How to Clean a Former Smokers House
Many people who smoke will not smoke inside their homes because they know that the odor lingers in the air and the tar clings to the walls. When you attend open houses and look at properties for sale though, you may come across a few homes that belonged to former smokers. Someone who smoked inside that house for a decade or longer and smoked just a few cigarettes every day probably don't even notice the scent anymore. If you buy one of these homes at a bargain and want to know how to get rid of that odor, there are some great remedies you can try.
Tackle the Walls
Getting rid of that tobacco odor starts with a thorough cleaning of the walls. Once you see the home in natural light, you'll likely notice yellow and brown streaks on the walls. Those streaks come from the nicotine, tar and other ingredients found in cigarettes. You can usually get rid of those streaks with hot water and ordinary soap. If the streaks still cling to the walls, mix a little dish soap or laundry detergent and distilled white vinegar into the water. Use scrub brush to apply the mixture to the walls.
Prime and Paint
After thoroughly cleaning the walls and letting those surfaces dry, you will need to prime and paint each wall. There are now a few different primers that manufacturers design for those who want to trap and seal odors into the walls. After applying one coat of primer, let it dry overnight before coming back to the home. If you can still smell the scent coming off the walls, apply a second coat of primer. The primer will both seal the cigarette odors inside the walls and cover the odor. You can then apply as many coats of paint as you want on those walls.
Steam Clean Carpets
When you buy a house owned by a former smoker, you may need to replace all the fabrics and linens inside the house, including the carpets and any heavy drapes or curtains. Before tearing out all those fabrics though, use a steam cleaner filled with a deodorizing cleaner to clean all fabrics. Going over the carpets two or more times may significantly reduce that odor or remove the odor completely. If you can still smell cigarette smoke in the house, you may need to rip out the carpets and remove any other linens.
Air Out the House
Airing out the house is another great way to lessen the odor left behind by years of cigarettes. While doing yard work around the house or working in the garage, open all the doors and windows. The breeze that flows through the house will do a great job of carrying out some of the cigarette odors and making the house smell great again. When you can't be around to keep an eye on the house, keep the doors and windows closed by use deodorizing products inside. Unlike air fresheners that mask odors and may make the house smell worse, deodorizing products neutralize and remove odors caused by smoking, pets and other sources.
Some smokers do not realize how much cigarettes affect their homes, including the way those cigarettes leave behind tar marks on the walls and how the odors penetrate all areas of the home. Many people refuse to buy these homes because they think that they cannot get rid of those odors. Simple remedies like airing out the house, renting a steam cleaner, using deodorizing products and both cleaning and painting the walls can eliminate all those odors.