Smoke from cigarettes and open fires can permeate into walls and soft furnishing. Below are a few handy hints on how to get rid of the smells.

Just moved in

If you have just moved into a new home and the last resident smoked indoors or burnt green wood on an open fire, you may need to clean the walls or paint them to fully get rid of the smells. In the meantime, you can move your furniture into the centre of the room and cover with and old sheet. To freshen up any soft floor coverings, try one of our carpet ideas.

Soft furnishings

You will also need to remove and clean any soft furnishings like curtains and either throw them away, dry-clean them or soak them in a bath with a cup of white vinegar and normal washing powder or liquid. If you soak them at home, wait for a sunny day so they will dry well. When you iron them use a spray with water and your choice of Gyre and Gymble essential oils. This will help freshen them up, and make them smell great, too.


Watch out for radiators which can be real harbour for offending smells. Check out one of our radiator ideas, which I have used many times and I know works very well.


  • White distilled vinegar

  • Castile soap

  • Hot water

  • Microfibre cloths or old towel

  • A car washing sponge (preferably new)

  • Bicarb soda

  • Tap water

  • Lemon and eucalyptus essential oils


Give the walls a once over with the vacuum cleaner to get rid of any cobwebs or fine dust. Using the brush attachment will work the best.

Fill a big bucket with hot water and add ½ cup of neat Castile soap and a cup of bicarb soda.

Fill a spray bottle with 50/50 white distilled vinegar and water. You can also use apple cider vinegar but the white distilled kind is much cheaper for such a big job. 

Dip a sponge into the hot water and squeeze out most of it. Working from the top down in small areas, wash the wall. Every time you put your sponge back in the bucket wipe the area you have cleaned dry with a microfiber cloth or old towel so the paint does not soak up too much water.

Once done, take your bottle of vinegar/water mix and spray and wipe the walls again. This will smell a bit acidic, but you can resst assured that as soon as the vinegar is dry, the smell will totally disappear. It's best to keep doors and/or windows open while doing this part of the job.

Last job is to get a clean bucket of hot water and add 5 drops of lemon and 5 drops of eucalyptus essential oils, and mix them together. If you like, add your own selection of essential oils. They will work just fine, as this is a matter of taste rather than a cleaning requirement. 

Wipe the walls down for the last time and dry off with a clean microfiber cloth.

You can now hang your paintings and enjoy your new room, smoke free!