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How to permanently remove the smell of cigarette smoke from your home

The bad odor of cigarettes is infamous for being tough to get rid of and it is definitely not a selling point for the value of one’s home. If your previous owners or you have smoked inside the house, there are some tips you can follow in order to make it smell better. The carcinogenic toxins that cigarette smoke releases remains on walls, floors and even dust which can expose non-smokers to these toxic chemicals. The contamination of indoor air quality that cigarette smoke brings in can cause bad headaches, nausea, asthma and an increased risk for lung cancer. Although you’re not legally obligated to let the buyer know that your property has been smoked in, the strong smell is usually a quick giveaway to potential buyers which makes your home more difficult to sell.

One of the things that you can try doing first besides ending any smoking that occurs inside, is airing out the home. Opening up your windows, using an air filter and using a dehumidifier can help. A charcoal odor filter will get rid of dust as well as improve the smell and the dehumidifier will dry out the air which will help get rid of bad odors since moist air makes the smell more intense.

Drywall soaks up smells that it comes into contact with on a daily basis. To help combat this, you can thoroughly wash your walls and ceilings. If that thorough cleaning doesn’t help, it might be time to repaint your walls and ceilings with a sealing primer, which will eliminate the odor and prevent it from seeping back in through the paint.

Another thing that can be cleaned in your home in order to get rid of this smell is your carpets. If you have wall to wall carpeting then it’s a good idea to sprinkle baking soda on the carpet and follow that with vacuuming. If the smell is too embedded you might need to either remove them completely or get them professionally steamed. It’s also a good idea to remove dust from the frames of your windows and doors, and wipe down your fan blades and light fixtures. Your window treatments, including your curtains and blinds can also absorb the smell depending on what material they are so it is recommended that they be put in the washing machine or steam cleaned.

There’s a big chance that the ducts in your home have never been cleaned and that’s a problem when there’s been smoking in your home because the ducts can be coated in the smell, tar and nicotine after long periods of exposure.

Although it may seem like a good idea in the moment, dousing your home with air fresheners or other scents will actually work against you in helping the odor in your home because it acts as evidence of trying to cover something up in most cases. It’s always best to clear the odor as opposed to covering it up! The hard work you put in will pay off…doing a few or all of these things will definitely improve the smell in your home and in turn increase its’ value.

SHERI SOLTAN, Director of First Impressions, RE/MAX Edge

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