4 Eco-Friendly Methods For Removing Cigarette Smells From Your Furniture

Did you inherit furniture or purchase a beautiful antique piece only to smell that it reeks of cigarette smoke? If you have, there's no need to worry. There are many ways you can remove the smell without using harsh chemicals. Cigarette smoke is a hard odor to remove because it stays in the furniture even after it has been moved out of a smoker's house. This is because cigarette smoke flows easily into porous furniture and sticks there, according to Restoration Master. Porous furniture includes fabric, wood, and leather.

In order to get rid of the cigarette odor from your furniture, the smoke particles need to be removed. This can be difficult since furniture doesn't exactly fit in a washing machine. These environmentally friendly methods use baking soda, white distilled vinegar, steam cleaners, and fresh air to naturally remove cigarette smoke odors from your furniture. Most of these methods can also be done with products you likely already have in your home.

Baking soda

Using baking soda is an easy and environmentally friendly way to remove cigarette smells from fabric furniture. All you need is baking soda and a vacuum with an upholstery attachment. First, you should remove any cushion covers that can be put in a washing machine. Before cleaning those covers in a washing machine, sprinkle baking soda over them, then they can be washed with laundry detergent. For the parts of your furniture that can't be put in a washing machine, you will cover them with a thin layer of baking soda, according to Real Simple. The baking soda should be left for at least two hours to a couple of days. The longer it's left, the more smell it will be able to absorb. Then use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum to remove all the baking soda.

This method works because baking soda is made up of sodium bicarbonate, which neutralizes acidic odors (via Houselogic). Instead of trying to cover up the cigarette smell with a stronger smell, the baking soda absorbs the bad smell. If you want to add a pleasant smell while doing the baking soda method, add a couple of drops of the essential oil of your choice to the baking soda. Make sure that it has been mixed well with the baking soda, and then you can sprinkle it over your furniture.

White distilled vinegar

White distilled vinegar is often a main ingredient used in environmentally friendly and natural cleaning recipes. This is because vinegar has acetic acid, making it good at cleaning and disinfecting. Vinegar is good at removing the smell of smoke, too, because the low pH level of vinegar changes the high pH level of smoke, which takes away the odor, according to Three Coats of Charm.

There are multiple ways to use vinegar to remove old cigarette smells. If you have fabric furniture, the cushion covers can be washed in the washing machine with one cup of vinegar. For wood and leather furniture, vinegar is a great choice to remove cigarette smells. One method is to leave bowls of vinegar inside the drawers of your wood furniture for at least 48 hours. Another method is to wipe the furniture down with a vinegar solution. Mix a one-to-one ratio of water to white distilled vinegar and use a paper towel or cloth to clean the furniture. Don't worry if there is a strong vinegar smell; it will go away once the solution dries.


If you have access to a steam cleaner, steaming the cigarette smells out of your furniture is another eco-friendly method to remove the smell. Steam cleaning does more than removing stains and bacteria. Steam cleaning works by heating up water until it becomes steam that is pressurized and released through the nozzle of the machine, according to Cleaners Talk. It is able to remove cigarette smells because the high heat of the steam can melt the leftover tar and oils from cigarette smoke. Then it can be wiped clean.

To steam clean, you can use a household steam cleaner, rent a steam cleaner, or hire a professional. Before steam cleaning, you should vacuum the furniture. Then, hold the nozzle six inches from the furniture and move it in a sweeping motion, according to Household Advice. Before the surface is able to dry, wipe it down to remove any residual dirt.

Fresh air

The simplest method to remove cigarette smells from furniture is to air it out. Like with other methods, the first step is to clean any removable cushion covers in a washing machine. Then the most effective way for this method to work is to move the furniture outside in the sun. Any cushions should be taken off the furniture and propped up. You want the fresh air to reach all around the furniture so it can properly air out in the sun. Restoration Master recommends leaving the furniture out for several hours; the longer, the better. This method works because the sun's ultraviolet rays will help to neutralize the odor.

If the weather won't allow you to leave the furniture outside, you can do the same thing inside by circulating the air. Open all the windows that you can, turn on any ceiling fans, and put any fans you have in the room. Circulating fresh air around the furniture will help to remove lingering odors.