Asked on Mar 23, 2018

Getting rid of cigarette stains and odor

Laura CooperDfmMarilyn Scholl
+10

Answered

Just rented a house where previous tenants smoked heavily. Landlord painted over the smoke stained ceiling in the bedroom, now have a TAN ceiling. Anything we can do?

House has painted (once) white enamel over brick..vinegar and a brush has worked on some walls, not others, read applying paste of baking soda sometimes works....any experience ?

The saving grace in this, is entire house is ..or once was painted white enamel, so smell will leave. Lineulum..(know this is spelled incorrectly), and ceramic tile floors.

'Til I hear from one of kind people that have dealt with this, I'll continue to wash walls..at least feels as if I'm doing something..cannot paint until the walls are washed anyway.

Marilyn

11 answers
  • Kilz paint, but the walls need to be prepped/cleaned first. Good luck!
  • Vinegar and TSP. That will clean just about everything.



    Every surface in the house must be cleaned thoroughly. If you have carpets, drapes, they all need to be cleaned too. For inside cabinets, wipe out with vinegar and place charcoal in cabinets and drawers.
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    on Mar 23, 2018

    I think your doing the right thing but here's a link.
  • 2dogal
    2dogal
    on Mar 23, 2018

    I would use Hot Shot Fogger Odor Remover. It will get the cigarette odor out of all the little nooks and crannies between boards, and that has sunk into places you can't reach. That is the only thing that really works for whole houses.
  • Nancy Turner
    Nancy Turner
    on Mar 23, 2018

    Did your landlord ok your repainting? If you haven't asked yet, you might want to do that. He may get you the paint you need if he sees how it turned out. He probably didn't clean the ceiling at all before repainting it. Ann was right, you will probably need to use Kilz paint or something like it to keep the stains from coming back, I would use more than one coat on the ceiling, one to cover the stain, let it dry and one coat to block the first coat from bleeding, just in case. Check once in a while to make sure anything that you have in the house that is fabric, furniture, rugs, clothes in closets don't take on the tobacco odor. You may have to clean and paint closets if that happens, or clean the rugs, etc., since fabric easily takes on the odor and will cause the odor to linger. Check the inside of cupboards, too, since the smoke can easily get on the insides of the cupboards too. Vinegar may help with some of the odor also, spray it on and let it dry and see if it will help get rid of the odor quicker. The vinegar will also sanitize so you know it is getting clean and will perhaps help get rid of some of the tar that is left. Good luck in your endeavor! You can do it, just make sure it is ok with the landlord. If he has a problem with it, let him see what has happened with the ceiling and he may change his mind.
    • Nancy Turner
      Nancy Turner
      on Mar 23, 2018

      You can do it! Moving into a rental is always a royal mess, I don't think I ever moved into one where I didn't have to clean the appliances, inside the cupboards and all closets, even the bathrooms. They never seem like they are clean! I hope he is going to help with the painting that needs to be done, even if it is only the Kilz and paint and other supplies. Myself, I would do the painting myself, the painters they use usually get the paint everywhere, especially if you have already moved in furniture, etc.
  • Liv
    Liv
    on Mar 23, 2018

    I don't know how to get it out of large spaces,but for small closed spaces you can use coffee grounds.
  • Carol Marszalek
    Carol Marszalek
    on Mar 23, 2018

    See if your local Big Box home improvement store rents out commercial Ozone machines. It will break down the smoke molecules and eliminate the odors. You simply plug it in, close the door to the room and let run on high for 24 hours uninterrupted. When finished, open door and any windows to air out. The smell will be strong as you open the room, that is normal and won’t harm your lungs. DONOT sleep or stay in the room while sanitizing a room, the concentration will be way to high to be healthy.
  • Marilyn Scholl
    Marilyn Scholl
    on Mar 23, 2018

    A'll hard surfaces... a bonus

  • Marilyn Scholl
    Marilyn Scholl
    on Mar 23, 2018

    He saw it Wed. ...back to bk soda paste with vinegar rinse ....geranium oil. Has helped to. Smells clean. .. thanks ladies

  • Dfm
    Dfm
    on Mar 24, 2018

    just remember to wear gloves when dealing with cig smoke....the nicotine can be absorbed by skin contact. My dad rented an apt for a few yrs. you would think the walls were painted gold. Until the pictures came off the walls, and left white boxes behind. His landlord vowed to never have another smoker as a renter.
  • Laura Cooper
    Laura Cooper
    on Mar 24, 2018

    I have dealt with this. First wash. (which you have done) Second, rent an ozone machine. You may need to do areas one at a time because it will need to be closed off, no pets or people, run for a couple of hours then let the ozone "soak" for several more hours. Third, repaint. Kilz will work, but so does latex. You will need at least two coats. Odor should be eliminated at this point. I have used this successfully many times on commercial and residential rentals with highly sensitive people.
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