How to Get Rid of Smoke Smell in House


Out of all of the smells that can linger in your home, the smell of smoke can be the most stubborn to remove. Sometimes, different types of smoke need different removal methods.

Luckily, American Home Shield® has helpful tips on how to get rid of smoke smells in the house, so your space smells fresh in no time.

General Tips for Smoke Smell Removal

Here are general tips for getting rid of smoke smells. We’ll cover removal methods for different types of smoke next.


Open the windows.

If you live in a home that gets cross breezes, opening all the windows can be one of the most effective ways to get rid of a smoke smell in the house.

However, it can be trickier if you live in a condo or an apartment—often, all the windows are on one side of the home. That means you have to depend on a strong breeze in order to get the air to move. In cases like this, position fans strategically throughout your home. Place a box fan in one window blowing out of the house and then place another fan in a different window blowing into the house. This strategy will help to create an air current, allowing the smell to dissipate.

Use vinegar and baking soda.

These household staples are great for getting smoke smells out of the house because they absorb foul odors. Place bowls of vinegar around your home in all of the areas that are affected by the smoke. Then, sprinkle baking soda into your carpets and rugs. Let everything sit overnight, then dump out the vinegar and vacuum up the baking soda. Everything should smell fresh the next morning.

For a DIY air freshener, get out your slow cooker. Mix a few tablespoons of baking soda in some water, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, and add the mixture to the bowl. Then, turn the slow cooker on low with the cover off. You can also mix water and vinegar in your slow cooker and let it simmer uncovered but be prepared for the pungent smell. As the smell of vinegar dissipates, so should the smell of smoke.


How to Get Rid of Cigarette Smoke Smells in the House

Cigarettes contain tar, which settles on everything—walls, furniture, floors, rugs, and windows—when smoked.

Unfortunately, you can’t just paint over the walls to remove the smell of smoke from your house because the smell can bleed through fresh paint. Instead, you’ll have to scrub. Fill a bucket with hot water and add dish soap and baking soda. Then, scrub everything that can get wet, like walls, ceilings, and windows, with a sponge or rag. You may have to replace the water frequently.

After the walls and ceilings are scrubbed, clean all light fixtures, doorknobs, furniture, and mirrors to eliminate the tar and smoke smell. Finally, wash any pillows, duvets, or cushion covers that have been exposed to smoke.

To remove the smoke smell from upholstery, you may need to use a carpet cleaner with a brush attachment on the cushion to get the smell completely out. The carpet cleaner should be used on rugs and carpets to ensure they’re clean and odor-free.


How to Get Burnt Smell out of the House

Burnt food smells can linger, but these are typically the easiest to eliminate. The key is to get the smoke out quickly. Open all the windows, throw the burnt food away in an outside garbage can away from the house, and, if you have central air conditioning, turn your thermostat on the fan setting to help clear away the lingering smoke.

It’s important to clean your smoking oven, too. Wait for it to cool, then clean the oven, so the smell doesn’t come back every time you turn it on. If everything you cook seems to burn, it may be time to troubleshoot your oven to determine the underlying issue.

If you have a home warranty plan from American Home Shield, take advantage of the stove and oven warranty, available with ShieldGold™ and ShieldPlatinum™ plans. It covers  parts and components of your oven, including the bake element and temperature sensor. When you encounter an issue with your appliance, like burned food every time you cook, all you need to do is submit a service request, and we’ll assign a contractor  to diagnose the issue. If it’s covered under your warranty plan, we’ll help with the cost to repair or replace your oven. A fixed oven may mean no more smoke smells—and a budget saved.

See the plan contract for coverage details, including service fees, limitations and exclusions. Charges for non-covered items may apply.


How to Remove Bonfire Smoke Smell in the House

Hosting bonfires at your fire pit or in another area of your property can be a great way to end a party or informal get-together—until the smell is all over your home the next morning. Open all the windows and use the vinegar and baking soda trick. Put all the clothes you wore to the bonfire directly into your washer and wash your hair thoroughly in the shower.

To prevent the smell of smoke from ever entering your home, make sure to close all the windows before starting your s’mores night.

How to Get Smoke Smells from Wildfires Out of Your House

If you’re wondering how to get smoke smells out of the house due to wildfires, using an air purifier is your best bet. Do not open your windows—doing so will make the smell worse. Once the wildfire has been taken care of and you no longer see or smell smoke outside, open the windows to encourage fresh air flow throughout your house. If the smell is still there, try scrubbing the floors, ceilings, and walls.

Learn more tips on how to protect your home from wildfires, and make sure to check your smoke detector frequently to prevent house fires.

AHS assumes no responsibility, and specifically disclaims all liability, for your use of any and all information contained herein.

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