Cigarette smoke smell can be tenacious. Despite our best efforts, it often lingers in indoor spaces long after the smoking has occurred. In addition to being unpleasant, the chemicals it contains can be harmful to our health.
Of course, the best option is to prevent cigarette smoke from permeating the space in the first place, but that isn’t always possible. If smoking does occur, there are ways to mitigate the smell and the hazards associated with it.
In this article, the experts at Sanuvox explain why cigarette smoke smell is so persistent, what dangers it poses and how to eliminate it from your home.
Tobacco contains a plethora of chemicals that are released into the air when someone smokes. These chemicals linger in the air, stick to surfaces and accumulate in house dust. Indoors, 70% to 90% of nicotine and NNK (a carcinogen specific to tobacco) remain in the environment and can linger for months to years after the smoking has taken place.
These lingering chemicals are called thirdhand smoke. Almost any surface can absorb them: carpets, walls, furniture, curtains, etc. People are then exposed to the chemicals by touching the surfaces or inhaling the off-gassing.
Thirdhand smoke contains a variety of toxic compounds, many of which are harmful to human health. They can directly damage DNA, change the way reproductive cells function, damage the respiratory system and lead to a higher risk of cancer. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to do everything you can to eliminate thirdhand smoke.
There are a variety of strategies you can use to try to get rid of cigarette smoke smell. Note that the longer the smoking has been going on, the deeper the chemicals will have penetrated into the household surfaces, making the smell harder to eliminate.
Cleaning is an essential step when it comes to getting cigarette smoke smell out of your house. Wash your clothes and any other fabrics that can easily be put through the washing machine. For hard surfaces, try scrubbing them with a solution of 2 parts vinegar to 1 part water to dissolve the greasy residue left by the cigarette smoke.
Baking soda is a great deodorizer, because it neutralizes odours but has no strong smell itself (as opposed to vinegar, for example). You can sprinkle baking soda on upholstered furniture, rugs, carpets etc. let it sit for several hours or overnight, then vacuum.
Coffee grounds and activated charcoal are also effective at absorbing odours. You can try placing bowls of them at strategic points around your house to get rid of the cigarette smoke smell.
You can also boil lemon peel in water on the stove for around 20 minutes. The fragrant steam will help deodorize the house.
One of the most important things you can do to eliminate cigarette smoke smell is to make sure that clean air is circulating in your house. Weather permitting, open all the windows to let fresh air in from the outside. You can use box fans, standing fans and even the exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen to help the air circulate.
The chemical dust and particles that give off cigarette smoke smell can easily accumulate in your air ducts and HVAC system, so it’s important to clean the ducts and replace your filters regularly.
Air purifiers are invaluable tools for getting rid of cigarette smoke smell. They can be used while the smoking is going on to eliminate the chemicals before they have a chance to settle on surfaces, and afterwards to mitigate the effects of harmful off-gassing and remove the lingering smell from the air.
When it comes to combating cigarette smoke smell, not all residential air purifiers are created equal. Air purifiers with HEPA filters are able to filter out cigarette smoke ashes particles, but they have no effect on volatile organic compounds, which include the chemicals released in cigarette smoke that are harmful to human health. Activated carbon filters are more effective at trapping these chemicals.
Air purifiers with UV technology are able to neutralize the chemicals and odours associated with cigarette smoke. Air is pulled through a UV chamber and subjected to photo-oxidation, which degrades the chemicals in addition to destroying micro-organisms such as mold, viruses and bacteria. Stimulated by the high energy of the UV light, large organic compounds are broken down into smaller molecules by oxidation. This is in essence what is being accomplished inside the Sanuvox ultraviolet air purifier. Carcinogenic organic compounds emitted by cigarettes are decomposed by a high intensity UV source and get destroyed by photo-oxidation at an accelerated rate.
Smoking cigarettes releases harmful chemicals that linger in the air and on surfaces long afterwards. These chemicals and their unpleasant smell can be difficult to remove from your home. While deodorizers can help mask the smell, deep cleaning and certain types of air purifiers are the most effective ways to eliminate the chemicals emitted during smoking.
Sanuvox is a global leader in smoke removal air purifiers. Our patented high-intensity UV lamps deliver the maximum UV dosage to the moving air stream to degrade chemicals and eliminate odours with our BIOPÜR unique product complemented with HEPA and activated carbon filter to eliminate cigarette smoke odours. Contact us today for air purification solutions that will eliminate cigarette smoke smell and ensure the cleanliness of the air you breathe.