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How to Remove Cigarette Odor from a Rental House

A Monterey Park Renter Smoking InsideOne of the more toilsome clean-up jobs is getting rid of the smell of cigarette smoke in a Monterey Park rental home. Whether you allow your tenants to smoke, weren’t mindful to add your smoking policy in the lease, or if you did and had a strict no-smoking policy, you may still be left to deal with the smelly job of cleaning up the rotten 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 lead to a health risk to future tenants and must be taken very seriously.

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

Air it Out

The best place to start when getting ready 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 administer fans or an air purifier to circulate the air. There are air purifiers primarily made to purge the smell of cigarette smoke from the air. If your budget allows, this is most likely a good option. But even so, you may need to leave the fans running for as long as possible – perhaps even several days – just to alleviate the smell.

Wipe Everything Down

While you are airing out your rental, your next step is to wipe down every surface in every room – starting with the ceilings. Taking 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 whole surface.

As you are working on the ceilings, bring to mind cleaning the light fixtures and ceiling fans up there, too! Wipe the tops and bottoms of ceiling fan blades to nail down 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. Never forget to clean the tops of the door trim, baseboard, and other nooks and crannies.

On a side note, it’s beneficial to mention that just cleaning the walls again and again won’t get rid of the smell. And paint will help, but it won’t erase the smell, either. To appropriately remove the cigarette smoke smell, you will need to administer an odor-sealing primer, then a good quality paint over the top.

Wash the Windows

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

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

Sanitize Cabinets and Counters

Be mindful to clean the inside and outside of kitchen and bathroom cabinets, closets, and drawers. Go through each one, take out any debris, and then wipe down both inside and out with a cleaning solution. For countertops and islands, 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 some days. This may help clear out 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 entire carpet, let it sit for at least an hour, and then vacuum. Countless Monterey Park property managers decide to hire professional carpet cleaners, especially when preparing a rental for a new tenant.  They may be able to clear the odor from the carpet. In nearly all cases, however, the best option is to replace the carpets and pad entirely

For hard surface floors, clean thoroughly by mopping with a helpful disinfectant. If you’ve got several floors to clean, change your mop water often to always make certain that the smoke smell isn’t just getting spread back around.

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


Still, if, indeed, deep cleaning your rental property is something other than what you’d work to spend your time on, ponder on giving the professionals at Real Property Management Fairmate a call. We can help with everything from cleaning services to finding a really good new tenant for you – and much more! Contact us online today to see what we can do for you.

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