Removing Tobacco Smell from Upholstery

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated January 6, 2014)

It can be loads of fun to purchase a new for you car, truck, or recreational vehicle (RV). It seems like your entire world opens up when you have a new vehicle to play around with, doesn't it? However, this joy can quickly turn to dread if you find that you purchased the vehicle from a smoker. Removing tobacco smell from upholstery can often seem like a nightmare, but it is possible. Here's how.

  • Odor "neutralizers." Often commercial odor "neutralizers" will work regardless of the odor. Some of the best ones to use when removing tobacco smell from upholstery is things like Zero Odor, Febreeze, Ozium, and Lysol. Often these products can be purchased at your local department store and will go a long way to removing tobacco smell from upholstery. However, keep in mind that you may need to use several applications in order to remove all of the smell.
  • Ammonia. The best way to remove tobacco odor is to remove the tobacco stains themselves. Before you say that you don't see any stains, keep in mind that often you may not notice a tobacco stain until after you have removed it. Add 1/2 cup of household ammonia (unscented) to 1 gallon of hot water. Scrub down your upholstery with this cleaning solution, changing out the water and ammonia as needed, and then allow to dry. You will be surprised at how quickly that tobacco smell (and the accompanying stains) disappear.
  • Steam cleaning. Just as with ammonia, another way to remove the smell (and the stain) is to use a steam cleaner. You can rent a steam cleaner, carpet cleaner, or similar upholstery cleaner from just about any department store or home improvement store. Be sure that you clean every inch of the upholstery to ensure that you have removed all the stains and odors of the tobacco.
  • Charcoal. A simple method for removing tobacco smell from an enclosed space is to use some charcoal. In order to do this, you will need to purchase some regular charcoal. Do not purchase the pretreated charcoal (since that usually has its own strong odor). Open the bag of charcoal and place it into the area that has the tobacco odor. If at all possible, do not use that car, room, or RV for a few days and allow the charcoal to work. The charcoal will absorb all the bad odors in the space and leave the room smelling nice and clean—at least, as long as you also remove the stains that cause the odors.
  • Vinegar. A great way to clean many stains (and accompanying odors) is to use vinegar. When removing tobacco smells, and the stains that cause them, vinegar can go a long way to accomplishing this. Simply scrub down all your upholstery with a solution made from 50% water and 50% white vinegar (the white vinegar doesn't smell as strong). As you do this, you'll notice that the smoke is everywhere, so be sure that you use enough to clean all your upholstery.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

MORE FROM LEE

Painting Bathroom Cabinets

The most easy and economical method for giving your bathroom a face lift is by painting your bathroom cabinets. Painting ...

Discover More

Yard Management

Everyone knows that first impressions are important, and nothing makes as much of a first impression as your yard. If you ...

Discover More

Using Soy Milk

Soy milk is becoming more popular in cooking circles, and as such you may want to learn the proper way of using it. While ...

Discover More

Remove Stubborn Stains Quickly Get everything looking clean again: Walls, floors, baseboards, counters, blinds, appliances, and more. Micro-scrubbers easily reach into surface grooves, lifting dirt away. This low-cost 8-pack is great for stubborn stains and touble areas. Check out Mr. Clean Magic Eraser 8-Pack today!

More Cleaning Tips

Removing Cigarette Smoke from a Plasma TV

Plasma televisions are becoming increasingly popular as time goes by. As such, it is becoming more and more necessary for ...

Discover More

Clean Your Ashtrays with Ease

Any smoker knows that ashes stick to ashtrays. You can stop this by putting various substances into your ashtrays, ...

Discover More

Dealing with Cigarette Smoke

Smokers, those who live with smokers, and friends of smokers can all have problems dealing with smoke smells. Refusing to ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one more than 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.