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Will Professional Carpet Cleaning Remove Smoke Smells from Your Carpet?

January 8, 2021

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If you’re a smoker looking to sell your home or bring in a new roommate, or if you’ve recently purchased a home from a smoker, you might wonder if carpet cleaning removes smoke smells. The good news is that the right carpet cleaning method can remove smoke smells, and there are odor neutralizing services that also remove smoke smells and other bothersome odors.

Before you start pricing new carpeting or stock up on pungent carpet deodorizers, note a few tips for carpet cleaning to remove smoke smells. It’s also helpful to know when to call the pros, to ensure the job is done right and without damage, so you can enjoy a clean and welcoming indoor space.

Professional Steam Cleaning: Will it Remove Cigarette Smell?

Steam carpet cleaning removes smoke smells rather effectively! Cigarette smoke smells typically linger in the tars and oils of tobacco; when someone smokes, these tars and oils melt and become airborne, and then cling to walls, floors, furniture fabric, and other surfaces.

Steam cleaning helps melt those tars and oils, making it easier to then extract them during the cleaning process. As you remove those tars and oils, you also remove the smoke molecules and odors trapped in them! Steam also helps loosen dirt and other oils, and kills mold and mildew, which also ensures a fresh, clean scent throughout your home.

The downside of steam cleaning is that it can take carpets some time to dry completely, even with proper extraction. It’s also vital that homeowners leave this process to the pros, as the steam used for carpet cleaning is dangerous and risks burns to your skin, sinus passages, and eyes.

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How Do You Get a Burnt Smell Out of Carpets?

Baking soda is an excellent home remedy for removing smoky and burnt smells from carpets, as baking soda helps neutralize the molecules that hold unpleasant odors. To use this remedy, sprinkle baking soda generously over the affected carpet area and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, and then vacuum thoroughly.

If you still notice smoke smells or burnt odors, mix two parts water with one part white vinegar and mist this over the carpet. Don’t extract this mixture but let it seep into the carpet and then use fans and open windows to encourage the carpet to dry. The vinegar can help eliminate unpleasant odors and doesn’t need to be removed from the carpet to work.

Does Carpet Cleaning Remove Pet Odors?

Professional carpet cleaning removes the bacteria found in pet stains and, in turn, eliminates the odors of those stains. However, a stain and its accompanying odor can become permanent if you attempt to clean it on your own and end up simply pushing the stain deeper into the carpet! To ensure you don’t make that stain larger or even permanent, avoid the following in trying to address pet stains and odors:

  • Never use a harsh scrub brush on carpeting, as this can damage fibers and flatten the carpet nap. Also, avoid rubbing the stain until you’ve saturated the area, so you might simply rub the stain deeper into the carpet.
  • Never use a carpet cleaning solution before checking the carpet’s material; some cleansers are meant for various materials or stains, and using the wrong cleaner can ruin a carpet.
  • Laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, and other cleansers are often too harsh for carpets and can bleed the color and ruin the fabric. Only use carpet cleaning products when addressing pet stains and odors.
  •  Avoid trying to cover the odor with perfumes, candles, deodorizers, and other pungent materials. These can actually make those smells worse and ruin the carpeting.

If you’ve attempted to clean pet stains and odors with over-the-counter cleansers and still notice unpleasant smells, it’s time to call a carpet cleaning professional. He or she can clean the carpet thoroughly, right down to the underlying padding, and apply odor neutralizers that eliminate smells effectively.

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Why Does My Carpet Smell Worse After Cleaning?

The most common cause of an unpleasant odor after carpet cleaning is improper extraction. If water isn’t extracted thoroughly after carpet cleaning, its underlying padding and other materials are then prone to mold and mildew.

Note that it doesn’t take long for either mold or mildew to develop and spread along a carpet underside, as both grow quickly in dark, damp areas. If you notice an unpleasant smell after carpet cleaning, it’s vital you call a more experienced professional to clean the carpets and eliminate the mold and mildew, and then also dry them properly so those residues don’t return!

Removing the Smoke Smell From a House

Unfortunately a home’s carpets are not the only surfaces and materials that absorb smoke molecules and then hold that smoke smell longer after you extinguish a cigarette! You might notice strong smoke smells coming from a home’s walls, upholstered and wood furniture, hardwood flooring, and ceilings. To combat these odors, first note some quick household remedies to try:

  • Use an air purifier in the home and keep it running continuously for several days. This helps pull smoke molecules from surfaces and traps them in the purifier or filter.
  • Sprinkle baking soda generously on carpets and other surfaces and leave it overnight; vacuum or wipe it away in the morning. Baking soda absorbs odors and can help remove them from walls and even ceilings!
  • Indoor plants absorb air pollutants including smoke molecules. Bring some plants into the home and note if this helps eliminate odors.
  • White vinegar and activated charcoal eliminate odors. Place small bowls of these around the home and especially in areas where smoke smells are the strongest.

If none of these methods work, it’s time to call a professional floor and furniture cleaner. Avoid trying to cover over the odors with paint, as those smoke molecules will eventually seep through. A professional carpet cleaning contractor can neutralize the odors and clean floors, hardwoods, and furniture, for a fresh interior environment.

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Smelling Smoke Odors in Your Home Even Though You Don't Smoke?

If you don’t have a medical condition that causes you to smell odors that aren’t present, you might be smelling cigarette smoke from neighbors. If your neighbors smoke on a patio near your home’s open windows, it wouldn’t be unusual for that smoke to make its way into your home and then get trapped in carpets, walls, and furniture. Smoke from neighboring apartments can make its way through floors, ceilings, and walls, and make your apartment smell like smoke as well!

A person can also transfer cigarette smoke through their own clothes, hair, and skin. If you’re around smokers throughout the day or spend time in a closed room with lots of trapped cigarette smoke, your clothes, hair, skin, and personal belongings might absorb that smoke. When you get home, the smoke is then transferred to your home’s interior surfaces.

Note a few tips for avoiding transferring secondhand smoke and eliminating any smoke that makes its way into your home from neighboring properties:

  • If you notice neighbors smoking near your open windows, close them immediately! At the very least, put a fan in the window aimed outward, to push that smoke out of your home.
  • When neighbors aren’t out smoking, keep all your home’s windows open, to increase fresh air circulation.
  • Invest in an air purifier and keep it operating as much as possible throughout the day.
  • Purchase a vacuum cleaner with a strong HEPA filter and vacuum daily. Ensure you also clean upholstered furniture!
  • Wash your home’s walls, ceilings, and floor tiles at least weekly if not more often.
  • Change out of your clothes after arriving home from the office or anywhere else that exposes you to smoke.
  • If possible, shower and wash your hair before sitting anywhere in the house, to avoid smoke transfer!
  • Invest in regular professional floor and upholstery cleaning, to remove trapped dirt and smoke molecules that hold smoky smells in your home.

What Is the Best Smoke Odor Eliminator?

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Most commercial smoke odor eliminators contain activated charcoal, baking soda, vinegar, and other similar products that actually neutralize odor molecules rather than covering them up. Heavy deodorants and perfumes might cover odors temporarily, but they will eventually wear off and those unpleasant smoke smells will return. If you’ve tried homemade remedies for smoke odors in carpeting and other surfaces, it’s time to call for professional carpet cleaning. Not only will they know the best commercial-quality products to use for eliminating even the toughest odors, but they can also clean surfaces and materials thoroughly, removing traces of cigarette smoke and ash, mold, mildew, and other residues that create foul odors in your home. A homeowner might also want to consider having the home’s ductwork cleaned and ensuring the change the home’s furnace filter often, as smoke molecules can settle in those ducts. A clean filter will trap more smoke and odors and help the home stay clean and fresh.

AmeriBest Carpet Cleaning is proud to present this information to our readers and we hope you found it useful. If you’re in the Hartford, CT, area and need carpet cleaning to remove smoke smells or to ensure your home is clean and pristine and in good condition, give us a call! We offer a wide range of services sure to fit your property and budget, and stand behind all our work with a full guarantee you can trust.

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