How To Clean A Smoker’s House: Get Professional Results FAST


Smoking harms the smoker and ruins their house with all sorts of marks and smells resulting from the smoke. Smoker or not, everyone deserves a clean house. So, if you’re looking to revitalize your living space with a deep clean, I’m here to help. Now, how do you clean a smoker’s house?

Depending on the severity, cleaning a smoker’s house will likely need to do the following:

  • Replace the lighting fixtures, switches, receptacles, air vents, air filters, doorknobs, appliances, window treatments, and floor coverings. Cleaning these items will likely be time-consuming and ineffective.
  • You’ll need to have the ductwork professionally cleaned or replaced and have the HVAC systems professionally cleaned.
  • To remove smoke and nicotine from walls and ceilings, use a mixture of Trisodium Phosphate (TSP), Dawn dish detergent, and water. After two thorough cleanings, seal everything with a primer specifically designed for smoke damage before painting.

However, the procedures themselves aren’t as easy as they sound. Getting rid of the deep-rooted smell is almost as hard as getting over the addiction to nicotine itself. So, read this article till the end to learn everything about cleaning a smoker’s home. 

Watch a Smoker House Cleaning

How Do You Get the Smell of Smoke Out Of Your House Fast?

Sometimes, you will need to get rid of the smell of smoke instantly. At least, for just long enough to make it bearable for a possible visitor and whatnot. So, here are a few ways you can try to get the smell of smoke out of your house fast. 

Aggressive Air Circulation

Since cigarette smoke is nothing but a bunch of airborne particles, you can use air to dissipate them even further. But before that, you need to know how the smoke spreads. Cigarette smoke has such a robust and intoxicating smell due to its high concentration level. 

As a result, you’ll decrease the concentration if you can increase the distance between the particles. And lack of concentration will slowly get rid of the strong smell as time passes. 

So, if you want a quick way to get rid of the smell, arrange for proper ventilation. You can also try putting the fans at high speed to ensure better air circulation around the house. The faster the air is circulated, the sooner the effect of smoke smell will continue to subside. 

Open All Entryway

Proper circulation isn’t nearly as enough if the contaminated air has nowhere to go. For instance – what if you turn on the fans in a room full of smoke but keep the door closed? The smoke will dissipate all right, but where is it going to go? 

Even after a thorough circulation, the smoke-filled air will not eventually go anywhere. Instead, it will now fill up the whole room and suffocate you even more. Decidedly, the concentration may go down a notch, but you’ll not get rid of the smell anyhow.

That’s why it’s important to open all the doors and windows for proper circulation. The contaminated air needs to go out while the fresh air needs to get in, which is why it’s much harder to get rid of the smell in a basement than on the upper floors. There’s not enough fresh air.

Use Air Freshener

Using air fresheners is more of a cover-up than an actual solution. If the smell is not that concentrated, you can use a little air freshener to make it go away. Or, at least, make it seem to go away. 

However, if you end up using too much, it will overpower the air and make it smell bizarre. Again, if the smoke concentration is high, the freshener will create a new weird smell. Furthermore, all that fumes are not that good for the human lungs. 

So, it’s important to keep these facts in mind before blindly spraying a bunch of fresheners into the air. Keeping a fan on at high speed might help out to an extent. All in all, only use air fresheners if the smoke feels manageable enough. Suppose it’s extreme, best to refrain from it.

This criterion applies to the past two methods as well. You can only do enough in a few minutes. If the house has been exposed to smoking for several years, a two-minute trick isn’t going to do anything. You will need advanced-level countermeasures for that. 

6 Ways to Thoroughly Clean a Smoker’s House

A smoker’s house should be filled with all sorts of dark yellow hues and horrible smells. Let’s talk about how you can get rid of them for good. 

Clean The Hard Surfaces

Just because the smell of smoke comes from airborne particles doesn’t mean that it can’t get on the hard surfaces. Even though they are minuscule, they are still solid little granules and thus, have an existence. So, getting rid of the smell itself isn’t enough. 

You have to put the gloves on and physically clean all the hard surfaces one by one. In fact, not just once, you have to thoroughly clean them quite a few times to get rid of the odor. 

As for the cleaning material, you can use any typical cleaning solution. Like floor cleaner, tile cleaner, etc. You can also use a fifty-fifty mixture of white vinegar and lukewarm water to go with it. Ammonia and baking soda mixture work wonders as well.

Anyway, whatever the solution is, make sure it is mixed properly and doesn’t have any corrosive properties. Use a normal spray bottle and spray the mixture all over the place. Then use a rag or a soft clean cloth to wipe all of it down. 

If you’re doing it correctly, you’ll wipe away the nasty odor particles deposited on the surfaces. Don’t forget to wipe all of the surfaces, including the television, fireplace, mantles, etc. Use a ladder to reach the ceiling and clean the fans’ blades as well while you’re there. 

Wash or Discard Carpets & Fabrics

Like the hard surfaces, smoke particles can get embedded within the fabrics as well. That’s why it’s just as crucial to deep clean the fabrics within the house. And that includes curtains, sofa cover, bed cover, cushions, etc.

And of course, the whole carpet if that’s how your house is covered. Use the washing machine to wash off whatever you can put in it, like the cushions, covers, clothes, etc. And for heavier fabrics items like the carpet, you need a different approach. 

For them, it’s best to use a baking soda concoction. Sprinkle some of the baking soda all over the carpet, and don’t touch it for a few days. Baking soda has the incredible property of drawing out bad odorants. So, it will quickly absorb the smoke smell. 

After a few days, vacuum up the whole carpet and then roll it through a steam roller. Depending on the intensity of the smell, you may need to repeat this step quite a few times. Furthermore, you can rent special steam rollers that can clean upper surfaces as well. 

On the other hand, make sure that you don’t overwash the items in the washing machine. Also, don’t let them dry out in the sun or use extra heat. Let them naturally dry out in the air; otherwise, they may shrink in size. 

Unfortunately, washing may only be a temporary solution. Ultimately, fabrics such as carpets, curtains, and furniture may need to be discarded.

Remove Ashtrays & Furnace Filters

No external cleaning and ventilating won’t do anything if you don’t remove the root cause. You can’t continue to keep smoking and want to remove the smell at the same time. That’s why it’s necessary to clean out all the ashtrays and smoke filters as well.

Ashtrays are the single most reason why the smell of smoking has such a strong odor. It’s so concentrated down there that it’s impossible even to get rid of it by cleaning. But taking baby steps like cleaning out the tray is a significant step. 

Make sure to throw the cigarette butts in an enclosed package before throwing them off to the dustbin. Dousing them with water does the trick as well. That way, the ashy particles won’t fly off during transportation and pollute the air around the vehicle as they go. 

And just like ashtrays, it’s essential to clear out the furnace filters too. These filters can trap the smoke particles and, over time, create a condensed odor. So, make sure to fumigate the inside of your furnace filters while cleaning.

Get An Air Purifier

Just like water purifiers, you can get air purifiers as well for a reasonable price. The sole purpose of an air purifier is to remove the toxins, allergens, pollutants, etc., from the air. And by doing so, they slowly get rid of all the harmful toxins from smoking in the house.

Air purifiers work the best when you already have good circulation going on around. That way, it’s easier for them to recycle the air repeatedly and remove the pollutants. Furthermore, you can try out a HEPA filter to specifically battle the smoke smell particles.

Invest In an Ozone Generator

If an air purifier doesn’t seem to work, you can invest in an ozone generator instead. Even though it sounds pretty complex, an ozone generator is quite a nifty machine. In a way, this generator also purifies the air but by oxidizing it and not direct circulation. 

Ozone generators are great at eliminating nasty odors from year-long exposure. You’ll also find professional cleaners who use this machine from time to time. The whole precipitate of this machine lies in the chemical reaction between ozone and the surrounding oxygen. 

What the ozone generator effectively does is create activated oxygen particles. And when these particles hit the normal air, they instantly oxidize it. The entire process is like multiple bursts of combustion at a time. And during the ongoing reaction, the odor or smell is trapped within and eliminated super efficiently. 

However, you need to know how to use an ozone generator properly to get the best deals out of it. So, it’s best to rely on a professional. Furthermore, keep an ozone generator within a closed room and let it run for a few hours without interruption. That will help out if the smoke or odor is way too intense to deal with. 

Unlikely Places You May Forget to Clean

So, can you clean a smoker’s house? Yep, you indeed can. But do you know all the nooks and crannies the smell and ash can escape to? Here are a few of the unlikely places you may forget to clean around the house.

Inside Walls of The Chimney

Just like furnace filters, chimney walls are a great pathway to trap smoke particles. And it’s hard to notice when the fire is always burning. So, people often just abruptly clean the fireplace and the roof and call it a day. 

But, over time, the residues left in the chimney walls can cause a strong smoke odor. And since it’s burned to the limit, it’s hazardous to inhale that. To prevent that from happening, sweep the insides of your chimney regularly.

Air Ducts

Everyone thinks just opening the entryways is enough to get the air in and out. I mean, that’s the whole point of ventilation. But no, like chimney walls, air ducts are susceptible to residual particles as well. 

Over time, opening the air ducts will cause these particles to get ventilated back inside the house. And that’s not an excellent scenario to deal with, is it now? So, do thorough regular checks and keep the insides of your air ducts clean. 

Any Constricted Place

Keep an eye out for any place that you might miss at first glance. Because while your sweeper may not reach those places, the smoke particles certainly can. So, ignoring these places isn’t the wisest decision if you want a smoke-free house. 

For instance – tops of cabinets, behind and under the bed frame, closet, bookshelves, etc. Again, staircases and the hidden stalls. The empty spaces over the balcony or foyers.

Easy Concoctions to Remove the Smoke Odor

Baking soda and vinegar aren’t the only two ways to get rid of a nasty smell. Here are a few more easy concoctions that you can try out.


Even though ammonia itself has a pretty strong smell, it’s a great cleansing solution. And when vinegar or soda fails, this solution will be your best friend. 

But ammonia does take some time to work. And don’t use a concentrated solution unless you want a robust lingering smell. For every cup of ammonia you use, take at least four cups of water to dilute it properly. 

And don’t just pour it over the surfaces. Gently scrub the surface with a clean scrubber to get rid of the particles. Allow proper ventilation, and the smell will go away after a while.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds are a very unlikely but effective combo when it comes to getting rid of foreign odors. And no, you don’t have to scrub or sprinkle them all over your home. 

A simple strategic placement of a pouch is enough to absorb the odors. Just keep them in a corner or so and change the mixture once in a while. A clear indication that they need changing is when they get too damp or too dry. 

Too damp means you kept them in a place where there’s too much moisture. And too dry means that they have absorbed enough odor, and it has evaporated back into the air. 

Essential Oils

Essential oils work the same way that fragrant flowers do. They bring out a subtle hint of a particular fragrance into the air that overpowers the smoke odor. You can make your very own freshener if you’d like. 

Use a mixture of equal parts vodka and water, and then put in multiple drops of whatever essential oils you’d like. Rosemary, lilac, jasmine, lavender, mint – anything works. You can even come up with a whole new smell by trying out different combinations.

Once you’re satisfied with the smell, pour it in a spray bottle and spray wherever it’s needed. Slowly, the odor will diminish, and your house will start to smell like a flower festival.


So, how do you clean a smoker’s house after all? It turns out, while it’s not the easiest job in the world, it’s not entirely impossible either. 

It would help if you didn’t smoke in your house in the first place. But, in case you’ve already smoked indoors, cleaning it and getting rid of the horrid smell is possible with a bit of effort on your part. I hope this article was of help to you. And until next time, farewell. 


Hubert Miles | Licensed Home Inspector, CMI, CPI

Hubert Miles is a licensed home inspector (RBI# 2556) with more than two decades of experience in inspection and construction. Since 2008, he has been serving South Carolina through his company, Patriot Home Inspections LLC. As a Certified Master Inspector, Hubert is dedicated to providing his expertise in home inspections, repairs, maintenance, and DIY projects.