How I Got Rid of the Lingering Cigarette Smell in My Couch for Good

When I bought my fabric couch secondhand, I didn’t anticipate the intense cigarette odor that had saturated the upholstery. No amount of fabric fresheners or scented candles could mask the lingering smell of smoke that permeated my living room. I tried cleaning the couch cushions but the stubborn odor remained trapped deep in the fibers. As a non-smoker, dealing with this overpowering stench became unbearable. I was determined to get rid of the cigarette smell for good, so I used a combination of deep cleaning methods and odor removal techniques. It took time, patience and repeating the process, but I was finally able to eliminate the smoke smell from my couch permanently.

If you’re struggling with the same issue, these thorough cleaning tips can help revive smoke-damaged furniture and fabrics.

Deep Cleaning the Couch

The first step was to deep clean the entire couch from top to bottom. Smoke residues had built up not only on the surface but deep in the cushions and crevices. A vigorous scrubbing was needed to loosen the particles before I could tackle absorbing the smells.

Washing the Couch Cushions

I started by removing all the removable cushion covers and pillowcases that came with the couch. I threw these into the washing machine on the hottest setting, along with a scoop of detergent and a half cup of distilled white vinegar. The vinegar helped cut through the greasy residue while disinfecting the fabric. After washing, I put the cushions outside on our deck for the day. The sunlight helped dry the fabric quickly while the fresh air circulation dissipated the odors.

Vacuuming the Couch

For the couch itself, I used the crevice attachment on my vacuum to thoroughly clean every nook and cranny multiple times. I would slowly pass over each section, focusing on areas like under the armrests and in the creases of the cushions. Vacuuming up loose ash and debris made the odor less potent. I repeated the process several days in a row to ensure I captured all the dirt I could.

Steam Cleaning

The final deep cleaning step was to rent a handheld fabric steam cleaner. Using the hottest steam setting, I went over the entire couch, section by section. The steam helped release some of the stubborn smoke particles lodged deep in the fibers. I made sure to let the fabric fully dry before moving on to odor removal techniques, to prevent mold growth.

how to get smoke smell out of couch

Absorbing the Odor

With the couch freshly scrubbed, it was time to tackle eliminating the smell. Smoke odors can stubbornly linger long after cleaning. To get my couch odor-free, I used natural absorbing and masking solutions to neutralize the unpleasant aroma.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is excellent for absorbing foul smells. I sprinkled a thin layer all over the couch and left it sit for a minimum of 6 hours before vacuuming it up. The baking soda pulled the odors from the fabric as it sat. I repeated this process twice more over the next few days to fully freshen the couch.

Activated Charcoal

Along with baking soda, I placed activated charcoal bags around the base and arms of the couch. The porous charcoal absorbs and traps odors effectively. I also put some charcoal pieces in the vacuum filter which allowed the vacuum to suck up smells as I continued cleaning the couch. I replaced the charcoal bags about once a week over the next month.

Essential Oils

For an extra scent boost, I created a DIY deodorizing spray with lemon and eucalyptus essential oils. These oils have natural odor-eliminating properties while leaving a fresh, pleasant aroma. I lightly misted the fabric with the spray twice a day for a week. The moisture helped release stuck-on smoke particles while the oils masked any lingering odors.

Purifying the Air

To prevent the smoke smell from Returning, I also employed air cleansing strategies. Any particles still floating around in the air could re-odorize the couch over time.

I ran an air purifier with a carbon filter next to the couch for several hours each day. The purifier helped capture stray smoke and other odor molecules. Keeping the windows open as often as possible also improved air circulation in the room.

Completely stripping away years of accumulated cigarette odor from my couch required diligence. With deep cleaning, odor removal and air purification, I was finally able to eliminate the smoke smell for good. While it took repeating various tactics, the effort was well worth it to restore my couch and freshen my home’s environment.

If you’re struggling with smoke odors trapped in furniture or fabrics, don’t give up hope. With a combination of intensive scrubbing, odor absorbers, deodorizers and ventilation, you can get rid of even persistent cigarette smells. With time and patience, you’ll be able to breathe deep and enjoy smoke-free furnishings again.

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