Smoke smell can be one of the most invasive and stubborn odors you will have to deal with throughout the course of your life.Thankfully, when smoke permeates your belongings, car, or home, there are a few tricks and techniques you can try to chase the smell away. Here's what you need to know.
Getting Rid of Smoke Smell in Books and Paper Products
1.Let the book air out. Gently hang an open book over a railing or on a clothesline outside for a few hours to a day.This should cause the smell to decrease.
- Make sure that you choose a shaded spot since sunlight can bleach the pages.
2.Seal the book in a container of potpourri. Place the smelly book in a resealable plastic container and cover it with new, fresh potpourri for a day or so. The smoke smell should be replaced by the smell of the potpourri.
- You may need to replace the potpourri after a day and continue sealing the book up with fresh potpourri for several days after that.
- Get rid of the potpourri when done.
3.Press dryer sheets in between the pages. Shove four to five dryer sheets in between the pages at even intervals and seal in a plastic bag. Let sit for a few days before removing.
- Both scented and non-scented sheets should effectively absorb the smell.
4.Use cedar chips or activated charcoal. Place the book or paper product in a resealable plastic bag or container and cover with a handful of cedar chips or roughly 1 qt (1 L)of charcoal. Use activated charcoal, not charcoal briquettes. This should neutralize and mask the smoke smell after a few days.
- Cedar chips and activated charcoal can be purchased at pet stores, aquarium shops and hardware stores.
- Cedar chips may leave behind strong odors of their own when finished, but these odors are usually capable of warding away the smoke smell.
- Activated charcoal absorbs the odors without leaving its own smell. Put it in a cloth bag or wrap it in cheesecloth to keep the book clean. It doesn't have to touch the book to absorb those nasty odors.
5.Try a baking soda fix. Place the book in a plastic bag or container and sprinkle with a decent dusting of baking soda. After two or three days, gently remove the baking soda using a vacuum cleaner.
- Baking soda is one of the best tricks you can use to neutralize the odor since it has no smell of its own to mask the smoke smell with.
Getting Rid of Smoke Smell in Clothes
1.Attack the odor with baking soda and dryer sheets. Place the smoke-saturated clothing in a plastic bag. Add two dryer sheets and 2 Tbsp (30 ml) baking soda to the bag for every three to five clothing items in the bag.
- Seal or secure the bag and give it a thorough shake to spread the baking soda and dryer sheets around.
- Let sit overnight. When you remove the clothes from the bag, shake out the remaining baking soda.
- Run the clothes through a standard washing cycle in your washing machine when done.
- This method of odor removal is beneficial since much of the smoke smell gets removed from the clothes before you wash them. As a result, very little odor gets transferred into the washing machine.
2.Alternatively, soak the clothes in vinegar, baking soda, and water. Add your smoky clothes to the washing machine tub and fill the tub with enough water to cover the material. Add 1 cup (250 ml) baking soda and 1 cup (250 ml) white vinegar to the water.
- Let the clothes soak in the solution for one hour at minimum.
- Add a normal amount of detergent to the water and wash using a normal cycle.
- This method is beneficial, too, since the baking soda and vinegar can help neutralize the smoke smell in your washing machine, too.
3.Use a washing machine cleaner, when necessary. If you find that you washing machine smells smoky after you have washed several loads of smoky clothes, you should purchase a commercial washing machine cleaner to remedy the problem.
- Add as much cleaner to the tub as the label directs you to.
- Run the machine on its hottest cycle without any clothes in it.
4.Spray odor-eliminating fabric spray on your clothes for a quick fix. If you need to get rid of the smoke smell on your clothes temporarily before you wash them, quickly spray an odor-eliminating spray over the material.
- Make sure that you choose a spray that can neutralize odors, not one that simply masks the odors with another smell.
Getting Rid of Smoke Smell in the Car
1.Roll the windows down. One of the most important things you can do is simply to let your car air out. Roll all of your windows down and let them remain open for a few hours to a couple of days.
- If possible, leave the car doors wide open instead of simply the windows. This maximizes the amount of airflow going through the car.
- Consider running battery-powered fans in the car to push the air out faster. If possible, choose a windy day to air the car out, as well.
- Do not turn the car on and run the fan as it sits in one spot, especially if the car is in an enclosed space like a garage. Doing so can cause deadly carbon monoxide to build up.
2.Shampoo the car. Use a vehicle upholstery cleaner on the seats and floors. Scrub the interior of the car from top to bottom.
- Floor mats may need to be removed and washed separately. If you find it difficult to remove the odor from the mats, replace them.
3.Use a specialty product. Some automobile dealers and parts stores sell specialized chemical removers that are capable of removing heavy, strong smells like smoke.
- Follow the label instructions carefully when applying the product.
- Let the car air out for a few days after using a product like this since a chemical smell will likely remain immediately after use.
- Use a vacuum cleaner to remove any residue left behind by the product.
4.Try vinegar, charcoal, coffee grounds, or baking soda. While these remedies usually mask the odor instead of removing it, many people do stand by them.
- Place a bowl of vinegar, container of fresh coffee grounds, or open bag of charcoal in the car overnight or for a few days.
- Sprinkling baking soda over all the surfaces of the car interior and let sit overnight. Vacuum the excess in the morning.
Getting Rid of Smoke Smell in the Home
1.Open the windows. Open as many windows as possible to increase the amount of airflow inside your home, pushing the smelly smoky air out of the house and bringing the fresh air inside.
- It is best to do this on a slightly breezy day. In the absence of a natural breeze, however, you can run ceiling fans and other fans inside the house to keep the air moving.
2.Let your furniture air out. Take any piece of furniture that you can remove from your home and let it sit out in the sun for a day or two.
- The fresh air helps reduce the smoke smell.
- The sun's UV rays are also thought to help neutralize smoke smell.
3.Run air purifiers in each room. Air purifiers trap odor in filters or neutralize odors completely. There are multiple types you can use:
- Electronic air cleaners produce an electric field that ionizes odor particles, causing them to become trapped to a collection plate.
- Ionizers also produce an electric field that ionizes odor particles, but these machines cause the particles to drop to the ground for later vacuuming or sweeping.
- Mechanical High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) air filters trap pollutant particles on a charcoal filter. These filters are then cleaned or changed out, removing the smoke particles for good.
4.Scrub down each part of your home. Getting the odor out of the air and furniture may not be enough to remove smoke from your home, of course. There are other surfaces that need to be cleaned before the smell will go away for good.
- Wipe down the walls and ceilings. Look for a cleaner with glycol or ammonia. When you scrub down your walls and ceilings, keep the room well-ventilated and do not let kids or pets inside.
- Clean the floors. Hard floors can often be cleaned with standard floor cleaners, but carpets will need to be shampooed and deep cleaned. Professional carpet cleaning is often necessary.
- Wash your drapes and blinds. Soak your blinds in a bathtub full of water. Mix in 2 cups (500 ml) or more of white vinegar for a more thorough cleaning. Throw your drapes into the washing machine or have the material dry cleaned if the fabric is too delicate for a home washing cycle.
- Wipe down windows and mirrors. Spray each surface with white vinegar and wipe them down with a clean, soft cloth.
- Swap out your light bulbs. Smoke residue builds up on the exterior and interior of the bulbs. When the light warms up, the smell is released back into the air.
5.Place vinegar around the home. Pour white distilled vinegar into small, shallow bowls and set a bowl in each smoke-infested room. Let the liquid evaporate. If you are in a hurry, you can boil some vinegar on the stove for about half an hour, but the fumes are choking so remove yourself, other people, and your pets from the house.
- This method is actually best to use after the windows and doors have all been closed. Minimize airflow so that the vinegar can have a stronger effect.
- You can dampen a soft cloth with a little vinegar and use the cloth to wipe down your walls, as well.
6.Use baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda over your furniture, rugs, and other cloth or upholstery items. Let it sit overnight and vacuum it off the following day.
- You an also set out bowls or open boxes of baking soda in each room instead of vinegar.
7.Try activated charcoal. Leave a bowl of activated charcoal in a smoky room to quickly absorb the odor.
- Note that charcoal is also an active component of many HEPA air filters.