Our first walk of our home was a quick, five-minute walk. I didn’t pick up on the cigarette smell then. My boyfriend didn’t mention One month later, I sat down in the house for the first time. I remember thinking, “It smells pretty strongly in here.” I went home and told the boyfriend about my revelation. He quickly replied, “I smelled it immediately!” In that moment, we knew we had to devise a plan on the best way to eliminate the cigarette smell from our house.
…the smell was overwhelmingly strong. The walls were even stained yellow!
We are not smokers. The boyfriend is nose-sensitive and has convinced me he’s allergic. (A piece of me thinks he’s turning on the dramatics when it comes to the allergy quip.) On the other hand, I am not bothered so much by the smell of cigarettes even though I do not smoke. With that being said, all four of the former tenants must have been smokers because the smell was overwhelmingly strong. The walls were even stained yellow!
As a result, we knew we had to begin eliminating the cigarette smell as soon as possible. In fact, my boyfriend ripped up the carpets and underlayment on moving day! Whatever is your reason for getting of cigarette smell (or any other unpleasant odor), read along to find of what you can do!
Some simpler tactics to eliminate cigarette smell from your house
Below, you’ll find some cheaper and quicker ways to reduce the smell of cigarettes in your house.
Tactic #1: DIY carpet cleaning
Rent a carpet cleaner from a store or tool rental company (i.e. Lowe’s, Home Depot, Sunbelt Rentals, or even Kroger). You can purchase a carpet cleaner solution that is compatible with the cleaner. However, I have rented a carpet cleaner and made a concoction of Pine Sol, white vinegar, and water. Be sure to vacuum SEVERAL times before using your carpet cleaner. In fact, I recommend vacuuming the first 2 times with a powdered carpet deodorant or baking soda. Be sure to let the deodorant sit on the carpet for 10-20 minutes and vacuum thereafter. Next, vacuum one to two more times without the powder. I’ve done this in an apartment that had a not-so-savory smell to good results. Side note: you can also use the cleaning concoction to wipe tile and vinyl flooring; use caution with hardwoods and laminate plank.
Tactic #2: Professional carpet cleaning
Of course, you can hire a carpet cleaning company. There are professional carpet cleaners that do a fantastic job at eradicating unpleasant smells of all kinds. To save money, check out specials on Groupon and LivingSocial. Also, check out the Valpak coupons that come in the mail! Monthly, I see carpet cleaner coupons included in the set of offers and specials. Lastly, if you are a new homeowner, ask your realtor for help! They may be able to refer you to a quality cleaner who can make your home smell brand new.
Tactic #3: Wall cleaning
You can make a simple solution to wipe away the layer cigarette residue off the walls of your home to get rid of the smell. Mix warm water, white vinegar, and a little dish soap (Dawn works best) in a bowl. Dip a towel in the solution and make sure to ring out all excess liquid before wiping the walls. Your towel should feel relatively dry before contacting the wall. Lightly and gently wipe in a circular motion. You may even literally see the walls turn from yellow to white as you work! Basically, you’ll witness the elimination of the cigarette smell in real time.
The best way to get rid of cigarette smell
So far, we have reviewed easier ways to reduce cigarette smell. But, how can you get rid of the cigarette smell once and for good?
One word: primer.
Priming the walls is the most labor-intensive strategy, but it is the most effective due to the coverage. Think about it: there are more walls than flooring in your home. Therefore, you can cover an enormous amount of square footage by attacking the walls and ceiling!
You can prime the floor, too!
Priming isn’t just for the walls either. I have a family member who used just regular, non-descript primer to get rid of pet smells in addition to cigarette odor. They rolled on a thin layer of primer on the subfloor to eradicate the smell of both the cigarettes and animal urine. Many construction workers would balk that strategy, but my family member learned this trick from handyman. It worked out fine for her.
The best product to eliminate cigarette smell from your house
My boyfriend insisted we used the best of the best to get rid of pungent smells: Kilz Restoration. In general, Kilz Original has a stellar record for being one of the best primers on the market for its fantastic and even coverage. We opted to use the Kilz Restoration (formerly known as Kilz Max) version. On the bucket, Kilz Restoration states that it can cover fumes from fire damage, cigarettes, water damage, tannin, etc. We love it because the change of smell is instantaneous! As soon as the walls and ceilings were primed, the smell in our house was totally eradicated. You might be thinking, “Duh — because the house smelled like fumes!” But truly, even after drying for ten minutes, the room smelled refreshed! This is the best primer EVER! We keep it on standby for all of our painting projects.
Potential drawbacks to using primer to eliminate cigarette smell
Kilz Restoration is relatively expensive when you’re used to buying paint + primer combos or even regular primer. We opted to buy the 5-gallon bucket since we knew we were painting virtually every surface possible in the house. Five gallons of this stuff, as of the time of this post, costs approximately $168. Steep, right? But we justify the sticker shock by its effectiveness and the fact that one coat of primer covers so well. One layer is all that’s needed. We have primed three moderately-sized bedrooms, ceilings included, with one five-gallon bucket!
Moreover, priming, and consequently painting, is a labor-intensive project despite popular belief. Most people buy paint + primer combinations to save time. But in order to truly eliminate cigarette smells for good, take the time to apply a layer of Kilz primer, then apply the paint color of your dreams. If you decide to hire out the job, any reputable painter will recommend this product or another primer with similar qualities.
Final notes on eliminating cigarette smells
In conclusion, the best way to get rid of cigarette smell is through priming with Kilz Restoration. Rest assured that this post isn’t sponsored at all. Kilz does not know I exist! It is with my unbiased experience with Kilz Restoration that I can attest to its effectiveness. The initial price is steep, but it may be worth it to protect your comfort, sensitive nose, and sense of home.
Have you used Kilz before? Do you agree with my assessment of Kilz Restoration’s superiority in eliminating cigarette smell?
Thanks for reading!