Topic: How do I get rid of cigarette smoke smell in an apartment? Help!

Brandon Bryson's Avatar Topic Author
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I have a unit that smells like cigarette smoke from a previous resident smoking inside their apartment. We repainted with a nicotine blocker paint, cleaned the unit as well as put an ozone machine in there for 4 days. The unit has click-vinyl flooring throughout (no carpet anywhere).

What are other ways to get rid of the smell? Is the smell stained into the vinyl flooring? HELP!!!
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Stacy Fehringer Carver's Avatar
Stacy Fehringer Carver
Fire-D is a product designed to get rid of smoke smell.
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Colin R. Ferguson's Avatar
Colin R. Ferguson
Rent to a heavy smoker?
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Destiny McMahon's Avatar
Destiny McMahon
I found we had to change outlets, vents, check the lighting etc it's gets deep into there
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Bridget Cormier's Avatar
Bridget Cormier
If all else fails pull up the vinyl and treat the concrete underneath.
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Andee Myatt's Avatar
Andee Myatt
Everything has to go: vinyl flooring (and bleach the floors before you put down the new) smoke detectors, outlet covers, everything. Bleach everything that you can’t pull out. You may even consider removing all cabinet doors and putting them to air out for a few days in another ventilated area if you have it. I’m sorry, I’ve been there and it’s so hard.
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Shelley Emmett's Avatar
Shelley Emmett
Probably needs a ventilation system clean as well. We use an additive to our paint that is scented. Works wonders and is available through HD Supply
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Nichole Del Toro's Avatar
Nichole Del Toro
Did you paint the ceiling? Sometime you have to replace the doors and all window treatments as the smell gets sucked into the porous materials
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Misty Breyel's Avatar
Misty Breyel
I have had to replace all cabinets before:(
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Brandon Bryson's Avatar Topic Author
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The entire apartment was painted twice
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Carol Wilson's Avatar
Carol Wilson
Have vents cleaned mad hatter
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Penny Lynne Piper's Avatar
Penny Lynne Piper
Just went thru this. Make sure you have a complete air duct cleaning. And everything needs to come out...closet shelving, outlet and switch plates...everything. Seal the floor.
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Anonymous's Avatar
Anonymous
Pull light fixtures down and Kilz and paint that area. We dealt with curry smells and that’s is the one place we hadn’t done. When they heat up so do their surroundings. We took the cabinet doors off and put them in plastic bags with charcoal and placed charcoal on paper plates in the cabinets and in the drawers. About 2 weeks (I know kills ya)
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Lisa Tamagnini's Avatar
Lisa Tamagnini
Remove all fans and light fixtures. Move appliances and clean areas with ammonia and treat with mildestat or kilz. All baseboards need to be cleaned and treated.

Also weather stripping and window treatments need to be replaced. All porous surfaces.....and dont forget the ceiling and the inside of the frames of closets and laundry rooms.

Then ozone treatment.

There is an agent out there that smells like chlorine bleach when the tablets are placed in water and left untouched for 24 hours...one for each room.......but heavy smoking is a nightmare.
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Lauretta Gerler Ludwig's Avatar
Lauretta Gerler Ludwig
Do one thing at a time. If that doesn't work then move on to the next option
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Mary Lu Thomas Roberts's Avatar
Mary Lu Thomas Roberts
Clean out ac vents
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Pat Wilson's Avatar
Pat Wilson
Clean and deodorize the evaporator coil on a/c and clean ducts if need be
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Brenda Summers Davis's Avatar
Brenda Summers Davis
Anything with a motor has the nicotine build up, frig, vent a hood, exhaust fans, ceiling fans, D/W. You need professionals to come in to totally get rid of the smoke. A crime scene company is your best bet.
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Susan Macintyre's Avatar
Susan Macintyre
Ozone treatment is your best bet.
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Shayne Will's Avatar
Shayne Will
clean the a/c vents also - PPG puts out paint that covers cig smoke.
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Diana Walker's Avatar
Diana Walker
We had a smoker unit so bad, we replaced all window coverings, fixtures and still smelled when you opened the door. Replaced the weatherstripping!
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Shannon Green's Avatar
Shannon Green
There are conpanies that can come out and do a special treatment to get rid of it! Shop around.
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Juliet Davidson's Avatar
Juliet Davidson
You need to treat the slab and ozone treat to include ventilation system.
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Emily Parnell Halbert's Avatar
Emily Parnell Halbert
Coffee beans!
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Casey Carson's Avatar
Casey Carson
Fosters 4020 in the duct. Clean the coil and blower.
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Heather Fulton's Avatar
Heather Fulton
I used to be a regional property manager and my hubby was a regional maintenance supervisor. Unfortunately, you'll probably have to replace the flooring. Also, make sure to clean the furnace, the coils, the ducts, and replace the filters. Good luck!! Smoke is the worst.
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Lauretta Gerler Ludwig's Avatar
Lauretta Gerler Ludwig
There are worse. Foreign cooking odors.
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Heather Fulton's Avatar
Heather Fulton
Oh, yes. I've dealt with a lot of that, too. Funny thing is that we are at an extended stay hotel tonight and the neighbor down the hall has been cooking foreign food (curry). The entire 3rd floor smells awful!
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Anonymous's Avatar
Anonymous
Clean the vents, change the filters
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Doug Monroe's Avatar
Doug Monroe
Yep fire d
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Connie Christopher Clay's Avatar
Connie Christopher Clay
Mix vanilla extract in the paint. Use "After Fire" or "Fire D" bombs with ventilation running.
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Paula Hegarty Standridge's Avatar
Paula Hegarty Standridge
Have you replaced the sprinkler heads and washed all the appliances down especially backsides where the nicotine has settled!
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Lisa Rumsey's Avatar
Lisa Rumsey
Wash everything with amonia. It cuts right through nicotine.
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
April Cowan Wilkin's Avatar
April Cowan Wilkin
Try liquid alive from HD. It removes the smell
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Larry Berry's Avatar
Larry Berry
Ozone treatments work pretty well. I'd try that first.
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Michael Andrew Graf Rasch's Avatar
Michael Andrew Graf Rasch
I think that's your error, the order of doing things, first is wash with soap and water. then its ozone, then it's blocker paint. OH and the floors get redone too, over the last 10 years we have moved every unit to be smoke-free inside, and only balcony smoking.
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Heidi Holden's Avatar
Heidi Holden
We have used an ozone machine and after 3 days the apartment smelled brand new
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Rose Gallifrey's Avatar
Rose Gallifrey
I use a product with lingering smells called odoban ..
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
JoAnn Basham's Avatar
JoAnn Basham
The insulation of the appliances is also full of smell. It never goes away
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Contessa Wilkes's Avatar
Contessa Wilkes
Clean the air ducts and ac
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Tia Sears Kendall's Avatar
Tia Sears Kendall
This may sound crazy but change out all lightbulbs. The nicotine gets in the bulb... light turns in and heats up, causing the smell to continue. Just and added step that may help.
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Jennifer Walls's Avatar
Jennifer Walls
Also, clean behind and under all appliances
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
David E Gray Jr's Avatar
David E Gray Jr
Check retrun air for holes it needs to be sealed
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Terry Lynn Lee's Avatar
Terry Lynn Lee
Spartin Cdc10 is a cleaning chemical that you can clean all surfaces with and it truly works. I've used it on smoker units. I get it from HD supplies. This stuff is used in nursing homes and eliminates odor, disinfects and removes nicotine.
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Brian Lane's Avatar
Brian Lane
Oil based Kilz. Have to paint floors, walls, and ceilings but it is a 100% sure thing. Works perfect an any smell too.
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Alyssa Lacy's Avatar
Alyssa Lacy
Look up a company called BIOSWEEP they will get the odor out guaranteed.
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
ALAN DALY's Avatar
ALAN DALY
Clean the A/C coil and duct work also they have foggers like the ones for bugs
Posted 4 years 1 week ago
Anonymous's Avatar
Anonymous
This is a big problem for the multi-family industry and the removal can be as expensive as a water or fire damaged apartment. I have heard of communities gutting an apartment and replacing all of the A/C system and duct work!

Along with the second-hand-smoke issues we have all experienced, this is another reason communities are going Tobacco-Free. In our area, almost ALL new construction communities open as Tobacco-Free.

Not sure what state you are in but if you are in Florida, contact Florida Department of Health (TobaccoFreeFlorida.com). They have a great program to work with multi-family communities who are interested in what it takes to make the transition from smoke to smoke-free! They can help you put together a plan, give you tips on presenting to residents and advise you thru the transition. The also offer FREE signage, cesation classes, patches/gum and more. Check with your state for what they might have.
Posted 4 years 6 days ago
phil r's Avatar
phil r
purchase the max blaster o-zone machine, the larger unit
it can get rid of any smell
we have even used it to kill fleas in a vacant unit
it's worth a try
Posted 4 years 6 days ago
Anonymous's Avatar
Anonymous
Call a GOOD carpet cleaning company or a restoration company. They can use an Ozone machine and it usually gets the smell out.
Posted 4 years 5 days ago
Shanti Cooper's Avatar
Shanti Cooper
Odors return after an Ozone machine it's not worth the money and with more non-smokers and allergy sufferers renting now more than ever you don't want to risk and unhappy new move-in.

The biggest mistake people make is not replacing the plastic and addressing the other porous surfaces. Painting & replacing / cleaning carpet is not enough for a unit that has been occupied by a daily smoker:

Replace carpet tack strips & pad. If there's vinyl or laminate flooring, it's likely it will have taken on the odor and you'll need to replace. Try a degreaser and a steam clean first if there are no visible yellow stains.

Replace all the electrical outlets, receptacles, vent covers, switches and cable wall covers as plastic takes on the nicotine odor.

You may have to resurface a fiberglass bath tub if that has been damaged by a smoker who resided there for years.

If you have wood surface cabinetry, wash it with a degreaser and hot water (nicotine leaves a sticky residue)and dry with rags. Next lightly spray a clear polyurethane lacquer (or varnish) inside and out. This will "seal" any left over odor and your cabinetry will be like new.

This may seem like a lot of work but I can guarantee you that these steps have saved the most horrendous unit turns and avoided capital expense on replacements.
Posted 4 years 2 hours ago
Staci Massi's Avatar
Staci Massi
We had a carpet company once who had a chemical they used on the carpet and in the air. Took two applications but we were shocked at how well it worked
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Michelle Pyles's Avatar
Michelle Pyles
It’s called bio washing, it really does a good job with smoke, curry
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Donje Putnam's Avatar
Donje Putnam
Did you clean the vents? Have SanAir or the like come out
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Ansly Frst's Avatar
Ansly Frst
you need to clean the coils in the AC, change all of the blinds.
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Teresa Swift's Avatar
Teresa Swift
I first run ozone for at least 2 days, paint walls and ceilings twice. All gets charged back to resident. Change carpet too
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Stacy Fehringer Carver's Avatar
Stacy Fehringer Carver
Fire D is a product you can get from HD Supply. It has worked wonders for me in the past.
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Carolyn Lamb Steele's Avatar
Carolyn Lamb Steele
There is a paint called paint scent that you can paint the apartment that will help with the smell.
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Emily Chaney's Avatar
Emily Chaney
Replace flooring if it is wood, vinyl, or carpet. Call a restoration company with industrial strength ozone machines. Replace blinds. Clean air ducts and a/c coils. I had to even replace a/c coils once.
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Tony Asbille's Avatar
Tony Asbille
Has to be the oil base Kilz or other oil based primer on walls. Charcoal filter at AC unit. Then add charcoal filters at each vent register. Also if you have cheap ozone machine it won’t work. Rent a good one and run over night.
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Kim Warnick's Avatar
Kim Warnick
Aire Master has foggers that saved a down unit. I swear by them.
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Bill Story's Avatar
Bill Story
In addition to the other suggestions, change all the light bulbs as they will be covered with nicotine.
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Charlotte Garris Wilson's Avatar
Charlotte Garris Wilson
Seal walls, floors and ceiling. Then paint. Replace carpeting. Clean A/C coil and air ducts use oil based cleaner for cabinets. As a charcoal filter for excess odor absorption. Replace window blinds this is going to sound crazy but when you put the ozone machine back in there AFTER all this, remove plate covers so between the walls get aired out too. Lastly, steam the windows clean.
It’s a lot to get rid of the smell but it is what’s needed really.
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Doug Monroe's Avatar
Doug Monroe
fire D might help
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Anne Clark-Alder's Avatar
Anne Clark-Alder
Get company to clean vents it works not cheap though
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Amanda Bishop Porche's Avatar
Amanda Bishop Porche
I renovated a home where the owner had smoked for 30 years. We washed all the walls with bleach water and scraped the popcorn ceiling. We primered the whole house in oil based paint and then painted it. We cleaned the air ducks replaced all of the AC vent covers and the switch plate covers and ran the O-Zone machine for three days. We also replaced cabinets, appliances and light fixtures, but that was for 30 years of smoking. I doubt you’d have to go to that extreme. Maybe the appliances though.
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Mary Lu Thomas Roberts's Avatar
Mary Lu Thomas Roberts
Chlorine Dioxide treatment by a prifessional
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Heidi Nichols's Avatar
Heidi Nichols
Kilz the walls 1st and rip up carpet and seal floors and lay carpet back down.
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Tony Leon's Avatar
Tony Leon
Kilz!!
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Anonymous's Avatar
Anonymous
Call Biosweep.
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Rebecca Slater's Avatar
Rebecca Slater
Replace the carpet and clean the a.c. Vents.
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Alyssa Lacy's Avatar
Alyssa Lacy
Call BiOsweep most amazing place ever no need to paint and the smell is gone in 24 hours guaranteed.
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Valerie Cosse' Lacy's Avatar
Valerie Cosse' Lacy
www.hygienitechsolutions.com/

I just had a similar situation. The unit had been sitting vacant since November due to the odor. After doing everything but remove all of the Sheetrock we find this company and within 24 hours the smoke odor was gone and we had a new resident lease and move in within the week
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Anonymous's Avatar
Anonymous
Fire restoration company
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Contessa Wilkes's Avatar
Contessa Wilkes
Clean the vents, coils, new carpet
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Tammi Schaffner's Avatar
Tammi Schaffner
If you are using blinds, get rid of them. They are so porous including the headrail.
You also might try Sage. Let it burn safely for a whole day.
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Debra Brumbelow's Avatar
Debra Brumbelow
Kilz
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Dawn Lewis-Charles's Avatar
Dawn Lewis-Charles
For future residents: consider including a "non-smoking" addendum (if your owner/management co. allows it). Include huge fines for smoking (in addition to deposit).
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Ramiz Remy Cajevic's Avatar
Ramiz Remy Cajevic
We use a cinnamon thing. It's like a bug bomb but also kills germs, smoke smell, etc. I'll ask my manager on Monday or I'll inbox you a picture of the product.
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Debbie Malloy DiBernardo's Avatar
Debbie Malloy DiBernardo
We have a member that has a company that removes smoke odors and others: Biosweep of North Orange County www.biosweep.com
Posted 3 years 10 months ago
Ramiz Remy Cajevic's Avatar
Ramiz Remy Cajevic
Air scrubbers and fino fog.

They can be ordered from United Industrial Labs.

They have some really great products.
Posted 3 years 10 months ago