How To Remove
Cigarette Smoke Odor

Removing cigarette smoke odor can be a very challenging task. Tobacco smoke consists mainly of tars and nicotine. This pollution can stick to practically any surface and can get into even the most remote cracks.

Along with this smoke residue is an offensive odor which can make your living space smell stale and dirty.

Worse yet, this indoor pollution can cause an allergic reaction in an individual sensitive to tobacco smoke.

The hot cigarette smoke tends to rise as a cloud toward the ceiling. As it cools, the room's air currents lead the smoke, covering everything in its path as it gravitates to the floor.

Its critical that every surface of a room suffering from tobacco smoke odor be addressed in smoke deodorizing. All surfaces, porous and non-porous.

This includes hard floors, carpeting, walls, ceilings, window treatments and the window glass, furniture, cabinets and duct work.

The level of smoke the room has been exposed to dictates how difficult deodorizing the smoke odor will be.

Heavy smoke exposure can permeate through carpet and into the padding, through upholstered furniture and into the stuffing and frame, through window treatments, into wooden furniture, behind kitchen cabinets, behind light switch and outlet covers, the paint on walls and trim, and every crack in the room.

Procedures to remove cigarette smoke odor

  1. The first step to successfully removing tobacco smoke odor is to clean every surface.
    • The non-porous surfaces such as window glass, hard flooring and any other non-porous surfaces can be washed with a neutral cleaner containing a masking agent type of deodorizer.
    • These surfaces are not absorbent and will at most have accumulated a "film" of smoke residue which can be wiped away.
    • The non-porous surfaces of the heating and air conditioning duct-work should be cleaned and sealed.
    • Porous surfaces such as carpet and furniture need to be washed with an appropriate cleaning solution for that particular surface. An encapsulant or a modifier type of deodorizer should be added to the cleaning solution.

    A thorough cleaning should successfully remove mild cigarette smoke odor problems. If the cleaning step can't eliminate or reduce the odor to an acceptable level, then the following the cleaning options are available.

  2. Wet fogging with ultra low volume equipment.
    • Use only products specifically designed for this application.
    • Be cautious of over application as you may be re-cleaning excessive residues deposited on fabrics and other surfaces.
  3. Thermo Fogging
    • In this system, solvent based deodorizers are vaporized into a smoke-like consistency.
    • The vaporization produces very small molecules which enable the deodorant molecules to follow the original path of the smoke molecules.
    • Caution should be used in turning off all sources of ignition (pilot lights, candles, etc).
  4. Ozone
    • Ozone generators produce ozone gas which can be very effective in smoke odor elimination.
    • The ozone gas works by seeking out and neutralizing smoke odor molecules.
    • The downside to ozone use in high concentrations for extended periods can be harmful to humans and animals.

The use of fogging equipment and ozone generators should be by trained professionals. Severe situations should be left to experienced restoration technicians.

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