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Got a house inspection coming up and want to get rid of the smoke odours in your house?  The solution is often simpler than you think. Read on to learn more about both avoiding smoke smell and neutralizing any stubborn smoky odors in your home.

Ridding your home and furniture of a smoke smell can be a tedious, time-consuming, and expensive process, especially if the smoke is strong or stale.

Whether it’s leftover cigarette smoke or residual smoke from a house fire, getting rid of a smoke odor typically takes a lot of scrubbing, soaking, and deodorizing. If your home has severe smoke damage, you may even need to replace sections of flooring or furnishing.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home with a smoke odor, we recommend that you discuss your negotiation/listing options with your real estate agent.

In the meantime, here’s some quick tips to minimizing or eliminating unpleasant smoke odors from your home.

How do you get smoke smell out of your house?

Smoke particles can penetrate even the smallest nooks and crannies of your home, making it very difficult to budge a smoke smell once it’s set. Professional cleaners are often the only viable option if you need to eliminate long-term smoke odors from your house. However, for less severe or more recent smoke odors, there are several simple techniques you can use to minimize or remove the smell.

What kills the smell of smoke?

Most DIY methods for getting rid of smoke smell rely on either white vinegar or baking soda. These two household ingredients are a popular option because of their natural deodorizing properties. When applied directly, vinegar and bicarbonate soda will also neutralize the pH level of any smoke particulate matter or residue trapped on the surface.

Why does smoke smell linger?

Resin and tar are the main chemical components in smoke that lead to a lasting smoke odor. When you light a cigarette inside, the resulting tobacco smoke leaves behind a filmy residue of resin and tar on your walls, ceilings, light bulbs, toys, bedding, and furniture fibers. Smoke smell will become particularly hard to budge in the porous materials of your couch, carpet, and walls.

How long does smoke smell last?

The smell of smoke can last anywhere between a few days to a couple of months (or even years if you’re a heavy smoker). The intensity and longevity of the smoke smell will ultimately depend on how frequently and how long someone was smoking inside the residence. Ventilation in the room, or lack thereof, can also affect the permanency of smoke smell.

Does smoke smell affect selling your home?

According to brokerage estimates, the final selling price of your home can be reduced by up to 29% if you (or a previous tenant) have regularly smoked inside the residence. If regular smoking occurred over a long period, your home will not only suffer from a smoke smell, it will also show signs of mild to serious smoke damage, further decreasing the value of the property.

Smoking inside your home also puts you at a serious disadvantage when trying to attract buyers. In fact, a 2013 habits study by Pfizer found that 56% of home buyers were reluctant to even consider a property previously owned by a smoker. If you’re about to put a home with a smoke smell on the market, having your house professionally cleaned, rather than cleaning the house yourself, will greatly improve your chances of finding a buyer.

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Liane Jacobs

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