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How to Remove Cigarette Odor from a Rental House

A Rancho Cordova Renter Smoking InsideOne of the more wearisome clean-up jobs is eradicating the smell of cigarette smoke in a Rancho Cordova rental home. Whether you allow your tenants to smoke, didn’t put in mind to cover your smoking policy in the lease, or if you did and had a strict no-smoking policy, you may sadly still be left to deal with the smelly charge of cleaning up the foul 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, later on, produce a health risk to future tenants and must be taken very seriously.

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

Air it Out

The best place to start when preparing 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 use fans or an air purifier to circulate the air. There are air purifiers particularly made to do away with the smell of cigarette smoke from the air. If your budget allows, this is most definitely a really good option. In any way, you may need to leave the fans running for as long as possible – likely even for a few days – to provide more chances to help alleviate the smell.

Wipe Everything Down

So while airing out your rental, your next step is to wipe down every surface in every room – starting with the ceilings. Using 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 spray lightly the whole surface area.

Then as you’re 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 be sure 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. Be certain to clean the tops of the door trim, baseboard, and other nooks and crannies.

Anyhow, it’s noteworthy to know that just cleaning the walls several times won’t get rid of the smell. And paint will help, but it won’t flush out the smell, either. To fully remove the cigarette smoke smell, you will need to use an odor-sealing primer, then a good quality paint over the top.

Wash the Windows

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

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

Sanitize Cabinets and Counters

Bring to mind cleaning the inside and outside of kitchen and bathroom cabinets, closets, and drawers. Go through each one, empty any debris, and then wipe down both inside and out with a cleaning solution. For countertops and islands, put into service 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 take 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 whole carpet, let it sit for at least an hour, and then vacuum. But in actuality, the majority of Rancho Cordova property managers decide to hire professional carpet cleaners whenever they’re preparing a rental for a new tenant. They may be able to discard the odor from the carpet. Generally, however, the best option is to replace the carpets and pad completely.

For hard surface floors, clean thoroughly by mopping with your choice of disinfectant. If you’ve got a whole number of floors to clean, change your mop water often to 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 eradicate the smell of cigarette smoke and happily get it back to a clean, fresh-smelling rental.


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

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