Whether you just closed on a new-to-you home with lingering odors or you are seeking a sustainable long-term strategy, staving off the smell of smoke in your home can be tricky. While it is highly recommended to get professional odor removal services, read below for some DIY strategies on how to get rid of smoke smell in your home in the meantime.

Air Out Your Home

Open Exterior Windows & Doors

Just as you might do to disperse a smoky kitchen, opening up windows and doors as much as possible can alone improve the potency of smoke smell in your home. If able, keeping the windows open to air out your space for longer periods of time is the most ideal. The longer the windows are open, the more time is given for outside air to circulate and freshen the air inside.

Utilize Fans

To further aid fresh air circulation in your home, turn on any fans you have. Both standalone oscillating fans and ceiling fans can keep air moving with the goal of sending smoky air away.


Personal home dehumidifiers with built-in filters can be helpful in capturing smoke particles and contribute to improving the odor in your home. Set one out in areas with the worst smell, and use this strategy in combination with airing out!

Absorb the Smell of Smoke

The magic of baking soda and activated charcoal can be harnessed to not only remove bad odors, but to absorb them! Use them with the following strategies and materials.

Baking Soda & Vacuum Cleaning

Especially for absorbent surfaces like upholstery and carpet, baking soda and a lot of vacuuming can go a long way. We recommend dusting baking soda on carpets or upholstery, letting it sit overnight, and then vacuuming it up. Giving baking soda the time to capture odor overnight will maximize its effectiveness. Some homeowners put open containers of baking soda in their refrigerators for this same purpose of absorbing odors!

Open Baking Soda Containers

Beyond fridge odor control, placing bowls or open boxes of baking soda in rooms throughout the house can be helpful in getting rid of smoke smell.

Activated Charcoal to Remove Bad Odors

A newer strategy, activated charcoal can be used in ways similar to baking soda for odor absorption purposes (but do not try sprinkling it on your carpet). Activated charcoal has been treated to increase its oxygen capacity. The porous granules of charcoal trap particles and diminish odor thanks to a large surface area.

Neutralizing the Smoke Smell

While neutralizing a smoke smell is not always a long-term fix, following some of these strategies can bring some improvement and temporary relief to a displeasing aroma.

Stovetop Potpourri

Simmering homemade potpourri on the stove may remind you of the holidays, but it is also a good measure to take against a smoky home! We recommend a combination of vinegar and citrus peels.

Diffuse Essential Oils

If you own essential oils or are willing to make the purchase, diffusing can be an effective strategy to fill the air with pleasant-smelling particles rather than smoke.

Air-Purifying Plants

Although it takes a lot of plants to make a big impact on cleaning your home air, taking up the title of plant parent can be a contributing factor in a long-term clean home strategy.

Deep Cleaning Tips to Get Rid of Smoke Smell

Wash Removable Furniture Covers

Upholstery can be some of the hardest material to remove odor from. If your couch or other upholstered furniture has removable covers, wash them in a laundry machine. Combine this with the baking soda and vacuuming strategy above, and you may be in luck!

Clean Leather Furniture

Leather furniture is hard to treat, but we recommend wiping it down with a cloth and a mixture of vinegar and water.

Scrub Walls & Ceilings

If a house has been home to a smoker, even the walls and ceilings can be affected. A thorough cleaning and wipe-down with water and vinegar can help to remove some of the smoke damage and odor.

Keep HVAC Filters Fresh

Replacing your HVAC filter regularly not only keeps your air conditioning running smoothly but greatly affects the air quality in your home. Be sure to keep a clean filter so your HVAC system can filter out smoke particles to the best of its ability.

Professional Smoke Odor Removal

Despite following all of the suggestions above and putting full effort into it, sometimes a home affected by the smell of smoke simply needs a professional. ServiceMaster by Rice utilizes special equipment, steam cleaning, and water extraction techniques in tandem with other measures to remove and restore your home’s odor. Contact our team to schedule professional odor removal in Iowa or Southern Minnesota today!