How do I Remove Cigarette Smoke Odor From Interior Brickwork?

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How do I Remove Cigarette Smoke Odor From Interior Brickwork?
Not only do cigarettes hurt your body, they also make your house and clothes smell soured and gross. (cigarette image by Henryk Olszewski from

Buying a home from smokers means dealing with the pungent smell that hits you as soon as you walk in the door. Odours from cigarette smoke build up on the walls, floor and ceilings of a home, regardless of the surface texture. They do not quickly go away on their own. To remove cigarette odour from wall and floor surfaces made of brick, you will have to thoroughly clean the brickwork with substances that will remove nicotine stains and absorb the foul odour of cigarette smoke.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Plastic sheeting
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape or painter's tape
  • Plastic gallon bucket
  • Two or three boxes of baking soda
  • Water
  • Scrub brush
  • Spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Dry towel

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  1. 1

    Protect the walls, ceiling and floor around the brickwork by covering those surfaces with plastic sheeting. Extend the plastic sheeting at least two feet past all edges of the brickwork and attach to the wall, ceiling or floor with masking tape or painter's tape.

  2. 2

    Create a baking soda and water paste inside a plastic gallon bucket to clean the brickwork and absorb cigarette smoke odours. Empty two, three or more boxes of baking soda into the bucket, depending on the size of the brickwork area. Add water to the baking soda until you create a thick, mealy paste.

  3. 3

    Use a plastic spoon or fork to stir the paste to prevent damaging your silverware with microscopic abrasions from the baking soda.

  4. 4

    Scoop the paste up with your fingers and rub it onto the brick work. Use a scrub brush to scrub the baking soda paste into the surface of the brickwork. The baking soda absorbs the cigarette smoke odours.

  5. 5

    Continue to cover the brickwork with a thin layer of the baking soda paste. Mix up more of the baking soda paste as necessary to cover all the brickwork.

  6. 6

    Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar. Spray the vinegar onto the brickwork, over the baking soda paste. The baking soda and vinegar will have a chemical reaction and start fizzing on the surface of the brickwork to clean the brick and eliminate odours. Both the baking soda and vinegar absorb cigarette odour.

  7. 7

    Allow the fizz to set on the brickwork for a minimum of 15 minutes. During this time, rinse out the spray bottle and fill it with water.

  8. 8

    Rinse off the brickwork by spraying water over the brickwork repeatedly. Blot the brickwork to remove all traces of the baking soda paste from view.

Tips and warnings

  • The brickwork will smell like vinegar for a few days, but unlike cigarette smoke odour, vinegar eventually dissipates and wears away.

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