smoke photo for how to remove smoke odors from your carpets

How to Remove Smoke Odor from Carpets

Trying to Get That Smoke Out?

As a professional carpet cleaning service, we visit homes all over Memphis, TN, and get asked this question a lot: How do I remove smoke odor from my carpets? We've talked before about carpets holding stains and how to remove them but it's time we address this topic. Carpets and rugs are two major absorbers for smells in a home - due to their multiple porous fibers - and out of all odors, smoke is one of the strongest. Whether its from fire damage, cigarette and cigar smoke, or even burnt food, these smoke smells will permeate your entire home and last for a long time. Have no fear, it is possible to eliminate them and get your home smelling fresh again. We’re going to walk you through the steps on how to neutralize the odors depending on what kind of smoke smell you’re dealing with!

Cigarettes & Cigar Smoke

When it comes to tobacco products, photo of cigarettes in ash trayit’s important to realize that the residual odor from them actually is harmful. They have carcinogenic properties that can be absorbed third hand, in other words absorbed by items for you to come into contact with. It’s just not good for your health -- if you insist on smoking inside, you might want to consider trying one of those electronic cigarettes instead.

Luckily, you don’t have to go straight to the store and buy an expensive carpet cleaner solution. You can use materials you have at home to get rid of the smell! Here is a list of the items you’ll need:

  • Baking Soda - large box
  • Broom or Dustpan Brush
  • Vacuum
  • Dried Lavender (optional)

Once you’ve gathered these materials, the steps are pretty easy. Depending on the level of these bad smells, you might have to repeat the process but that’s okay! Here are the steps:

  1. Mix a cup of dried lavender with a large box of baking soda.
  2. Sprinkle the mix onto your carpet throughout the entire room.
  3. If the odor has been in the carpet for a long time, you might want to lightly brush the surface of the carpet before you sprinkle more baking soda mixture. This is where the broom or dustpan brush comes in handy.
  4. Let it sit for several hours. If you do this before you go to bed then you can have it sit for a good 8 hours! The longer the better.
  5. Vacuum the carpet thoroughly.
  6. Repeat if necessary.

This should effectively remove the smoke odor from your carpet fibers and leave you with a cleaner smelling home!

Burnt Food Odors

Sometimes we get distracted while cooking and burn our food; we’re only human after all! These smells, especially in high temperatures, can really stay behind in your carpets and rugs. The DIY fix for this is also fairly easy. All you need to do is use the same process that you would use for the cigarette smells with a couple extra steps.

Middle aged woman opening smoke filled oven in the kitchen

Once you have vacuumed up the baking soda and lavender mixture out of your carpets, set a couple bowls of distilled white vinegar around the room. These will act as air purifiers and absorb any odors that remain in the air. Leave these out for about three to five days and the odorous evidence of your cooking mishap should be gone! No one will ever know what happened! Pro-tip: if you don't care for the smell of vinegar (not many do), you can place a few drops of vanilla extract into each vinegar bowl to make your makeshift air filter smell a little nicer. 

One thing to consider if you’re dealing with these odors is to tackle the other materials in the room that have soft porous fibers! This includes window coverings, blankets, and upholstery. So be sure to air out your drapes, wash your bedding materials and blankets, and maybe get some professional upholstery cleaning done. The combination of all these efforts will effectively neutralize those offensive smells from your home.

Smoke from Fire Damage

Fire of an old residential building.This is the biggest challenge hands down. The fix for this ultimately depends on the source of the fire and the type of smoke it produced. Yes, there are different kinds of smoke and damage associated with it. Here are a few types:

  • Wet smoke: plastic and rubbers at low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky and smeary.
  • Dry smoke: paper and wood burning fast at high temperatures.
  • Protein: produced by evaporation of materials instead of a fire. Practically invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, and has an extreme pungent odor.
  • Fuel oil soot: furnace puff backs.
  • Other types: tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguished residue and other types.

This kind of damage is normally pretty extensive. There isn’t really a good DIY fix for these, as these types of smokes are difficult to get rid of. It’s best to call the professionals in for these. Some people think they can purchase products known as ozone generators on the market and that will solve the problem. The issue with these is that they’re not tackling the source of the odor so the smell will not truly be neutralized. It’s the source that needs to be focused on for the long term elimination of the problem. 

If you’re dealing with any of these kinds of issues and either don’t have the time to address them on your own, or you’ve repeated the process and are at the point where you just need a deep cleaning, then let a professional carpet and upholstery cleaning service take care of it for you. Save time and stress. At Tiger Paws, we’ve dealt with these kinds of problems before and have the right equipment to really remove the smoke odor from your house. Give us a call or fill out our form here to get a quote!