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Can we completely get rid of cigarette smoke odors in a house?

couturco
7 years ago
We have finally found the perfect home to purchase, but the previous owners were both smokers. We have a contract on the home, but until we get a professional in there to evaluate how to remove the cigarette smoke odor, we don't know if this will work 100%. I have an allergy to smoke, so it is crucial that we are able to get the smoke odor out 100%. (It was so bad, that I couldn't even go inside to look at the house and had to rely on the photos my husband took.) The home is in Florida, is one story with all tiled floors throughout, has a stone fireplace and newly renovated kitchen. We plan on removing all drapes and blinds, washing everything down, painting, removing old grout and regrouting, cleaning and sealing the stone, etc. Is there a possibility for success? Has anyone out there had experience with this type of issue and succeeded? Colleen

Comments (79)

  • sjprofe
    7 years ago
    Colleen, thanks so much for the update. It's good to know how much ServPro quoted for the job. If we get really serious about this house, I will contact them to get a quote also. Sounds like a lot of work and money, but it would be unliveable otherwise.
  • sarahelise1967
    6 years ago

    I have lots of allergies--my allergist says smoke is an irritant, not an allergy. I react strongly, too. Smoke is made of something like 1,000 compounds and is very toxic, which is the important issue here. When it is in a house they call it third-hand smoke and it's very dangerous. I saw results of a study--of 1,000 deaths from lung cancer, 137 could be attributed to polonium 210. Radioactivity dissipates, but...

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  • PRO
    Parkhurst Services
    6 years ago

    We Use Vamoose Cigarette Odor Eliminator when we treat homes or vehicles. The product gets rid of the tar that is latent throughout the environment that was habitually smoked in. It works very well.

  • sgmkj22
    5 years ago

    Don't forget the TOP of ceiling fan blades. I did a whole house renovation once and the former owner had used one of the bedrooms as an office. It stunk of smoke. I washed, primed, and painted all walls, cleaned the louvers of the closet doors, got rid of drapes, pulled out the carpet, etc etc., but it still had a lingering scent. The final solution was to clean the grime off the fan blades---success!

  • PRO
    Linda
    5 years ago

    My buddy who did fire restoration work for many years says that one commonly missed surface is door hinges, especially the top of the pin. Also, the top of the casings and the top of the door itself need to be cleaned

  • Vance Edwrads
    5 years ago

    If
    you’re planning on painting the interior of your home consider adding the ionic
    paint additive to the paint, turns the walls into a permanent air purification
    system. The ionic additive will keep your home free of smoke odors and toxins
    one treatment will remain effective as long as the paint on the wall surface is
    intact. http://ionicpaint.com

  • Jack M
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    The original OP may have already been screwed or not, but I want to comment for anyone that comes along on this forum wanting to know the answer to this question. The answer is no, you can't. That smell will never go away. Period.

    I bought a house with smoke smell in it, and basically it is the biggest regret of my life, well second biggest regret... Walk away. Walk away now. If you're looking at a house that even has a hint of cigarette smell walk out as soon as you smell it. Leave the house to some other sucker, or to some smoker that doesn't care if it smells. I'm am blatantly telling you I was a sucker for buying a cigarette smelly house. I am an idiot, but hopefully my idiocy means you don't have to be one.

    Anyone who has answered on this forum otherwise has not gone through this, so they don't know.

    WALK AWAY. Losing the option money is better than suffering through a smelly house. Heck, losing earnest money is better than suffering through a smelly house. It will cost thousands to REDUCE the smell. Not get rid of it, reduce it. Thousands. Maybe tens of thousands. I hope I am helping someone to make the right decision here.

  • ninigret
    5 years ago

    i'm sorry for your troubles, jack. we did go to an open house owned by long term smokers. a realtor was ripping out wall to wall carpet as people were coming in. it was a great house and a great price but not for us. the house disappeared quickly off the market, i hope it was purchased by another smoker.

  • PRO
    Air-ReNu, Inc
    5 years ago

    With nineteen years experience in mold and odor remediation; we have found a way to, permanently eliminate the effects of smoking, and third hand spoke problems.

    Bert Gruder customer service.

    www.ionicpaint.com

  • Irene Morresey
    5 years ago
    Surely washing all surfaces with a sugar soap, blinds etc and washing drapes and cleaning carpets, I would think this would be enough. There sure are some extremes in here. My parents were smokers and I did this to their house it was fine and a good airing. Yellowing comes off with diluted bleach
  • PRO
    Ellsworth Design Build
    5 years ago
    All ac ducts have to be replaced and every surface has to be sealed, cleaned, or replaced. We took our house down to the studs, even the fiberglass insulation was permeated.
  • oliviag55
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    If you are truly allergic to tobacco and smoke, give up on this home and keep looking.

    Nothing but the gut described above will work for you. Too many options out there to put your health in jeapody.

  • PRO
    R G MILLER (YBC)
    5 years ago

    I am severly allergic to smoke and asthmatic. I would consult with an evironmental allergist. Your health is extremely important and this could be a difficult fix.

  • Josie Critt
    5 years ago

    We bought a house and replaced all carpet, refinished hard wood flooring, some sub-flooring, tore out walls and painted it in its entirely. When we tore out the existing wood stove and brick we noticed that more of the smoke smell left. However, with all of this, when we left on vacation and came back (we were in the home 7 years) we would have a lingering cigarette smell. (We also replaced most of the windows and also oiled the doors.)

    In our next home, the owner didn't smoke, but his son, caring for the property did. We noticed an ash tray in a walk through after we put in an offer and immediately called the real estate agent and told him no smoking in the house or the DEAL IS OFF. Take care if this is going to be a serious issue with you. Good luck!

  • Architectural Notice
    5 years ago

    I can't stand cigarette smoke and would pass on any house with a smoke odor, however small.

    We once looked at a used car that reeked of cigarette smoke. The dealer commented on the smell and said they could get it detailed but we passed on it.

  • wacokid
    5 years ago

    We moved into a rental that we found out later was owned by a long time smoker. We moved out after a few months, it was just horrible. There is nothing that will get rid of the smell. I would not even buy a house, tear it down, and build again on the same foundation......

  • laurahannigan
    4 years ago

    DO NOT BUY A HOUSE THAT HAS BEEN SMOKED IN!! Ignore everything you hear about being able to get the smell out. You simply cannot. Look at the research being done at University of California at Berkeley and you will understand why an unsafe environment exists. http://research.universityofcalifornia.edu/stories/2012/04/thirdhand-smoke.html

    I bought an absolutely gorgeous townhouse but I was duped because the hardwood floors had recently been polyurethaned and that was all I could smell. I later found out that the original owner had recently died of lung cancer - she had lived in the home for 16 years and smoked heavily. The nicotine was not visible to the naked eye but when I wiped the venetian blinds, under the granite countertops, the shower doors my paper towel came away with thick orange residue. I have sunk thousands and thousands of dollars into trying to clean up the house. New carpet, new venetian blinds, paint, air duct cleaning - nothing helps.

    It is the worst mistake I have made in my life and I hope that you do not do the same. There are other houses out there. Best to buy a house that is currently occupied so you can smell the furniture, carpet, etc. Cigarette smoke permeates all soft surfaces, drywall, you name it.

  • Jack M
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    I want to follow up on my comment posted August 26, 2016 at 1:01PM about my experience buying a smoke filled house.

    First I want to say that I stand by my original statement. Even if you are in escrow and you will lose your earnest money, walk away. There is no question in my mind you should not buy a house that has been smoked in. I would say losing up to $10,000 to walk away is probably better than buying it, maybe even more than that. I feel dumb for buying it, I'm ashamed to admit to anyone that it was smoke filled when I bought it, and I would certainly never buy a house that even has a hint of smoke smell again (and I would even sniff in the dark corners and crevices of the house to make sure).

    The rest of this post is for those that are already in a smoke filled house. It's about the things I've done to help with the smell, and perhaps give some hope:

    Up front I want to say Ozone is worthless. Ozone is like a band-aid on a wound that needs stitches. Ozone will clean out the air temporarily, but it will just come back.

    For reference my house was 11 years old when I bought it. It had one owner previously, who I can only assume was smoking the whole time. I think most of the smoking was done in the garage and on the front porch, but possibly also in the master bedroom. It's possible that very little of the smoking was done indoors for the sake of the previous owner's children, but it's hard to say. Certainly the whole house was very smelly.

    Here is a concise list of everything I did:

    * I ran a lot of Ozone through the house at various times. You can't live in the house during treatment, and as stated above I don't think this does anything and do not recommend it. (Ozone seems to kill any bugs in the house which may be the only thing it will do, I didn't have a bug problem, though.)

    * The carpet had been replaced prior to the sale, but two closets still
    had the original carpet (and it was nasty, I might add) I tore that carpet out.

    * I threw out all the curtains in the house.

    * The garage was the worst of it, I couldn't park the car in it without the whole car smelling of smoke for days. I primed it with two coats of Kilz Original and two coats of outdoor paint. (I now believe that one coat of Kilz Original would suffice.)

    * I tried putting various air fresheners and Febreze in the HVAC intake vent. I do not recommend this. Febreze leaves a sticky residue on everything, I don't recommend using it at all.

    * I had the vents cleaned by a company that used a Rotobrush (https://www.rotobrush.com/). I question how effective this was, but would still recommend it. I've heard not to get a cheap vent cleaning service as those are usually some kind of scam.

    * I put various Air Wick fresheners around the house. These can be pretty good at masking the smell, but need to be replaced often.

    * The master suite was the second worst of the smell after the garage, possibly because it is directly above the garage, possibly because the previous owners were smoking in there too. I primed it with one coat of Kilz Original. And one coat of paint. It looks really nice. I do not recommend Kilz Original for interior painting as the fumes are too much, they'll fill the whole house not just the room you are working in. Use Kilz 2 Latex instead.

    * I cleaned the carpets myself using a Hoover Max Extract 60 Pressure Pro Carpet Deep Cleaner, FH50220 which I bought from Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0043VSR8E). (The new carpet in the house did not seem to have any smell in it, but I cleaned it none-the-less.)

    * Perhaps the most helpful thing I did was get the Alen BreatheSmart Customizable Air Purifier with HEPA-OdorCell Filter to Reduce Allergies, Smoke & Pet Odors (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018PXBXHM). I got it five months after moving in and I honestly believe this is the best 600 bucks I ever spent in my life. I mean it's hard to say for sure since I did all the other things, but after turning this thing on the smell went away.

    * The entryway was also pretty bad. I'm guessing they were smoking on the front porch and some of it got inside. (Originally the brick veneer outside the front door smelled really bad, that went away in time.) Inside I put a Citrus Magic 2 Gal. Odor-Absorbing Citrus Solid Air Freshener (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Citrus-Magic-2-Gal-Odor-Absorbing-Citrus-Solid-Air-Freshener-616471663/202559655) these seem to last about 3 or 4 months before they need to be replaced.

    * I've done a lot of cleaning using Vinegar. I've also used TSP cleaner but Vinegar seems to work better, and also you can get scented vinegar.

    I did all this in the first 6 months. After that no visitor could tell it had been smoked in. Since that time I've constantly kept the Alen Air Filter running and have replaced the filter on it once. I usually keep a mere 3 Air Wick fresheners around the house and one Citrus Magic Odor Absorber. I'm not even sure that I need to do any of this any more, but I do out of paranoia.

    Since the Texas summer has come with it's humidity some of the smell came back in the kitchen. I believe the smell in the kitchen is in the wall between the garage and the kitchen and in the cabinets. It's not super noticeable but it is there. I painted the kitchen last month and I didn't think it would do anything, and it did not, except it looks a lot nicer. I think the cabinets need to be thoroughly cleaned and I will do that next. As for the smell in the wall, I'm not sure what to do (I know it's there because if you take the light switch cover off and smell it you can smell the smoke, and you can only smell it on that particular wall). I moved the Alen Filter into the kitchen in hopes it might help in there and I'm pretty sure at this point the rest of the house is fine. My guess is once summer ends it will go away and every year thereafter it will be less and less, but it will probably always be there.

    In conclusion, the house is okay. I even kind of like it. In the first six months I just hated it every day and wished it would burn to the ground and figured I'd move out in a year when I at least wouldn't lose as much money on it, but now that it's pretty much okay I figure I'll stay there till my job changes. In truth I'm even kinda attached to it since I put so much work into it. That said if I had a lot of extra money and could just have no regrets losing money on the house I would still walk out in a second. I don't hate it anymore though. I regret buying it, sure, but my point is if you are in the same situation I was a year ago, there is hope.

    Once again, let me reiterate though, if you haven't bought a smoke filled house yet, don't. It's not worth it.

  • PRO
    Air-ReNu, Inc.
    4 years ago

    Our family is involved in flipping homes, when previewing a potential home, we turn on the heat or A/C in the winter time. The temp. difference will activate any off-gassing, if we smell some odors, we walk away; paint and wall board are porous and absorb odors and particulates. Whenever a temp. change takes place the odors are reintroduced into the room. Matt

  • celianathan
    3 years ago

    Oh Boy, I have read all your posts. I feel like an idiot. I bought a 550 square foot condo that was flipped by the real estate agent for a family trust, and I did NOT get a home inspection first because it looked great, and it came with a home warranty. BUT, when the condo turned on the water from the main boiler room for AC, the mold showed up because the pipes to the fan coil weren't insulated (it was hidden behind a wooden box), I had a mold remediator "clean the mold", then I am replacing the fan coil unit with a new one when the condo turns off the water in Oct. BUT, the smell is still here, and I only found out after buying the unit that the previous owner was a big smoker, and the walls had been covered in nicotine according to the maintenance man. I have to leave my sliding glass door cracked open or else my throat hurts and my eyes turn red. I now have to figure out what route to take with this smell. I want to sue the real estate agent even though it is buyer beware, there is no way she didn't know about the uninsulated pipes and the nicotine. I only hope her karma is bad. I am thinking of paying almost $1200 for an IQ-Air Purification system. Plus it looks like I will have to repaint. My question to you is, since the walls are painted, do I need to go back over with the TSP and clean the painted walls? This is just the biggest mess. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

  • wacokid
    3 years ago

    I am sorry you are going through this. I am no lawyer but when I was in a smoky rental I contacted a few lawyers and they were no help. I just wanted to break the lease, so maybe you could go that route. As far as ridding your condo of smoke, as you have read there is no simple solution. I would say if you are going to paint then I would clean, prime and paint. Good luck.

  • Jack M
    3 years ago

    To @celianathan


    You should definitely get an air purifier of some sort. What I heard was HEPA is the way to go. The Alen BreatheSmart with the HEPA OdorCell filter is what I got for around $600. I think that would cover 550 sq/ft fine. I don't see anything wrong with going more expensive, it could only do a better job I'd think. That just depends on your budget. I even meant to get a second Alen so I could have one upstairs and one down but after the smell was gone I didn't see the need.


    For painting remember to put down an odor concealing primer. I used KILZ 2 Latex which worked for me. I didn't really do much cleaning of the walls before painting, just roughed them up a little with some sand paper. I haven't had any problems with the paint or primer falling off.


    If you read my post dated July 25, 2017 the things I outlined are what I recommend. Your situation doesn't sound as dire as it might be in your mind (mine certainly wasn't, read my first post in 2016), so I think there is a lot of hope for you.


    In regards to the agent, I'd just forgive and move on.


    You'll also just need to give it time. It may be anger inducing for a while, and you'll have a lot of remorse, but eventually it'll be okay. I've had my home for just over two years and I have been complimented many a time how fine a home I have and all I think in response is, Thank you, you have no idea... and I'll never tell you the embarrassing story about how I bought a smoke filled house and had to transform it. I can share that story here though since none of y'all know me.


    For anyone else reading this, if you are looking at houses and you know it's been smoked in, my advice is still to walk away, lose your earnest money if you have to, whatever you have to do to get away.

  • Erin Moretz
    2 years ago
    Jack M - hows your house in the summer? I too bought a house that was smoked in. it smelled like fresh paint when we first put the offer in but were unpleasantly surprised when we went through the walk through that it smelled like smoke mixed with paint. had I found this thread earlier, I'd have walked and forefitted our deposit. I feel like an idiot. we've repainted, did an ozone treatment, had hvac ducts cleaned, cleaned endlessly with vinegar, and purchased an air purifier. the smell is still lingering in the closets and by the fireplace. (I wont even put my clothes in them). Just curious if you had an issue with it penetrating the dry wall. we've sealed everything with a shellac primer, but it still smells in sockets and light switches. were so close to ripping out drywall but cant afford it at the moment. we also have young kids and are so worried about the effects of third hand smoke. I basically dont sleep bc I'm so worried. Not that you can help me there, just hoping it will get better with time in top of all other things were doing. thanks!
  • wannabath
    2 years ago

    You can get what is called an air scrubber they sell them on Amazon. Yes, the better ones are expensive but the $2-300 ones do work well.


    We had a rental and the neighbors cooking stunk the place beyond words. Bought one ran it for a couple days and it worked. There are Co's that actually can come in with industrial ones.


    Funny about the electrical but we also sealed the all up with foam that is sold to go between the trim plate and the electrical box. It is made for draft control but in our case it helped control incoming odor. They are cheap and quick DIY.


    I feel for you as if anybody hasn't gone through this its like a living hell as most things actually make the smells worse.

  • Jack M
    2 years ago

    Erin - So in the summer time this past year it was fine. Nothing was noticeable. Only now can I find smell if I search for it. It's still is in the wall between the kitchen and garage. In response to your comment I removed the light switch cover and the smell was still there. I've not smelled anything otherwise. And that isn't enough to really concern me since it's not leaking out. I haven't replaced any drywall. If your family is DIYers it wouldn't actually be that expensive, but it is a lot of hard work. I'd personally wait at least six months before I started tearing walls out.


    As for 3rd hand smoke, that is a concern I read about as well, and I actually got a tent to camp out in the backyard when I thought things were hopeless. That ended up being impractical.


    The main thing is that things should get better in time. I didn't really notice any results until about six months in and I'd put in a lot of effort leading to that time. I've always felt the big thing was when I got the Alen BreatheSmart, but it's possible that may have been coincidence. I was hard pressed to pay $600 for it, but I'm convinced it had a drastic effect. An air purifier is not something I would go cheap on.


    Initially, I was really angry and every day I wished my house would burn to the ground. Now I'd be pretty sad if it burned down. Know there is hope, and, as dire as things seem now, it should get better.

  • PRO
    Air-ReNu, Inc.
    2 years ago

    Smoking odors penetrates the carpets, walls and just about every other nook and cranny in our homes. The Ionic Paint Additive by Air-ReNu, turns any newly painted wall surface, into an efficient permanent air purification system. Eliminating smoking, cat urine, cooking odors, airborne toxins. Single treatment will remain effective for 8-12 years.

  • diy_er3586
    2 years ago

    Jack M, I appreciate your detailed responses. We are in the same boat. It's a nightmare.
    One year into this. (See recent post.) We have hepa filter air purifiers in 3 rooms. Does the smell come back if you turn your air purifier off for a while. The two bedrooms with air purifiers seem fine until we turn them off while on vacation. So I'm wondering if they are only meant to be a temporary solution. Do you know?


    OP, I'm curious if you did in fact buy this house and how it worked out for you?

  • Jack M
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I have kept the filter running all the time. Just recently though it started making a lot of noise so I shut it off and haven't really had any smell come back. But it had been running for about 3 years straight so I imagine it got quite a lot of particles out of the air. I would say don't turn them off for any reason. A good one should be designed to run 24/7. Make sure to paint the surfaces and shampoo or replace carpets and make sure the vents are cleaned out since anything that would circulate the particles around could be problematic.

  • diy_er3586
    2 years ago

    Thanks Jack. I guess eventually, the purifiers will have less work to do. We did have the air ducts professionally cleaned. We also replaced every air vent in the house as they were discolored. I'm glad you got to a reasonable state with your house.


  • wacokid
    2 years ago

    I feel for you 3586. Don't let it get you down.

  • HU-145661394
    2 years ago

    First time I read this thread 2 years ago when we bought house. Now 2 years later, I decided to post here my experience with house that was owned by heavy smokers.


    Worst smell was in living room.


    First we scrubbed walls of old paint - it didnt help much.

    Then we painted it with basic primer and 2 coats of paint - it was better but after few days smell was back.

    Bought air purifier - wasted money. Fortunately I could return it and get money back. Bought new TV for that money...

    Borrowed ozone machine- no help at all.

    Then we scrubbed walls and ceilings of new paint again, washed it with vinegar + water combo, used anti nicotine primer - still terrible smell.

    Then we made new plasters. Used another coat of primer, and 2 coats of paint. It was ok untill next spring and summer.. then smell was back.


    We decided to sell that house but we thought that nobody would buy it with such smell so I bought 15 litres of Zinsser BIN. 2 coats of Zinsser BIN + 2 coats of paint. Finally smell is gone!!!

    1 year later. Summer is almost over. We are still living in that house and hope that terrible smell will never come back again because we have small children and wife is allergic.


    If you dont have to PLEASE never ever buy house from heavy smokers.





  • wacokid
    2 years ago

    That really sucks HU. Purifiers, ozoners, etc are useless. I feel for you, what a nightmare for you. You probably are in the house and just waiting to see if that smell comes back? I hope you got rid of it. And when the time comes I hope you can sell it. I don't think there is a worse situation for a non-smoker to have to go through. Good luck and keep updating.

  • jpg01
    last year

    You should try Vamoose! I used a fogger machine to fumigate a rental property I purchased. That's the only way to really get deep into cracks and nooks. Then wipe it down, Killz and fresh paint. It's a little bit of a process but it's the best product I've found so far. You won't get rid of it with Ozone generators and aerosols. If you read on their site you'll see how the product works. Hopefully, this helps someone. Here's the site... https://www.vamooseproducts.com

  • Laina Dee
    last year

    Hi everyone, I'm a little late to comment on the OP but my spouse and I purchased a home in Feb 2019 from heavy smokers. You would just die if you saw some of the things I saw when I was cleaning.


    We have found that a year and a half later, the house still smells. We just went on a mini vacation to see family and came back to a house with the windows open and it still smells! It was so defeating returning home last night that I went online for the millionth time and found this thread and read all the way through it.


    Here's what we have done and here's what I think has helped.


    First thing I did when we moved in is I used TSP on the walls, I then used a mix of Mrs Meyers all purpose, vinegar and water. I Kilz'd mostly everything, I may not have gotten everything because it was so exhausting after a while I may have truthfully given up. I painted all the walls. We ripped up all the carpeting (there wasn't a ton thankfully) we have hardwood floors. We tried to sand down and paint half of the cabinetry in the house - this was so much work and it made me feel better but in the end it didn't do a damn thing. The cabinets still wreak like smoke. We threw out all the doors in the house. Every single one. Anything that is wood will stink like smoke and you'll never be able to get the smell out. Just throw it away and replace it. We replaced all the doors - that certainly helped with the smell. We just had all the windows replaced - that helped immensely too, the trim around the windows was so stinky. We replaced the wood vanity in the bathroom and I repainted the bathroom for a second time. That helped. We got the ducts cleaned (they were apparently cleaned before we moved in but it was by a scam company). Duct cleaning should cost more than $120. It should be more like $500. The person who cleaned the ducts said it was bad. We had the coil in the heater cleaned. I actually went into the ductwork where the air filters are put in and cleaned the inside as much as I could. It was so disgusting. I cleaned inside the cold air exchange. We have replaced some vents - not all yet. We did ozone last year and it smelled like ozone for about a week then it went back to smelling like stale air and a faint smell of smoke.


    With all that said and done - and well over $15,000 dollars later - the house still smells.


    Our plan is to Kilz everything a second time, maybe 2 coats even, refinish the floors and seal them (they are in really bad shape), replace the cabinetry in the kitchen, replace all trim and then we will see where we are at.


    Humidity brings out the smell - we have a dehumidifier running constantly in our basement to help with the smell down there. We always run the fan in our bathroom or leave the door open when we shower. The kitchen is the worst of it because I believe that is where they smoked the most. I should add we put in new flooring in the kitchen as well. I believe that if we really wanted to rid the entire kitchen we'd need new appliances after the new cabinets as well.


    This is an experience I wouldn't wish on anyone to have to go through. It has put so much tension on my spouse and I's relationship at times it's truly the worst decision we've ever made in our lives. I long for the days of someday having what I call a "clean" house. One where I can breathe and not feel like I'm getting cancer from just living in. We love where we live and we absolutely love our neighborhood, everything!, except that this house was owned by smokers. It truly has ruined everything. When we move out (which we certainly will) I fear that all of our belongings will forever smell like stale smoke.


    To everyone out there who is experiencing this I am so sorry but I'm right here with you. Never listen to a realtor who says "you can get a smoke smell out" because they're full of it.

  • HU-145661394
    9 months ago

    I have a good news for everyone. More than 1 year later our house is still without smoke odor. Sometimes, during very hot days I think I can smell a small whiff of that odor somewhere but when sniffing directly to the wall its clean as before. So yeah, BIN worked like 99,99% and I almost forgot that we had issue with cigarette smoke.

  • ANDREW LUTZ
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Save yourself a ton of time and headache and google BIOSWEEP.

    Prior to Biosweep about the only options were to tear everything out and seal the smell in and hope for the best. Biosweep eliminates the smell in about a half a day. I have seen really nasty homes transformed with it.

    No need to tear everything out with the possible exception of carpet. All the other surfaces can be treated. Don't seal it in and hope it doesn't resurface, kill it cold.

    An added bonus, it doesn't use harsh chemicals. It uses helydrogen peroxide to do the hard work.

  • Lisa Winchell
    last month

    Does anyone know how much affect my mother moving her furniture in my house will have if she's a smoker? He will not be smoking in the house. But will the smell get up in our AC or on our walls excetera

  • Stephen Parkhurst
    last month

    Yes, Lisa, Vamoose can eliminate the odor of cigarette smoke if properly treated. We've done hundreds of homes and over a thousand vehicles since starting our business in 2005.

  • ANDREW LUTZ
    last month

    Hey Lisa,

    I would treat the furniture because I wouldn't want it stinking up my house. As for any damage to the walls or duct work, that's not a worry.

    You can use some type of odor eater topical treatment but I would bet success will be limited due to all the stuffing and fabric which you can't get to.

    Depending on where you're located, there may be a Biosweep near you that could treat your contents in a garage before moving them into the house.

    Good luck!

  • HU-588395593
    last month

    Wondering if anyone can post follow ups here. We moved 4 weeks ago into a home where the owner smoked in a workshop attached to the garage. Not even in the house! And we are still getting whiffs inside but only close to the garage, thankfully not our kids bedrooms which are on the other side of the house. We love the area and neighborhood and my kids just started at a new school weeks ago so moving again is out of the question . We've done all the things listed in the smoking room; ripped out cabinets and floor and washed, primed with bin. Painted several coats. Aired out. Noticed a vent from the garage to the house which explains the lingering smell right inside the door. Had we known, wouldn't have bought it. :( Had ducts cleaned, hvac cleaned and replacing carpet . My husband is tackling this like crazy and getting burned out. I need to hear success story here. We have spent tons of time and money and our families have been helping too. Desperate for a good story!!

  • Jack M
    last month

    Honestly, yours doesn't sound that bad. Given a few month it'll probably be fine.

  • ANDREW LUTZ
    last month

    Yes, it will slowly dissipate with age but it's going to take a while. Where are you located?

  • wednesday morning
    last month

    That smoke odor with be with you for years, if not forever. Eventually, everything that you own will smell like it, even you.

    In the homes of some smokers there is a yellowed residue that permeates everything.

    The inlaws used to smoke and everytime we went to visit we had to wash all of our clothes and hang the coats out in the garage for a good while.

    Cigar smoke is even more pervasive than others.

    Personally, I could never get past it.

    Amazing that we used to accept smoking in so many places! I dont know anyone who smokes anymore and rarely smell it anymore. Good riddance!!!

  • wednesday morning
    last month

    Lisa, I would not hold out much hope that your mothers furnitue will not permeate your house. You wil definely smell it. If you find some treatment that actually makes the smell go away, you have to wonder just what is that and what is it made of and what effect does it have you and your health.

    That must be some powerful stuff that claims to eliminate odor. It may be a more healthy alternative to just air it out and live with it.

    If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is not the whole story. I would be wary of that.

    After posting, I see that this was originally posted many years ago.

    I wish that there was more higly visible notice of an old post. Yes, the info is there, but is missed by many, myself included.


  • Stephen Parkhurst
    last month

    That is why you need Vamoose... it dissolves the tar without harming the surface. Once the tar, or source of the everlasting odor, is gone, so is the odor.

  • ANDREW LUTZ
    last month

    You didn't leave your name but I presume you are talking about biosweep. You are correct to be leery as I was before I learned about it. (I also am an ingredients freak and consume very few processed products from stores, my health is #1)

    That being said, biosweep is basically made up of 3 things, purified oxygen, dry hydrogen peroxide and free radical. No pets plants or people can be in the space when its running but it leaves nothing harmful behind.

    Research it for yourself, it is interesting stuff.

  • Stephen Parkhurst
    last month

    I appreciate your comment, and I would like to expand on it. The gases emitted from the decaying tar, called 'Third-hand Smoke,' can be more dangerous than 'Second-hand Smoke'. When someone sits in a vehicle, on a sofa, or in a house inundated with tar residue from cigarette smoke, they are constantly being bombarded with carcinogenic molecules. They can breathe these gases into their lungs as long as they are in a contaminated environment.


    Most people don't realize the danger lurking but have a negative reaction because of the smell. Vamoose Cigarette Odor Eliminator dissolves the tar when it comes in contact with it. Once the tar is eliminated, the danger and the offensive odor are gone.


    Though the chemicals in Vamoose are proprietary, they aren't toxic. And if you are sensitive to chemicals, you can always wear a chemical-resistant face mask and goggles; these can be purchased at any hardware store or Walmart.


    I've worked with the product for over a decade, and it works great. Don't get me wrong, it may take multiple applications to get rid of years of build-up, but it does work. Also, though it works for some odors, it doesn't work on all odors (like urine or sour milk smell.) And because it's a one-on-one linear conversion, both the tar and the Vamoose molecules react and are converted into inert salts.


    It's worth a try, and if you don't like it, there's a money-back guaranty.

  • HU-145661394
    last month

    Hello HU-588395593


    Another summer is over here in Europe and it was very hot summer. Our house is still cigarette smell free. As i wrote before, only think that worked for us was 2 coats of Zinsser Bin. It was hard to get it here because I had to use special delivery service from UK, but it was worth every cent..

  • wednesday morning
    29 days ago

    stephen, what happens to the tar that dissolves?. Dissolves into what? What happens to it after is dissolves? Do you have to clean it up? Do you spray it all over or does it work like one of those insecticide bombs?

    I used to work retail and we used to just trash anything that got returned after being in the possession of a smoker. It was considered to be damaged and not fit for restocking if it smelled of tobacco.


  • Stephen Parkhurst
    29 days ago

    It depends on certain variables; the amount of tar build-up and the type of material affected (i.e., walls, leather, cloth, vinyl, etc.)


    For example; Let's say you purchased a fabric chair that a smoker owned for a year. When treated, the tar and the Vamoose molecules react with each other forming inert salts. Once the product has dried, you may or may not want to wipe off the surface to remove any remaining residue. However, when treating the walls in that same house, you may or may not see a light to dark liquid striking down that needs to be wiped off to avoid streak marks. In both cases, the tar was dissolved by the Vamoose.


    Vamoose gets rid of the source (tar) without damaging the surface of the material. In fact, when it begins to dissolve the tar, a 'conversion odor' results. This odor may be unpleasant at first but dissipates fairly quickly depending on the amount of tar embedded in the material or on the surface of the wall. This is what differentiates Vamoose from other smoke-eliminating products...