How to Get Rid of the Smell of Smoke in Your Rental Property

How to Get Rid of the Smell of Smoke in Your Rental Property

Photo credit: ezioman (Flickr)

So you let your tenants smoke in your rental unit (or not). Now your property smells like smoke, making it undesirable to prospective renters once you put the unit back on the market. Unless your next tenants love the smell of lingering smoke, you’re going to have to get rid of the stench.

If you find that your unit smells like smoke, but it’s a non-smoking unit, you have the right to deduct from the tenant’s security deposits to cover the cost of the damages.

Here are a few tips to eliminate the smoke smell from your rental property.

Rub in vinegar into non-fabric surfaces. Pour some distilled white vinegar mixed with water onto a clean cloth and rub it into the hard surfaces in the unit. While you may think that the smell of vinegar is unpleasant also, the scent will eventually fade away, taking away the smoke smell as well.

Throw baking soda onto fabric surfaces. If you have a lot of fabrics in your unit, such as furniture or carpet, the smoke smell is going to be completely absorbed into those materials. Get a large box of baking soda and sprinkle it onto your furniture and carpet. Let the baking soda sit for about 24 hours so that it soaks up the smell. Vacuum the baking soda up the next day, and repeat if necessary.

Place bowls of activated charcoal around the unit. Active (powdered) charcoal helps absorb odorous substances from gases and liquids and traps in carbon-based impurities. Place several bowls of activated charcoal around the apartment and let it sit for a day to absorb the smoke smell.

Hire professional cleaners. Many fabrics tarnished by smoke need to be professionally cleaned, because they use industrial-strength chemicals and methods. Get your curtains and drapes dry cleaned by a professional. If you don’t want to re-carpet your floors, you may want to hire a professional to clean your carpet, too.