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Let’s say you just found a lovely piece of furniture in your favorite thrift store or you perhaps even inherited a new sofa or chair from a relative with deep sentimental value. But unfortunately, the smell of smoke emanating from the new piece of furniture is going to ruin this amazing addition to your home.

Thrift store furniture

So time to role up your sleeves and find a solution to get smoke smell out of wood furniture quickly and effectively. It would be a shame to get rid of that last purchase or refuse to take your uncle Larry’s antique couch. There are a variety of ways you can go about this, but you have to keep in mind that until you neutralize the oil and tar build-up from the smoke, you are not going to completely remove cigarette smell from wood furniture or soft furnishings. 

Let’s take a look at a few different solutions for getting smoke smell out of wood furniture or upholstered furniture.

1. Air Out the Furniture

One of the cheapest and easiest ways to remove cigarette smell from wood furniture is to simply air out the furniture. Open up the windows if the weather cooperates, and set up fans in the windows to help the process along. In my opinion, this is the very first method to try. It does require much effort and there is no risk to damage your furniture.

If the weather permits, take the furniture outside to sit in the sun, or leave it on your porch or in your garage for a few weeks. The larger, more open the space, the better. Direct fresh air is, of course, the best, but a well-ventilated garage can also be a good solution if it isn’t stuffed full of storage. 

Airing out furniture
This old 1930’s sideboard sat outside on a sunny day.

This technique may be effective in many cases to remove mild smoke odor from your furniture. The only issue with this is it can literally take weeks to get the smell fully removed from your furniture. If it did not work or if you need the smell gone quickly, you’ll want to try one of the other methods listed below.

2. Use Baking Soda 

Baking soda is a natural deodorizer, but it does more than removing the smell. The chemical composition of baking soda will actually neutralize and chemically change the smoke residue composition on the surface of your furniture while not harming it. It’s an excellent option for anyone wondering how to get smoke smell out of furniture upholstery or cushions.

Baking soda can be purchased at the grocery store or your local pharmacy. You can also order baking soda directly from Amazon. Take the spoonful of baking soda and sprinkle it on the surface of the fabric of your furniture carefully. You want to include the cushions and all areas of your piece of furniture. 

Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda, 8 Ounce (Pack of 3)

At this point, you can let the baking soda sit on the surface of your furniture for two to four hours at least, but it would be preferable if you can let it stay overnight. When your time has elapsed, you can then take a vacuum cleaner such as a hand vac, and gently remove the baking soda from the surface of your furniture.

Baking soda is the cheapest and best way to neutralize smoke odor on the surface of your furniture, and you can also use it throughout your home on services such as carpets to do the same.

3. Steam Cleaning 

Particularly indicated for furniture that has fabric on it, such as sofas. If you really want the deluxe treatment for your furniture and want to remove all smoke odor and any other dirt or residue from the fabric, you will want to get a steam cleaner. This method won’t work to get smoke smell out of wood furniture, but it’s an excellent choice for anything with fabric on it.

Before cleaning your furniture with a steam cleaner, you need to vacuum any dust, pet hair, or dirt that may be on the fabric. When you use your steam cleaner, you will want to ensure that the setting is not too high so you don’t entirely soak your fabric. 

You can buy a small steam cleaner for a reasonable price on Amazon. If you don’t want to buy one, steam cleaners are available for rent at your local hardware store.

Wagner Spraytech C900054.M, 905e AutoRight SteamMachine Multi-Purpose Steam Cleaner, 12 Accessories Included, Steamer, Steam Cleaners, Steamer for cleaning, Power Steamer, Color May Vary

4. Try Murphy Oil Soap Wood Cleaner

For an all-natural, ammonia- and bleach-free way of getting the stink of smoke out of your wood furniture, you could try Murphy Oil Soap. This concentrated wood cleaner aims to bring out wood’s beauty in a gentle and natural way.

Murphy Oil Original Formula Oil Soap Liquid, 16 oz-2 pk by Murphy's

If your wood has soaked up the stench of smoke, this biodegradable cleaner can do the trick. Best of all, it leaves a good shine behind, conditioning your wood as it goes. For stubborn smells that a once-over just won’t remove, try letting the cleaner soak into the wood for a few hours. Once it’s set, you can gently wipe it away using the soft side of a sponge or a microfiber cloth.

5. Try a Chemical Cleaner

Some chemical cleaners work exceptionally well when cleaning fabric and removing smoke odors from wood.

Chemical cleaners such as Lysol and Febreze work well as they contain the chemicals that neutralize the oil and tar build-up that causes odors. They work well on hard-to-wash fabrics like carpets or upholstery.

If you need a solution for how to get smoke smell out of wood furniture, there is also another product called OdoBan can that can be used to remove cigarette smell from wood furniture.

OdoBan Ready-to-Use Deodorizer Disinfectant, 3-Pack

6. Last method (but not least): Hire Professional Cleaners 

You could also get professionals to handle the task if the smell is too strong or you don’t want to bother doing it yourself. If you’ve tried everything you can think of, let the professionals take over. They’ll have equipment that would be expensive to buy yourself, and they may know some extra tricks to really get the smoke stench out of your furniture.

My tips and tricks :

  • As a general rule, always test your cleaning method on a small inconspicuous area before cleaning a larger area. You want to avoid colorfastness or any other damage to your furniture, especially if you’re using a chemical cleaner.
  • Also, take care not to flood or oversaturate the unfinished wood surface. Water easily damages or stains wood furniture. You may allow the product to sit for a few minutes for a better result. But always wipe away your furniture with a dry cloth to remove excess fluid.
  • Once you have cleaned your piece of furniture, you may still want to air it out. This will remove any lingering smoke but also get rid of the smell that chemical cleaners can leave behind.

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If you have tried to remove smoke smell out of furniture by yourself, do not hesitate to share your own tricks in the comments section below!

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