How to Clear Smoke Out of a Room (and Mask the Smell)

If you’ve ever wanted to know how to clear smoke out of a room quickly and easily, then this guide is really going to help.

Clearing out smoke and its odors is an essential skill everyone should learn because you never know when you may need it. If you’re a smoker, the reason for knowing how to do this is obvious, but there are also other situations like an unexpected fire, burnt food, or a poorly ventilated fireplace that may require your immediate attention to get rid of smoke indoors.

So in this guide, we’re going to outline several tips for how to clear out smoke as well as ways to mask the smell if you those methods are not working for you.

Tips for Clearing Out Smoke

1. Get Rid of the Source

The first step to removing smoke smell in a room is to identify the source and remove it. If a cooking mishap caused it, scrape the pans, remove the burnt debris, wash the pans, and take the garbage out.

If smoke came from tobacco, then you’ll want to dump out any ashtrays, wash them, and dispose of the garbage as well.

2. Open Doors and Windows

The next thing you want to do after a smoky disaster is to open as many doors and windows as possible.

If you’re limited by how many windows and doors you can open, try to open at least one of each on opposite ends of the house. Doing this works to create a cross breeze. The cross breeze will help suck the smoke out of your home and dispose of it outside.

3. Put a Box Fan in the Window

If you don’t have enough of a breeze going to get rid of the smoke smell or you can’t open doors or windows on the opposite side of the home, you can use a box fan to generate a similar effect.

Put the fan on the inside edge of your window and face it so the air is blowing outside when switched on. This will draw the smoke out of the room so it doesn’t infiltrate other areas of the house.

4. Get an Air Purifier

Want to know how to filter smoke from air without putting in much effort? Get an air purifier.

Air purifiers that use a HEPA filter and an Activated Carbon filter can remove the visible smoke particles and neutralize smoke odors much quicker than the other tips on this list.

These machines clean the air by continuously cycling it through the filters, trapping the pollutants, and then releasing cleaned air back into the room.

If you’re a smoker or live with one, then you’ll benefit greatly by having an air purifier in your home. A dedicated air purifier for second hand smoke can keep the air fresh even while someone continues to smoke inside a room. These machines are so powerful against tobacco odors that many cigar shops even use them to extract the visible smoke particles and odors from their establishments.

The link in the previous paragraph will take you to our free guide that teaches you how to find the best air purifier for second hand smoke.

5. Soak a Towel in Water in Vinegar

This is a simple tip for how to remove smoke from room when you don’t have many windows to open or you don’t have an air purifier or box fan handy.

Get a towel and soak it in a mixture of water and vinegar. Then, wring it out as much as you can. Take the towel and swing it in a circular motion over your head to encourage the smoke to go out the nearest window or door.

The vinegar mixture on the towel will also help to soak up any lingering smoke odor in the air. You can find additional ways for how to absorb smoke odor here.

Tips for Masking Smoke Odor

If the tips above for how to filter smoke from a room are not working or you’re just short on time, you can always try to mask the odor. Also, if a room has been smoked in or the odor left too long before being attended to, it can get deep into the carpeting, fabrics, and wood. If that’s the case, masking the smell is good option.

1. Spray Aerosol Air Fresheners

Aerosol air fresheners come in various scents. You can spray them around your home to effectively mask any unpleasant smells you may encounter. You can also spray them several times a day if you’d like, but just remember not to spray too much and overwhelm the room with the scent.

2. Boil Lemons

Lemons have natural oils that mask smoky odors. Start by filling a quart pot with water. Add one or two sliced lemons to this water and bring it to a rapid boil. Reduce the heat to a slow simmer, and let the lemons and water simmer for 30 minutes. Let it cool, discard the lemons, and get rid of the water at the end of 30 minutes. 

3. Bread and Vinegar

If the smoky smell persists after you’ve tried the lemon and water, try bread. Take a small bowl and fill it with white vinegar. Add a piece of bread to the vinegar and stick the bowl in the smoky room. The smoke will absorb into the bread. You can then throw it away. 

4. Vanilla Extract

If you don’t like vinegar, try vanilla extract. Add vanilla extract to a small bowl and saturate a few cotton balls. Set these cotton balls around your smoky room for a few hours. You can throw them away after a few hours, and you shouldn’t have any more smoky odor. 

5. Use an Essential Oil Diffuser

You can buy an essential oil diffuser at a store with several essential oils you like. Set it up in the smoky room, add water to the reservoir, add a few drops of your chosen essential oil, and switch it on. The diffuser will disperse the oils into the air to eliminate the smoke. 

Summary

We hope these tips for how to clear smoke out of a room and mask smoke odor have giving you a solid set of tools to pull from the next time a smokey issue pops up inside your home.

As we mentioned above, an air purifier is a great machine to have in your home because it constantly works to clean the air and deodorize odors. If you use one of this devices on a daily basis, you can often rely less on the other methods outlined on this page since it’s working to keep your home fresh 24 hours a day.