How to Eliminate Smoke Odor in a Rental Unit

Last Updated on 5 February 2024 by

Cigarette smoke odor can persist in a rental unit long after a smoker has left, posing a challenge for landlords preparing the space for new tenants.

Merely masking the odor is insufficient; instead, learning methods on how to get smoke smell out of house fabrics and other parts of the home are necessary.

This article provides quick and cost-effective strategies to tackle the problem, including increasing air circulation, using odor-absorbing substances, and scrubbing hard surfaces.

By following these techniques, landlords can create a more pleasant living environment and prevent future issues related to smoke odor.

Preparing the Rental Unit

Prioritize thorough preparation when getting the rental unit ready for the next tenant. One of the most important steps is to eliminate any lingering smoke odor from the house. Knowing how to eliminate smoking smell from house furniture and other spaces is crucial for landlords.

Start by ventilating the space, opening windows to increase air circulation and dissipate smoke residue. Scented candles and aerosols may only mask the odor temporarily, so it’s best to use odor-absorbers like vinegar and baking soda.

Scrubbing hard surfaces with an ammonia or vinegar solution can also help remove settled odors. Additionally, consider deep cleaning furniture and fabrics using baking soda and vacuuming afterward.

Taking these steps is the best way to get smoke smell out of a house and will ensure a smoke-free environment for the new tenant.

Removing Smoke Odor from Surfaces

To effectively remove smoke odor from surfaces in a rental unit, implement proven cleaning techniques and odor-absorbing solutions.

Start by thoroughly cleaning all surfaces with a solution of vinegar and water or ammonia and water. Scrub hard surfaces, such as walls, floors, and countertops, to remove any settled smoke residue.

For fabrics and upholstery, sprinkle baking soda and let it sit for 24 hours before vacuuming.

Additionally, consider using odor-absorbing products like activated charcoal or odor-neutralizing sprays.

These solutions will help eliminate the lingering smoke smell and restore freshness to the rental unit.

It’s important to follow these steps to ensure a pleasant living environment for future tenants and maintain the property’s value.

Eliminating Smoke Odor from Fabrics and Furniture

Eliminating smoke odor from fabrics and furniture requires thorough cleaning and odor-neutralizing techniques.

Smoke can easily penetrate fabrics and upholstery, causing the odor to linger even after the source of the smoke is gone.

To tackle this problem, sprinkle baking soda on rugs, fabrics, and upholstery to neutralize the odors. Allow the baking soda to sit for 24 hours before vacuuming it up.

For more stubborn odors, consider hiring professional cleaning companies that can steam or dry clean rugs and fabrics. Additionally, washing window drapes and curtains with vinegar and detergent can help eliminate smoke odors.

If the smell persists, dry cleaning may be necessary.

Taking these measures will ensure that smoke odors are effectively eliminated from fabrics and furniture, creating a pleasant living environment for future tenants.

Enforcing Lease Terms and Deducting Costs

Enforcing lease terms and deducting costs are essential steps in addressing smoke odor in a rental unit. Landlords with smoke-free policies must ensure that tenants comply with the terms of their lease agreement.

If a tenant violates the no-smoking policy and leaves behind a smoke odor, it is crucial for the landlord to document the smell and any visual evidence. This documentation will serve as proof when deducting cleaning and replacement costs from the tenant’s security deposit.

Enhancing the Overall Smell of the Unit

Improving the overall smell of the unit can be achieved by implementing additional measures to complement the process of addressing smoke odor in a rental unit.

While knowing how to eliminate cigarette smell is crucial, enhancing the overall smell of the unit can create a more pleasant living environment for future tenants.

One way to achieve this is by boiling orange or lemon peels, as this can release a pleasant citrus scent that masks any lingering smoke odor.

Additionally, using nice-smelling soaps or lighting scented candles can help to improve the overall smell of the unit.

However, it is important to avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals, as they can create unpleasant odors.

Taking these extra steps ensures that the unit smells fresh and inviting after the deep cleaning process.


In conclusion, landlords should take swift action to eliminate smoke odor in rental units to ensure a pleasant living environment for future tenants.

Merely masking the odor is ineffective, so it is important to employ techniques such as increasing air circulation and using odor-absorbing substances like vinegar and baking soda.

Scrubbing hard surfaces with ammonia or vinegar is also recommended.

By implementing these strategies, landlords can prevent future issues related to smoke odor and create a more welcoming atmosphere for tenants.

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