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How to Remove Cigarette Odor from a Rental House

A La Plata Renter Smoking InsideOne of the more tiring clean-up jobs is getting rid of the smell of cigarette smoke in a La Plata rental home. Whether you allow your tenants to smoke, didn’t always remember to include your smoking policy in the lease, or if you did and had a strict no-smoking policy, you may probably still be left to deal with the smelly labor of cleaning up the awful 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 constitute a health risk to future tenants and must be taken very seriously.

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

Air it Out

The best place to start when you are preparing 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 utilize fans or an air purifier to circulate the air. There are air purifiers distinctly designed to get rid of the smell of cigarette smoke from the air. If your budget allows, this could understandably be a really good option. But, one way or another, you may need to leave the fans running for as long as possible – perhaps even for several days – to be effective at alleviating the smell.

Wipe Everything Down

During this time of airing out your rental, your next step is to wipe down every surface in every room – starting with the ceilings. Putting into use 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 very lightly spray the whole surface.

In addition, whilst working on the ceilings, make sure to clean the light fixtures and ceiling fans up there, too! Wipe the tops and bottoms of ceiling fan blades to always ascertain 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.

But take note, it’s salient to know that just cleaning the walls several times won’t get rid of the smell. And paint will help, but it won’t take out the smell, either. To properly remove the cigarette smoke smell, you will need to apply freely an odor-sealing primer, then a good quality paint over the top.

Wash the Windows

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

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

Sanitize Cabinets and Counters

Take into account cleaning the inside and outside of kitchen and bathroom cabinets, closets, and drawers. Go through each one, get any debris out, 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 continues, endeavor to put a bowl of dry coffee grounds or white vinegar inside the smelly cabinet or drawer and leave it there for many days. This may help purge 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 get rid of the smoke smell from carpets is to sprinkle baking soda over the whole carpet, let it sit for at least an hour, and then vacuum. However, most La Plata property managers choose to hire professional carpet cleaners when, in time, preparing a rental for a new tenant.  They may be able to clear away the odor from the carpet. Oftentimes, however, the best option is to just replace the carpets and pad.

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

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


Still, if you’ve already ascertained that deep cleaning your rental property is something other than what you’d choose to spend your time on, take into consideration giving the professionals at Real Property Management Gold a call. We can expertly assist with everything from cleaning services to finding a terrific new tenant for you – and much more! Contact us online today to see what we can do for you.

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