top of page
  • Writer's pictureBroom & Bucket

Clearing the Air: How to Remove Cigarette Smoke Smell and Residue from Your Home

a cigarette causing smoke damage and tar to a home which can be cleaned by broom and bucket house cleaning in liverpool

We've put together this handy guide to help you wave goodbye to the pesky smell of cigarette smoke and the stubborn residue it leaves behind in your home.

We dive into the nitty-gritty of smoke residue, explaining how it mixes tiny tar particles and gaseous residues. These little troublemakers cause those lingering smells and stains in your home. But don't worry; we've got your back with top-notch cleaning tips!

Our guide walks you through airing out your home, using air purifiers and deodorisers, and tackling tar on your windows and walls. We even give you a step-by-step guide to getting your windows sparkling clean again, along with some handy alternatives if something other than vinegar isn't your thing.

We also share some insider tips on deep cleaning your furniture and suggest effective deodorisers to banish cigarette smoke from your favourite couch or chair.

We know you're probably wondering, "How long will this take?" Well, we've got you covered there too. Our guide gives you a rough idea of how long it might take to freshen up your home but remember, every home is unique!

Finally, we chat about how we at Broom and Bucket can lend a hand with our deep cleaning services. Our experienced team is ready to tackle even the toughest cleaning tasks, and we're committed to making your home not just clean but a truly fresh and revitalising space to live in.

So, if you're ready to clear the air in your home, give us a shout. We're here to help you every step of the way!

a smoker causing smoke damage to a home which can be cleaned by broom and bucket liverpool

Understanding Smoke Residue

When a cigarette is lit, it releases a complex mixture of over 7,000 different compounds. These compounds are a mix of particulate matter (tar) and gases, which can leave a lasting impact on your home.

Particulate Matter (Tar)

Particulate matter, or tar, is a sticky substance that can cling to virtually any surface in your home. This residue is composed of tiny particles released when tobacco is burned. The particles are so small that they can penetrate deep into the porous surfaces of walls, ceilings, furniture, and carpets. Over time, these particles can accumulate and cause discolouration and stubborn stains. The tar can also adhere to windows, leaving a filmy residue that can be challenging to remove.

Gaseous Residues

In addition to particulate matter, cigarette smoke also contains a variety of harmful gases. These include carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and several volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including nicotine. These gases can permeate your home, contributing to the unpleasant smell of cigarette smoke. They can also be absorbed by soft furnishings, carpets, and walls, making the odour persistent and difficult to eliminate.

The combination of particulate matter and gaseous residues makes cigarette smoke invasive and challenging to remove. It's not just about tackling the visible stains or the noticeable odour. To truly rid your home of cigarette smoke, you must address the visible and invisible residues it leaves behind.

Removing Smoke Smell from Your Home

The lingering smell of cigarette smoke in a home can be a nuisance, but with a comprehensive cleaning approach, it's possible to freshen up your space. Here's a more detailed guide on eliminating the smell of cigarette smoke from your home.

Airing Out Your Home

The first step in removing the smell of cigarette smoke is to air out your home. Open all windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate and disperse the smoke particles. Using fans can also help to speed up this process. This step is essential as it helps reduce the smoke smell in your home and provides a fresh starting point for the deep cleaning process.

Using Air Purifiers and Deodorisers

Air purifiers can greatly help remove smoke particles from the air. Look for purifiers with HEPA filters, which can trap tiny particles, including those from cigarette smoke.

In addition to air purifiers, consider using deodorisers to help neutralise the smell. Many smoke-specific deodorisers on the market can be used on furniture, carpets, and curtains.

Getting Tar off Windows and Walls

The sticky tar residue from cigarette smoke can be particularly challenging to remove from windows and walls. However, with the right cleaning solutions and techniques, restoring these surfaces to their original state is possible.

Cleaning Tar off Windows

Windows can become coated with a thin layer of tar from cigarette smoke, making them look dingy and reducing the amount of natural light that comes into your home. To clean your windows, wipe them down with a dry microfiber cloth to remove any loose particles.

Next, create a cleaning solution by mixing equal parts of white vinegar and warm water. Vinegar is a natural cleaning agent that can cut through greasy tar residue without damaging your windows. Apply the solution to the windows using a sponge or spray bottle, then wipe it off with a clean, dry cloth. You may need to repeat the process a few times for stubborn stains.

Alternative Cleaning Solutions for Tar on Windows

While vinegar is a popular and effective choice for cleaning tar off windows, there are other solutions you can use if vinegar is unavailable or if you're looking for alternatives. Here are a few options:


Ammonia is a strong cleaning agent that effectively cuts through tar and nicotine stains. Mix one part of ammonia with two parts of warm water and apply it to the windows using a sponge or spray bottle. Wear gloves and work in a well-ventilated area, as ammonia smells strong. Rinse the windows thoroughly after cleaning to remove any residue.

Commercial Glass Cleaners

There are many commercial glass cleaners available on the market that can effectively remove tar stains from windows. These products are designed to tackle tough stains and clean your windows. Follow the instructions on the product label for the best results.

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol, or isopropyl alcohol, is another effective solution for removing tar stains. Apply the rubbing alcohol directly to the stains and let it sit for a few minutes to break down the tar. Then, wipe it off with a clean cloth.

Dish Soap

A dish soap and warm water mixture can also clean tar off windows. The soap can help to break down the tar, making it easier to wipe off. This is a gentle option that is less likely to cause damage to your windows.

Remember, no matter what cleaning solution you use, always test it on a small, hidden area first to ensure it doesn't damage the surface. And when you're done cleaning, rinse the windows thoroughly to remove any cleaning residue and wipe them dry to prevent streaks.

windows cleaned by broom and bucket house cleaning in liverpool

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Tar off Windows

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Before you start, gather all the supplies you'll need. This includes:

  • White vinegar

  • Warm water

  • A spray bottle

  • A sponge or soft cloth

  • A dry towel or squeegee

Step 2: Prepare the Cleaning Solution

Mix equal parts of white vinegar and warm water in the spray bottle. Shake it well to ensure the solution is thoroughly mixed.

Step 3: Apply the Cleaning Solution

Spray the vinegar and water solution onto the window. Be sure to cover all areas, especially spots with visible tar stains.

Step 4: Let the Solution Sit

Allow the solution to sit on the window for a few minutes. This gives the vinegar time to break down the tar residue.

Step 5: Scrub the Window

Using a sponge or soft cloth, gently scrub the window. Start at the top and work your way down to prevent the cleaning solution from dripping onto areas you've already cleaned.

Step 6: Rinse and Dry the Window

Once you've scrubbed the entire window, rinse it with clean water. Then, use a dry towel or squeegee to dry the window and remove any streaks.

Step 7: Repeat if Necessary

Repeat the process if you still see tar stains after the first round of cleaning. Some stains may require multiple treatments to remove fully.

Always test the cleaning solution on a small, hidden area first to ensure it doesn't damage the window. And be sure to wear gloves and work in a well-ventilated area, as the smell of vinegar can be strong.

Removing Tar from Walls

The porous nature of most wall surfaces means they can absorb more tar and nicotine, leading to stubborn stains and discolouration. For walls, you may need a stronger solution like trisodium phosphate (TSP), found at most home improvement stores.

Mix the TSP with water according to the package instructions, then apply it to the walls using a sponge or cloth. Wear gloves and eye protection, as TSP can irritate the skin and eyes. After scrubbing the walls, rinse them thoroughly with clean water.

Always test any cleaning solution on a small, hidden area first to ensure it doesn't damage the surface or remove paint. Also, ensure the room is well-ventilated using cleaning solutions, especially stronger ones like TSP.

With these steps, you can effectively remove tar stains from your windows and walls, helping to eliminate the remnants of cigarette smoke from your home.

Deep Cleaning Furniture

Furniture can be a magnet for the smell and stains of cigarette smoke, especially upholstered items like sofas, armchairs, and mattresses. These pieces can absorb the smoke particles deep into their fabric and padding, making the odour and stains particularly stubborn to remove. Here's how you can tackle this challenge.

a clean couch deep cleaned by broom and bucket house cleaning in liverpool upholstery cleaning

Professional Upholstery Cleaning

Professional upholstery cleaning can effectively remove the smell and stains of cigarette smoke from your furniture. Professional cleaners have specialised equipment and cleaning solutions that penetrate the upholstery to remove tar and nicotine residues. They also have the expertise to handle different fabric types, ensuring that your furniture is cleaned without being damaged.

DIY Upholstery Cleaning

If you prefer a DIY approach, there are several methods you can try. Before you start, always check the care label on your furniture to ensure it can be cleaned with water-based solutions. If it can, here are a couple of methods you can use:

  1. Vinegar and Water: Mix equal parts of white vinegar and warm water. Apply the solution to the furniture using a soft cloth or sponge and gently scrub. The vinegar can help to break down the tar and neutralise the odour. After cleaning, blot the area with a dry towel to remove excess moisture, then let it air dry.

  2. Upholstery Cleaner: There are also specially designed upholstery cleaners on the market. These products often come with instructions, so follow them closely. Some may require you to vacuum the furniture first, apply the cleaner, and then scrub with a soft brush.

Remember, when cleaning upholstery, avoiding soaking the fabric is important, as excess moisture can lead to mould and mildew. Also, always do a spot test with any cleaning solution to ensure it doesn't damage or discolour the fabric.

With these methods, you can help restore your furniture and create a fresher, cleaner living environment.

Effective Deodorisers for Removing Cigarette Smoke Smell from Furniture

The lingering smell of cigarette smoke in furniture can be a nuisance, but several deodorisers can help neutralise these odours. Here are a few effective options:

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a natural deodoriser that can absorb various odours, including cigarette smoke. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the furniture and let it sit for several hours or overnight to absorb the smell. Then, vacuum it up using a vacuum cleaner with a furniture attachment.

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is another natural substance that is highly effective at absorbing odours. Place bowls of activated charcoal around the furniture or inside drawers and leave them for a few days. The charcoal will slowly absorb the smoke smell, helping to freshen up your furniture.

Commercial Odour Eliminators

Many commercial odour eliminators on the market are designed to neutralise a wide range of odours, including cigarette smoke. These products often come in sprays or gels and can be applied directly to the furniture. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product label for the best results.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is a natural deodoriser that can help neutralise the smell of cigarette smoke. Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and lightly mist the furniture. Allow it to air dry. The vinegar smell will dissipate as it dries, taking the smoke smell.

Essential Oils

Essential oils can also be used to mask the smell of cigarette smoke. Mix a few drops of your favourite essential oil with water in a spray bottle and mist the furniture. Not only will this help to cover the smoke smell, but it will also leave your furniture smelling fresh and fragrant.

Remember, before using any deodoriser, cleaning the furniture thoroughly to remove as much tar and nicotine residue as possible is important. The deodoriser will be more effective if it's not competing with these residues.

Timeframe for Removing Cigarette Smoke Smell from a Home

The time it takes to remove the smell of cigarette smoke from home completely can vary greatly depending on several factors. These include the intensity of the smoke smell, the size of the home, the amount of soft furnishings and carpeting, and the specific cleaning methods used.

Light Smoke Smell

If the smoke smell is relatively light – for example, if only a few cigarettes have been smoked in the home or if it's been aired out regularly – you might be able to remove the smell within a few days to a week of thorough cleaning and ventilation.

Heavy Smoke Smell

However, the process can take considerably longer in homes where heavy smoking has occurred over a long period. The smoke smell can deeply permeate walls, carpets, furniture, and even the house's structure. In these cases, it may take several weeks or months of repeated deep cleaning and deodorising efforts to remove the smell fully.

How Broom and Bucket Can Help

At Broom and Bucket, we're not just a cleaning service - we're your partners in creating a fresh, clean, and healthy living environment. We understand the challenges of removing the smell of cigarette smoke and the associated residue, and we're here to provide solutions.

Our Deep Cleaning Services

Our deep cleaning services are designed to tackle the toughest cleaning tasks, including removing cigarette smoke smell and residue. We use a comprehensive approach that targets all areas of your home, from the carpets and upholstery to the walls and windows. Our unique Deep-Clean Cycle System ensures that every nook and cranny of your home is thoroughly cleaned, leaving no space for smoke residue to hide.

Our Experienced Team

Our team in Liverpool comprises experienced and dedicated professionals who are well-versed in tackling tough cleaning tasks. They're trained to use the most effective cleaning techniques and products to ensure the best results. Whether removing tar stains from windows or eliminating the smoke smell from upholstery, our team has the skills and knowledge to do the job right.

Our Commitment to Your Health and Comfort

At Broom and Bucket, we're committed to more than just cleanliness. We're committed to your health and comfort. We understand that a home free of cigarette smoke smells and the residue is not just more pleasant - it's also healthier. That's why we're dedicated to helping you create a living environment that's not just clean but truly fresh and revitalising.

With Broom and Bucket by your side, removing the smell of cigarette smoke and the associated residue from your home becomes a much more manageable task. We provide the services, expertise, and commitment you need to enjoy a fresh, clean living environment.

Ready to clear the air in your home? Contact Broom and Bucket, your trusted cleaning service in Liverpool, today.

254 views0 comments


bottom of page