While cigarette smoking is a life-threatening habit itself, the smoke that lingers afterward is also as deadly. And there are two types of after-smoke residues: second-hand smoke and third-hand smoke. While the latter refers to inhaling other people’s smoke, the former is also an inconspicuous threat that sticks to furniture.
According to the CDC, there are over 480,000 tobacco-related deaths in the United States yearly, including third-hand smoke. While your home can be a haven, cigarette smoke residue might be lurking on your furniture. And in this article, we’ll give you eight foolproof ways on how to get the smoke smell out of furniture.
Why You Need to Get Rid of Cigarette Smoke Out of Furniture
You might think smoking in your home might be nonfatal but think again. A recent study that involved mice exposed to fabrics with third-hand smoke showed health deterioration within a month. If you notice, cigarette smoke can be very stubborn to remove. Aside from it being lethal, the odor is such a turn off as well.
This residue is because of the chemicals in tobacco smoke, such as gases or particles. Carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, nitrogen oxides, to name a few. Also, these chemicals are known to mix with other indoor toxins that cause a harmful reaction. Additionally, when you leave cigarette smoke on furniture, the carcinogenic chemicals can accumulate over time.
Now, imagine if your children laze around on your couch the entire day. Simply touching the contaminated surfaces or putting objects with third-hand smoke in their mouth can be lethal. But don’t fret. You might not be able to prevent people from smoking indoors. However, there are ways on how to get the smoke smell out of furniture. Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up eight simple and easy tips to remove the nicotine smell.
8 Tips on How to Get Smoke Smell Out of Furniture
Sure, putting on scented candles all day can get rid of the smoke smell. However, this is a Band-Aide solution that doesn’t dig deep into the root of the problem. Try one or a couple of these methods to remove cigarette smell.
Vinegar is a natural cleaning staple that not only masks the smoke smell, but it also eradicates it. The low pH in vinegar invades the high pH in smoke molecules, reducing or eliminating it. You can try using vinegar to remove cigarette smell in three ways:
- Spraying – Mix vinegar with lemon juice and spray it lightly onto the furniture.
- Displaying – Place cups of vinegar in a room where people usually smoke to prevent it from sticking to furniture.
- Wiping – Mix half a gallon of warm water with two cups of vinegar and wipe furniture to remove the smoke smell
2. Baking Soda
Another natural deodorant and disinfectant is baking soda. It does this by combining both basic and acidic odor molecules, giving it a neutral and odorless balance. If you’re wondering how to get cigarette smell out of furniture, sprinkling baking powder on it will suffice.
After you sprinkle baking powder, let it sit for two hours or so. Then vacuum the powder out. Do the same for rugs and carpets.
Who says charcoal is only for grilling? Due to its carbon molecules, this natural detoxifying agent traps cigarette smell — completely removing them from the air. You can use charcoal or activated charcoal to clear out the smoke smell by hanging them.
If you’re not too fond of hanging charcoal together with your plants or paintings, you can place them in bowls. Then distribute these bowls in your entire home or rooms where people usually smoke.
4. Air and Sunshine
If you’re wondering how to get smoke smell out of furniture without spending a dime, the good old method still works. Put out furniture pieces outside to let air and sunshine neutralize the odor.
Take note, however, that too much UV rays may damage or fade the furniture’s fabric. So if you’re not too keen on that, place the furniture on a shady spot. The important thing is that it’s directly or indirectly exposed to natural odor neutralizers.
Another way to turn to heat to get cigarette smoke out of furniture is to use a steam cleaner. Like UV rays, steam also melts the oils and tar in the smoke molecules. This way, when you apply steam onto the furniture, it can be easy to wipe the residue with a cloth after. And like UV rays, applying too much heat on the fabric may also damage it, so use it gently.
You can buy a portable steam cleaner on Amazon for more or less $40. Better yet, if you want a multi-purpose steam cleaner, it will set you back roughly $150.
6. Carbon Filters
Carbon filters comprise activated charcoal that traps the smoke’s volatile organic compounds. These compounds stick to the surface of the carbon filters until it’s fully saturated. And this process is called adsorption.
Once the filters are fully saturated, you will need to replace it to give space to new smoke VOCs. Unfortunately, carbon filters don’t remove smoke that is already on the furniture. Instead, it “captures” it before it sticks onto surfaces.
7. Molekule Air Purifier
Do you see those sleek air purifiers that are all the rage these days? Those are called Molekule Air purifiers. It runs on PECO technology, which means photoelectrochemical oxidation. Compared to carbon filters that trap airborne particles, these air purifiers eliminate gases.
The filters on these purifiers use titanium dioxide, which oxidizes gas pollutants. In turn, the oxidation process breaks down these gases and turns them into harmless and odorless molecules.
8. Ozone Generators
The last tip on how to get the smoke smell out of furniture is to use an ozone generator. It works by producing gas ozone. When this ozone reaches the right levels, it removes air pollutants indoors. While ozone generators can be effective in reducing smoke smell, it doesn’t eliminate the odor that has penetrated the furniture fabric, carpets, etc.
Moreover, make sure to consult the experts when planning to use this method. Ozone generators are known to irritate the nose, eyes, throat, and lungs.
There you have it — eight simple, easy, and affordable ways to remove cigarette smell out of furniture. While the best and most effective method is still to prevent smoking indoors, some homeowners find this uncontrollable. So if you ever find yourself in this situation, roll up your sleeves and start cleaning that foul odor away!