Top 3 ways to get rid of tobacco smoke in your home

Does your home smell like a giant ashtray? Getting rid of tobacco smoke remnants from previous (or current) tenants takes major work. A previous bad habit may leave a lasting impact on your home, leaving smelly reminders in your carpet, sofa, cabinets and even drywall. That’s because tobacco smoke takes up permanent residence in both porous and nonporous surfaces, deeply ingraining itself into upholstery, wood, plaster, floor coverings and painted drywall.

  1. Get cleaning. Riding your home of that ashtray smell won’t be easy. Invest in odor- and stain-reducing cleaners that contain hydrogen peroxide, which kills most biological organisms, such as mold and mildew. Look for products that also contain nose-pleasing essential oils.

  2. Purify. HEPA air purification may help remove the lingering smell of tobacco smoke. Be sure to install only HVAC filters that are rated MERV 8 or higher. Keep in mind that although some air filters may be effective at reducing tobacco smoke particles, they won’t remove the gaseous pollutants from tobacco smoke. Learn more about filters in the EPA’s Guide to Air Cleaners.

  3. Ban it. OK, banning indoor smoking doesn't exactly solve the issue of existing tobacco smoke in your home, but source control is the only way to fully eliminate the health risks associated with tobacco smoke. Make your smoking guests go outside, at least 25 feet from your home. If explaining the human health benefits to your smoking guests doesn’t make a difference, perhaps letting them know that restricting smoking also improves the longevity of furnishings, décor and building surfaces will do the trick.