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How To Clean the Former Home of a Smoker

November 15th, 2012 Tools

Have you recently moved into a new home only to discover that its former occupants were smokers? Perhaps you've quit cigarettes for awhile and have just now realized how much your house really stinks. As it turns out, tobacco toxins can stay in dust and on surfaces long after smoking is eliminated from the area. This is also known as "thirdhand smoke," and, even the smell and off-color walls are enough to make you want to do something. Here are some tips on getting rid of any evidence that a smoker once sat in your living room.

Step one is to lay out a couple of bowls of white vinegar. After a day or two, they can absorb a lot of the smell. This can help dramatically, but it won't do anything about the smoke stains that might be on the walls. If you want to deal with that, you're going to have to do some heavy-duty scrubbing.

Start by making a cleaning solution, with either bleach, ammonia or vinegar mixed with water, getting a sponge wet and scrubbing those walls like there's no tomorrow. It's also a good idea to remove any drapery that may still be holding on to that smoky smell. If you happen to have inherited any furniture that's also pretty stinky, try sprinkling on a little bit of carpet cleaning solution and sucking it up with a vacuum with an upholstery attachment.

Naturally, you'll want to keep all of the windows open as much as possible. The more you air out the space, the less hard work you'll have to do!