How to Banish Smoke Smells, For Good

There are few things more frustrating than moving into a new home that was previously smoked in. The permeating funk of tobacco smoke is resilient, lasting long after the last cigarette has been put out. Not only does stale smoke residue smell terrible, but it can also be dangerous, especially for young children, people with asthma, and those with compromised immune systems. To fully eliminate lingering smoke odors, as well as the carcinogenic residue, you’ll need to thoroughly clean your home with a product that has serious odor-busting powers. That’s where we come in.

Vital Oxide is an extremely powerful odor eliminator, capable of neutralizing even the toughest odors – including cigarette smoke – for good. Rather than masking odors with synthetic fragrance, Vital Oxide works by oxidation. Vital Oxide eliminates odors caused by tobacco smoke, fire smoke, musty odors, stale cooking odors, and more. Simply spray, fog, or wipe on full-strength and let air dry to provide long-lasting residual deodorizing action.

Without further ado, let’s get to our step-by-step smoke banishing guide. Here’s what you’ll need to get the job done: 

Materials Needed 

Step 1: Increase Ventilation 

Fresh air is your friend in the fight against smoke. Start your odor-busting cleaning routine by opening the windows and doors to get as much fresh air into your home as possible. While this won't get rid of the smell, it will help improve conditions while you combat the sources of the smokiness. It’s also a good idea to replace any HVAC filters that could have accumulated any odor molecules. 

For homes previously occupied by smokers, it’s recommended to have the air vents and ducts cleaned and sanitized to eliminate contaminants, including dust and tobacco smoke residue from inside your ductwork system. Read more about using Vital Oxide to sanitize HVAC systems and air ducts here

Step 2: HEPA-Vacuum All Surfaces 

Grab your HEPA vacuum and thoroughly vacuum all surfaces in each affected room—one basic principle to remember during this process: Clean high before you clean low. Otherwise, you’ll risk sprinkling dirt and dust onto the floors. Be sure to vacuum all surfaces (ceilings, walls, trim, fans, furnishings, decorative items, etc.) and make at least two passes over each surface.

Step 3: Launder all Washable Items 

Toss any washer-safe cushion covers, curtains, drapes, pillow covers, sofa covers, throw rugs, bedding, towels, pet beds, and linens into the washing machine with an Anti-Allergen Laundry Detergent along with ½ to 1 cup Vital Oxide, depending on the size of the load. 

Step 4: Wipe Down Everything with Vital Oxide 

Vital Oxide comes full-strength, ready-to-use (RTU) right out of the bottle. It’s important to note that Vital Oxide must always be used full-strength for actions like disinfecting, mold removal, and odor elimination. 

Now, onto Step 4 of the smoke-busting method. 

First, prepare your two buckets for wiping everything clean. The first bucket will be the Vital Oxide bucket. The second bucket will be your rinse bucket – simply fill it with clean water. You’ll want to change the water in the rinse bucket as soon as you notice it getting cloudy. 

When you’re ready, dip your mop into the Vital Oxide bucket and squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible. Then, thoroughly wipe all hard surfaces, starting with the ceiling then working your way down to the walls, then the floors. Keep in mind that each surface should look slightly damp after wiping but not soaking wet. Make at least two passes over each surface. As you need more Vital Oxide solution, first rinse your mop in the clean water bucket, wring it out, then dip it again in the Vital Oxide. Don’t forget to empty your rinse bucket and fill it with clean water when you notice it getting cloudy. 

After you’ve thoroughly washed the ceilings, walls, and floors in the smoke-affected rooms, use your microfiber cleaning cloths dipped in Vital Oxide to wipe down trim, corners, shelves, furniture, lighting fixtures, and all other water-safe items in the room. Let all of the surfaces dry (preferably overnight), and then smell the walls. If you still smell cigarette smoke, repeat the cleaning process.

Step 5: Clean & Deodorize Carpets 

Carpets are responsible for retaining a lot of the smell of cigarette smoke, and because of that, it’s tempting to start by cleaning the carpets in your smoke-affected home. However, it’s essential to save the carpet cleaning for last. Otherwise, you’ll just end up pushing dirt and dust back onto your freshly cleaned carpet. Use this deep cleaning method to remove stubborn smoke odors from carpets: 

  • Prepare the area. Before you begin deep cleaning your carpet, start by moving as much furniture as you can out of the affected room. If you have large or heavy furniture that can’t be moved, place plastic floor protectors or caps under each leg to lift it slightly off the carpet. Additionally, if you’re planning to deep clean an area rug that’s on top of hardwood floors, be sure to protect the wood floors with plastic sheeting or lining to prevent water damage.
  • Remove loose soil. Use a HEPA vacuum to remove as much loose dirt, pet hair, dust, and allergens as possible. Make at least two passes (ideally three) with your vacuum over the entire carpet. 
  • Use a carpet cleaner or hot water extractor along with Vital Oxide to neutralize smoke odors. Vital Oxide is safe for use on stain-protected carpet and fabric finishes and can be used as a carpet pre-spray or in the tank of hot water extraction units to clean, sanitize, and deodorize the carpet. When using a carpet cleaner or hot water extractor, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning for best results. Vital Oxide can be added directly to the tank of the hot water extractor to sanitize. For optimal odor elimination, Vital Oxide should be added to the extractor full-strength. Do not rinse; use an extraction wand and dry stroke carpet to remove excess moisture.

At Vital Oxide, we’re proud to offer a revolutionary product that’s powerful enough to kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria, eliminate mold, and banish tough odors – all without harsh chemicals or alarming safety ratings. Follow us on Instagram (@vitaloxideofficial) for more great cleaning and disinfecting tips. If you have any questions, please Contact Us or Send Us a Message on Facebook. We're here to help! 


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