I just signed a lease on a new apartment, and it turns out my downstairs neighbors are multi-pack-a-day smokers. This means the smell wafts up through the floor almost all the time. I’ve cleaned the place from top-to-bottom and tried to seal off any drafts from below, but it’s still awful. What else can I do?
Sad with Smoke
Dear Sad with Smoke,
We feel your pain. It’s really annoying when you’re a non-smoker or a light smoker and your neighbor downstairs in an old or drafty apartment building won’t hesitate to burn through several packs every day. Luckily, you have options.
Deodorize the Carpets
You may have covered this in your top-to-bottom cleaning, but a lot of the smell may be in or coming from the carpets. It won’t change the smoke coming into the apartment from the neighbors’ downstairs, but if that’s the direction its coming from, you’d be surprised how much is probably trapped in there. Sprinkle some baking soda down on the carpet and grind it in a little bit. Leave it there while you move from room to room, doing the same thing in every room. Let the baking soda rest for a few minutes, and then break out the vacuum cleaner.
Start in the first room that you put baking soda down in, and just vacuum the floors as normal. With luck, you’ll bring up not just the baking soda you sprinkled on the floors, but some of the nasty smoke smell that may be trapped in the carpet as well. Then spray down the carpets with a little Febreeze or other similar odor-removing fabric spray.
If that doesn’t work, you may need to take the carpet cleaning to the next level and actually rent a carpet cleaner or shampooer (most grocery stores have them available to rent by the day,) move your furniture out of the way, and attack your carpets to get that nasty smell out. Photo by Kai Schreiber .
Break Out the White Vinegar
Vinegar smells pretty strongly on its own, but cigarette smoke—especially old, stale cigarette smoke—smells much worse. So if you don’t mind your apartment smelling like a salad for a little while, pour some small bowls of white vinegar and let them sit in the worst-smelling rooms of the apartment for a while. Lightly soak a paper towel or rag with white vinegar, and rub down your upholstery if it’s gotten into your furniture, and rub down the walls as well—if your neighbors have been there longer than you have, the smell is likely in the walls, too.
The smell of vinegar should dissipate in a few minutes—less if you throw open the windows while you do this. If you really can’t stand the smell of vinegar, mix in a little essential oil, like lavender or vanilla, which will hopefully stick around after the smell of vinegar—and cigarette smoke—have faded away.
Change Your Air Filters
Again, while this won’t stem the tide of smoke rising from the apartment below, it may help your apartment’s air conditioner or heater better handle the smoke that does make its way in. Check your air filter, and if the filter is old, replace it. Most air filters should be replaced every three to six months, but you may want to swap yours out a bit more often. Also, consider a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter or other high-efficiency filter. They may need to be changed more frequently, but they’ll also pull out more of the dust, dirt, and smoke that may be hanging in the air in your home. Photo by Joshua Marks .
Use Activated Charcoal
Baking soda can do a good job at small odors, and can really help lift the smoke smell out of your carpet if you use enough of it, but if you’re ready to use the big guns, it’s time to invest in some powdered activated charcoal. You can usually get it at pet stores (where its often used in aquarium filters,) health food stores (where it’s become something of a fad,) or large department stores. Pour a little activated charcoal into a few small bowls and put them around your apartment. Leave them in place for a few days: they should slowly but surely start to absorb the odors.
Additionally, if you see any other odor control product with activated charcoal in it, like kitty litter or carpet powder, it’ll probably do a decent job of taming the cigarette smell coming from your neighbors downstairs. If you can find kitty litter with charcoal in it, it may be cheaper to put that around your apartment (assuming you don’t have a cat!) than buying large containers of activated charcoal alone, so give that a try.
Buy an Air Purifier
Your mileage may vary here, but a good air purifier can make a big difference. Make sure to buy one appropriately sized for your space (for example, you may want a larger unit if you live in a studio apartment, while a small bedside model will do well for a single room) and that you get a HEPA filter to scrub out the smoke and dust in the air.
Just Talk to Them
Finally, all the regular cleaning and scrubbing and air filters in the world won’t help if you don’t do something about the source of the problem. If you intend to stay for the duration of your lease, you may want to drop by your neighbors downstairs and introduce yourself. Let them know that the building is pretty drafty (something they likely already know) and let them know that their cigarette smoke comes up through the floors into your apartment above. Don’t walk into the conversation with an assumption of how it’s going to go: they may blow you off and indicate they could care less how their smoking affects you, but they may be willing to listen, and they may be understanding to your plight.
Don’t expect them to start smoking outdoors from now on, but suggest they keep it to one room, or crack a window when they smoke instead of leaving them all shut. Maybe offer to give them the air purifier to keep the smell down. You never know, they may be sympathetic, and you may even make a new friend in your new building.
We hope we’ve offered up some suggestions to help you freshen up your apartment. It can be pretty rough living directly over a chronic smoker, especially when your building is old, drafty, and isn’t doing you any favors in keeping the smell from drifting among units. With a little luck, some elbow grease, and hopefully minimal investment, you can keep your apartment smelling fresh and clean. Good luck!
PS – Have you shared an apartment or apartment building with a smoker? Are you a smoker yourself? What are some of your tips to keep your home smelling fresh and free of set-in cigarette smoke? Share your suggestions in the comments below.
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A fireplace is a unique home appliance that can make a home cozier as well as save the homeowner more money. However, fireplaces can sometimes be a lot of trouble. This is especially true when they start emitting problems. Some minor amounts of smoke in the home is tolerable, but when your entire living room envelops with smoke or all you can smell is burnt wood, you are truly looking at a bad situation.
Your house smells like smoke from fireplace? This might be because you are burning wood that isn’t fully seasoned or your damper isn’t open or is halfway jammed. Wetter wood will tend to be much smokier than drier wood. You can simply correct this issue by letting the wood cure a little more before burning it.
Blowing Out The Smoke
So, the correction for both issues is fairly simple. You either left the wood cure more or you check the operation of your damper. If your damper isn’t fully opening it is possible that there might be a mechanical issue, which will require the assistance of a professional.
Maybe, you just forget to full open the damper. Whatever the situation is, you are still left with a smoke-filled room. The best way to get rid of this smoke is by placing a box fan in the same room as the fireplace.
Now, place another fan in a window on the opposite side of the home. When you turn on both fans this will pull out the smoky air while you are drawing in new, fresh air.
Some homeowners will even go as far as placing baking soda around the space. Baking soda will help absorb odors.
Get Rid Of Ash And Burnt Wood
Just because you removed the smoke from the home it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to eliminate your smokey home smell altogether. In fact, if the house still smells smoky days after the incident, you might have to remove the ashes, burnt wood, and creosote.
The best way to do this is to take a shovel and get rid of the ashes. Place them inside a garbage bag and take them outside immediately once the fireplace is empty. In addition to this, you will want to remove any leftover firewood.
As for the creosote build-up, you might be able to get a professional chimney cleaner to come in and sweep the chimney. However, there are also a number of home remedies available online that can help you remove creosote build-up from your chimney.
Fireplace Smells In The Summer
The best thing you can do to stop the odor is to buy “fireplace Deodorant” like this one on Amazon, Fireplace & Stove Deodorant
Fireplaces are without a handy appliance to have around. They not only offer a more inviting atmosphere, but they can save you a bundle of money in energy costs. Finding the right wood that can burn at high BTUs for a long number of hours is key to saving on electrical costs.
However, those are not the only costs that you will experience with a chimney. A chimney is a big responsibility and requires lots of maintenance. If you do not properly maintain your chimney it is possible that you might end up with some unwanted summer smells.
Even if you do maintain your chimney yearly or bi-annually it is still possible that you might experience such smells. Below, you are going to learn about some of the smells that you might experience and how you can go about removing them.
Negative Air Pressure
One of the biggest reasons that most people experience smells during the summer is because of the negative air pressure effects. When summer arrives most people seal their chimneys. This pretty much means that the air inside the chimney can only escape through the home.
When the home is sealed too tightly it can cause such odors to seep into the home rather than out the chimney or roof. There are several ways that you can combat this issue. First, you can keep the fireplace damper closed when the fireplace isn’t being used.
If you do not have a damper or it isn’t sealing properly, you can always invest in a glass screen. A glass screen is also an excellent option for homeowners that want to leave their fires burning when they leave for work. These screens will prevent embers from escaping the hearth and starting fires.
Too Much Soot And Creosote Build Up
A chimneys number one enemy is creosote build up. It’s number two enemy is soot. When you combine these two enemies together in one little cozy space like the chimney, you are truly looking at a dangerous situation. Add fire and you get an even more dangerous situation.
You will know immediately if you are dealing with excessive soot or creosote build up because the fireplace will produce an asphalt or barbecue smell. The sad truth of the matter is that there is no way to completely prevent creosote and soot build up.
The only thing you can do to lessen the damage is to make sure that you are getting yearly cleanings. Burning seasoned wood is another good way to eliminate such build up.
Your chimney is just like everything else that is located outside. It is vulnerable to moisture. Excessive moisture in the chimney usually occurs when water is getting into the chimney. It might mean that there is a leak around the chimney cap or it might mean that the foundation of the chimney is leaking.
Whatever the situation is, water in your chimney is going to lead to moisture, which will later lead to unpleasant and unwanted smells. The best way to tackle this problem is by installing a chimney cap. Moisture is double the worry because it not only produce unwanted smells, but it has the potential to rust key components like the damper or damper housing.
All this means is that you are going to be doling out more repair money.
Unwanted Dead Or Alive Animals
Your chimney is a magnet for birds and other creatures. It seems like birds want to build their nests right at the chimney cap so they can take advantage of the heat. This is where you need a chimney with a mesh cap.
If birds or other creatures are allowed access into the chimney they are going to probably get trapped and die in there. This is going to produce unwanted smells.
And, birds are just of the smallest creatures that enter the chimney. Homeowners have found everything from raccoons to decomposing squirrels in their chimneys.
Leaf Build Up
Do you live near a lot of trees? Well, those trees create leaves that die during the winter. When these leaves die they fall off and have the potential to enter the chimney just like they do the gutters.
If these leaves persist in the chimney they will produce a rotting small. The best way to combat this is to get the chimney cleaned or make sure that your chimney cap is leak-free and up to date.
Growing up on a farm in eastern PA, I’ve grown fond of wildlife and the woods and learning about the critters and firewood and everything else in-between. I made this site to share my experiences and knowledge.
There is simply no denying that the animal kingdom is a vast and diverse place. It is packed with tons of interesting creatures that co-habitat. While this is not the case for all the creatures.
Humans are known for eating all kinds of weird meats. You’d be surprised to hear about some of the things that people eat. You’ve likely heard the phrase – if you’re hungry enough, you’ll.
Stale tobacco smell. It clings to clothing, permeates wall paint, saturates upholstery, and brands everything it touches with that unmistakable scent. Here’s how to keep from smelling like an ashtray just because your roommate won’t show the common courtesy of cracking a window.
There are two general schools of thought when it comes to combating cigarette stench—those that utilize chemical agents to neutralize or absorb the offending odors, and those that leverage mechanical methods for extracting smoke particulate from the air itself.
When it comes to chemical odor control methods, solutions are a dime a dozen—each spray, mister, fogger, or handi-wipe touted as the next big thing in air freshening. Seriously, search “odor control spray” and be amazed by the incredible breadth and scope of snake oil available for purchase from today’s Interweb. So, rather than wade through an (albeit pleasant-smelling) cesspool of reputed wunderproducts, let’s instead take a look at a few household materials you can use to do the exact same thing for a hell of a lot cheaper.
The Chemical Method
White Vinegar, also known as distilled vinegar, is made from the fermentation of distilled alcohol diluted down to about five to eight percent by volume. This slightly acidic liquid breaks down a variety of malodors at the molecular level and is especially effective against tobacco smoke. To remove the scent from open air, simply set out a few dishes of white vinegar and allow them to slowly evaporate. If possible, keep the room closed off from the rest of the home to minimize air movement. To speed up the process, you can also dampen a cloth with the stuff and wipe down walls. It can even be added to a laundry cycle to help eliminate stubborn smoke odors in clothing.
If the smell has penetrated a room’s walls and ceiling, mix a gallon of warm water, a 1/2 cup ammonia, 1/4 cup white vinegar, and a 1/4 cup of washing soda (sodium carbonate). Use this solution with sponges to wipe down all painted surfaces and extract the tobacco scent, but be sure to wear both gloves and eye protection because this stuff burns. Also take care to thoroughly air the room out after you’ve finished to help dissipate the vinegar aroma, or add a touch of lavender extract to the solution to help mask it.
Baking Soda, or sodium bicarbonate, has long been used to control refrigerator odors—just crack open a box and leave it on a shelf to slowly absorb the smell of your expired meat and dairy products. It does the same for exhaled cigarette fumes. If you can’t set out dishes of vinegar—you’ve got asshole cats, overly inquisitive children, whatever—bowls of baking soda can be used instead and are much easier to clean up if overturned. To absorb tobacco odor in furniture and rugs, simply sprinkle some baking soda on, let it sit overnight, and then vacuum it off.
Activated charcoal is a potent organic odor absorber in that it can easily trap carbon-based impurities but not so much with inorganic compounds. Commonly found in HEPA pre-filters, activated charcoal is produced by blasting charcoal with streams of oxygen to create microscopic pores in the powdered material which vastly increase its surface area—as much as two meters per gram. While you shouldn’t wipe down your couch or walls with it, leaving a bowl of activated charcoal will quickly absorb even the worst stench.
Instead of absorbing or breaking down odor-causing molecules, air purifiers either physically trap them in filters or knock them out of the air with static electricity. There are three standard varieties:
Electronic air cleaners are available as either stand-alone models or add-on units to a home’s central air system. They work by generating an electric fields. As airborne particles flow through this field, they pick up an ionizing charge and are consequently attracted to a grounded or inversely charged collection plate. These units will set you back roughly between $100 and $1000, depending on quality and features.
Ionizers work much the same way as electrostatic air cleaners do—just without the collection plate. Instead, these devices spew negatively charged ions into the air which couple with dust, allergens, and other organic particles and cause them to drop out to the ground for easy vacuuming. Models run anywhere from $50 to several hundred.
Mechanical air filters are the elder statesmen of air purification, capturing pollutants in one or more finely woven filters. HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters suck down as much as 99.7 percent of all the organic matter and allergens they encounter and are often paired with carbon or activated charcoal pre-filters. These generally will suffice for getting rid of tobacco smells. However, if you want to be really paranoid about it, ULPA (Ultra Low Penetration Air) filters are also available and can capture minuscule particles like mold spores and bacteria as well. Prices start in the hundreds for low end stand alone models while HVAC units start at the four figure mark.
Regardless of which filtering method you choose, you should compare two metrics before you purchase an air filter: Efficiency Rate and Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR). The Efficiency Rate measures roughly how many times an hour the unit can fully cycle a specific-sized room’s air capacity. Your unit should be able to clean the room it will be used in at least six times an hour for maximum efficiency. A unit’s CADR, on the other hand, determines the volume of air the cleaner is able effectively filter (essentially how fast it does its job)—the higher the CADR rating, the faster it cleans the air. Your unit should be rated to at least two-thirds that of the room’s square footage. So, for example, if you plan to cleanse an 8 x 10 room (80 square feet), you’ll want a filter with a CADR rating of at least 53.
Ozone Generators, however, are one class of air cleaning device you should avoid at all costs. They reputedly operate by generating and expelling ozone, a molecule comprised of three oxygen atoms, one of which breaks off and reattaches to pollutants.
However, the EPA has found that these devices, when working as advertised, do very little but expend electricity. According to the EPA website, “Available scientific evidence shows that at concentrations that do not exceed public health standards, ozone has little potential to remove indoor air contaminants.” What’s more, the high concentrations of ozone needed to operate efficiently are the same concentrations that are harmful to humans. Per the EPA:
The same chemical properties that allow high concentrations of ozone to react with organic material outside the body give it the ability to react with similar organic material that makes up the body, and potentially cause harmful health consequences. When inhaled, ozone can damage the lungs. Relatively low amounts can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath, and, throat irritation. Ozone may also worsen chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and compromise the ability of the body to fight respiratory infections.
So there you have it. Just because you live with a smoker doesn’t mean you have to live with his or her stench. You’re just a few bucks and some elbow grease away from fresh air forever. Or, you know, just get ’em to quit. [ EPA – How to Clean Stuff – How Stuff Works – BB&B – Top Ten Reviews – Image: maga / Shutterstock]
Banish smoky odors on furniture, books, clothing, and more with these tried-and-true techniques.
Q: I recently inherited a beautiful armchair from my grandparents. Unfortunately, they were heavy smokers, and the smell has permeated the chair. Is there any hope for my heirloom, or is smoke smell removal just wishful thinking?
A: Cigarette smoke can cling tenaciously to possessions and even the very walls, floors, and ceilings of a house that once belonged to a heavy smoker. As a cigarette smolders, it produces smoke molecules encapsulated in microscopic bits of oil and tar, which adhere stubbornly wherever they land. Smoky evidence of a cooking accident can also stick around after the burned meal has been discarded.
A commercial air freshener can effectively tackle mild cases of stale smoke, but these sprays merely mask odor, rather than absorb or neutralize it. (Note: While the chemical ingredients in these products are generally safe for you and your cats and dogs, they’re harmful to birds—do not use if you have feathered pets.) The smell of items repeatedly exposed to smoke for years is bound to return after the freshener wears off.
Fortunately, there is all-natural hope for your stinky stuff! You may have to try a few of the different methods here, but if you have patience you’re sure to greatly reduce, perhaps totally eliminate, the lingering smoke smell.
Air it out.
Don’t discount the power of good old fresh air! If your home’s interior smells smoky, open all the windows and place a portable fan or two in front of the largest ones, with the blades blowing outward, to pull smoky air from the room. Keep this up for a full day, if possible. Set smoke-ridden furniture, books, and clothing outside in a sunny spot for several hours—those UV rays can also help neutralize odors. But note that intense sunlight can damage or fade delicate or dyed fabrics, so if it’s very bright and hot out, air that smoke-plagued vintage shawl or embroidered pillow in a shady spot.
Sop up the smoke smell with baking soda.
Sodium bicarbonate is a very effective deodorizer, as it actually absorbs smells rather than merely mask them. Here are a few ways to use it:
- To purge smoke from a room or car, fill several small bowls with baking soda and then set them all around the space. Leave the baking soda in place for at least 24 hours.
- Sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda onto rugs or carpeting, let it dwell overnight or for at least two hours, then vacuum.
- Sprinkle a smelly sofa or plush chair with a light coating of baking powder and let it sit for a minimum of two hours, and then thoroughly vacuum with an upholstery attachment.
- For books, small décor items, and clothing that isn’t easily washable, pour one-half cup of baking soda into a large plastic trash bag, add the smoke-damaged items, and then tie the bag shut. Give it a good eight hours of dwell time before removing your belongings and dusting or shaking off the powder.
Neutralize smoke smell with a vinegar wash.
White vinegar is another nontoxic household staple that works to neutralize—not simply mask—bad odors such as smoke. Its low pH “attacks” the higher-pH smoke molecules, altering them just enough to reduce their smell. Don’t worry, the unpleasant smell of vinegar itself will naturally dissipate once it dries or is removed.
- To reduce the smoke smell in a room or vehicle, fill several small bowls with white vinegar, set them around the space, and let them sit overnight.
- To speed up the process, boil a potful of vinegar on the stove, letting it gently simmer for an hour or two. As the steam wafts through the air, it helps to remove the smoke smell.
- Smoke-ridden machine-washable clothing can be tossed into the laundry along with a half cup of white vinegar in place of your usual laundry detergent, as the acidic vinegar will help break down the malodorous molecules. Laundry detergent, which tends to lean towards the alkaline end of the pH scale, as does cigarette smoke, won’t neutralize the odor as effectively.
Charcoal works well for smoke smell removal, too.
The carbon molecules in charcoal chemically “trap” smells, clearing them from the air. While grilling briquettes can be used in a pinch, activated charcoal is processed for better porosity and absorption power (and as a bonus isn’t treated with flammable chemicals). Most home improvement centers carry a range of activated charcoal products, often packaged in small fabric or burlap bags, and usually labeled as smoke or odor eliminators.
Set or hang several bags of activated charcoal around a smoky room or car to absorb odors, or place the bags atop smoke-damaged furniture or carpeting. Don’t set un-bagged activated charcoal directly on fabric, however—it can leave a stain.
Steam away the smoke smell.
Steam cleaning can be especially effective on smoky walls, floors, and upholstery, as the heat melts the hardened tar and oils encapsulating the smoke molecules, making it easy to wipe them away with a microfiber cloth or sponge. Many home improvement centers rent these machines, typically for about $25 per hour. Just mist surfaces lightly with the heated vapor, keeping the steam cleaner’s head moving at all times to avoid saturating any one area—oversaturating with steam can damage delicate fabrics such as silk and even melt drywall.
Beyond these DIY smoke smell removal methods, call in a professional.
For very severe smoke damage, or if the above options fail, contact a professional. Many cleaning services specialize in smoke remediation, treating walls, floors, and upholstery with stronger chemicals and cleaners than the general public can buy, and are trained in the proper techniques to safely and effectively use them. Find a smoke remediation specialist through websites such as Yelp, or ask for referrals from your local home improvement center.
Ready to discover the true spiritual meaning of smelling smoke?
Aromas can be very powerful as smelling certain scents can invoke memories of the past.
Smelling cookies baking can remind some people of being in the grandmother’s house or the scent of your mother’s favorite flavor can make you think of her.
Smelling certain aromas can have special meanings as well.
Here are the explanations and the spiritual meaning of smelling smoke.
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Spiritual Meaning of Smells
Before delving into what smelling a certain scent means, you should understand the spiritual meaning of smells.
When you smell a certain aroma, such as your mother’s favorite flower, it could mean that your guardian angel is trying to send you a message.
The brain processes smell in the limbic system, which is the same area that processes intuitive thoughts and feelings.
So, that’s why when you smell the aftershave your father wore, it can bring back memories of him.
If you’re thinking or praying for a loved one, such as your mother or father, then your guardian angel may send you smells that invokes memories of that person.
That may mean that your guardian angel is telling you that they will also be praying for the person as well.
Your guardian angel may be sending you signs via smells.
Meanings of Specific Smells
Smelling specific scents may mean your guardian angel is trying to send you a message or communicate with you.
While all scents have spiritual meanings, certain fragrances symbolize specific messages being sent to you.
These fragrances are:
- Frankincense – Smelling this scent means your guardian angel may be trying to guide you or give you wisdom about a situation you’re in or an issue with which you’re having problems.
- Roses – While smelling roses may invoke memories of someone, their smell is a spiritual source of comfort or encouragement.
- Grapefruit – If you smell grapefruit, then your guardian angel may be trying to tell you to be grateful as this scent refers to gratitude.
- Mint – Spiritually, the scent of mint is a sign of purity.
- Cinnamon – The fragrance of cinnamon could be a message of peace from your guardian angel.
- Spruce – The smell of a spruce tree, which is sometimes associated with Christmas, can bring you joy.
There is a world of smells, most of which have meanings, including smoke.
Here are some of the explanations behind smelling otherworldly smoke.
What does the Smell of Smoke Mean?
While the smell of a burning fire or a cigar may make you think of events in your life, such as a campfire or going to a baseball game, there are certain spiritual meanings behind the scent of smoke.
Signs of Psychic Ability
Often when you smell smoke and are not around a source of it, then it could be a sign that you have powerful psychic abilities.
The ability to smell smoke and other aromas are called clairolfaction.
Smelling fragrances, such as those listed above, could be messages from angels.
Messages from Smokers
The smell of smoke isn’t always a positive thing.
While may fragrances have positive meanings, such as spruce being equated with joy, the smell of smoke isn’t necessarily positive.
The spiritual meaning of smelling smoke may be a sign from a friend or relative that used to smoke.
Since your brain associates the smell of a cigarette or cigar with a certain person when you smell them without being around them, it could be that person is trying to send you a message.
Smoke of Hell
If you can smell smoke, but it doesn’t trigger memories or positive emotions for you, then that could be a bad sign.
Some people can smell the Smoke of Hell, which may smell like something is burning, smoke, or burning flesh.
In some places, there is only a thin wall between the physical world and the “underworld” where hell exists.
Along with the smells, some people also see shadows of people and hear screams.
If you have this experience, then you should seek help from a spiritual advisor.
Even though smelling scents that are not physically present can be a sign of a physical illness, you shouldn’t be alarmed.
Smelling aromas can also be messages from guardian angels or, if you smell smoke, it could be from relative or friend who was a smoker.
Fragrances can be a way that angels or spirits communicate with people to help them, but here are some other signs that spirits are trying to help you:
Every house has a smell. “It’s a combination of the people who live there, their perfume, aftershave, the food they cook, and other things. Most of the time it’s a good smell, but sometimes, it’s really not,” says cleaning expert and best-selling author Linda Cobb, aka The Queen of Clean. What to do when your house smells bad? Read on for Cobb’s best tips:
1. General funkyness
2. Cigarette/cigar smoke
Doggie or cat smell can be tough to get rid of because it’s constant and becomes embedded in fibers. Linda’s favorite solution for getting the smell out of the carpet and fabrics: Odorzout. “It’s 100 percent natural and animals and kids can be around it without worry,” she says. Odorzout is a dry product that you sprinkle on the affected area, and it absorbs the odor. Then you vacuum it up! “A little goes a long way and it works great,” says Linda.
As for a smelly dog, Linda says, “Believe it or not, I’ve found the thing that works best is to take a Massengill Douche (any kind except the vinegar type or medicated), put vaseline over the eye of the bottle so it won’t spray too quickly, wet down your dog, then spray the douche on him.”
Why it works? Douches deal with protein-based smells, and your dog’s fur is made up of protein. Works like a charm.
“Do not put carrot peelings, onion peelings, or potato skins down your disposal,” says Cobb. “These can cause you to call a plumber more than any other foods, and when they start to decay they really smell.”
As for keeping your disposal smell-free, Cobb suggests putting some ice in the disposal and grinding it, then sprinkling Borax down the disposal, running water, and grinding it. The other thing you can do, says Cobb, “Put the stopper in the sink and add three inches of warm water. Then mix in a handful of baking soda.Turn on the disposal and pull out the stopper right away (so you don’t harm the disposal). This creates suction, and pulls the baking soda mixture down the disposal and cleans it.”
How do I get the smoke smell out of my apartment?
How to Smoke in Your Room Without Smelling It
- Turn on an air purifier. One of the best ways to treat indoor smoke is by turning on an air purifier.
- Open a window.
- Close any air vents.
- Put a wet towel by the closed door.
- Put your hair up & limit clothing.
- Mask the smell.
- Keep it short.
- Freshen up.
How do you get the smell of smoke out of your house fast?
10 steps for getting rid of smoke smell
- Step 1: Start by throwing away any items related to smoking.
- Step 2: Open up all the windows in the house.
- Step 3: Increase the air circulation.
- Step 4: Clean all hard surfaces.
- Step 5: Use more robust cleaning products on ceilings and walls.
Can weed be smelled through walls?
Mention curb appeal. Even secondhand smoke leaves a residue on walls and building exteriors, says David Brauer, owner of PuroClean, a cleaning service in Walpole. That residue can emit a foul smell of its own, and if left for too long, may require hiring a cleaning service like his to clean it off.
What is the best smoke odor eliminator?
The 10 Best Odor Eliminators of 2021
- Best Overall: MOSO NATURAL Air Purifying Bag at Amazon.
- Best Gel: Fresh Wave Odor Removing Gel at Amazon.
- Best for Smoke: Zep Commercial Smoke Odor Eliminator at Amazon.
- Air Purifier:
- Best for Pet Odor:
- Best for Cars:
- Best for Bathrooms:
- Best for Laundry:
How do I air out my apartment after cooking?
Throw fruit at it. Grind up citrus peels in your garbage disposal, where cooking odors often lurk. Simmer a pot of water with lemon and orange peels for an hour or two. Or bake citrus peels at a low temperature to pull their good smells into your apartment air.
What absorbs the smell of smoke?
Baking soda is another natural odor -absorber. Try sprinkling liberal amounts of baking soda over furniture, floors, etc. Leave a few bowls of baking soda around the room for several days to help absorb the odors.
What can you boil to make your house smell good?
- Cinnamon Sticks. They ‘re a classic potpourri spice for good reason — a few sticks in a simmering pot of water will make your house smell like you ‘ve got cinnamon rolls baking.
- Cardamom Pods.
- Whole Cloves.
- Star Anise.
- Citrus Peels.
- Fresh Ginger.
- Pine Sprigs.
- Masala Chai Tea Bags.
How does vinegar get rid of smoke smell?
Neutralize smoke smell with a vinegar wash.
- To reduce the smoke smell in a room or vehicle, fill several small bowls with white vinegar, set them around the space, and let them sit overnight.
- To speed up the process, boil a potful of vinegar on the stove, letting it gently simmer for an hour or two.
Can smoke go through walls?
Secondhand smoke can travel through doorways, cracks in walls, electrical lines, ventilation systems and plumbing.
Where should I store weed smell proof?
The only way to prevent this is to store your cannabis in a cool, dark place or to use a UV-blocking container, like this Masterdam Jars StashShield UV Glass Jar. This particular product is made out of UV-blocking, purple glass and also includes a smell – proof, BPA-free lid.
Can vape smoke go through walls?
(Reuters Health) – Nicotine and other chemicals exhaled by e-cigarette smokers can move through air vents, leaving residue on surfaces in other locations, a new study found.
What absorbs bad smells in Room?
Some of the best odor eliminators are coffee grounds, tea, vinegar, oats, and baking soda. Leaving a bowl of any of these odor absorbers out in a room that’s due for a little freshening up will help clear out the less-than-pleasant smells from the air.
What is the best thing to absorb odors?
Baking soda is very effective at absorbing odors from the air as well as from surfaces. Put baking soda in your trash can to eliminate orders, and sprinkle it on any surface an odor emits.
Does Febreze get rid of smoke smell?
Spray smokey smelling rooms with Febreze Air for a quick burst of freshness and to eliminate lingering odors. Set out bowls of activated charcoal throughout your house, which will absorb the smoky odor.
A well-functioning wood stove should not allow the smell of burning wood to escape into the house. Newer wood stoves are airtight, which prevents smoke leaks. If you have an older wood stove, cracks in the iron or open seams might let the smell of wood smoke escape. Check wood stove piping to ensure there are no leaks. In either case, there are simple solutions to reduce the smell of wood smoke in the home.
Fix Any Punctures
Check the exhaust piping and chimney to ensure there are no punctures that would allow wood smoke to escape into the home. If you find a puncture, when the piping is cool to the touch, remove and replace the bad section. To remove piping, detach the three screws that secure the piping to the collar on the back of the wood stove.
Grasp the piping with both hands and lift off the section from the wood stove, slightly turning it from side to side as you remove it. Remove additional sections by first detaching the screws that join sections together. Cover the area with a plastic tarp and wear a dust mask to avoid inhaling creosote that falls from the piping.
Seal cracks on older wood stoves with wood stove cement. Apply the cement to seams or cracks using the putty knife and let it dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Clean the Chimney
Clean the wood stove exhaust piping and chimney before the beginning of the burning season. Creosote buildup can prevent proper functioning of the wood stove and cause excessive smoke when the wood stove is in use. Excessive creosote can also catch on fire if not removed from the exhaust piping or chimney. To clean a chimney pipe, you’ll need a long chimney brush fitted to the diameter of the stove pipe.
Insert the long-handled brush into the chimney after removing the chimney cap from outside the house on the roof. Turn the brush and move it up and down in the same manner as you do when using a bottle brush to clean inside bottles. Keep the wood stove door closed during this process, as the creosote will fall into the wood stove. Use a wet-dry vacuum to remove the fallen creosote inside the wood stove.
Replace Worn Gaskets
Examine the fiberglass woven gasket that fits around the wood stove door. Gaskets degrade with time and should be checked every year. Remove and replace worn or frayed gaskets. Detach the screws from the small cover plates that hold the gasket in place. Start at one end of the piping and gently peel it from around the door flange. Replace the new gasket and reattach the screws and cover plates that keep it in place. If desired, add a coat of wood stove cement before adding the new gasket.
Stick to Burning Seasoned Wood
Burn only seasoned dry wood when operating a wood stove, recommends the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. When you use green wood, it doesn’t burn as well and it smokes. Green wood doesn’t get hot enough to exhaust properly and can fill the burner area with smoke. Don’t use wet wood inside the wood stove; it doesn’t burn.
Avoid using treated wood in the wood stove. Besides the wood smoke it emits, treated wood also contains powerful and harmful chemicals. Never burn treated wood in a wood stove. Additionally, avoid using a whole house fan when running the wood stove. A whole house fan’s powerful suction can pull smoke through any wood stove, allowing the wood burner smells to permeate the house.
Note: Never burn garbage or trash inside your wood stove, as these are often the source of a bad smell from wood burning stove. Don’t burn plywood, newspapers or printed materials, as these all release chemicals, heavy metals and other toxins when burned. Check your region for regulations that affect using your wood stove. Some areas restrict wood stove usage to specific days.
Switch to a New Unit
Replace your older wood stove with an airtight model to ensure efficient burning and reduce harmful emissions. Gas-burning models are cleaner than burning with wood, which means less wood stove smells when not in use. Consider replacing your wood stove with a gas-burning model.
Proper Window and Vent Care
Close windows in the house to prevent wood smoke from getting back inside. When the air pressure is low outside, wood smoke trails along the ground and can get inside open windows. Ensure vents are open when you start the first fire. To get the wood stove to exhaust properly, start a small hot fire with kindling before you add larger pieces of dry wood.
Question: Cigarette Smoke Coming Up Through My Vents?
Is there any “green” way to get rid of cigarette smoke coming out of an air conditioner vent? I live in an upstairs apt. and person below smokes and it comes thru my AC vents and I have serious sensitivity to it. I’ve sprayed with vinegar, used lemons, but nothing seems to help.
Rhonda from River Ridge, LA
try putting a dryer fabric softener sheet in the vent.
First, let’s get our terminology clear. Smoke can be seen. An aroma can’t be seen. So what your are getting is cigarette aroma, not smoke. If there is an aroma, then all aromas from below will come through, such as cooking aromas and such. Why the lower apartment’s out-take vents would connect to your AC vents is a problem with the building’s venting system, and can be correcting.
Otherwise, I suggest using Renuzit Super Odor Neutralizer. It works very well. You can find it at Target and many supermarkets. Alternatively, try Zero Odor at www.zeroodorpet.com . It’s pricier, but it leaves no aroma.
Putting anything in the AC may decrease its efficiency and use more electricity, thus higher rent.
I use electric air cleaners that I bought in the grocery store. They cost about $20 but really clean my air. The other thing would be to try to get a filter, like hepa filters and tape it onto your vents. i guess you live in a house apartment and your thermostat is all in one. i am sure they could put another air conditioner unit in for your apartment too.
I lived over a 90 year old chain smoker last year and had to get a room air cleaner to deal with the smoke/smell.
hi, i bought some wonder wafers on ebay, they smell pretty good, they must be new out. give um a try.
I’ve been having the same problem, with smoke from a downstairs apt. coming thru the A/C vent and into my apt.
The only thing I could figure out to do was to get a portable room A/C and vent it out a sliding glass door in my living room, and not use the building’s A/C or you could get a window A/C.
I’m still left with clothing, bedding, carpets and walls that smell. Will try some of the suggestions I’ve read here.
This has made me incredibly ill and more chemically sensitive to other odors. I pray for people who smoke as I know that part of my own problem is that I used to be a smoker, and now have some COPD (emphysema).
Smoke affects children (as well as adults) in drastic ways: Upper respiratory emergencies (like “croup”), hyperactivity and attention (focusing) problems, irritability and even rage attacks, anxiety, depression, etc., are among but a few of the possible problems.
I live in an apartment upstairs too! It’s the worst ever! On a hot day when you close all the windows and turn the air conditioner my whole apartment smells like Ive been chain smoking! It’s horrible
I’ve been complaining everyday. Management just cocked the inside of the vents to close extra cracks.
Im experiencing similar problems and am going to call an outside HVAC rep to look and give suggestions.
Worst comes to worst, if my breathing air is going to be polluted, I can also pollute the polluters air.
Yes. I live at Village at the Lake apartments in Spring Lake, NC. The management SUCKS. I am severely allergic to such things as cigarette smoke. They wont help in this matter regarding a couple of downstairs neighbors smoking too close to the building, causing smoke fumes to get sucked in the outside AC units.
It is not merely an “aroma.” Cigarette stank is DEADLY! Your “suggestions” of trying air freshener is beyond ludicrous. Nothing will remove nicotine from any part of a home, inside or outside. Once it’s in your home (curtains, walls, furniture, belongings, etc.), it is there to stay. Now, there may be things a person can do to lessen the smell, but. if you are highly sensitive or allergic to the stuff, there is NOTHING you can do to make living in your current home healthier or more enjoyable.
It needs to be stopped in apartments because it is shared living we need to take it to the MPS to stop this happening. Imagine I have a neighbour who hardly ever opens windows.
Can a solicitor do anything to help
Put a box fan in front of the vent. Its air stream is stronger than drifting smoke and will blow it right back.
2 More Questions
Ask a Question Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
Question: Cigarette Smell Coming in Through Fireplace?
I just moved in and it turns out my firebox is cracked and the guy that lives next door is a heavy smoker! He uses his fireplace as a ashtray. I have used candles and sprays and I can’t seam to get the smell out. I have called the apt office and they have “fixed” the box. But the smell still is coming through. What do I do?
Smoke Odors in My Apartment from Neighbors
One of the downsides to apartment dwelling, in addition to noise, is that odors from adjoining apartments can find their way into yours. This is a page about smoke odors in my apartment from neighbors.