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How to Remove Cigarette Odor from a Rental House

A Norman Renter Smoking InsideOne of the more complicated clean-up jobs is getting rid of the smell of cigarette smoke in a Norman rental home. Whether you allow your tenants to smoke, didn’t see to it including your smoking policy in the lease, or if you did and had a strict no-smoking policy, you may, however, still be left to deal with the smelly obligation of cleaning up the bad 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 eventually cause 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 gleaned from the pros.

Air it Out

The best place to start when gearing up 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 into use fans or an air purifier to circulate the air. There are air purifiers primarily fashioned to dispose of the smell of cigarette smoke from the air. If your budget allows, this is most certainly a reasonable option. But one way or the other, you may need to leave the fans running for as long as possible – even for quite a number of days – to greatly help to alleviate the smell.

Wipe Everything Down

As you’re in the process of airing out your rental, your next step is to wipe down every surface in every room – starting with the ceilings. Keep on using the cleaning product of your choice, and wipe down smooth ceilings with a wet cloth. For popcorn ceilings, put your cleaning solution in a spray bottle and just lightly spray the length and width of the whole surface.

At the same time while working on the ceilings, call to mind 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. Ensure to clean the tops of the door trim, baseboard, and other nooks and crannies.

In addition, it’s very important to realize that just cleaning the walls as often as possible won’t get rid of the smell. And paint will help, but it won’t clean out the smell, either. To thoroughly remove the cigarette smoke smell, you will need to put on an odor-sealing primer, then a good quality paint over the top.

Wash the Windows

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

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

Sanitize Cabinets and Counters

Call to mind to clean the inside and outside of kitchen and bathroom cabinets, closets, and drawers. Go through each one, clean out any debris, and then wipe down both inside and out with a cleaning solution. For countertops and islands, use a sanitizing cleaner to rid them of smoke residue. If the smoke smell persists, try situating a bowl of dry coffee grounds or white vinegar inside the smelly cabinet or drawer and leaving it there for a few days. This may help get rid of 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 all the carpet, let it sit for at least an hour, and then vacuum. But take note, most Norman property managers choose to hire professional carpet cleaners when the time comes to prepare the rental for a new tenant.  They may be able to do away with the odor from the carpet. Typically, however, the best option is to replace the carpets and pad.

For hard surface floors, clean thoroughly by mopping with a proven effective disinfectant. If you’ve got some floors to clean, change your mop water often to make sure that the smoke smell isn’t just getting spread back around.

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


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

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