At some point, you have managed to acquire a lovely piece of wood furniture. But what do you do if that great armoire or beautiful table has a not-so-lovely smell? Unfortunately, wood tends to hold the smell of cigarette smoke for years, so if your piece of furniture has been in a smoking household, it may have a pretty unpleasant aroma to it. Don't worry though--with a little bit of elbow grease you should be able to eliminate that cigarette smell pretty quickly. Read on to learn how to remove cigarette smell from wood furniture.
Know that one of the best neutralisers of odour is vinegar. Put some white vinegar in a spray bottle, and lightly spritz it on the wood's surface. Wipe off excess liquid with a soft cloth to avoid staining.
Keep in mind that if you have a cabinet or drawer that has retained cigarette odour, baking soda can help with removing the smell. Place a bowl of baking soda inside the drawer or cabinet, and then close it up for a few days. The baking soda will absorb much of the odour. If you don't have baking soda, you can use ground coffee in the same way.
Understand that lemon oil is also a great tool for eliminating smoky smells. If the furniture doesn’t have a build-up of nicotine on it, try wiping it down with Murphy's Oil Soap, in the lemon-scented version. This not only gets rid of the cigarette smell, it also leaves the furniture looking nice and smelling fresh.
Use witch hazel. This is an astringent which can be found in the pharmacy section of your grocery store. Mix ½ cup witch hazel with a few drops of liquid dish soap. Using a soft scrubbing pad, gently rub the mixture into the wood. To wipe off, use a warm, damp washcloth. This should neutralise the cigarette odour in your wooden furniture.
Finally, remember that some odours are caused not by the smoke itself, but by a nicotine residue. Nicotine is an acid, so to remove it you'll need an alkaline-based cleanser. Borax, baking soda and most laundry soaps are alkaline-based. Combine ½ tsp of any of these with a quart of warm water, and spray it on the furniture. Wipe it off and follow it with a white vinegar rinse. If the smell is really strong, you may need to do more than one application.
If at all possible, do these treatments outside or in your garage. That will help prevent your house from smelling like vinegar or Borax.
Tips and warnings
- If at all possible, do these treatments outside or in your garage. That will help prevent your house from smelling like vinegar or Borax.