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How to Remove Cigarette Odor from a Rental House

A Tarpon Springs Renter Smoking InsideOne of the more challenging clean-up jobs is eradicating the smell of cigarette smoke in a Tarpon Springs rental home. Whether you allow your tenants to smoke, didn’t take into account including your smoking policy in the lease, or if you did and had a strict no-smoking policy, you still may certainly be left to deal with the smelly effort of cleaning up the lousy 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 cause a health risk to future tenants and must be taken very seriously.

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

Air it Out

The best place to start when readying 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 put on fans or an air purifier to circulate the air. There are air purifiers particularly made to flush out the smell of cigarette smoke from the air. If your budget allows, this could surely be a helpful option. Anyhow, you may need to leave the fans running for as long as possible – perhaps for multiple days – to do good in alleviating the smell.

Wipe Everything Down

Even as you’re airing out your rental, your next step is to wipe down every surface in every room – starting with the ceilings. Employing 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 mildly spray the entire surface.

At the moment 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 completely make sure 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. See to it cleaning the tops of the door trim, baseboard, and other nooks and crannies.

But even so, it’s crucial to understand that just cleaning the walls as many times as possible won’t remove the smell. And paint will help, but it won’t take out the smell, either. To 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 imperative to give all the windows and window coverings in your rental property a deep clean. If you have blinds, that certainly means wiping down each piece of the blinds on both sides. Clean the windows with your fave glass cleaner, then wipe down the frames and sills.

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

Sanitize Cabinets and Counters

Keep in mind to clean the inside and outside of kitchen and bathroom cabinets, closets, and drawers. Go through each one, get rid of any debris, and then wipe down both inside and out with a cleaning solution. For countertops and islands, administer 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 one or a few days. This may help discard 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 surface of the carpet, let it sit for at least an hour, and then vacuum. The majority of Tarpon Springs property managers thrive to hire professional carpet cleaners when the time comes to prepare a rental for a new tenant. They may be able to resolve getting the odor out of the carpet. Customarily, however, the best option is to replace the carpets and pad outright.

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

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


Still, if, in any case, deep cleaning your rental property is something other than what you’d opt to spend your time on, look into giving the professionals at Real Property Management TradeWinds a call. We can help with everything from cleaning services to finding the best new tenant for you – and much more! Contact us online today to see what we can do for you.

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