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So Your Apartment Smells Like Cigarette Smoke

Don't fume: Here are 4 simple tips to show that unwelcome odor the door.

cigarettesmell0327Renting a new apartment can leave you in a haze. There are so many decisions to make and things to consider. What wall should the couch go against? Why doesn’t the closet light work? Where’s the nearest takeout? But when that haze is a cloud of cigarette smoke lingering like the last guest at a housewarming party, you’ll need to consider alternative ways to remove it. Here are four tips for showing that unwelcome smell the door.

1. Open every window

Letting fresh air in is the first step to getting odors out. This may seem obvious. However, you may want to enhance aeration. Position a few fans in front of windows so they’re blowing air outside instead of in. This old trick for cooling down apartments in the summer also helps with stale, smelly air since it readjusts the airflow.

When strategically placed in front of windows, fans recycle the air in your apartment since they’re constantly pushing out old air. Although it’s also smart to set up a couple of fans to push outside air in — promoting even more airflow.

2. Change air filters

According to Energy Star, the voluntary U.S. Environmental Protection Agency program to promote energy efficiency, changing your (HVAC) air filter regularly will save on heating and cooling costs: “A dirty filter will slow down airflow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool — wasting energy.” And think about it: If airflow is slowed down, then so is the air-purification process. Furthermore, the cigarette smoke smell might very well be stuck in an old air filter and cycling back through your vents and back into your home.

Depending on where you live, your landlord may not be responsible for regularly changing filters. When moving into any new home, it’s a smart idea to check and change any filters accordingly.

3. Leave no surface unclean

Almost any surface will absorb or retain the smell of cigarette smoke. You’ll need to get to work cleaning everything. Your smoky new home will probably require more preliminary cleaning than your previous abodes. Consider thoroughly cleaning the following:

  • Walls and ceilings
  • Floors, including baseboards
  • Carpets and other soft fabrics
  • Windows and mirrors

Additionally, what you clean with matters. The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors recommends products such as vinegar, citrus, and baking soda. These are adsorbing substances. And that’s no typo. An adsorbing agent helps gather — this includes smells.

4. Purify with plants

Studies show that plants can purify air when used in homes. Specifically, it was proven that plants are especially effective in eradicating toxins such as ammonia. Ammonia is a common cigarette additive. It also has a pungent odor.

Cigarette smoke has a special kind of awful smell. The dank smell of ammonia is likely the most prominent. If you’re having trouble removing the unwanted stink, consider purchasing several plants.

What are some of your trusted methods for removing unwanted odors? Share your thoughts in the comments below.