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"Cigarette smoke has a funny way of sticking around long after the last butt has been reduced to ash. If you find yourself faced with the task of cleaning up a home where someone smoked indoors, the task of removing the stains and odors caused by cigarette smoking can seem monumental, if not impossible. While cleaning up a smoker’s home isn’t impossible, it takes a lot of hard work, elbow grease and a few tricks of the trade." 6 Tips for Cleaning Up Cigarette Stains and Smells
What methods have you found to be most effective for removing cigarette smoke stains and smells from a home?
 

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Using TSP to remove as much of possible followed by a coat of Kilz is the only effective method I've ever used. Carpeting is pretty much a write off, I've never found an effective way of getting the odors out of it.
 

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I just skimmed the link but I am familiar with the sensitivity of some people to cigarette smoke. I have consulted with people both online as well as in person and I lean towards the impossible side. What makes it worse is how sensitive some people are, I'm married to one. My gosh, when I traveled for business back when smoking was allowed in work places i had to change cloths and shower before she would come close to me. One of the guys had a cigar at the weekly poker game and she threw those cloths away. I insisted no more cigars.

But the problem is worse than all of the cleaning tips posted as the smoke and nicotine residue gets inside of the walls and ceiling when air moves through. From my energy auditing work we learn that even a fairly tight home will exchange on average all of its inside air every 3 hours. So along with that air leakage goes a lot of smoke right through the same leakage paths. And short of tearing the building apart, the occasional wind will bring that smell back inside.

Best one can do is as posted above, but IMO, that smell will always be there.

Bud
 

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We had to do through this when my grandparents died, as both smoked in the house for 50 years. Once you get tar and nicotine residue buildup, things become harder. A company like ServicePro, or anyone who does fire clean up work, can treat the walls with a spray, but you will have to paint them. The number one biggest change came when the HVAC system went out. The residue build up in the ductwork was unreal. The HVAC company cleaned the ductwork and hooked up the new unit. No one could get the smell out of the carpet. It had to removed and a cleaner was used on the hardwood floors. Don't waste your time or money with curtains and blinds, toss them.

I have a box of their things in the basement. It been 17 years since they pasted. To this day I can get near that box and I'll smell the cigarette smoke.
 

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There is a hotel about 200 miles from me where I occasionally make (made) a reservation when I know work will take more than a day, always specifying non-smoking. On one trip I didn't expect to stay overnight so showed up with no reservation AND the only rooms available were in the smoking section. I grew up with parents that smoked constantly so assumed I would live through it. I did, but it was bad. She said they clean them thoroughly after each smoker, who is charged extra, but it was terrible and I do not have a sensitive nose. Had my wife been with me we would have been back in the car in a heart beat.

Bud
 

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Almost forgot the wood (doors, door frames, molding, etc). Clean it as good as possible with a NON-OIL product. Once dry use shellac (not polyurethane, varnish or lacquer unless you want to change the color or want a glossy finish) on the wood. Two coats may be needed. Shellac seals the wood, therefore sealing in the smell of smoke.
 

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TSP is a very poor cleaner and if not rinsed off several times it can cause problems if ever painted. As Nester stated many times TSP was for etching oil paint not really for cleaning. Krudcutter or Dirtex both do a much better job. Then for painting prime with BIN, a shellac based primer and SEALER.
 

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yeah this comes up a lot for us. Sometimes you can thoroughly clean the carpets and keep windows and doors open for a few days (pending weather) to allow for the odor to lift. Generally speaking a good citrus or orange aroma type carpet cleaner can help further with that smell. Sometimes though, new painting and the carpet cleaning still won't lift the smell. And the only remedy would be to pull carpet up, and replace.
 
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