Tips and Tricks to Clear Smoke from Your House

Having smoke in your home is not a great situation to find yourself in, which is why it’s important to know how to clear smoke from your house. In fact, smoke can linger for far longer than you’ll want and seep into your clothes, furniture, and even hair. There are plenty of ways smoke may enter your home besides the most obvious – smoking inside – and there is a list of ways smoke can negatively impact your health as well. 

With this informative post, you will learn about smoke and how it can impact your family. But have no fear! We will also dive in on how to get rid of it from your home. 

7 Reasons Why Your House Might Smell Like Smoke

So your house smells like smoke and you’re not a smoker? One reason could be third-hand smoke – also known as when smoke is left in a space after it seeps into furniture, walls, clothing, and more. Here’s a few other reasons why that might be: 

  1. It could be that a previous owner smoked, or maybe even a neighbor smoked or still does. This is considered third-hand smoke and it can seep into more than just your home’s walls, carpets, surfaces, or materials. 
  2. Third-hand smoke can also be present in previously-owned items that you might have purchased like clothes, rugs, curtains, and furniture. 
  3. Smoke can also linger in unexpected places like air filters that need to be replaced.
  4. Other forms of smoke can include smoke created from cooking or grilling – especially if you accidentally burn it. 
  5. Outdoor fires – like brush or wildfires – can seep into your home and stay there long after the fire is put out.
  6. Damaged or old water heaters or furnaces that use gas can give off a smell that is similar to smoke. You may have a gas leak; if so, you will need to get that fixed as soon as possible. 
  7. Finally, a smoky home with a chimney could be a sign of a draft. If you suspect this could be the case, we recommend getting it checked out as soon as you are able. 

How Smoke Can Negatively Impact You, Your Family, and Your Home

Even if smoke is not billowing around your home, that doesn’t mean it won’t impact you. While smoke can truly affect anyone, some people who are more at risk include pregnant women, older adults, those with heart or lung disease or diabetes, and children and teenagers. 

Here are just a handful of ways a variety of smoke can affect your health: 

  • Third-hand smoke from cigarettes is dangerous as the lingering chemicals can still raise your chance of getting cancer and asthma. 
  • Smoke from fires emits fine particles which can penetrate your lungs, causing a range of symptoms from burning eyes to chromic heart and lung diseases. 
  • Smoke from food may not seem like a huge deal, but charred particles of food can cause infections and inflammation.
  • If there is a lot of third-hand smoke in your home, children can even die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS. 
Close-up Of A Red Toaster With Burnt Toast While Woman Working In Kitchen

How To Remove Smoke Out of a Home

Depending on if you live in a house, condo, apartment or another type of residence, there are plenty of high-budget and low-budget options to get rid of smoke out of your home.

  1. If the smoke is temporary – like you accidentally burned your food (whoops) or a street pedestrian smoked near your window – ventilation is a simple option. Just open a window or door to the outside and your smoke will escape your place in no time.
  2. One very direct way to remove the smoke is changing out the HVAC filters. They could be clogged with smoke particles and may not be filtering as well as they should.
  3. If you have any vinegar around your home, you can let it boil on the stove for a few minutes or mix it with water to wipe down the counters. Similarly you can leave bowls of baking soda around the house. Both methods help to absorb the smoke particles in the air.
  4. Dried used coffee grounds or activated charcoal are also powerful yet unexpected options. Leave them in bowls around the house for a few days to absorb unwanted smells. 
  5. Air fresheners and oil extracts can help fight the smell even if it won’t fully remove them from the air. They can bring some momentary relief to any space you might be in temporarily like a hotel room.
  6. Air purifiers might be another option for you. They cycle through air and those with carbon filters can really take smoke – like cigarette smoke – out of the air around you. 
  7. Another option could be ozone generators which break down most particles – not including mold – with the use of O2 to O3 technology. Ozone generators can be very impactful and powerful to any room and they can be very fast. A 1,000 square foot room can be sanitized within 80 minutes! But it is best to have this done with safety protocols in place by removing yourself and your family from your home for 24 hours as it can result in respiratory symptoms like difficulty breathing and a runny nose. 
  8. If you are looking for ways to remove smoke from clothing, that is trickier but still possible. As you throw your clothes into the washer, add a cup of vinegar with your laundry detergent. If theysm still smell smoky after, keep on washing them with the washer combo until you can no longer smell it. 
  9. If you fear that the smoke is lingering because a smoker formerly lived in your space, you may want to consider remodeling. This includes repainting the walls, exchanging the old carpets for new, and adding a new shine to your wooden floors. Be sure to clean the areas first before adding your new, smoke-free layer in!

Additional Questions About Smoke, Answered

You may have some additional questions about removing smoke – and we’ve got the answers Here are some you may be thinking about and their answers: 

Q: Is it possible that smelling smoke is from a health condition?

A: Possibly. If you think you are smelling smoke that is not there, it could be from phantosmia. Phantosmia is an olfactory hallucination and it is most often caused by sinus issues like the common cold, allergies, or sinus infections. It can also be a result of migraines, dental problems, or radiation treatment for throat or brain cancer. Less common reasons can be a head injury, stroke, or a brain tumor. If you think it might be caused by a less common problem, it is best to consult a doctor. 

Q: Do air conditioners filter out smoke?

A: While air conditioners are not air filters, they do have the ability to get rid of some smoke thanks to them having a filter. However they are not as effective as other forms of air cleaners for smoke nor do they remove smoke from curtains, clothing, and other items. 

Q: Do air purifiers filter out smoke? 

A: They can, depending on the kind of air purifier you purchase. As mentioned earlier, a carbon filter can really help take the smoke particles out of the air. Keep in mind that air purifiers do not take smoke out of furniture and similar pieces. 

Final Thoughts on Smoke In Your Home

With a variety of ways to get rid of the smoke within your home including air purifiers, your space will be clean in no time. Your family will be safer and healthier for it. Decide which way is best for you and get rid of that smoke!