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Getting smoke smell out of house?

Does anyone have any tips for completely getting cigarette smoke smell out of a house?  We are having all the A/C vents and ducts cleaned, giving the house a good deep cleaning and having the carpets professionally steam cleaned.  Is there anything else that you recommend doing? 

We aren't smokers, but have a contract to buy a house from someone who is.  He was able to mask the smell when we first looked at the house, but not for the inspection.  We really don't want to walk away from the house, but don't want to live in a house that stinks forever either.  Any tips?

For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

Re: Getting smoke smell out of house?

  • It's really, really, really hard to get the smell out completely.  Your best bet is to replace the carpet and carpet padding (that holds on to a LOT of smells, even after professional cleaning) and repaint the entire house, after really washing the walls thoroughly with something like TSP and priming with a specialty primer, like Kilz.  Good luck.
  • Yup, a good prime 'n paint job will work wonders. 
    [IMG]http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff75/pltollison/raptor.jpg[/IMG]
  • Paint everything you can, wash the rest of the washable surfaces with TSP (comes in a powder, you can get it at Lowes).  You can try shampooing the carpets but may end up ripping them out.

    I had a house fire, and we put my stuff in storage and put opened cans of coffee grounds in there at someone's suggestion.  It worked wonders for deodorizing the furniture.  Cigarette is it's own special kind of smoke stink though.
  • I have one room in a rent house where they smokes (even tho they weren't supposed to).  Someone told me to put a sponge in a dish and soak the sponge with amonia.  I did that and let it set a few days, but have to go back tomorrow and will see how it worked.

    We also bought a small house from a smoker.  We took out all drapes and carpet.  The walls and ceilings were wood paneling so all that got ripped out too.  We also took out all wooden cabinets in kitchen and replaced them with new.  The cabinets and desk in other rooms got aired outside under cover for several months, and then painted that wood with several coats of paint.  We had the walls plastered and painted with 2 coats of satin paint.  I also like windows open when weather permits and there is a nice beeze across the lake.  So, no more smoke smell.

    Someone who rented out a condo said he just painted the walls with semi-gloss paint and that sealed the smoke smell.  I'm still wondering how that worked.

    Good luck.  It can be done if you are willing to do a little work. 

     

  • image katydid17:
    It's really, really, really hard to get the smell out completely.  Your best bet is to replace the carpet and carpet padding (that holds on to a LOT of smells, even after professional cleaning) and repaint the entire house, after really washing the walls thoroughly with something like TSP and priming with a specialty primer, like Kilz.  Good luck.

    I agree with this.

    image
  • Ditto to PPs about really scrubbing the walls good and then repriming and painting... major pain, but you'll regret it if you don't.  Sqeeze some lemon juice in warm water as you scrub, it helps to naturally break down the odor.  It isn't a good trick if you are planning to keep the paint job b/c it can discolor the paint, but if you're cleaning before a repaint then definitely do it.
  • Paint the house from top to bottom with Kilz. You're likely going to be painting anyway.
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