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How to Remove Cigarette Odor from a Rental House

A Lawrenceville Renter Smoking InsideOne of the more unpleasant clean-up jobs is getting rid of the smell of cigarette smoke in a Lawrenceville rental home. Whether you allow your tenants to smoke, didn’t take into consideration including your smoking policy in the lease, or if you did and had a strict no-smoking policy, you, unfortunately, may still be left to deal with the smelly activity 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 prompt a health risk to future tenants and must be taken very seriously.

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

Air it Out

The best place to start when going 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 have recourse to using fans or an air purifier to circulate the air. There are air purifiers principally designed to clean out the smell of cigarette smoke from the air. If your budget allows, this could most certainly be a convenient option. Nevertheless, you may need to leave the fans running for as long as possible – imaginably even for many days – to alleviate the smell.

Wipe Everything Down

During this part of airing out your rental, your next step is to wipe down every surface in every room – starting with the ceilings. Adopting 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 lightly spray on the full surface.

At this time, while working on the ceilings, know to clean the light fixtures and ceiling fans up there, too! Wipe the tops and bottoms of ceiling fan blades to see to it 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 it a point to clean the tops of the door trim, baseboard, and other nooks and crannies.

But, it’s imperative to be aware that just cleaning the walls repeatedly won’t get rid of the smell. And paint will help, but it won’t eradicate the smell, either. To properly remove the cigarette smoke smell, you will need to use an odor-sealing primer, then a good quality paint over the top.

Wash the Windows

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

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

Sanitize Cabinets and Counters

Always remember to clean the inside and outside of kitchen and bathroom cabinets, closets, and drawers. Go through each one, remove all and any debris, and then wipe down both inside and out with a cleaning solution. For countertops and islands, utilize 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 entire area of the carpet, let it sit for at least an hour, and then vacuum. Many Lawrenceville property managers opt to hire professional carpet cleaners every time they’re preparing a rental for a new tenant.  They may be able to get rid of the odor from the carpet. Almost always, however, the best option is to replace the carpets and pad.

For hard surface floors, clean thoroughly by mopping with a convenient disinfectant. If you’ve got multiple floors to clean, change your mop water often to secure 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, if it’s the case that deep cleaning your rental property is something other than what you’d want to spend your time on, try giving the professionals at Real Property Management Executives Greater Atlanta a call. We can expertly help with everything from cleaning services to finding an awesome new tenant for you – and much more! Contact us online today to see what we can do for you.

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