For Smokers and Tokers

So, you like to smoke. Thankfully, we can do most anything we like to within the confines of our home. However, if smoking cigarettes or joints or even harmless incense, you should consider doing one of two things:

1. Don’t smoke inside your house. Step out onto the back patio/porch.

2. If quitting smoking or not smoking inside your home are options, look into purchasing a few smokeless ashtrays such as the one pictured above. Cigarette smoke and its odor cling to walls, ceilings, and your furnishings. Long after the cigarette is extinguished the odor remains. When buyers are out looking at homes, they know if a smoker lives in the house as soon as they open the front door. On odd occasions, you can even smell the odor of cigarettes before you open the door if the house reeks sufficiently enough of it. I have had buyers walk away from smokers’ houses without even going in to have a look around because they couldn’t get past the stale or pungent smell from cigarettes and marijuana. Not only can smoking in your home devalue it, the odor can prevent it from selling at all. The same goes for heavy incense users! By using smokeless ashtrays, you limit to a certain extent how much smoke gets circulated in the house.

3. If you have quit smoking or can smoke outside, there are several things you might consider doing to reduce the impact years of smoking has had on your home.
a) If you’ve ever gone to a smoky bar, you were probably reminded of your outing the morning after – when you could still smell smoke on your clothes. The same thing applies to the fabrics in your home. If possible, the fabrics in your home need to be aired out or washed in cold water, and then air dried. If line drying is impractical, use low heat. Some of your items might benefit more from a visit to the dry cleaners!
b) For those items that cannot be aired out or taken to the cleaners, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on all their soft surfaces. Use something similar to a colander or flour shaker to sprinkle baking soda over your carpet, fabric-covered furnishings, and mattresses. It should look like you have a thin layer of snow around the room! Then, work the baking soda into the soft surfaces by gently rubbing your hand over the mattress or fabric, or by walking around the carpeted room in your socks. Let the baking soda absorb the odor for about an hour while you clean the hard surfaces. After about an hour, get busy vacuuming everything up.
c) To clean your hard surfaces you can try white vinegar. There’s something about vinegar that gets rid of smoke smell. Because the smell of smoke is caused by the leftover resins and tars, vinegar (an acid that cuts through resin and tar) is a great way to clean those surfaces that are not made of fabric, and perhaps, some that are fabric. I know what you’re thinking; vinegar does not smell much better than smoke. Well, that’s true, but the smell of vinegar eventually diminishes, cigarette smoke does not.

4. If your house has had a chronic smoker living in it and the house reeks from years of smoke, your likely best and only solution is to bring in commercial ozone generator. The stronger the odor, the higher the concentration of ozone is required (larger machines). Alternatively, you can run several machines all at once throughout the house. It will be cheaper than replacing carpet and re-painting walls and ceilings!

The important thing that I’d like you to take away from this blog is that you should stop smoking inside your house now to prevent additional smoke odors from piling on to what is already present. This should help reduce the amount of effort required to eliminate the odors that still remain when you start thinking about selling your home.

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