Smoke smells can ruin your enjoyment of your home. The acrid smell of smoke, be it from tobacco, cooking/burning food, burning candles, or from a house fire is hard to ignore — and even harder to get rid of. Some homeowners resort to air fresheners in an attempt to mask the offending smells with fragrances, but this seldom is effective and can worsen indoor air quality.

Here’s some practical advice on dealing with a smoke smell:

Wash Away Smoke Smells With Vinegar and Baking Soda

Vinegar (preferably white, but apple cider will also do) is your best friend when it comes to washing away a smoky smell. Add two cups of vinegar to a gallon of warm water and wash walls, ceilings, floors, and other hard surfaces with the solution. You can also place small bowls of vinegar around the home to help absorb the smoke scent. Another trick is to boil some vinegar in a pot and allow it to diffuse around the house.

If you find the odor of the vinegar too pervasive, try scrubbing everything with a solution of water and baking soda. In fact, you can also sprinkle baking soda into carpets, leaving it overnight, then vacuum it up the next day. This may help get the smoke smell out of carpets and rugs. Opening boxes of baking soda and leaving them around the home will help absorb the smoke and vinegar smells.

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is carbon or charcoal that has been treated with oxygen and which absorbs odors and gases even better than vinegar and baking soda. Leave bowls with several small pieces of charcoal around the home. The small pieces are more effective than a large chunk because there’s more surface area. You can also use charcoal briquettes.

Some homeowners find an air purifier with an activated carbon filter to be an effective means of removing odors, gases, and smoke from the home. Ask your HVAC consultant for advice on which kind to buy.

For more on removing smoke smells, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing, serving the Indianapolis area.