questionsany advice to get rid of cigarette odor from a…


i hate to say this but is there a possibility that you are getting carbon monoxide in your room? it does the headache/sick thing too.
did you just move into the place or have you been there a while? it's possible that the previous occupant smoked and it's just in the carpets/walls/ceilings and you didn't notice because it was shown to you with the windows open.

they make a smoke eater candle available relatively cheap at most box stores. also place a lump of charcoal (unused) near where you think the smell is coming from (something in it absorbs odors). try a candle burning-the fire tends to burn the smells out of the room. if you don't want a fire going while you sleep try a candle warmer (available about $5 at walmart) with a stongly scented candle. i bought a couple pieces of furniture that had a smoke smell and had to spray an entire can of lysol to get them to reduce smell enough that a autosprayer could eliminate the radient room smell.


Smoke odor can be a real bi*&^. Have you changed the air filters lately? They can pick up smoke quickly then blow it back out when the air kicks back on.


I just moved here in May. The first month was great. My unit has new carpet and linoleum throughout. I know this for sure, because I viewed it before and after they installed the new floor/carpet. In June there was some turnover and a few more tenants moved in. There are smokers in several units. The trick is to find which one is causing my problem.

I will try to candle warmer and charcoal ideas! Thank you!

Changing the filter is on my list to do next month. I get paid monthly, and this was a very tight month for me. Unfortunately, the smoke odor has gotten much worse this month!


@trekmiss: if you have access you can use a coffee cup warmer as a candle warmer--you just have to use a smaller candle. and make sure you only use candles in glass jars.


@moosezilla: carbon monoxide is oderless.

Could be mixed in with the smell but something has to be burning to produce it.


I don't think it's carbon monoxide, because on nights when the smoke smell is not as bad, I don't have quite as bad of an allergic reaction. The severity of my reactions seem to be equal to how bad the smell is. Zyrtec and sudafed are my friends!

I think I should invest in a carbon monoxide detector, though. Another thing to add to my future shopping list. I lived with my dad for the last 4 years. I'm just now getting back on my feet following some health issues, and I'm starting from scratch. Each month I get a few more things.


@trekmiss: in most states landlords are required by law to have both a smoke and carbon monoxide detector in every apartment. fyi a lot of fire depts give those two out.


@moosezilla: There are smoke detectors that are hardwired. I wonder if they measure carbon monoxide, too? I don't know what the law here requires, but I'll ask the manager tomorrow.

The last place I rented was in Bolivia. I'm still getting used to doing this in the states.


is the paint fresh? a shellac based primer like rustoleum's B-I-N2 is great for sealing out odors. you'd be surprised how much cigarette odor will bleed through multiple coats of paint and even drywall/sheetrock.


If the door is not vented, you might add weather stripping around the door frame. Also, add some kind of door draft stopper along the bottom. This can be as simple as a rolled towel to something purchased.

If the door is vented, look at attaching a charcoal filter to the inside of the vent (so it won't show).

Also, get management to upgrade your AC filter to a charcoal filter until this is resolved so the smell isn't being spread throughout your apartment.


It's a bit late now, but since you are very sensitive to it, be sure the next place you live in does not allow smoking indoors (many here do not: it costs too much to try and get the odor out once the tennants leave.).

Maybe some blow in foam insulation will help deal the area in between the two apartments. This will likely be a tough nut, though.


I have the exact same problem. I have terrible allergies to cigarette smoke and the absolutely awful neighbor above me is a smoker. For some reason, they don't allow smoking in my apartment, but they do in hers, which is the same thing as allowing smoking in my place. It's like having a peeing and no peeing section in a swimming pool. I digress...

The only solution that has made my apartment tolerable is an air purifier. Unfortunately, this is a larger expense, but I promise it will be worth it. I got one that was specifically designed to clean out cigarette smoke. To save money on replacement filters and electricity costs of running it, I run it only when I'm sleeping and I have it pointed to my face. Works wonders and allows me to sleep without discomfort. The machine also acts as a white noise machine (to drown out some of the noise they make upstairs), and a fan (because she doesn't know how a thermostat works).

I hope you find a solution that works!


@thunderthighs: Thank you for your advice. I have a rolled up blanket blocking the giant 2-3" gap at the bottom of the door. I'll look into the charcoal filter, as there is a vent in the door.

@wilfbrim: I don't think any smoke free apartments exist around here. At least not in my budget. They are still fighting appeals over a smoke-free in public buildings law that was approved by voters last year. I think if an apartment complex around here tried to go smoke-free it would start world war 3!

@segafanalways: I forgot to mention I did buy one of these small room air purifiers, almost identical to the one you linked. I think I need to get a better filter for it. There is one that is strictly for odors, but it's a little pricey, so it's on my list for next month.


@trekmiss: Definitely don't bother trying to cover up the odor. You have to get rid of the particulates to have any success - especially allergic reaction.

Getting an air conditioner filter that has activated carbon seems like the best start. The holes in the charcoal/carbon will actually trap a lot of the particles. If not that, then at least the allergy filters like filtrete.

An air purifier is very much more passive. They can't capture much. But if you were to place one anywhere, it would be in that closet before the air is blown all over the apartment.


Bad Air Sponges ( but I've seen them locally, too) are great at getting rid of odors, but that won't help with the allergy. However, I am sensitive to both chemical scents AND smoke, so the attempts to cover up the smoke smell would affect me just as badly as the smoke - maybe that's part of your problem?

I use a Bad Air Sponge near my cat's litter box, because we have a very small house, and I don't want it to smell like cat. It works beautifully.

I'm bringing in a Bad Air Sponge to work on Monday to deal with smoke myself - the senior partner keeps smoking cigars in the morning. Yes, we know it's against the law. He's the boss, he owns the building, he's a lawyer, and he's a nice guy, so nothing will change.


I just moved, and the previous tenant smoked the; odors were throughout the house. The landlord compensated me for repainting all the interior walls, I added the ionic paint additive by Air-ReNu paint additive that a friend recommended and thankfully, the house stays smelling clean and fresh. One application works continuously and will last for 10-12 years.