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Old 08-03-2008, 12:30 AM
 
16 posts, read 206,817 times
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Is it possible to get rid of the smell of cigarette smoke from a house where previous owners were smokers? If so, what are the methods that work best?

My wife and I found a house we really like except for the smell of cigarette smoke. We were wondering if we could ever get rid of that stink. I have read that it is hard to clear up the smell because the smoke penetrates the walls, ceilings, insulation, a/c ducts, carpet, everything. Is it really that hard to get rid of?

Thanks
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Old 08-03-2008, 01:07 AM
 
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You probably would have to replace fabric everything...drapes, carpet, etc. Then prime the walls, ceiling and repaint. Have the ducts cleaned. If you like the house that well, just make it part of the contract, that previous owners make an allowance for the cost to rid the home od the smoke "toxins" (very important word to use). OR...ask that they make the correction before purchase. Good luck.
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Old 08-03-2008, 03:16 AM
 
Location: Beaumont, Texas
539 posts, read 1,804,150 times
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Try placing shallow bowls of vinegar throughout your house. It's worked for me on a lot of smells in my rental homes.
Good Luck.
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Old 08-03-2008, 06:42 AM
 
Location: North of DFW
595 posts, read 2,721,716 times
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IF the smell is really bad...I've shown homes that were heavily smoked in and the carpet, drapes, flooring have all been replaced...then they painted and sealed the walls..cleaned the air ducts...left windows opened. But....when that house is closed up with the AC on .....it still smells like smoke. I recently returned to a clients house that was smoked in and they have replaced everything...almost a total remodel...and guess what? You can still smell the smoke. They don't smell it any more because they've lived there so long...but if I tried to take a client there who has requested only non-smoking houses...they would be able to dectect it.
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Old 08-03-2008, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in Texas
5,406 posts, read 13,273,276 times
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It will definitely take much elbow grease to rid the home of that disgusting smell. I remember when my son used to visit his dad and come back wreaking of cigarette smoke. Believe it or not, I couldn't even make the smell go away with washing the clothes. I thought that rather bizarre and I also thought %@*~#. Yuck!!
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Old 08-03-2008, 08:54 AM
 
Location: U.S.A.
283 posts, read 1,281,544 times
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When I first walked into my house, before buying it, there was an extremely heavy smell of cigarette smoke. Somebody told me that I'd never get rid of the smell. Before moving in, while the house was still bare of any furniture, I had the carpet (all rooms were carpeted) cleaned professionally and the smell is gone and remains gone as I don't smoke nor allow any smoking in this house. Originally, because the odor was so strong, I had thought that the walls/ceiling might need washing down but the carpet cleaning did the job. That's not to say that a carpet cleaning will cure the problem in all houses.

Last edited by Eastender67; 08-03-2008 at 08:54 AM.. Reason: add a comma (,)
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Old 08-03-2008, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in Texas
5,406 posts, read 13,273,276 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastender67 View Post
When I first walked into my house, before buying it, there was an extremely heavy smell of cigarette smoke. Somebody told me that I'd never get rid of the smell. Before moving in, while the house was still bare of any furniture, I had the carpet (all rooms were carpeted) cleaned professionally and the smell is gone and remains gone as I don't smoke nor allow any smoking in this house. Originally, because the odor was so strong, I had thought that the walls/ceiling might need washing down but the carpet cleaning did the job. That's not to say that a carpet cleaning will cure the problem in all houses.
Wow, that's amazing. Have you taken a white wet rag to the walls and see how it turns brown after wiping? If it doesn't, the previous owners couldn't have smoked too much.

Good grief, I can be sitting in my backyard and get a strong whiff of the cigarette smokers next door to me. Even with my six-foot privacy fence, it seems to not help with that.
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:53 AM
 
3,820 posts, read 8,742,550 times
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You might also try charcoal. That absorbs smells also. We had a momma raccoon have babies in our chimney one summer and she didn't return. We discovered this when the smell got really bad. Charcoal worked.

Oh and we found out where mom went. A neighbor was telling us that she'd had a racoon in her yard and had animal control come and put out a trap around that same time. Why she'd trapped an animal that had probably lived in our neighborhood for years is beyond me.
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Old 08-03-2008, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Where I live.
9,191 posts, read 21,868,965 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by destin04 View Post
IF the smell is really bad...I've shown homes that were heavily smoked in and the carpet, drapes, flooring have all been replaced...then they painted and sealed the walls..cleaned the air ducts...left windows opened. But....when that house is closed up with the AC on .....it still smells like smoke. I recently returned to a clients house that was smoked in and they have replaced everything...almost a total remodel...and guess what? You can still smell the smoke. They don't smell it any more because they've lived there so long...but if I tried to take a client there who has requested only non-smoking houses...they would be able to dectect it.
Yep.....it really is difficult to get rid of, and a non-smoker can always smell that stink, even when all of the things mentioned have been done.

This is especially true in a vacant house that has been closed up, too.
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Old 08-03-2008, 02:11 PM
 
Location: U.S.A.
283 posts, read 1,281,544 times
Reputation: 156
Quote:
Canine*Castle said: Wow, that's amazing. Have you taken a white wet rag to the walls and see how it turns brown after wiping? If it doesn't, the previous owners couldn't have smoked too much.

Good grief, I can be sitting in my backyard and get a strong whiff of the cigarette smokers next door to me. Even with my six-foot privacy fence, it seems to not help with that.
Chances are the previous owner washed the walls down before selling (to me). Still, the house reeked of that really nasty smell. Now it only smells like stale beer and fried food. Yeh, cigarette smoke from down the street is quiet easy to smell when I'm outside. I can step out front in the morning, inhale, and from the smell of the perfume or after-shave in the air, tell which neighbor just walked by and let their dog poop in my yard. (They do this very early in the morning when we're asleep).
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