Buying a home owned by a smoker can put you at risk of breathing in third-hand smoke chemicals, according to a study.
The mark left by smokers has long been the bane of some homeowners, with the unpleasant odour of smoke and tobacco remaining trapped in furniture, walls and carpets.
We'll leave the chemicals to the scientists, but these eight actions should at least help you shift the lingering smell smoke invariably leaves:
1. Wave a wet towel
Waving a wet towel around is a cheap, if slightly silly-looking way to soak up smoke particles and significantly reduce the smoky smell of any room.
2. Buy an ozone machine
If you're serious about getting rid of smoky smells, you can buy an ozone machine. These machines release ozone particles, which attach themselves to surfaces and purify the air. But be warned, ozone machine prices can be well over £150.
3. Wash all your surfaces
Having a deep clean of all affected surfaces may take time, but will help eradicate retained smoke. Yvonne Manomano, cleaning operations manager at DIY and cleaning services company Handy, recommends “mixing warm water, a quarter cup of vinegar, a quarter of soda and a half of ammonia” for effective results.
4. Fill a bowl with vinegar
Leaving bowls of vinegar around the house neutralises the odour of smoke and means you'll never be without a dip for your chips (okay, not that kind of vinegar!).
5. Distribute baking soda
“Carpets tend to be the biggest offenders in terms of absorbing the smell of smoke,” says Manomano. “If you find that even after significant airing your room still smells of smoke, it might be time to thoroughly clean your carpet.”
Sprinkling baking soda all over carpets naturally removes odours and has the added benefit of making it look like it’s been snowing in your lounge. Leave the baking soda for an hour and then simply vacuum it up.
6. Get an air purifier
These work either by having filters that physically collect odour molecules or (and this types sounds way cooler) by generating electric fields which attract smelly particles and trap them.
7. Stock up on odour eliminators
Odour eliminators like Air Wick Flower Diffuser can remove smoke smells, and are especially good when used on specific areas of a room, like a sofa or a windowsill. “You can purchase an odour eliminating spray for under £10,” says Manomano.
“Make sure to air the space before and after spraying, for the best results.”
8. Reupholster and re-carpet
If all else fails, having your sofas reupholstered and floors re-carpeted are effective ways of getting rid of trapped smells. Again, these are costly but will get the job done.