may blow you off and indicate they could care less how their smoking affects you, but they may be willing to listen, and they may be understanding to your plight.

Don’t expect them to start smoking outdoors from now on, but suggest they keep it to one room, or crack a window when they smoke instead of leaving them all shut. Maybe offer to give them the air purifier to keep the smell down. You never know, they may be sympathetic, and you may even make a new friend in your new building.

We hope we’ve offered up some suggestions to help you freshen up your apartment. It can be pretty rough living directly over a chronic smoker, especially when your building is old, drafty, and isn’t doing you any favors in keeping the smell from drifting among units. With a little luck, some elbow grease, and hopefully minimal investment, you can keep your apartment smelling fresh and clean. Good luck!

PS – Have you shared an apartment or apartment building with a smoker? Are you a smoker yourself? What are some of your tips to keep your home smelling fresh and free of set-in cigarette smoke? Share your suggestions in the comments below.

9 Tips To Eliminate Smoke Odors From The Home

Why do smoke odors linger?

Throughout the day, we encounter all sorts of different smells. Some may be good, such as a freshly baked loaf of bread from the bakery or a bunch of flowers, but we must also deal with the more offensive ones. For example, smoke smells bind to our clothing and linger around the home, like on soft furnishings in the living room or bedroom. With the right technique, though, it’s easy to eliminate smoke odor from your home. Follow our top 9 tips below to find out how.

Eliminate smoke odor from fabrics and surfaces

1. Clean any glass and mirrors around the home

When you think of scrubbing the smell of smoke out, you might go straight for the sofas and other pieces of upholstery. But hard surfaces like mirrors and windows attract a surprising amount of smoke odors — tar and soot from smoke collects on the glass, leaving behind the smell of the burned items. Simply wash the surfaces with a mix of half-warm water, half vinegar and then rinse the surfaces down with clean water.

You can also use standard window cleaner, but be sure to follow the instructions on the label and test a small area first(1) (2).

2. Wipe down the ceilings

This might sound like a difficult task, but hot air rises, and smoke is no exception. Using the vinegar like before, gently wipe off the whole ceiling, paying special attention to areas above where smokers sit. Do not rinse off the vinegar; allow it to dry(3).

Do not use vinegar, however, on waxed surfaces —it can strip away the top layer of wax. Most importantly, do not combine it with bleach as it will result in chlorine gas, which is toxic.

3. Wash soft furnishings

Collect any soft furnishings such as curtains, bedsheets and any clothes and wash them all thoroughly — don’t forget unusual things that might not be so obvious, such as wall hangings. These sorts of fabric items can soak up smoke odors much better than harder parts of the room such as a wall or a bed frame, so it is best to start with these.

4. Re-upholster soft furnishings if they are too far gone

You might find that some fabrics are not salvageable and need to be thrown away, but re-upholstering can be inexpensive if you learn how to DIY(4).

5. Work on the carpet

The carpet is another soft item that will need a thorough cleaning, but you cannot just throw this one in the washing machine. Instead, try shampooing and washing the carpet with a steam cleaner. If you are unable to do this yourself, it is also possible to hire a professional to do the job for you. Another simple tip is to sprinkle the carpet with baking soda and then vacuum it up a day later — this should also help to soak up and remove the smell(5).

Take care of your carpets by following all usage and manufacturer instructions when cleaning or using commercial carpet cleaners or shampoos.

6. Charcoal

This is an easy one! Simply leave a few bowls of activated charcoal around the house. It works to absorb odors such as smoke, so they don’t linger in your home(7).

7. Let in some fresh air

Thanks to improved insulation in modern buildings, air can stagnate and even lead to the growth of fungus and mold given the right conditions (moisture and darkness)[7].

To combat this, simply open all of your windows to allow the smell to escape and be replaced by fresh, odor free air. Speed up the process by placing a fan in the room to help circulate air around the room.

8. Use Air Wick® air fresheners

With a variety of beautiful scents to choose from, Air Wick air fresheners can help you keep your home smelling fresh by eliminating odors. Pick from Ocean Breeze Pure aerosol to bring a touch of sea air into your home or Purple Lavender Pure aerosol, both of which help to eliminate odor and diffuse a pleasant scent.

9. Use an air purifier

These work to filter odor molecules from the air(8) and are a great way to eliminate smoke odor and keep your home smelling fresh. Be sure to read the instructions to install and use your purifier correctly.

Keep the smell of smoke out of the home

In addition to these tips to eliminate the smoky smell from your home, you can also prevent the smell from becoming overpowering in the first place. These include cleaning out any ashtrays regularly and avoiding smoking indoors.

Follow these simple steps to help you have an odor free home you can be proud of in no time at all!

  1. https://www.thespruce.com/unwanted-smells-in-your-home-2435796
  2. https://www.cleanipedia.com/gb/in-the-home/white-vinegar-for-cleaning-tips-and-uses
  3. http://www.wikihow.com/Clean-Smoke-Off-of-a-Ceiling
  4. https://www.cleanipedia.com/gb/odour-stain-removal/how-to-get-rid-of-the-smell-of-smoke
  5. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/10/how-to-deodorize-your-carpet_n_1765894.html
  6. http://lifehacker.com/5730852/use-baking-soda-and-charcoal-to-effectively-remove-unpleasant-smells-from-your-car
  7. https://www.hvi.org/publications/pdfs/MoldPaper_final1June09.pdf
  8. http://home.bt.com/lifestyle/house-home/8-ways-to-remove-smoke-smells-from-your-home-11364032089438

Eliminate odor and refresh your home

Try Air Wick© Auto Sprays for 24/7 odor neutralization. Available in a variety of scents from fruity to fresh to floral, the Air Wick© Auto Spray can help you fight those lingering smoke odors while providing a burst of freshness you’re sure to love.

Banish smoky odors on furniture, books, clothing, and more with these tried-and-true techniques.

How to keep your home from smelling like smoke

Q: I recently inherited a beautiful armchair from my grandparents. Unfortunately, they were heavy smokers, and the smell has permeated the chair. Is there any hope for my heirloom, or is smoke smell removal just wishful thinking?

A: Cigarette smoke can cling tenaciously to possessions and even the very walls, floors, and ceilings of a house that once belonged to a heavy smoker. As a cigarette smolders, it produces smoke molecules encapsulated in microscopic bits of oil and tar, which adhere stubbornly wherever they land. Smoky evidence of a cooking accident can also stick around after the burned meal has been discarded.

A commercial air freshener can effectively tackle mild cases of stale smoke, but these sprays merely mask odor, rather than absorb or neutralize it. (Note: While the chemical ingredients in these products are generally safe for you and your cats and dogs, they’re harmful to birds—do not use if you have feathered pets.) The smell of items repeatedly exposed to smoke for years is bound to return after the freshener wears off.

Fortunately, there is all-natural hope for your stinky stuff! You may have to try a few of the different methods here, but if you have patience you’re sure to greatly reduce, perhaps totally eliminate, the lingering smoke smell.

How to keep your home from smelling like smoke

Air it out.

Don’t discount the power of good old fresh air! If your home’s interior smells smoky, open all the windows and place a portable fan or two in front of the largest ones, with the blades blowing outward, to pull smoky air from the room. Keep this up for a full day, if possible. Set smoke-ridden furniture, books, and clothing outside in a sunny spot for several hours—those UV rays can also help neutralize odors. But note that intense sunlight can damage or fade delicate or dyed fabrics, so if it’s very bright and hot out, air that smoke-plagued vintage shawl or embroidered pillow in a shady spot.

Sop up the smoke smell with baking soda.

Sodium bicarbonate is a very effective deodorizer, as it actually absorbs smells rather than merely mask them. Here are a few ways to use it:

  • To purge smoke from a room or car, fill several small bowls with baking soda and then set them all around the space. Leave the baking soda in place for at least 24 hours.
  • Sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda onto rugs or carpeting, let it dwell overnight or for at least two hours, then vacuum.
  • Sprinkle a smelly sofa or plush chair with a light coating of baking powder and let it sit for a minimum of two hours, and then thoroughly vacuum with an upholstery attachment.
  • For books, small décor items, and clothing that isn’t easily washable, pour one-half cup of baking soda into a large plastic trash bag, add the smoke-damaged items, and then tie the bag shut. Give it a good eight hours of dwell time before removing your belongings and dusting or shaking off the powder.

How to keep your home from smelling like smoke

Neutralize smoke smell with a vinegar wash.

White vinegar is another nontoxic household staple that works to neutralize—not simply mask—bad odors such as smoke. Its low pH “attacks” the higher-pH smoke molecules, altering them just enough to reduce their smell. Don’t worry, the unpleasant smell of vinegar itself will naturally dissipate once it dries or is removed.

  • To reduce the smoke smell in a room or vehicle, fill several small bowls with white vinegar, set them around the space, and let them sit overnight.
  • To speed up the process, boil a potful of vinegar on the stove, letting it gently simmer for an hour or two. As the steam wafts through the air, it helps to remove the smoke smell.
  • Smoke-ridden machine-washable clothing can be tossed into the laundry along with a half cup of white vinegar in place of your usual laundry detergent, as the acidic vinegar will help break down the malodorous molecules. Laundry detergent, which tends to lean towards the alkaline end of the pH scale, as does cigarette smoke, won’t neutralize the odor as effectively.

Charcoal works well for smoke smell removal, too.

The carbon molecules in charcoal chemically “trap” smells, clearing them from the air. While grilling briquettes can be used in a pinch, activated charcoal is processed for better porosity and absorption power (and as a bonus isn’t treated with flammable chemicals). Most home improvement centers carry a range of activated charcoal products, often packaged in small fabric or burlap bags, and usually labeled as smoke or odor eliminators.

Set or hang several bags of activated charcoal around a smoky room or car to absorb odors, or place the bags atop smoke-damaged furniture or carpeting. Don’t set un-bagged activated charcoal directly on fabric, however—it can leave a stain.

Steam away the smoke smell.

Steam cleaning can be especially effective on smoky walls, floors, and upholstery, as the heat melts the hardened tar and oils encapsulating the smoke molecules, making it easy to wipe them away with a microfiber cloth or sponge. Many home improvement centers rent these machines, typically for about $25 per hour. Just mist surfaces lightly with the heated vapor, keeping the steam cleaner’s head moving at all times to avoid saturating any one area—oversaturating with steam can damage delicate fabrics such as silk and even melt drywall.

Beyond these DIY smoke smell removal methods, call in a professional.

For very severe smoke damage, or if the above options fail, contact a professional. Many cleaning services specialize in smoke remediation, treating walls, floors, and upholstery with stronger chemicals and cleaners than the general public can buy, and are trained in the proper techniques to safely and effectively use them. Find a smoke remediation specialist through websites such as Yelp, or ask for referrals from your local home improvement center.

How to keep your home from smelling like smoke

Ready to discover the true spiritual meaning of smelling smoke?

Aromas can be very powerful as smelling certain scents can invoke memories of the past.

Smelling cookies baking can remind some people of being in the grandmother’s house or the scent of your mother’s favorite flavor can make you think of her.

Smelling certain aromas can have special meanings as well.

Here are the explanations and the spiritual meaning of smelling smoke.

Table of Contents

Spiritual Meaning of Smells

Before delving into what smelling a certain scent means, you should understand the spiritual meaning of smells.

When you smell a certain aroma, such as your mother’s favorite flower, it could mean that your guardian angel is trying to send you a message.

The brain processes smell in the limbic system, which is the same area that processes intuitive thoughts and feelings.

So, that’s why when you smell the aftershave your father wore, it can bring back memories of him.

If you’re thinking or praying for a loved one, such as your mother or father, then your guardian angel may send you smells that invokes memories of that person.

That may mean that your guardian angel is telling you that they will also be praying for the person as well.

How to keep your home from smelling like smoke

Your guardian angel may be sending you signs via smells.

Meanings of Specific Smells

Smelling specific scents may mean your guardian angel is trying to send you a message or communicate with you.

While all scents have spiritual meanings, certain fragrances symbolize specific messages being sent to you.

These fragrances are:

  • Frankincense – Smelling this scent means your guardian angel may be trying to guide you or give you wisdom about a situation you’re in or an issue with which you’re having problems.
  • Roses – While smelling roses may invoke memories of someone, their smell is a spiritual source of comfort or encouragement.
  • Grapefruit – If you smell grapefruit, then your guardian angel may be trying to tell you to be grateful as this scent refers to gratitude.
  • Mint – Spiritually, the scent of mint is a sign of purity.
  • Cinnamon – The fragrance of cinnamon could be a message of peace from your guardian angel.
  • Spruce – The smell of a spruce tree, which is sometimes associated with Christmas, can bring you joy.

There is a world of smells, most of which have meanings, including smoke.

Here are some of the explanations behind smelling otherworldly smoke.

What does the Smell of Smoke Mean?

While the smell of a burning fire or a cigar may make you think of events in your life, such as a campfire or going to a baseball game, there are certain spiritual meanings behind the scent of smoke.

Signs of Psychic Ability

Often when you smell smoke and are not around a source of it, then it could be a sign that you have powerful psychic abilities.

The ability to smell smoke and other aromas are called clairolfaction.

Smelling fragrances, such as those listed above, could be messages from angels.

Messages from Smokers

How to keep your home from smelling like smoke

The smell of smoke isn’t always a positive thing.

While may fragrances have positive meanings, such as spruce being equated with joy, the smell of smoke isn’t necessarily positive.

The spiritual meaning of smelling smoke may be a sign from a friend or relative that used to smoke.

Since your brain associates the smell of a cigarette or cigar with a certain person when you smell them without being around them, it could be that person is trying to send you a message.

Smoke of Hell

If you can smell smoke, but it doesn’t trigger memories or positive emotions for you, then that could be a bad sign.

Some people can smell the Smoke of Hell, which may smell like something is burning, smoke, or burning flesh.

In some places, there is only a thin wall between the physical world and the “underworld” where hell exists.

Along with the smells, some people also see shadows of people and hear screams.

If you have this experience, then you should seek help from a spiritual advisor.

Even though smelling scents that are not physically present can be a sign of a physical illness, you shouldn’t be alarmed.

Smelling aromas can also be messages from guardian angels or, if you smell smoke, it could be from relative or friend who was a smoker.

Fragrances can be a way that angels or spirits communicate with people to help them, but here are some other signs that spirits are trying to help you:

How to keep your home from smelling like smoke

There’s just something about those small spaces in a closet that makes scents linger. Think back to when you’ve just done the laundry, and a day later, you go to pull out your favorite tee and it already smells stale. Well, fortunately, there are some pretty cool tricks to make your closet smell better.

One of the best ways to make sure that your clothes don’t have any lingering scents is to wash them with a detergent and fabric conditioner with odor-fighting properties. But sometimes even the right detergent isn’t enough to combat the effects of your clothes being trapped in drawers for days. So your favorites have a little extra help, here are seven hacks for a better-smelling closet.

1. Perfumed Tissue Paper

Instead of spritzing perfume directly on your clothes, which can be overpowering, try infusing the scent instead. Cosmopolitan recommends spraying your favorite perfume on some tissue paper or cotton balls. Wait for them to dry, then simply line your dresser drawer with them and place your clothes on top. Trapped with your signature scent, your clothes will smell heavenly in no time.

2. Old Dryer Sheets

After using a dryer sheet in your laundry, don’t just toss it. Even used dryer sheets still carry enough fragrance to help scent your closet and clothes. Tuck used sheets into the corners of dresser drawers or into the pockets of some of your more infrequently worn pieces. The best part is that you won’t have to worry about conflicting scents because you also use it for the laundry.

3. Air Fresheners

Even when it seems like your car air freshener has lost all of its scent, moving it into a smaller space that isn’t as well ventilated (like your closet or dresser) will prove that it has some life left in it. Hang it in the back of your closet or tuck it away in the back of a dresser drawer. The amount of fragrance it should have left will be enough to keep your clothes smelling great without it being an overpowering.

4. Coffee Grounds

Not only do coffee grounds absorb bad odors, but they also just smell pretty amazing on their own. Fill a container with grounds, poke a few holes in the lid, and store it in your closet. Just make sure to recycle your grounds at least once a month so everything stays fresh.

5. Vodka

If you keep vintage pieces or perhaps are just pulling out some sweaters from storage, vodka can actually help eliminate musty odors. Try mixing some in a one-to-one ratio with water in a spray bottle. Lightly spritz over any areas that smell stale, and hang your clothes in a well-ventilated area. Just be sure to test the mixture on a small, unnoticeable area first.

6. Essential Oils

You can actually do quite a bit with essential oils to help keep your clothes smelling fresh. If you prefer to use them in the wash, try adding 10 to 20 drops of your oil of choice during the final rinse cycle. Another option is to add a few drops of your essential oil to a clean scrap of fabric or a clean washcloth and then toss it in the dryer with the rest of your clothes. This will lightly scent all of your garments as they dry. Finally, try making your own solution of water and essential oil (you may need to play around with the ratio to find your ideal fragrance level) to lightly spray on any clothing that needs a little pick-me-up.

7. DIY Potpourri

Tucking little sachets of potpourri into closet corners or dresser drawers will also help keep your clothes smelling nice. Try tying up a couple tablespoons of lavender or lemongrass in a small cotton pouch or in some tissue paper. You could even hide these bundles in the pockets of pants or jackets that may not get as much wear to keep them smelling fresher longer.

This article was originally published on May 30, 2016

Dear Lifehacker,
I just signed a lease on a new apartment, and it turns out my downstairs neighbors are multi-pack-a-day smokers. This means the smell wafts up through the floor almost all the time. I’ve cleaned the place from top-to-bottom and tried to seal off any drafts from below, but it’s still awful. What else can I do?
Kind Regards,
Sad with Smoke

Dear Sad with Smoke,
We feel your pain. It’s really annoying when you’re a non-smoker or a light smoker and your neighbor downstairs in an old or drafty apartment building won’t hesitate to burn through several packs every day. Luckily, you have options.

Deodorize the Carpets

You may have covered this in your top-to-bottom cleaning, but a lot of the smell may be in or coming from the carpets. It won’t change the smoke coming into the apartment from the neighbors’ downstairs, but if that’s the direction its coming from, you’d be surprised how much is probably trapped in there. Sprinkle some baking soda down on the carpet and grind it in a little bit. Leave it there while you move from room to room, doing the same thing in every room. Let the baking soda rest for a few minutes, and then break out the vacuum cleaner.

Start in the first room that you put baking soda down in, and just vacuum the floors as normal. With luck, you’ll bring up not just the baking soda you sprinkled on the floors, but some of the nasty smoke smell that may be trapped in the carpet as well. Then spray down the carpets with a little Febreeze or other similar odor-removing fabric spray.

If that doesn’t work, you may need to take the carpet cleaning to the next level and actually rent a carpet cleaner or shampooer (most grocery stores have them available to rent by the day,) move your furniture out of the way, and attack your carpets to get that nasty smell out. Photo by Kai Schreiber .

Break Out the White Vinegar

Vinegar smells pretty strongly on its own, but cigarette smoke—especially old, stale cigarette smoke—smells much worse. So if you don’t mind your apartment smelling like a salad for a little while, pour some small bowls of white vinegar and let them sit in the worst-smelling rooms of the apartment for a while. Lightly soak a paper towel or rag with white vinegar, and rub down your upholstery if it’s gotten into your furniture, and rub down the walls as well—if your neighbors have been there longer than you have, the smell is likely in the walls, too.

The smell of vinegar should dissipate in a few minutes—less if you throw open the windows while you do this. If you really can’t stand the smell of vinegar, mix in a little essential oil, like lavender or vanilla, which will hopefully stick around after the smell of vinegar—and cigarette smoke—have faded away.

Change Your Air Filters

Again, while this won’t stem the tide of smoke rising from the apartment below, it may help your apartment’s air conditioner or heater better handle the smoke that does make its way in. Check your air filter, and if the filter is old, replace it. Most air filters should be replaced every three to six months, but you may want to swap yours out a bit more often. Also, consider a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter or other high-efficiency filter. They may need to be changed more frequently, but they’ll also pull out more of the dust, dirt, and smoke that may be hanging in the air in your home. Photo by Joshua Marks .

Use Activated Charcoal

Baking soda can do a good job at small odors, and can really help lift the smoke smell out of your carpet if you use enough of it, but if you’re ready to use the big guns, it’s time to invest in some powdered activated charcoal. You can usually get it at pet stores (where its often used in aquarium filters,) health food stores (where it’s become something of a fad,) or large department stores. Pour a little activated charcoal into a few small bowls and put them around your apartment. Leave them in place for a few days: they should slowly but surely start to absorb the odors.

Additionally, if you see any other odor control product with activated charcoal in it, like kitty litter or carpet powder, it’ll probably do a decent job of taming the cigarette smell coming from your neighbors downstairs. If you can find kitty litter with charcoal in it, it may be cheaper to put that around your apartment (assuming you don’t have a cat!) than buying large containers of activated charcoal alone, so give that a try.

Buy an Air Purifier

Your mileage may vary here, but a good air purifier can make a big difference. Make sure to buy one appropriately sized for your space (for example, you may want a larger unit if you live in a studio apartment, while a small bedside model will do well for a single room) and that you get a HEPA filter to scrub out the smoke and dust in the air.

Just Talk to Them

Finally, all the regular cleaning and scrubbing and air filters in the world won’t help if you don’t do something about the source of the problem. If you intend to stay for the duration of your lease, you may want to drop by your neighbors downstairs and introduce yourself. Let them know that the building is pretty drafty (something they likely already know) and let them know that their cigarette smoke comes up through the floors into your apartment above. Don’t walk into the conversation with an assumption of how it’s going to go: they may blow you off and indicate they could care less how their smoking affects you, but they may be willing to listen, and they may be understanding to your plight.

Don’t expect them to start smoking outdoors from now on, but suggest they keep it to one room, or crack a window when they smoke instead of leaving them all shut. Maybe offer to give them the air purifier to keep the smell down. You never know, they may be sympathetic, and you may even make a new friend in your new building.

We hope we’ve offered up some suggestions to help you freshen up your apartment. It can be pretty rough living directly over a chronic smoker, especially when your building is old, drafty, and isn’t doing you any favors in keeping the smell from drifting among units. With a little luck, some elbow grease, and hopefully minimal investment, you can keep your apartment smelling fresh and clean. Good luck!

PS – Have you shared an apartment or apartment building with a smoker? Are you a smoker yourself? What are some of your tips to keep your home smelling fresh and free of set-in cigarette smoke? Share your suggestions in the comments below.

Friday February 7, 2020

F or most cannabis consumers, there is no better, safer, or more enjoyable place to smoke weed than in your own home. After all, where else can you find a couch, a bed, a refrigerator and a TV all so close at hand? (Probably at an Ikea or a Sears showroom, but they won’t let you stay there and smoke, even if you ask nicely.)

Let’s face it, smoking marijuana at home is pretty much the best. Besides the convenience, you don’t have to worry about bothering anyone else with your smoke, driving anywhere, or interacting with anyone besides the friends you have over (and maybe the person delivering the food you ordered, but they’re probably cool.)

However, while smoking weed at home clearly rules, your home smelling like cannabis smoke afterwards does not.

Maybe you have company coming over or live with someone who doesn’t indulge. Or maybe you just came back from an out of town trip and are reassessing your place with a fresh pair of nostrils. Whatever the reason, getting that weed smell out of your home can become a priority and PotGuide is here to help. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to go about exorcising the ghosts of bowls past from your home, whether you only have an hour to clear out the smell or have a couple of days to erase it completely.

Eliminating Weed Smell from Your Home with Less Than an Hour

If you’re in a desperate hurry, don’t panic. Even if your boss, your landlord, or your parole officer called on their way over for an unexpected visit, (or all three are coming because you are terrible at planning a dinner party), there’s still hope. Yes, your place may currently reek like a wet wool poncho after a Phish concert, but that can change quickly.

First, open up all your windows and doors. Get some fresh air in there and get it circulating. If you’ve got a ceiling fan, yank down on that chain and get those blades spinning. If you have a rotating fan or a box fan, plug it in and face it out the windows. The closer to the window frame you can put the fan the better. Empty out all your ashtrays, dump the roaches, flush your bong water, and take out the trash. Next, douse the place with a spray air freshener. Your place may now smell like a spring meadow that someone left a wet poncho from a Phish concert in the middle of, but there’s enough plausible deniability that you can skate by.

Cleaning Cannabis Smell from Your Home When You Have a Day

Say you have a little bit more time. You’re still hosting that dinner party for your boss, landlord, and parole officer (you really should have planned this better) but it’s happening tomorrow. With that much time, you have your pick of methods to get that cannabis smell out of your place.

Incense

The age old trick. While incense has been historically used in religious ceremonies, it’s also great for masking any number of odors. Grab a stick or two, find a bowl or other holder to catch the ash, and light it up. The pungent smell will mask any odor, and maybe you’ll seem cultured and refined.

Scented Candles

If you’re not feeling the Eastern temple vibe, scented candles are a more Western way to cover for whatever joint spirits still haunt your place. Like incense, you’ll cover the smell.

However, with scented candles you won’t have to deal with ash residue. You’ll also have a wider selection of scents to choose from, depending on if you’re in a New England Beach or Sandalwood kind of mood.

Air Freshener Plug In

If you don’t want to deal with fire at all or have to leave your house for a while, plug-ins will cover any odor. Plus, there’s the added benefit of a constant supply of fresh smells to cover any marijuana odor that might be trying to stage a comeback.

Ridding Marijuana Odor from Your Home When You Have a Weekend

If you’ve got some time on your hands – say on a weekend of chores, or while you’re doing some spring cleaning – then get some brushes, rags, and buckets together and put some music on the stereo. Or a Netflix show that you can tune out, most likely about baking or true crime.

Thanks to gravity, nearly everything eventually ends up on the ground. That’s also true of smoke and if you’ve got a carpet, that’s where that odor will remain.

Vacuuming will take care of a lot of the smell, but if you can’t remember the carpet’s original color beneath the spilled bong water and grubby haze, or you’re trying to get your deposit back, you’ll need a carpet shampooer. Luckily, many grocery and hardware stores offer them for rental and they’re pretty easy to use. Just pour some hot water and detergent into the tank, flip on the power, and watch the magic as it returns your carpet to its original, fresh condition.

Next, get some Lysol or other cleaning agents and give all your hard surfaces a swipe. Old resin, crumbly charred bits of weed, and sticky bits of tar all add up to one overwhelming odor of old weed. Once they’re wiped up you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes. Finally, finish it all off with an odor remover. While air fresheners may mask the smells that can come right back, odor remover spray will go one step further. These sprays and absorbent pillows will suck the cannabis smells out of the air rather than just covering for them.

How to Prevent Weed Smell in the Future

If you’re looking to avoid having your home smell like cannabis in the first place, concentrates are a safe bet, odor wise. However, if you’re loving the flower for its terpenes and cannabinoids and want to keep your smoking au natural, a dry herb vape is a great compromise.

Dry herb vapes are relatively inexpensive on the low end, with handheld devices retailing for less than $150 on the lower end. Because dry herb vapes vaporize the terpenes and cannabinoids rather than burning up the flower, there’s no smoke and barely any smell. This keeps your place smelling fresh. As an added bonus, when you’re done smoking you can use the leftover “ABV” for edibles or tinctures.

In order to keep the weed smell from settling in in the first place, be sure to blow your smoke out the window and take your trash out regularly. Empty your bong water after you’re done using it, for odor and for health reasons, or smoke in the bathroom with the shower and the fan on. Finally, keep your weed in airtight containers to keep those terpenes contained. With a little precaution and a little extra effort your place will keep smelling fresh.

There’s no reason to have to choose between smoking up in the privacy and comfort of your own home and having to live in the aftermath of your pot session. Just follow these simple steps and you’ll be able to strike that balance with ease.

How do you keep your home smelling fresh and clean after a smoke session? Share your tips, tricks and experiences in the comments below.

How to keep your home from smelling like smoke

Photo of cigarette smoking in ashtray with title, Smelling Smoke? The Spiritual Reason for Unexplained Fragrance

Why Do I Smell Smoke When No One Else Is Around?

amanda linette meder

Clairalience. Cigar smoke, baking cookies, personal perfumes, incense, and fragrances. Can you smell Spirits? Find out below –

Have you ever smelled roses when there definitely wasn’t a rose bush anywhere to be seen?

Or a whiff of cigar smoke, when no one in your home has been known to smoke?

Or your mother’s favorite Avon perfume, when your mother has long since passed away?

The ability to smell the memorable scents of those familiar to you on The Other Side is an intuitive ability known as Clairalience (clear-smelling).

Scent is one of the earliest triggers of memory and connection, and as such, it’s a potent tool your Deceased Loved Ones often use to get your attention.

Anyone from grandparents to pets will use this sign to alert people of their presence and support.

This is because scent – is an effortless thing to remember someone by. When you smell a familiar fragrance, it triggers a memory response connecting you to a person, almost instantly, experience, or an event. It immediately contains information on who or what that fragrance is linked to.

Suppose a deceased person was famous for being connected to a particular fragrance, and they could be remembered for it.

In that case, they may try to re-create this fragrance (while in your presence) to be noticed by you.

This visitation method is most common if you’ve been on vacation and left the house for a couple of days. Then upon re-entering the space, you’ll smell the familiar fragrance of someone you love.

This is often a sign they were protecting or watching over the space for you in your absence.

The most common scents your Loved Ones will use to get in touch from across the veil are

How to keep your home from smelling like smoke

Photo of five incense sticks by Daniela Mackova from Pixabay