Smoke odors in the house are a problem that plagues everyone from the chain smokers to the nonsmokers. Cigarette odours are surprisingly stubborn and hard to get rid of. A house party with smokers may inadvertently turn your place into a permanent stink bomb, or at least until you manage to get rid of the smells. So here’s how to go about doing it:
Vinegar is an excellent deodoriser. Fill a couple of bowls with white vinegar and leave them around the offending room. In a couple of days any odours will have been absorbed. Alternatively, dilute vinegar in a spray bottle of water and use as an air spray to get rid of any unpleasant odours. Boiling vinegar in water also works the same way. A neat trick you can try is to pour vinegar on a damp towel, then wave it through the air like a flag to soak up any offending smoke/odours.
Put baking soda into ashtrays to pre-empt any cigarette odours. A box of baking soda left around the house also functions as a natural deodorizer, absorbing any unpleasant smells in the air. Sprinkle baking soda on carpets, let sit for a while, then vacuum off to remove mild smells.
The deodorant properties of charcoal are well known. Used in soaps and in its raw form as an odour absorber, charcoal is one of the most effective and safest deodorizers ever. Leave a few sticks of charcoal around the room to absorb cigarette smells. Change the sticks when you notice the deodorizing effect weakening. Charcoal can also be used in the fridge to absorb pungent food smells, or place a couple of sticks in those rancid boots to freshen them up.
Febreeze or some other deodorizing sprays
The main ingredient of Febreeze is cyclodextrin, which works by “deactivating” odours so that your nose cannot detect them. The molecules of cyclodextrin are “o” shaped, and the moisture in the product causes odour molecules to bind to the cyclodextrin molecules, sitting nicely in the “o”. This way, while the odour molecules are not eliminated, they are rendered undetectable to the human olfactory organ. Spray your room/coats/carpets liberally for a fast, fuss-free way to remove odours.
Fight odours with odours
Invest in a powerful air freshener, or simply try a few drops of quality essential oils on a diffuser. With luck, the fragrance should be able to banish, or at least mask the smell of smoke in your house till it fades away naturally. Note that strong synthetic fragrances may be irritating to certain individuals, and may be toxic to pets so proceed with caution.
Clean your carpets
Carpets are made out of plush fibres, which tend to trap odours way more than any other material. (A noted exception is wallpaper). Smells are composed of microparticles, which have an annoying way of lodging themselves in between the tiny fibres that make up your carpet/rug/blanket. If the idea of hauling your entire carpet to the dry cleaner’s is daunting, purchase a granulated carpet cleaner, sprinkle and leave on for a few minutes before vacuuming. This method should work most of the time. For machine-washable carpets, your work is cut out for you. Just toss the malodorous carpet into the washing machine and let it do its work.
Prevent cigarette smoke odours by using electronic cigarettes
Electronic cigarettes are essentially nicotine vapourisers. Unlike conventional cigarettes, which need to burn in order to deliver a dose of nicotine to the smoker, electronic cigarettes allow the smoker to just suck in a puff of nicotine without having to light up at all. As they do not give out smoke, using electronic cigarettes virtually reduces the amount of cigarette odours in the air to zero. Switch to electronic cigarettes, if you are a habitual smoker, or gift a couple to your smoking friends as a subtle hint to refrain from stinking up your house the next time they come over.
Chad Faith is concerned about smoke in the house, and will be patronizing Optima Cigs to get healthy and have a house without odours!