A house that smells of smoke, whether from cigarettes or a fire, is not a pleasant place to live. Intense smoke odour can cause headaches, nausea and irritation. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to completely eliminate all lingering smoke odour from a house; the particles are microscopic and particularly stubborn. The best way to get smoke odour out of a house is to remove the source of the odour through intensive cleaning, followed by sealing the freshly cleaned surfaces.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Carpet shampoo machine
- Cleaner containing ammonia and glycol solvents
- Stiff scrubbing brush
- Wet mop
- Floor cleaner
- Paint with stain-blocking properties
- Dishwashing detergent
- Trisodium phosphate
- Household chlorine bleach
Open windows to air out rooms and ventilate the house.
Vacuum carpets. Rent a carpet shampoo machine from your local home improvement store and follow the directions for use.
Wash all hard surfaces with a cleaner that contains ammonia and glycol solvents. Read the product directions to make sure it is safe to use on each surface.
Scrub walls and ceilings with vinegar and a stiff brush. Wash hard flooring with a wet mop and the strongest cleaner that is suitable for the particular surface. Rinse all surfaces after cleaning with warm water and leave them to dry.
Wash carpets with the carpet shampoo machine for a second time. Replace carpets if smoke odours remains even after a thorough clean.
Apply a coat of paint with stain-blocking properties to the walls and ceiling.
Contact a professional fire restorer to arrange a textile deodorisation process called an ozone treatment, which is carried out by the expert in your house, using an ozone generator. Clothing, upholstered furniture and other household fabrics are deodorised under a specially designed tent.
Wash all curtains, drapes, bedding, blankets, clothing and any other fabrics in the home that may have absorbed smoke particles. Follow the specific washing directions for each item. Dissolve 1 cup of dishwashing detergent -- the kind used in an automatic dishwasher -- in 1 gallon of warm water. Leave your fabrics to soak in the mixture overnight. Drain and wash them as usual the following day.
Mix 4 to 6 tbsp of trisodium phosphate with 1 cup of household chlorine bleach and 1 gallon of water. Immerse the items for a few minutes. Rinse them with fresh water and dry them as usual. Carry out this process only on items that can be bleached.
Take dry-clean only fabrics to a professional.
Clean heating and cooling system ducts if any smoke odour lingers in your house. Replace all fibreglass insulation lining.
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- University of Missouri Extension; After the Fire is Out: Cleaning Household Textiles and Clothing; Betty Feather
- University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service; Handling Smoke Damage after a Fire -- Getting Soot and Smoke Out;
- Made Man; How to Get Smoke Smell Out of House; Stephen Thiele; October 2010