How to Get Rid of the Smell of Smoke From Your Home and Furniture

How to Get Rid of the Smell of Smoke From Your Home and Furniture

Photo: Panya_Anakotmankong (Shutterstock)

Smoke—whether from a cigarette or fire—has an odor that lingers. No matter how much Febreze you spritz, or how many times you wash your hair, that distinctive aroma can seem like it isn’t going anywhere. But that’s not necessarily the case. In an article for Livescience, Katie Treharne shares some strategies for dealing with a smoke smell both in the short- and long-term. Here’s what to know.

How to get rid of smoke smells quickly, but temporarily

The first method is also the simplest: Opening the windows of your home and letting in as much fresh air as possible. “Letting in outside air helps carry away pollutants such as smoke and soot,” Treharne writes.

The next tips come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). While your routine cleaning process—things like dusting, washing, and disinfecting surfaces using mild soap or cleaning products—won’t get rid of the smoke smell in the long-term, it will help decrease the stench temporarily.

And if the smoke came from a house fire or wildfire, FEMA recommends checking your home for any soot or ash that may be leftover. Just having it sitting around can make your place continue to smell smoky.

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How to get smoke smells out of furniture

FEMA also has a suggestion for dealing with smoke smells that have penetrated soft surfaces, like upholstered furniture, mattresses, carpets, curtains, and clothing: Thoroughly deodorize and disinfect them using baking soda and white vinegar. For wooden furniture and surfaces, FEMA recommends cleaning them with soap, or wood-specific cleaning products.

How to get smoke smells out of your home for good

This time, the tips come from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and focus on cleaning the air. First, if you don’t already have central air conditioning or an AC unit, it might be the time to get one. “When there is little infiltration, natural ventilation, or mechanical ventilation, the air exchange rate is low and pollutant levels can increase,” according to the EPA.

Along the same lines, the EPA also recommends getting an air purifier—specifically, one with a high clean air delivery rate (CADR) if you’re dealing with tobacco smoke, because it’s one of the smallest particles.

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