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How to Remove Cigarette Odor from a Rental House

A Central Renter Smoking InsideOne of the more exhausting clean-up jobs is getting rid of the smell of cigarette smoke in a Central rental home. Whether you allow your tenants to smoke, didn’t take note to add your smoking policy in the lease, or if you did and had a strict no-smoking policy, you indeed may still be left to deal with the smelly equality of cleaning up the atrocious 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 trigger an unsatisfactory health risk to future tenants and must be taken very seriously.

To help make your clean-up job as rewarding as possible, here are some cleaning tips claimed by the pros.

Air it Out

The best place to start when intending 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 more particularly designed to remove the smell of cigarette smoke from the air. If your budget allows, this could most definitely be a decent option. Regardless, you may need to leave the fans running for as long as possible – perhaps even on a whole lot of days – to be of help to alleviate the smell.

Wipe Everything Down

At the time you are airing out your rental, your next step is to wipe down every surface in every room – starting with the ceilings. Utilizing the cleaning product of your choice, wipe down smooth ceilings with a wet cloth. For popcorn ceilings, put your cleaning solution in a spray bottle and smoothly spray on the complete surface.

Don’t forget also that while working on the ceilings, make certain to clean the light fixtures and ceiling fans up there, too! Wipe the tops and bottoms of ceiling fan blades to ensure 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. Secure to clean the tops of the door trim, baseboard, and other nooks and crannies.

But really, it’s critical to spell out that just cleaning the walls several times won’t get rid of the smell. And paint will help, but it won’t purge the smell, either. To satisfactorily remove the cigarette smoke smell, you will need to deal with it with an odor-sealing primer, then a good quality paint over the top.

Wash the Windows

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

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

Sanitize Cabinets and Counters

Do not forget to clean the inside and outside of kitchen and bathroom cabinets, closets, and drawers. Go through each one, clear out any debris, and then wipe down both inside and out with a cleaning solution. For countertops and islands, apply 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 a number of days. This may help dispose of 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 entire surface of the carpet, let it sit for at least an hour, and then vacuum. Most Central property managers love to hire professional carpet cleaners each time they’re preparing a rental for a new tenant.  They may be able to get the odor from the carpet. Commonly, however, the best option is to replace the carpets and pad entirely.

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

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


Still, if, by any chance you’ve decided that deep cleaning your rental property is something other than what you’d ever want to spend your time on, think of giving the professionals at Real Property Management Baton Rouge a call. We can help with everything from cleaning services to finding an incredible new tenant for you – and much more! Contact us online today to see what we can do for you.

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