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How to Remove Cigarette Odor from a Rental House

A Clayton Renter Smoking InsideOne of the more tedious clean-up jobs is getting rid of the smell of cigarette smoke in a Clayton rental home. Whether you allow your tenants to smoke, forgot to count your smoking policy in the lease, or if you did and had a strict no-smoking policy, you may, indeed, still be left to deal with the smelly duty of cleaning up the dreadful odors left behind. And it’s not just about the smell; cigarette smoke leaves residual contamination on walls, fabrics, and other surfaces. Known as “thirdhand smoke,” this residue could turn into a health risk to future tenants and must be taken very seriously.

To help make your clean-up job as advantageous and beneficial as possible, here are some cleaning tips advised by the pros.

Air it Out

The best place to start when about to clean up after cigarette smoke is to air out every room in your rental house. Open all windows and doors to let in the fresh air, and take advantage of fans or an air purifier to circulate the air. There are air purifiers particularly intended to eliminate the smell of cigarette smoke from the air. If your budget allows, this is perhaps a useful option. However, you may need to leave the fans running for as long as possible – possibly even for several days – to aid alleviate the smell.

Wipe Everything Down

While you’re airing out your rental, your next step is to wipe down every surface in every room – starting with the ceilings. Take advantage of your chosen cleaning product and wipe down smooth ceilings with a wet cloth. For popcorn ceilings, put your cleaning solution in a spray bottle and gently spray the overall surface.

At the time that you’re working on the ceilings, remember to clean the light fixtures and ceiling fans up there, too! Wipe the tops and bottoms of ceiling fan blades to make it a point that the odor isn’t being recirculated back into the house.

Working your way downward, clean walls with the same cleaning product and a cloth. Make certain to clean the tops of the door trim, baseboard, and other nooks and crannies.

On the other hand, it’s focal to note that just cleaning the walls won’t eliminate the smell. And paint will help, but it won’t get the smell off, either. To efficiently remove the cigarette smoke smell, you will need to take advantage of an odor-sealing primer, then a good quality paint over the top.

Wash the Windows

Along with the walls, it’s really important to endow all of the windows and window coverings in your rental property with a deep clean. If you have blinds, that means wiping down each piece of the blinds on both sides. Clean the windows with your favored glass cleaner, then wipe down the frames and sills.

If your rental has fabric shades or curtains, verify to see if you can wash them in a washing machine. If not, you may want to consider replacing them. Cigarette smoke is very tedious to get out of fabrics.

Sanitize Cabinets and Counters

Consider cleaning the inside and outside of kitchen and bathroom cabinets, closets, and drawers. Go through each one, get and remove any debris, and then wipe down both inside and out with a cleaning solution. For countertops and islands, put into service a sanitizing cleaner to rid them of smoke residue. If the smoke smell persists, try putting a bowl of dry coffee grounds or white vinegar inside the smelly cabinet or drawer and leaving it there for many days. This may help clear the cigarette smell.

Deodorize Floors

Once you’ve cleaned everything above floor level, it’s time to deal with your carpets and hard surface floors. One way to help remove the smoke smell from carpets is to sprinkle baking soda over the whole carpet, let it sit for at least an hour, and then vacuum. The majority of Clayton property managers select to hire professional carpet cleaners if preparing a rental for a new tenant.  They may be able to get rid of the odor from the carpet. In most instances, however, the best option is to replace the carpets and pad entirely.

For hard surface floors, clean thoroughly by mopping with a useful disinfectant. If you’ve got various floors to clean, change your mop water often to make sure that the smoke smell isn’t just getting spread back around.

Although labor-intensive and time-consuming, by taking these steps, you can clear out the smell of cigarette smoke and get it back to a clean, fresh-smelling rental.


Still, supposing deep cleaning your rental property is something other than what you’d desire to spend your time on, contemplate giving the professionals at Real Property Management Excellence a call. We can help with everything from cleaning services to finding a fine new tenant for you – and much more! Contact us online today to see what we can do for you.

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