What Absorbs Cigarette Smoke Smell In Your Property?

Friday 13th October 2023

Joanna Grimbley-Smith

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Someone taking a cigarette out of a pack CONTENTS


The lingering odour of tobacco smoke can be stubborn and unpleasant, tainting the indoor air quality and making your home less inviting. Finding out what absorbs the cigarette smoke smell the best is crucial if you want to enjoy your property.

Here at ICE Cleaning, we can restore your property to a fresh-smelling, clean home again with our cigarette smoke odour removal services. Our technicians use non-abrasive, non-toxic chemicals and the latest odour neutralisation technology to eliminate even the toughest trapped odours. We have specialists available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In an emergency, they can be on site in several hours. 

This post will explore what gets rid of a cigarette smell and why you should always bring in professionals for odour removal. 

What causes the cigarette smoke odour in properties?

Cigarette smoke leaves its mark on every corner of your property through secondhand and thirdhand smoke. Secondhand smoke comprises mainly of exhaled mainstream smoke mixed with side-stream smoke from burning cigarettes or cigars. 

This combination results in over 4,000 chemical compounds circulating in the air, including carbon monoxide, which significantly contribute to the unpleasant odours left behind by cigarette use. Third-hand smoke consists of the pollutants that settle in a room when a cigarette is smoked, like nicotine, formaldehyde, and naphthalene. 

Over time, the residue accumulates on virtually all surfaces inside a home such as carpets, walls, furniture, and clothes. As the pollutants react with common indoor pollutants, new harmful, carcinogenic compounds form. Touching and ingesting these compounds, or inhaling the gases they emit are linked to serious health problems including heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.

Different factors influence how persistent these smells can be within properties including the frequency of previous smokers' activities, the types of materials present, and if windows were frequently open to allow fresh air circulation. For instance, if one person was smoking there regularly, then the odour will be harder to get rid of compared to a situation where an occasional smoker lived there briefly.

How to remove cigarette smell from house

There are several natural methods available for absorbing and eliminating this odour. Here are some of the most popular, including the pros and cons of each.

Air purifiers

These devices operate by pulling in the surrounding air and trapping particles such as dust, pollen, and, most importantly, residues from cigarette smoke. For optimal results with your air purifier, position it in areas frequently exposed to smoking activities. You can learn more about using an air purifier here

Remember that regular maintenance, such as cleaning or replacing the air filter according to the manufacturer's guidelines, ensures its efficiency at removing pollutants, including secondhand and thirdhand smoke. There are downsides to using air purifiers, however:

  • Air purifiers fitted with activated carbon filters help reduce airborne pollutants but they might struggle against heavier concentrations
  • The maintenance costs associated with regularly changing filters can add up over time

Baking soda

Baking soda is a popular cleaning product and offers another excellent solution for dealing with persistent smells, such as those associated with cigarettes. Its alkaline nature enables it to neutralise acidic molecules found on surfaces.

The problem with using baking soda, however, is that it needs to be applied to every affected surface, including difficult to reach areas. It can also leave behind a white, powdery residue on surfaces, particularly in cracks, which can build up over time. 

Ventilating the property

Fresh outdoor air plays a vital role in handling lingering smells originating from indoor smoking habits. By opening windows wide, fresh external breeze circulates inside, pushing out stale interior atmosphere and reducing the overall concentration of harmful substances present due to indoor smoking practices.

This strategy, though simple, may not always be feasible, especially during cold weather conditions. It will also not tackle the thirdhand smoke particles that have settled deep into soft surfaces, like upholstery, either.

Why professional cleaners are required to remove thirdhand smoke

The removal of cigarette smoke odour from a property requires more than just airing out rooms or masking the smell with air fresheners. It calls for comprehensive professional cleaning services, which utilise advanced techniques and specialised equipment.

Professional cleaners, like our technicians, are trained specifically to remove smoke residue. They are odour removal specialists that know what absorbs cigarette smoke smells the best, and have access to specialised equipment designed specifically for removing ingrained smells that regular household products cannot tackle effectively.

What is involved in professional odour neutralisation?

A significant part of this process requires deep-cleaning porous surfaces, like carpets, curtains, upholstery, and other fabric surfaces, which absorb thirdhand smoke over time.

Hard surfaces like walls, ceilings, and furniture are also prone to retaining tobacco residue resulting in nasty smells. Professional cleaners will scrub down these surfaces, and then deep clean windows and ceilings due to their tendency to harbour nicotine and tar stains.

To truly cleanse a space of its past smoking history, treating indoor air quality is crucial. Professional cleaners will use high-quality activated charcoal filters coupled with HEPA-filtered air purifiers which work wonders at filtering tiny particulates responsible for residual bad odours left behind by cigarettes.

In severe instances where stubborn stenches persist despite initial efforts, they may use ozone generators, too. You can use them yourself, but you should leave it to professionals due to the potential health risks associated with misuse. Although bringing in specialist cleaners is recommended for odour removal, there are lots of things you can do to reduce the odour before they arrive. You can learn more in this blog

Contact us today

Natural methods like air purifiers and baking soda can effectively get rid of the cigarette odour, but they come with their own advantages and disadvantages. I

t is recommended you bring in professional cleaners whose expertise in using specialised equipment and what absorbs cigarette smoke smells can make all the difference when dealing with stubborn odours. They can give you peace of mind that the odour will be completely eliminated. 

Get in touch on 0208 066 0360 or enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk to learn more about our cigarette smoke smell removal services. Our trained odour removal specialists will be happy to assist you in providing a free quotation for your required services. 

Reilly Peters

Reilly Peters

Business Development Manager

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