Asked on Sep 23, 2019

How do I get cigarette smoke smell out of a piano?

by Karen

I got a beautiful piano for free and was so excited tillthe deloveryman asked me if I smoke. He ssod the piano smells. I used rubbing alcohol a d a paper towel to clean yhe keys and they came out great. Cleaned the wood with a mild solution of dish soap & water,applied with a paper towel. The mover sugested removing the bottom wood plate and open the top and run air through it, this seams to help...a little, but the piano still!

  13 answers
  • GeorgiaBulldogsFan GeorgiaBulldogsFan on Sep 23, 2019

    You might make some lavender sachet pouches and put them into the piano cabinetry after cleaning with the water and vinegar. I actually inherited an antique chest that my sister who “smoked like a freight train” had used after her divorce. I cleaned inside and out and used the pouches. It did not disappear immediately but did eventually lose the nicotine scent. I also used linen Lysol spray. Bless your heart. Hope you get rid of the smell soon.

  • Etet Etet on Sep 23, 2019

    I used an ozone machine, it is only about 6" square, when dealership told me that is how they get cigarette smoke out of used vehicles. It worked for me!

  • 17335038 17335038 on Sep 24, 2019

    Unfortunately, wood, being porous, absorbs and retains smoke, making it sometimes very difficult to totally eliminate the odour. With a piano, there is an increased risk that the wood consistency and accompanying acoustics may be damaged in the process of trying to eradicate the smoke. Maybe this was the reason why it was available for free?

    How valuable the piano is to you? You will need to decide whether you feel it is worth the expense of trying to get it professionally cleaned and renewed.

  • Jan Clark Jan Clark on Sep 24, 2019

    You might also try baking soda and/or activated charcoal. They are natural odor absorbers. Just set some in a small dish inside the piano at the bottom (Don't play while they're in there!) Let them sit 8 hours. Then repeat as necessary.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Sep 24, 2019

    Wipe down with OdoBan. Place charcoal on newspaper on or nearby as a neutralizer.

  • William William on Sep 24, 2019

    Fill some old socks with baking soda or charcoal. untreated charcoal briquets would work. Suspend them inside the piano. You can even mix some essential oils in the baking soda.

  • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Sep 24, 2019

    We purchased a used car that reeked of smoke. After we treated it there was no more odor.

    What we did was to crush up tons and tons of newspaper and filled the interior with the paper. Closed up the car and let it sit for a couple of days, then removed the paper and added more, closed it up and let it sit for a few more days. Worked pretty well but still had some smoke residue. The next thing we did was to purchase 4 disposable aluminum roasting pans and filled them with charcoal briquettes and placed two on the floor in the back and two on the floor in the front, added more newspapers and let these items do their magic.

    Took about 2 weeks but, in the end, no more smoke smell.

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Sep 25, 2019

    Definitely wash it down carefully to remove surface tar & nicotine. Then, purchase OdoBan from Home Depot or similar. This stuff is MAGIC! It removed cat pee stink from a couch when my kitty developed kidney disease. Seriously, magic!

  • Marsea Marsea on Sep 26, 2019

    Perhaps make “sachets” with freshly ground coffee and place them in various places inside the piano. Change daily.

  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on Sep 26, 2019

    I just read another DIY tip to use vodka to wipe down the smoky wood! I haven’t tried it yet but the blogger said it worked great. She said she wiped it down once, but might have done a second time if she’d had time. Good luck!

  • Elaine McLernon Elaine McLernon on Feb 24, 2020

    Find a piano restoration technician in town who offers soda blasting services on the action and the keys. You might want to get the felt changed too too (this will probably be recommended). Then wipe down the wood interior with diluted vinegar.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Dec 09, 2021

    All part of the Piano's History, The smoke would have penitrated into the wood over the years. Call a Piano manufacturer and ask them what you should do!