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How to Remove Cigarette Odor from a Rental House

A Bellevue Renter Smoking InsideOne of the more exacting clean-up jobs is getting rid of the smell of cigarette smoke in a Bellevue rental home. Whether you allow your tenants to smoke, didn’t make sure to put in your smoking policy in the lease, or if you did and had a strict no-smoking policy, you may, however, still be left to deal with the smelly task of cleaning up the lousy odors left behind. And it’s not just about the smell; cigarette smoke leaves residual contamination on walls, fabrics, and other surfaces. Known as “thirdhand smoke,” this residue could result in a health risk to future tenants and must be taken very seriously.

To help make your clean-up job as productive as possible, here are some cleaning tips recommended by the pros.

Air it Out

The best place to start when setting up to clean up after cigarette smoke is to air out every room in your rental house. Open all windows and doors to let in the fresh air, and utilize fans or an air purifier to circulate the air. There are air purifiers primarily made to clear away the smell of cigarette smoke from the air. If your budget allows, this can be a really good option. Nonetheless, you may need to leave the fans running for as long as possible – practically, even for several days – to be beneficial in alleviating the smell.

Wipe Everything Down

Whilst airing out your rental, your next step is to wipe down every surface in every room – starting with the ceilings. Administering the cleaning product of your choice, wipe down smooth ceilings with a wet cloth. For popcorn ceilings, put your cleaning solution in a spray bottle and delicately spray the complete surface.

Additionally, while working on the ceilings, take into consideration cleaning the light fixtures and ceiling fans up there, too! Wipe the tops and bottoms of ceiling fan blades to make certain that the odor isn’t being recirculated back into the house.

Working your way downward, clean walls with the same cleaning product and a cloth. Nail down to clean the tops of the door trim, baseboard, and other nooks and crannies.

However, it’s essential to understand that just cleaning the walls typically won’t get rid of the smell. And paint will help, but it won’t get rid of the smell, either. To remove the cigarette smoke smell, you will have to utilize an odor-sealing primer, then a good quality paint over the top.

Wash the Windows

Along with the walls, it’s critical to conscientiously give all of the windows and window coverings in your rental property a deep clean. If you have blinds, that means wiping down each piece of the blinds on both sides. Clean the windows with your selected glass cleaner, then wipe down the frames and sills.

If your rental has fabric shades or curtains, ascertain to see if you can wash them in a washing machine. If not, you may want to consider replacing them. Cigarette smoke is really hard to get out of fabrics.

Sanitize Cabinets and Counters

Always remember to clean the inside and outside of kitchen and bathroom cabinets, closets, and drawers. Go through each one, clean out any debris, and then wipe down both inside and out with a cleaning solution. For countertops and islands, put into use a sanitizing cleaner to rid them of smoke residue. If the smoke smell persists, try putting a bowl of dry coffee grounds or white vinegar inside the smelly cabinet or drawer and leaving it there for one or a number of days. This may help eradicate the cigarette smell.

Deodorize Floors

Once you’ve cleaned everything above floor level, it’s time to deal with your carpets and hard surface floors. One way to help remove the smoke smell from carpets is to sprinkle baking soda over the whole carpet, let it sit for at least an hour, and then vacuum. But most Bellevue property managers like best to hire professional carpet cleaners when preparing a rental for a new tenant. They may be able to clean out the odor from the carpet. Typically, however, the best option is to replace the carpets and pad as a whole.

For hard surface floors, clean thoroughly by mopping with a really good disinfectant. If you’ve got plenty of floors to clean, change your mop water often to establish that the smoke smell isn’t just getting spread back around.

Although labor-intensive and time-consuming, by taking these steps, you can successfully clean up the smell of cigarette smoke and get it back to a clean, fresh-smelling rental.


Still, in case you’ve realized that deep cleaning your rental property is something other than what you’d fancy spending your time on, take into account giving the professionals at Real Property Management Eclipse a call. We can assist with everything from cleaning services to finding a superb new tenant for you – and much more! Contact us online today to see what we can do for you.

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