7 Reasons Your Home Smells Like Cigarette Smoke (Even if You Don’t Smoke)

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Do you ever smell cigarette smoke in your house, but you and your family don’t smoke? It can be a confusing and frustrating experience.

You may wonder where the smell is coming from and what you can do to get rid of it.

In this blog post, we will explore some possible causes of this phenomenon and provide some tips on how to get the smell out of your house.

A woman covering her nose as if the house smells bad


My House Smells Like Cigarette Smoke But We Don’t Smoke – 7 Reasons Why

1. Someone Is Secretly Smoking in the Home

We hate to say it, but someone may not be completely honest with you in the household.

Someone smoking inside is the most straightforward reason for these odors lingering around.

If you notice that the smell comes and goes, this may mean that someone is smoking only occasionally or when they know you’re not home.

If it’s a consistent odor, you may be able to find out where the smell is most potent. The room you smell the smoke in the strongest is likely where the person is hiding their habit.

Be careful when talking to other housemates about the situation. You don’t want to start any drama or accuse anyone without proof.

2. The Previous Tenants Were Smokers

If the people who lived in your home before you were smokers, you may have to deal with the aftermath of their habit.

Cigarette smoke can seep into walls, carpets, and furniture. It’s a tricky odor to get rid of because it’s embedded in the fabric of your home.

You may also notice stains, discolorations, or faded areas on the walls and ceiling. These are called “smoke stains,” and they are another sign that your home was previously inhabited by smokers.

The length of time that the previous tenants had smoked indoors will also play a role in how bad the smell is. For example, if they smoked for years, the odor will be more potent.

If you’re renting, your best bet is to talk to your landlord about the situation. They may be able to help you clean or make repairs.

If you own the home, you’ll likely have to do some deep cleaning and potentially make renovations yourself.

3. You Need To Change Your Air Filters

Image showing a pair of hands holding an air filter


Air filters are meant to be changed every few months, but many people forget to do this. If your air filters are old, they may not be doing their job properly.

This means that dirt, dust, and other particles are floating around in your home and getting caught in the filter. Over time, the build-up can cause problems with your HVAC system and make your home smell musty.

If you’ve just moved into a new home and the filters haven’t yet been changed, it may be pumping previous cigarette smoke through your system. This could make it seem like the smell is coming from nowhere.

4. The Furnace System Is Old or Damaged

In some cases, the furnace system itself could be causing the cigarette smoke smell. If the system is old or damaged, it may not be ventilating properly.

This means that fumes and other particles are getting trapped in your home instead of being released outside. As a result, you may notice an increase in respiratory problems, headaches, and fatigue.

If you think the furnace is the cause of the smell, it’s best to call a professional to take a look at it.

They will be able to assess the situation and determine whether or not the system needs to be repaired or replaced.

5. Used Furniture or Clothing Is Carrying the Smell

If you regularly buy secondhand furniture or clothing, it’s possible that the smokey smell is coming from these items.

Cigarette smoke smell can linger on fabrics and materials even after they’ve been cleaned. So, if you’ve recently brought any used items into your home, they may be the source of the smell.

Clothing can also hold onto the smell of the cigarette smell. If you’ve recently bought secondhand clothing or had items dry cleaned, they may be the reason your home smells like cigarettes.

The best way to get rid of cigarette smoke is to wash all of your clothes and fabrics in hot water with a strong detergent. You may need to wash them more than once to completely remove the smell.

Using odor-eliminating products like Febreze can also help to mask the smell of cigarette smoke until you’re able to wash your clothes.

6. You May Have Smoked In the Past

Photo of a hand holding a cigarette with smoke inside a house


If you previously smoked and have now stopped, first off, congratulations! Many people find it difficult to quit smoking, so you should be proud of yourself (it took me nine years and four decent attempts!).

However, even if you haven’t smoked in months or years, the smell of cigarette smoke can still linger in your home. This is because nicotine is a sticky substance that clings to walls and surfaces.

So as your sense of smell becomes more sensitive, you may start to notice the faint smell of cigarette smoke even though you haven’t smoked in a long time.

The best way to get rid of this lingering smell is to do a deep clean of your home. This means washing all of your walls, floors, and surfaces with a strong cleaning solution.

You may also need to replace any carpeting or upholstered furniture that’s been affected by the smoke.

7. People Are Smoking Closely Outside

Maybe there are smokers in your home who smoke outside, or you have neighbors that smoke close to your home.

Cigarette smoke can travel through open windows and doors, which means it’s likely getting into your house even if you don’t have smokers living there.

This is especially true if you don’t have well-insulated doors and windows.

The best way to combat this is by closing all of your doors and windows when you know people will be smoking close by. You can also ask your neighbors to smoke further away from your home.

8. Something Is Burning in the Kitchen

A woman worried about something burning inside the oven


It’s possible that you may be mistaking a cigarette smoke smell for something burning in the kitchen.

Go ahead and check your kitchen for any signs of a fire or something burning on the stove. If everything looks normal, then it’s likely that the smell is coming from somewhere else in your home.

How To Remove the Cigarette Smoke Smell From Your Home

1. Clean Your Walls

One of the best ways to eliminate cigarette smoke is to wash your walls. This will help to remove the nicotine and other particles that are clinging to them.

You can use a strong cleaning solution or a vinegar and water mixture. Just be sure to test it on a small area of the wall first to make sure it doesn’t damage the paint or wallpaper.

Wash all of your walls, floors, and surfaces with a strong cleaning solution. Allow for a lot of ventilation after you’re done cleaning to help the fumes clear out and avoid getting sick from any dangerous fumes.

If you have wallpaper, you may need to steam it to remove the cigarette smell. Wallpaper can absorb smells, so you’ll need to be extra diligent in your cleaning if

2. Replace Your Filters

Cigarette smoke can accumulate in filters, especially if the previous tenants haven’t changed them for years on end. Refreshen your air ducts and replace your HVAC filters to get rid of the cigarette smell.

Replace any old or worn-out filters in your home, including your furnace filter, air conditioner filter, and even the filters in your vacuum cleaner. Doing this will help to remove the cigarette smoke from your home and make it smell fresh and clean again.

3. Deep Clean Your Furniture and Carpets

Fabrics can trap a cigarette smoke smell more than any other item in your house since they are porous (and can be a risk for third hand smoke).

If you think that a light cleaning will do, sprinkle some baking soda on your furniture and carpets.

Let the baking soda sit for a few hours before vacuuming it up.

Or you could try using a commercial cleaner that’s designed to remove smoke odors from fabrics. Just be sure to follow the instructions on the label and test it on a small, hidden area first.

You may need to replace any carpeting or upholstered furniture that’s been affected by the smoke. If you can’t remove the smell, then it’s best to start fresh with new furniture and carpeting.

4. Have Some Honest Conversations With Housemates

If you suspect someone is smoking in your home, it’s best to have a conversation with them about it.

They may not realize that they’re causing such a problem and will be more than willing to smoke outside or take other measures to avoid affecting you.

Let them know that secondhand smoke isn’t just a nuisance, but it’s also dangerous to your health.

You may suggest they bring their tobacco smoke outside or that they use a device such as a smoke buddy to help trap the smoke and reduce the smell.

If you live with a smoker and can’t get them to stop, then you may need to consider finding a new place to live.

Living in a smoke-free environment is important for your health, so don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for what you need.

5. Invest in Door Sweeps and Window Seals

Poor air sealing in your home can cause cigarette smoke from outside to seep in. To prevent this, install door sweeps on all of your exterior doors and seal any gaps around your windows with caulk or weatherstripping.

The cost of this investment will be worth it when you no longer have to worry about cigarette smoke coming into your home. It can also help you save money on your energy bills.

Installing door sweeps and window seals is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to keep cigarette smoke out of your home.

You can find these items at most hardware stores, and they only take a few minutes to install. Doing this will create an airtight seal that will block out any cigarette smoke from outside.

6. Close Your Doors and Windows When People Are Smoking Nearby

If you’ve ruled out all of the other potential causes, it’s possible that something is burning in the kitchen. This could be anything from food that’s been left on the stovetop to an

7. Use an Air Purifier

An air purifier can help to remove cigarette smoke from your home and make it smell fresh and clean. Look for an air purifier that has HEPA carbon filters, as this will be the most effective at removing smoke particles from the air.

Place the air purifier in the room where you spend the most time, such as your living room or bedroom. Run it continuously to help purify the air and get rid of the cigarette smoke smell.

An air purifier is a great way to remove cigarette smoke from your home. It can also remove other toxic particles and toxic compounds that have been floating around your home.

8. Use Activated Charcoal Pouches

Activated charcoal is a natural way to remove odors from your home. You can find activated charcoal pouches online or at some health food stores.

To use them, simply place the pouch in the room where you notice the smoke smell the most. Leave it there for a few days to absorb the odor.

9. Use Air Fresheners

Air fresheners can help to mask the smell of cigarette smoke. However, they will not actually remove the smoke from your home.

If you decide to use an air freshener, make sure to choose one that’s designed to neutralize odors, rather than just mask them. You can find these types of air fresheners at most stores that sell cleaning supplies.

This is a great solution in a pinch when you need to freshen up your home for guests or an event.

The Bottom Line

“Our house smells like cigarette smoke but we don’t smoke!” This can be a common problem in many homes, especially if you’ve just moved in.

But don’t worry, it’s possible to identify and resolve the issue.

Once you know the source of the smell, you can take steps to remove it from your home. By following these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy fresh, clean air in no time.

Do you have any tips when it comes to removing the cigarette smoke smell from your home? Share them with us in the comments below!

Reasons Your Home Smells Like Cigarette Smoke

Reasons Your Home Smells Like Cigarette Smoke

Image showing a cigarette tip with ashes on an ash tray with text overlay that reads My House Smells Like Cigarette Smoke But We Don’t Smoke


About Emma

Hey there! I'm Emma. When I'm not wrangling kids I like to walk aimlessly around hardware stores and watch HGTV for hours on end.