You have found the perfect house…but one problem there is the smell of an ashtray in every single room. Does this make you reevaluate everything? 


A study found that smoking in a home can reduce its resale value by up to 29%! So, if you do decide to look past the smell and continue with the purchase, the next question you might have is…will you be able to get rid of the cigarette smell? 


Here are some solutions that can help: (suggestions & information from


  1. HVAC system – keep in the mind that every single part of the central air system has come into contact with the smoke, so cleaning the air ducts and changing the filter on your HVAC unit can help. You will also want to clean the evaporator coil since sometimes the fumes can be pulled into the coil and when the AC runs it will blast the smell. If all of this still does not fix the problem consider replacing the system entirely. This is not a cheap process, but with the health impacts of thirdhand smoke, like possible studies linked to cancer, it may be worth your money. 
  2. Wash your walls and ceilings – since smoke travels upwards it will latch onto the ceiling. Using Trisodium Phosphate to clean your ceilings and walls is really great at removing smoke and stains. 
  3. Change your lightbulbs – When lightbulbs get hot the smelly dust from the cigarette can fuse to it, so it is a good idea to change them. We also recommend giving your windows a good washing and your blinds as well…or you can throw them out. 
  4. Fresh Coat of Paint – If you have washed the walls and ceilings and the smell is still lingering, the next best idea would be to repaint the walls. You will want to first seal the smell with an odor neutralizing primer and then paint in order to fully get rid of the smell. 
  5. Clean floors and carpets – Sprinkle a deodorizing powder on your carpets or better yet try a professional steam clean. Unfortunately, this might not work and you may need to opt for new carpets. If you are cleaning wood or tile – a normal cleaning should work, but make sure to vacuum every piece of dust, as that is what contains the harmful chemicals. 
  6. Wash Curtains and Drapes – Depending on the fabric you may only have to machine wash them, but some require a professional steam clean. You can also always replace these as well. 
  7. Air Filter – Getting an indoor air filter can also help as well, especially one with a HEPA filter and charcoal odor prefilter.