How to Remove Smoke Odor | A Guide for Carpets & Rugs

Cigarette in ashtrayWhether from fire damage, cigarette smoke, or even burnt food, insidious smoke odors, can permeate every inch of your home – especially your carpet, furniture, and rugs. Once smoke odors get trapped into the fibers of carpet and padding, extracting the stench can be extremely difficult.

If you’re dealing with smoke odors in your home, and looking for a way to eliminate them, you’ve come to the right place; check out this guide, and learn how to remove smoke odor from your home.

Smoke Odors Caused by Fire Damage

We start with the biggest challenge first: removing smoke odors from carpet. Depending on the source of the fire, and the type of smoke it caused, carpet and other porous surfaces of your home can be affected in different ways. If the fire emitted wet or dry smoke, protein or fuel particles, or even fire extinguisher residue, generally it’s best to call in a professional to address the smoke damage.

Smoke Odors from Cigarettes & Cigars

Cigarette-related odors in a home can be especially invasive, not to mention harmful and offensive. Your first line of defense should be to create a baking soda based carpet deodorizing powder. Simply mix a cup of dried lavender into a large box of baking soda, then sprinkle it over every inch of your carpet, allowing it to sit for at least eight hours. Helpful tip: Sprinkle the mixture right before bed! After eight hours of setting, vacuum the mixture thoroughly; repeat the entire process if necessary.

Smoke Odors from Burnt Food

Using the same DIY deodorizing recipe (baking soda with one cup of dried lavender) that is used to eliminate cigarette and cigar odors, follow the same process: sprinkle the mixture on your carpet, allow it to sit for eight hours, then vacuum thoroughly.  Additionally, go ahead and set three bowls of distilled white vinegar around the room to assist with odor absorption; leave these bowls out for 5 days. Please Note: If you have small children or animals, be sure to set the bowls in high-up or hard to reach areas. Can’t stand the smell of vinegar? Add a few drops of vanilla to the bowl; that’ll surely help the stench. But, keep in mind, while the smell of vinegar is pungent, it will diminish over time – your smoke odors won’t.

Eliminating Smoke Odor From the Rest of Your Home 

After you’ve addressed the smoke odors in your carpet, take some time to eliminate the smoke odors from other areas of your home. Here’s a quick list of some other home remedies you may want to consider:

  • Machine wash or dry clean soft items, such as pillows, draperies, blankets, etc.
  • Have upholstered furniture pieces professionally cleaned.
  • Wash down walls and ceilings with a Trisodium Phosphate solution.
  • Wash hard surfaces (counters, tile, linoleum, etc.) with a 1:3 vinegar and water solution. Do not use on granite, marble, or stone.
  • Wipe down fixtures with ammonia.
  • Apply 1-2 coats of primer on all painted surfaces, then follow with a fresh coat of paint.
  • Replace all light bulbs.
  • Clean vents and ducts.
  • Change HVAC filters.

Safety Tips

When you’re trying to eliminate odors from your carpet or your home, always remember to ventilate your space as much as possible. Always read the instructions printed on chemicals and solutions very carefully, and never combine toxic cleaning chemicals. If the job gets too big, or you find yourself having lots of questions, contact us – we’re always happy to help!

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