Whether it’s from a kitchen disaster or a cigarette, the presence of smoke can quickly ruin a room. Luckily, by removing the source of the smoke, getting some fresh air in or masking the smell, and using preventative measures, you will be back in a smoke-free environment in no time.
Venting the Smoke Out
1.Identify the source of the smoke and remove it from the room. If the smoke is from a cooking mishap, scrape off burnt on food from pans or pots and take out the trash. If the smoke is from tobacco, toss out used cigarettes, cigars, and other smokable materials.
- Keep snuffed out candles, ashtrays, and similar items outdoors or in an airtight box.
2.Open doors and windows to clear out any lingering smoke. Try to open at least two windows or doors on opposing sides of the room. This creates a cross breeze that will suck fresh air in through one opening and push the smoke out of the other.
3.Use a towel if venting isn’t enough. Soak a towel in a bowl of water or vinegar before squeezing out all of the excess liquid. Swing the towel around above your head in circles where the smoke is lingering. Try to direct it towards the open doors or windows for easier removal.
4.Place a box fan in a window to clear stuck smoke. Buy a box fan from a hardware or big box store. Position the fan inside a window so the air is flowing outside and turn it on. The spinning blades should suck the trapped smoke into the air outdoors.
Masking the Smoke
1.Boil sliced lemons in a pot of water to mask smoke odors. Lemons contain natural oils that can combat a smoky room if venting isn’t an option or if the smell lingers. Slice up one to two lemons and drop them in a large pot filled with water on the stove. Bring the whole thing to a boil and reduce to a simmer for thirty minutes.
- Make sure to leave on the peel because it contains the most oil.
2.Try a piece of bread if the lemon won’t do. Soak a piece of bread in a bowl of white vinegar. Place it in the room with the smoke. The smell will be absorbed into the bread and you can toss it away in the trash.
- The smell of vinegar is strong for many people but should dissipate quickly.
3.Use vanilla extract if the smell of vinegar is a problem. If the idea of smelling vinegar sounds worse than smelling smoke try something more pleasantly fragrant. Soak cotton balls in a bowl of vanilla extract and set them out in the smelly room.
- Not a fan of vanilla? You can try other extracts like almond, orange, coconut, anise and more!
- Another alternative to extracts could be a bowl of coffee grinds.
4.Use an odor eliminating spray or disinfectant for stubborn smells. Many sprays are on the market that promise to “eliminate odors” in your home. Some are even specifically formulated and guaranteed to remove the smell of smoke. Pick up a can at your local retailer and spray the smoke away as needed.
5.Use an essential oil diffuser for a more natural way to mask smoke odors. Purchase a diffuser and some oils from the store. Remove the top and pour water into the bottom of the unit until it reaches the fill line. Add a few drops of whatever essential oil tickles your fancy and replace the top before turning it on.
- Remember to always add new oils to your life slowly in case you have any allergic reactions
- Choose to set up the diffuser in a spot where it can sit undisturbed
Taking Preventative Measures
1.Designate the room a smoke free zone to prevent future tobacco smells. Stop smoke from accumulating in the room at all by reminding all guests that smoking is not allowed. Consider posting a no smoking sign if needed. It may upset a few guests but will prevent you from having to struggle with the smoke smell after they leave.
2.Open windows before you begin cooking. If you know your stove has a tendency to run high and smoke is pretty much guaranteed every time you cook, get ahead of the plume by opening the windows and turning on the fans beforehand. Your nose will thank you later!
3.Combat regular kitchen smoke with a range hood. A range hood is a vent system that can be installed above the stove to quickly remove cooking smoke to the outdoors. It may be a pricey investment upfront but will make recurring smoky kitchens a thing of the past.
4.Replace heating and cooling filters regularly to keep your air clear. The filters in your heating and cooling ducts are perfect for trapping odors. If you don’t regularly replace these filters the smells will get recycled throughout the air -- a fresh filter means fresh air.
- There are subscription companies you can sign up for that will deliver a fresh, clean filter in the size you need to your door every month.
5.Welcome home some air purifying plants. Some plants have been reported to be able to improve air quality indoors. You can purchase them online or in specialty nurseries. Some options include the Snake Plant, Peace Lily, Spider Plant, Golden Pothos, Neon Pothos, and Tillandsias. Plus, they look pretty, too!
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