One of the downsides of smoking is the smell of lingering nicotine. Not only can it linger on clothes and in your car, but it can hang onto your furniture as well. The aftermath of smoking can often mean dealing with nicotine stains as well as lingering smoke. But what is the best way to get cigarette smoke out of your furniture? We've looked into methods to remove nicotine stains from fabric furniture. In this post, we will discuss them with you.
Lingering smoke doesn't have to stay forever. Here are common methods that you can use to remove the smell from your fabric furniture:
- Sprinkle a little baking soda
- Use coffee grounds
- Air it out
- Use diluted vinegar
- Apply liquid fresheners
- Re-paint the room
- Steam clean the furniture
- Hire professional upholstery cleaners
As you can see, there are several methods that you can use to remove cigarette odors from upholstery furniture. However, before applying any homemade solution or commercial cleaner to your furniture, always do a quick spot test to ensure colorfastness. Continue reading to learn about the best ways to get the smell of smoke out of your upholstery furniture.
Methods To Get Cigarette Smoke Smell Out Of Fabric Furniture
Sprinkle A Little Baking Soda
One of the most effective ways to eliminate lingering odors on your upholstery furniture is to sprinkle the furniture with baking soda. Baking soda has been known to be a proven deodorizer and fabric freshener for decades. Baking soda can absorb any odor, and you can sprinkle it on the top of your furniture, as well as on the cushions--if they are removable.
It's best to let the baking soda sit on the furniture anywhere from 2 to 4 hours if the smell is strong. Afterward, use a vacuum or an upholstery cleaner to vacuum the baking soda. You can also wipe down the fabric with a damp cloth to make sure that it doesn't leave any white residue behind. If you use a regular upright vacuum, make sure to use the upholstery attachment to pick up all of the powder from the baking soda.
Use Coffee Grounds
You'd be surprised to know that you can also use coffee grounds to get rid of lingering stains from your upholstery furniture. Coffee grounds work in a way similar to activated carbon. You may be familiar with activated carbon, as used in a lot of odor-proof and bags and cases. Coffee grounds can help to absorb nicotine odors from your furniture within a matter of hours.
To use this method, sprinkle the grounds on your upholstery furniture and allow them to sit for about 48 to 72 hours before vacuuming them up. Don't worry about your furniture smelling like coffee afterward, as this smell will be faint and will dissipate rather quickly.
Air It Out
Sometimes your upholstery furniture may need a breath of fresh air. It's easy to mistake the upholstery furniture for harboring the foul odors of nicotine smoke when it is actually the room itself. Try airing out the room by opening up windows and doors and letting in a bit of fresh air. Also, remove the cushions and liners from the upholstery furniture and place them outside in a sunny area to air out for 2 to 4 hours.
The fresh air will help to remove the cigarette odor and any other lingering smell so they may contain. Be sure to place them in an area with shade, as you don't want them to become discolored from the ultraviolet rays of the sun.
If you can remove and wash any cushion or slipcovers, do so. First, check the manufacturer's instructions to be on the safe side, and then toss them in with a small detergent amount. Let the covers air outside afterward.
Use Diluted Vinegar
It's no secret that vinegar is one of the most effective and inexpensive deodorizers you can use in your home. If you are looking for an all-natural solution to lift odors from your upholstery fabrics without harsh ingredients that may cause discoloration, trying vinegar.
For this method, take one cup of vinegar and combine it with two cups of water. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray it on your upholstery furniture.
Be sure to pay special attention to the seat cushion and backings of the furniture, where odors may be stronger. It's also a good idea to open up the windows when using this method if the smell from the vinegar makes you a bit nauseous. However, if you dilute the vinegar, it shouldn't be that strong. After you have sprayed the furniture down with a solution, take a damp microfiber cloth or a lint-free cloth, wipe the furniture down, and let it dry before using it again.
Apply Liquid Fresheners
Liquid fresheners such as Febreze and other odor neutralizers can work great to remove nicotine smells from your upholstery. You can apply these fresheners directly to the furniture, depending on the type of upholstery that you have.
Always do a spot test first to check for colorfastness. Take a clean cloth and slightly damp in it with the freshener and apply it to the furniture. Be careful not to over-saturate the cloth with the freshener, as you don't want to create stains during the process.
Re-paint the Room
If you a lingering smoke smell in your home, it may be time for a re-paint. Prolonged smoking in a room or home can cause the paint on the walls to absorb the smell of the smoke, making it impossible to suppress. Though this method is more involved, it may be worth it if the smell of smoke has been in the room for years. It's best to weigh your options when considering this method. And who knows, a new paint job maybe just with the room needs.
Steam Clean the Furniture
If you have a stain cleaner, use it on the furniture to get rid of the cigarette smell. Steam cleaners work to remove spots, stains, and germs from upholstery fabrics. If you don't want to purchase a steam cleaner, you can also rent one from local hardware stores such as Home Depot, Lowe's, or department stores. You may even find that your local cleaning service providers allow rentals of their equipment for a small fee.
Just make sure to place the steam cleaner on a low or medium setting so as not to oversaturate the fabric and cause it to potentially develop mold. If your upholstery furniture is made from leather or silk, you may want to hire a professional steam cleaner to clean them to avoid potentially damaging them.
Hire Professional Upholstery Cleaners
If you don't want to worry about removing the odor yourself, you can also hire a professional upholstery cleaner to do this for you. Professional cleaning services have industrial-strength cleaning solutions and products that aren't available to the general public.
They can also use their high-powered cleaning machines deodorizing equipment to yield quality results and get your furniture smelling fresh again. Always ask cleaning services about the substances they use to clean your furniture so that you can make sure that they're in-step with the manufacturer's recommendations for the furniture. Also, make sure that your cleaning service offers insurance if they damage your furniture in the process.
How long does cigarette smell last in a room?
If a room is well-ventilated, it can disperse cigarette smoke's odor within 3-5 hours after the cigarette has been extinguished. It also depends on the size of the room and the amount of smoke that the room contains. For example, if you smoke one cigarette in a well-ventilated room, the smell will dissipate faster than if you smoke five or six cigarettes in a room with no windows.
If you want to minimize the amount of time that the smoke lingers in the room, consider smoking near the window. Also, consider using an air purifier while you smoke to help draw and the odor of the smoke and the room before it has a chance to settle.
You can buy an air purifier for about $40 to $75 online or at a local hardware store. Lastly, consider turning on a ceiling fan or placing a portable fan in the room while you smoke. The fans can help to direct the smoke out the window.
Is smoke smell in furniture harmful?
Residual nicotine and other tobacco-related chemicals left on furniture are known as third-hand smoke. When adults and children are exposed to these surfaces, they may be at risk for tobacco-related health issues--especially when they touch them or stay around them for extended periods of time. The concept of thirdhand smoke is fairly new, however, so there are still studies being developed to show the extent of the potential damage that it may cause.
Does cigarette smoke discolor upholstery?
Yes, smoking has been known to leave lingering yellow or light brown stains on upholstery, clothes, and other fabrics. Removing smoke stains can be difficult, but it is not impossible. The best way to avoid upholstery and fabric discoloration is to smoke outside or in a well-ventilated room. These stains usually develop over a period of years after being exposed to cigarette smoke frequently.
Wrapping Things Up
We hope that this post has provided you with enough implementable methods that you can use to rid your upholstered furniture of the lingering smell of smoke.
Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts: