Odor Absorption Techniques

If your goal is to eliminate the smell of cigarette smoke from your home, you will certainly need a number of cigarette smoke odor absorption techniques ready.

Throughout the cleaning process, it is vital that odors in the home be removed.  There are a number of things which can be used to absorb or otherwise remove  the odor, which I will discuss now.  These can be used in a shotgun approach of just placing them throughout your home to absorb as much odor as possible everywhere.  You can also apply them with more precision. If you know of an area or object which you are having trouble removing the odor from, target it specifically.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is an easy and cheap first option.  Place small bowls of baking soda throughout your home will absorb smells around it. Make sure the baking soda is always dry.  This baking soda should be thrown away every few days and replaced.  It can be bought in bulk cheaply at most any retailer, which is why I recommend it as an initial go to cigarette smoke odor absorption technique. Start with baking soda, and experiment with other options as needed.


Charcoal is another strong odor absorbent.  The same charcoal briquets you buy for your BBQ can be placed in bowls around the house to absorb odors.  You might have mixed results between charcoal and baking soda, and I recommend experimenting with both and seeing what works best for you.

Coffee Grounds

Dry coffee grounds are also powerful when it comes to absorbing odors.  If you have any troubled areas where you can’t shake the odor, coffee grounds might save the day. You should purchase a can of generic coffee grounds, spread them thin on a pan, and leave it as close to the troubled spot for a few days.  If possible, seal the grounds and the source of the odor into a plastic tote together to isolate them.


Febreeze is another powerful tool for removing odors.  As Febreeze dies, odor-causing molecules stick to it, and fall to the ground.  Use of Febreeze should always be followed with a sweeping or vacuuming, as the odor will be released again when exposed to water.


Exposed vinegar will also absorb odors. place many small containers of vinegar all throughout your home for optimal odor removal.  

Boil Vinegar

Try simmering vinegar on the stove so it will evaporate and spread throughout your home.  It will certainly smell very strongly of vinegar as you do it, but that smell will quickly vanish, and should take a lot of the smoke odor with it. This is an extremely powerful cigarette smoke odor absorption technique.

Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets can also absorb a huge amount of odor from items when sealed into a container with an item. Just be sure to use unscented dryer sheets to avoid replacing the smoke smell with another smell.  Dryer sheets are perfect when working with books, for example.  Seal a dryer sheet or two into a Ziplock bag with the book and leave it for a few days. Repeat if needed.


Wrap any small, delicate items in newspaper. You can also layer newspaper between paper documents to absorb smoke smell away from them.


Odor eliminating candles may also help throughout your cleaning process.  While these candles tend to produce a second scent to cover the smoke smell as part of their functionality, they do also release enzymes which attack odors in the air.

Air Sponge

A newer product on the market which may be worth trying is the Air Sponge.  While it does produce an alternative scent rather than leaving the room neutral, I have seen several positive reviews of its ability to remove the smoke odor.  Each ½ pound tub is rated for a maximum of 300 square feet and lasts 4 to 6 weeks.  I’d recommend loading up on them and using one per room throughout the cleaning process and for a month or two thereafter.
This 24 pack comes in at just under $100
and might be enough to serve an average sized home for the entire process.


There are a number of different cigarette smoke odor absorption technique discussed here. You will need to work with a combination of these throughout your cleaning process.