How Does Smoke Odour Affect Electricals?

Thursday 20th July 2023

Ellen Warren

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Man holding a phone while smoking a cigarette


Smoking indoors is not only harmful to your health but also to the objects in your home. Cigarette smoke contains pollutants and chemicals that permeate surfaces easily, including electronic devices. This could lead to the breakdown of its components and turn into a costly issue.

Our technicians at ICE Cleaning are experienced in cigarette smoke odour removal, using state-of-the-art equipment and solutions that will remove all smoke particles. Ozone technology and air purification methods ensure your home is completely restored and smoke-free, making it habitable again.

Read on to learn more about thirdhand smoke and how it can affect electricals.

What are the risks of thirdhand smoke?

Thirdhand smoke is an accumulation of smoke pollutants and toxins that have settled into surfaces indoors, containing tar, nicotine, and formaldehyde. Because of these chemicals, it is incredibly difficult to remove cigarette smoke smells.

Over time, these pollutants stain walls and leave a potent odour in upholstery, curtains, and carpets. The toxins in thirdhand smoke can pass onto individuals who touch or interact with contaminated surfaces, potentially causing long-term illnesses with chronic exposure.

Children are at an increased risk of developing asthma and potentially falling victim to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) when exposed to thirdhand smoke. Other illnesses related to thirdhand smoke include:

  • Headaches
  • Ear aches
  • Damaged DNA
  • Respiratory illnesses
  • Damaged cells
  • Increased risk of disease
  • Increased risk of cancer

How does cigarette smoke damage electronics?

Most electronics will have some points of exposure in their design, which allow air to come through the device and keep it cool. Although these vents are small and unnoticeable, they keep a machine in working order by preventing overheating.

When smoke enters these air vents, the pollutants, and chemicals in thirdhand smoke settle onto the fan and cooling components. Over time, it will cause damage, resulting in overheating, malfunctions, and broken devices.

Smoke damage could lead to the complete degradation of an appliance, requiring professional repairs or replacement. Devices vulnerable to cigarette smoke include:

  • Television sets
  • Computers and laptops
  • Smartphones
  • Gaming consoles

Do cigarette odours reduce the resale value of an item?

Cigarette smoke odours can deter potential buyers from homes and reduce the property value overall. According to Yopa, a property may be devalued by up to 29%, which could also apply to any electrical objects you are trying to sell. Many retailers nationwide accept trade-ins for electrical devices, but the value depends on the state of the object.

Stores that accept trade-ins may reduce the amount they offer if the device you provide them with has been damaged by cigarette odours. The resale value of an appliance will always fluctuate depending on cosmetic damage, its capabilities, and the inner components.

How to reduce the smell of cigarette smoke

If thirdhand smoke is lingering in your home, there is only so much you can do to remove the odour. Because of the toxic nature of these pollutants, they will require professional smoke smell removal services to eradicate it.

Some methods are dangerous to attempt without training, such as ozone generators. These are risky to use alone and only a professional can conduct this safely. Instead, you will have to reduce your exposure as much as you can by:

  • Ventilating the area with open windows and doors
  • Using air purifiers to capture pollutants
  • Professionally cleaning affected fabrics
  • Wear gloves and a mask when cleaning
  • Wipe down stained surfaces with gentle cleaning solutions

What to do if smoke has damaged your electronics

If you believe cigarette smoke has impacted or damaged your device, it is best to seek a professional to conduct a safety inspection. You can contact the company’s support line, which may refer you to a specialist in-store.

If you have insurance or a warranty, this might be voided if they conclude that cigarette smoke is the cause of the damage. Companies such as Apple and Panasonic have warranties that do not cover external damage, which could include cigarette smoke damage.

Thirdhand smoke residue is often sticky and clings to all surfaces it encounters, so a simple burst of air will not remove the smoke smell from your computer or device. Unfortunately, you need to seek out professional help to restore your devices.

Get in touch

When cigarette smoke odours impact your home, you can rely on our various smoke odour removal services. With our extensive methods and industrial technology, our technicians can remove all traces of thirdhand smoke from your property.

You can reach out to our friendly support team at 0208 066 0360 or, where we answer your call 24/7, 365 days a year. Our cleaners respond to your call nationwide and arrive at your earliest convenience in an emergency.

Reilly Peters

Reilly Peters

Business Development Manager

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