Sunday, February 14, 2010

6 Tips to Get Rid of the Cigarette Smoke Smell

Yes indeed, the vacant home was beautiful. It had a manicured lawn and yellow daffodils lining the home entrance. However, when I opened the front door a wall of stale smoke took my breathe away.

After roaming through each orderly, well decorated room, when I asked the buyer what they thought of the home, the buyer said, "It is absolutely beautiful." He hesitated looking at his wife, "But we can't live with this smoke smell."

While some odors are easy to fix, empty the trash and litter boxes, eliminating the smell of smoke can be more challenging. Here are 6 Tips to help. Always be sure to test any products mentioned below on small areas that you are cleaning, before proceeding forward to avoid damage.

1. Stop Smoking In or Near the Home and remove all ashtrays.

2. Clean All Washable Surfaces including windows, screens, counters, etc. with 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water. Change all air filters. For all those surfaces that can't be washed, a couple of products that you can find online that have been recommended by others for eliminating smoke odors are "Smells Begone" or "Vamoose!" .

3. Prime and Paint Your Walls. First prepare all walls, by washing them with vinegar water and allow to dry. Then use KILZ primer before painting the walls. The KILZ is known to conceal stains, and seal the odors from emerging after painted.

4. Professionally Clean or Change Carpet and Upholstery. If you are unable to change the carpet or furniture, read the manufactures cleaning instructions first to avoid damaging them or voiding any warranties you might have. Again after testing a small area, sprinkle baking soda on your carpet and leave it for three to four hours before vacuuming. Leave boxes of baking soda open in the rooms to help absorb. Then have your carpets and upholstery professionally cleaned.

5. Replace, Wash or Dry Clean fabric window coverings.

6. Open Windows and Place Boxes of Baking Soda around the room and leave them for several days. Baking soda should absorb any lingering cigarette smoke odors. You may need to repeat this process several times to completely get rid of odors.

When buyers are looking at homes to purchase, they use not only their sight but they also their sense of smell. So don't let your home be remember for its cigarette smoke odor.

Virginia Hall
ABR®, CRS®, e-Pro®, GRI®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Direct (619)258-8585
DRE License #01409760