Why Does My House Smell Like Cigarette Smoke But No One Smokes?

Wednesday 24th January 2024

Joanna Grimbley-Smith

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A stubbed out cigarette


Most foul smells have a clear cause and straightforward solution: deal with the problem and the odour goes away. However, it can be challenging to identify the exact cause of a cigarette odour and even more difficult to eliminate it.

Here at ICE Cleaning, we offer a thorough, effective cigarette smoke odour removal service. Our 6-stage odour neutralisation process can eliminate the smell, and make your home safe and clean again.

Keep reading to find out why your house smells like cigarette smoke and how to get rid of the odour.

What causes a cigarette smoke odour?

The main cause of cigarette odour is someone smoking inside a property. When a cigarette is smoked indoors, the pollutants from the cigarette settle on hard surfaces and sink into porous surfaces. 

Known as thirdhand smoke, it can last for several months (and sometimes even years) depending on how much smoking took place inside the property. So if your new home smells like tobacco, it was likely caused by the previous occupant.

If you have ruled out thirdhand smoke as the culprit, electrical faults may be the cause. When insulation on wiring gets too hot, it can emit an acrid smell that some people mistake for cigarette odour.

What is thirdhand smoke?

Thirdhand smoke is the residual nicotine and chemicals left on indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke. It includes cancer-causing substances like formaldehyde and naphthalene. Not only does thirdhand smoke make your home smell unpleasant, it can also put people's health at risk, and lower the value of your home.

When people touch contaminated surfaces or inhale the harmful gases thirdhand smoke releases, it can cause a range of health problems. This includes including respiratory illnesses, heart disease, and even cancer. 

Young children are particularly vulnerable to thirdhand smoke as they are likely to put their hands in their mouth after touching surfaces. 

Given how long it can linger on surfaces and how stubborn it is to remove, it is recommended you bring in professionals to remove it as soon as possible. 

You can find out more about thirdhand smoke and how long it lasts in a property in this blog.

How to get rid of a cigarette smell in your house

Thirdhand smoke clings stubbornly to surfaces and fabrics. To get rid of the cigarette smoke smell, you need to get rid of all of the thirdhand smoke particles. Unfortunately, thirdhand smoke embeds itself deep within porous surfaces like upholstery and carpets meaning that superficial cleaning or airing out a property will not get rid of it. 

While various do-it-yourself methods promise results like setting out bowls of vinegar and baking soda or spraying air fresheners, they only mask the scent temporarily.

Effectively tackling thirdhand smoke requires specialised equipment and expertise. Our team employs advanced techniques which can eradicate all the particles on hard surfaces and deep in soft materials, and neutralise these unwelcome aromas for good.

Professional cleaners can give you peace of mind your home is free of thirdhand smoke and make it pleasant to stay in again.

How professional cleaners remove cigarette odours

To start with, professionals use industrial-grade equipment designed specifically for odour removal. This includes powerful air scrubbers which pull in contaminated air and pass it through filters capable of trapping microscopic particles responsible for lingering smells.

They also might bring in ozone generators. These machines create ozone (O3) which reacts chemically with the components of smoke smell and neutralises them on surfaces as well as in the air - although they must be used carefully due to their potential health risks when handled improperly.

Odour neutralisation experts will apply advanced cleaning solutions that can break down unsightly tar and nicotine stains on surfaces like walls and ceilings which can trap in the odour, too. Professional cleaning services can eliminate all traces of the greasy stains, and significantly improve the visual appearance of your home.

An often overlooked aspect by DIY odour removal methods is deodorising the ventilation system. Professional cleaners can inspect ductwork meticulously since these passages collect residue over many years. They can clean out every vent cover exhaust fan filter along all associated ducting to stop the recirculation of old offensive smells, as well.

Get in touch

Our odour neutralisation experts are available nationwide, 24/7, 365 days a year. In an emergency, they can be on site within a matter of hours. 

To find out more about our smoke odour removal services, simply speak to our friendly team by calling 0208 066 0360 or sending a message to enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk.

Georgina Wood

Georgina Wood

Sales Representative

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