Smoking cigarettes is not only bad for your health but also leaves a horrible, pervasive odor that lingers in your rooms for days.
The smell seeps into your ceilings, floors, and furniture, making it a nightmare to use the bathrooms.
This stale cigarette odor is so offensive that even smokers find it quite unbearable.
If you’ve quit smoking (congrats!) and are looking for a way to get rid of the cigarette smell in your bathroom, you’re at the right place.
Why Cigarette Smells Linger in the Bathroom
Before we dive into our tried-and-tested ways of getting rid of the cigarette smell in your bathroom, let’s first discuss why it stays on for so long in the first place.
This will help us formulate the right techniques to eliminate the smell once and for all.
When you burn a cigarette, it releases smoke particles.
These particles are encapsulated in tiny molecules of tar and oil, which gives them a sticky shell that can adhere to different surfaces.
So, these smoke particles attach themselves to the ceilings, exhaust fans, walls, and bathroom fixtures.
They can even cling to non-porous materials, making them very difficult to get rid of by regular cleaning procedures.
10 Ways to Get Rid of Cigarette Smell in Bathroom
Getting rid of the cigarette smell in your bathroom is a real headache.
You have probably tried different air fresheners and scented candles, but the smoky odor returns as soon as their pleasant scents wear off.
These commercial products only mask the smell of cigarettes; they don’t do much to eradicate it. Don’t worry, though; we have the perfect solutions to actually erase the noxious cigarette smell from your bathroom.
And, it won’t return in a few hours either (unless you smoke again, of course!).
Important Note – Before using any of the techniques mentioned below, be sure to do the following;
- Empty out all ashtrays and wash them thoroughly with strong dish soap.
- Sweep away any cigarette stubs left behind, so the smell doesn’t return.
- Remove the bathroom exhaust fan and wipe off the lint. It could be holding some of those smoke particles too!
Let the Room Breathe
The very first step to clearing out the horrible smell of cigarettes is ensuring proper ventilation.
Open all the windows of your bathroom during the cleaning process and leave them open afterward, too.
If you have a standing fan at home or any other means of increasing the ventilation stored away in your basement, now is the time to bring them to good use.
Turn on all portable fans and face them towards the window to blow out the remaining smoke.
As the smoky, stale odor exits and fresh air enters through the windows, the bathroom will start smelling fresher.
So, you can easily try out our list below without your nostrils being under attack.
Do a Vigorous Vinegar Scrub
The smell of vinegar might be quite sharp and unpleasant, but it’s definitely better than the pesky odor of cigarette butts.
A gallon bottle of vinegar is one of the cheapest ways to neutralize this odor.
We’ve all heard that vinegar is a powerful cleaning agent.
But did you know that it can even clean out your air, allowing you to breathe better and preventing exposure to second-hand cigarette smoke?
All you need to do is fill a spray bottle with two parts water, and one part distilled vinegar.
Spray all of your bathroom’s surfaces with this solution and leave it on for 7 to 10 minutes. Then, wipe it off with a lint-free towel.
This spray is safe to use on walls, ceilings, blinds, mirrors, and sills.
You can even turn off the lights and spray it on your light bulbs and other electronic fixtures.
Work on Absorbing the Smoke
Instead of trying to wash off the cigarette odor, your focus should be on using absorbent materials that soak up the smell.
These materials can then be disposed of easily, leaving your bathroom fresh and clean.
The most effective and readily available absorbent materials are cat litter and baking soda.
They also come cheap and are easy to discard. Just head to your nearest grocery store or pet shop.
Once you have acquired the absorbent materials, the next step is to place them in small bowls around the room.
Leave them for a few days so they can soak up the sticky, smoke molecules and then dispose of them on your next garbage day.
Charcoal is an Excellent Deodorizer
If you’re looking for a cheap, effective, and non-toxic air cleanser, charcoal is your absolute best bet!
Being a natural detoxifying agent, charcoal works by filtering out your air and removing any bad smells from it.
It has amazing absorption qualities that target strong odors, like those of cigarettes.
All you need to do is get some charcoal from the nearest store and place it in small containers.
Leave the containers around your bathroom and over the windows for a few days. You will instantly notice the smell fade and disappear.
Be sure to use many small containers instead of one larger box.
This increases the surface area, allowing the charcoal to work faster and more effectively.
P.S. You can use both activated charcoal and regular briquettes.
If you buy charcoal capsules, remember to grind them into powder form for an increased surface area of absorption.
Raid Your Pantry for These Items
If you’re anything like us, you probably can’t function without your early morning coffee.
But did you know that waking you up isn’t the only way that coffee serves as an absolute life-saver?
You can also use coffee grounds from your pantry to soak up the stale cigarette smell!
You can use coffee just like charcoal, and it works overnight to remove any bad odors.
Moreover, since coffee has such a strong smell, it will overpower any lingering smokiness and leave behind a pleasant scent.
Helpful Tip – If you’re a baking enthusiast, you probably have some vanilla extract in your pantry. Heat a few drops in the microwave and soak them in cotton balls. You can leave them in smelly areas for a day to allow the rich, vanilla aroma to permeate the bathroom air and cover the disgusting cigarette smell.
Baking Soda is Your Best Friend
Head to your nearest grocery store and pick up a few boxes of baking soda.
This is another absorbent material that works quite well against the sticky molecules of cigarette smoke.
You can pick out some scented baking soda for added freshness in your bathroom.
Baking soda also draws in excess moisture from the air, so you can simply place a few opened containers in the problem areas of your bathroom to soak up the odor.
Use a Mixture of Ammonia and Water
If the gentler techniques with baking soda and charcoal haven’t worked, the cigarette smell in your bathroom is probably a few years old, at least.
In such cases, you will need to bring out the big guns and use ammonia as your absorbent. A mixture of ammonia and waterworks excellently to get rid of any bad smell in the bathroom.
You can use this mixture exactly like the vinegar and water spray. For more effective results, you can boil the ammonia and water mixture and then let it diffuse in the air instead of spraying.
Important Note: Be careful when handling pure ammonia. Make sure you don’t inhale the fumes directly and prevent skin exposure.
Pay Attention to the Rugs and Curtains
No matter how much you scrub and vacuum, the invisible smoke particles will still find a way to stay on.
What you need is the magic of baking soda. Sprinkle some all over the bathroom upholstery and wait for 10 minutes.
Then, spray some of the vinegar and water mixture we made earlier.
You will notice the odor quickly dissipating. Leave this baking soda and vinegar mixture on your rugs and curtains for an hour and wash it off with warm water for the best results.
Invest in an Air Purifier
Air purifiers are a less economical way to get rid of the cigarette smell, but they do work well.
When fitted with carbon filters, your air purifier will draw in all traces of the smoke smell and clean the air.
You can further install HEPA filters in your air purifier for even better results.
These filters are designed with a carbon filtration layer to attract unpleasant smells, which can then be cleaned off.
Repainting is Your Last Resort
Painting your walls and ceiling is time-consuming and expensive.
But, if you’ve been considering a new paint job already, now is the perfect time to go for it. It’ll give your rooms a new look while also getting rid of the bad smell!
To cut down the total cost, you can DIY the paint job.
Make sure to research well beforehand, so you pick out the best paint for your bathroom. Also, remember to clean, prepare and prime the walls.
Oil-based primers and wall paints are both quite effective in preventing the sticky smoke molecules from adhering to your walls and ceiling.
There you have it, the most effective techniques to permanently get rid of the cigarette smell in your bathroom.
This list has been carefully compiled to offer you the most cost-effective yet highly functional solutions for cleaner and fresher air.
If you try out any of our 10 ways to get rid of cigarette smoke, do let us know in the comments below! All the best!
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