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Banish Bad Smells! Effectively Removing Cigarette and Cannabis Smoke Odours

Posted January 21, 2023 by Mike Lewis under Tips

Banish Bad Smells! Effectively Removing Cigarette and Cannabis Smoke Odours


I want to banish the lingering smells of cigarette and cannabis smoke that have built up in my home over time. These unpleasant odours can be challenging to remove, but with the right strategies and products, I can successfully freshen up my indoor environment. In this article, I will share everything I have learned about effectively eliminating smoke smells from fabric, upholstery, carpets, walls, and the air itself.

Understanding What Causes Smoke Odours

Cigarette and cannabis smoke release tiny particles into the air that then settle on surfaces. These particles contain hundreds of different chemicals that cause unpleasant smells. The main offenders are nicotine and tar from cigarettes, and terpenes from cannabis.

Over time, repeated exposure causes these particles to build up. They become embedded in fabric fibres and cling to walls, carpets, and furniture. Even after the original smoke is gone, traces remain that continue releasing odours. This explains why the smell lingers long after smoking has stopped.

Smoke also spreads through ventilation systems and permeates drywall, wallpaper, insulation, and wood. The entire home can take on the stale, acrid smell if measures aren’t taken to remove the particles.

Clearing Smoke from Fabrics and Upholstery

Upholstered furniture, curtains, carpets, and other fabrics tend to absorb and hold onto smoke odours the most. Here are effective ways I can banish the smells from fabric surfaces in my home:

Washing Items

  • For washable fabrics like clothes and curtains, run them through a hot wash cycle with extra detergent and odour-eliminating additives.

  • Dry cleaning works well for delicate upholstery fabrics and drapes. The chemical solvents help release trapped odours.

Commercial Odour Removers

  • Spray-on odour eliminators designed for fabric can neutralize stubborn smoke smells. Look for enzyme-based formulas.

  • Baking soda and white vinegar make economical DIY odour removers. Sprinkle baking soda generously on fabrics, let sit overnight, then vacuum. For vinyl or leather, gently wipe with a vinegar solution.

  • Ozone machines force reactive ozone through fabric fibres to alter smoke particles and erase odours. Ozone must be used carefully with proper ventilation.

Deep Cleaning Methods

  • Steam cleaning uses hot vapour to penetrate upholstery and kill odours trapped deep in the padding. Professional services are best for large pieces.

  • With spot cleaning, immediately treat any new burns or ash marks to prevent permanent damage. Use a clean cloth and gentle cleaner made for the fabric type.

Clearing Smoke from Walls and Carpets

Smoke particles also accumulate on hard surfaces like walls and carpets. Here is how I can thoroughly clean them:


  • Wash walls with vinegar or odor-eliminating cleaner using a sponge or rag. Rinse and let dry completely.

  • Repainting with primer and odor-blocking paint provides a fresh start by sealing in lingering smells.

  • For wallpaper, remove and replace old paper to permanently eliminate odours that have soaked in.


  • Shampooing carpers with an enzyme cleaner helps release trapped odours from carpet fibres. Rent a shampoo machine or hire a professional.

  • Baking soda can be worked into carpets with a brush and left overnight before vacuuming up. It soaks up odours naturally.

  • Old or deeply-impregnated carpets may need replacement for complete odour removal. Select a low-VOC carpet pad for fresh installation.

Purifying Indoor Air

Eliminating the source doesn’t always completely remove smoke smells from the air. Additional steps can purify indoor air for fresher breathing:

  • Air purifiers with HEPA filters actively capture and remove airborne particles. Models with charcoal filters help eliminate odours.

  • Ventilation brings in fresh outside air. Open windows regularly, use fans, or consider installing a heat recovery ventilator (HRV).

  • Indoor plants like spider plants naturally filter chemicals from the air. Group many plants together in frequently used areas.

  • Simmering pots filled with water, cinnamon sticks, cloves, citrus peels, or vanilla extract infuse pleasant aromas.

  • Negative ion generators cause smoke particles to clump together and fall out of the air. They also create a refreshed smell.

Preventing Smoke Smells from Returning

To keep my home fresh long-term, I also need to prevent smoke particles from accumulating again. Here are proactive habits I can maintain:

  • Only smoke outside or in sealed designated areas with proper ventilation.

  • Change air filters (HVAC, purifiers, etc.) regularly.

  • Vacuum and dust surfaces frequently using a vacuum with HEPA filter.

  • Limit number of fabrics and upholstered furniture which tend to hold odours. Choose leather, vinyl, wood furniture when possible.

  • Immediately spot-clean any new burns, spills, or ash marks to avoid permanent damage.

  • Wash all fabrics, drapes, and upholstery regularly, at least every 3-4 months.


Eliminating lingering cigarette and cannabis smoke odours takes time and effort. But with diligent cleaning, air purification, preventive habits, and odour-fighting products, I am confident I can successfully banish unpleasant smoking smells from my home for good. Now I can breathe easy in a fresh indoor environment.

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