How To Get Cigarette Smell Out Of Wood Furniture

I have been searching for months to find just the right desk for my office. I finally stumbled upon one on Craigslist this weekend, It was the right look, right price, everything was perfect except one thing.

It came from a smokers house. As any experienced thrifter knows, getting the smell of old cigarettes out of wood furniture is a CHALLENGE. I even reconsidered the purchase but I am pretty desperate for a desk at the moment. However I did ask her for a lower price because of it and she agreed. Score!

I have experimented with many different techniques in the past and this is what I have come up with, it is a combination of several methods, and it works better than anything else I have tried.

You will need, white vinegar, Basic H, Basic G, warm water, fine steel wool, and a rag.

Start by mixing together 1 TBS of Basic G, 1 TBS of Basic H, and warm water. Dip your fine steel wool in the soapy water and go over the ENTIRE piece. Not only does the smell get into the wood but the nicotine forms a film on every surface it touches. In order to even begin to get rid of the smell you have to get it off.

After the wood has dried dampen a rag with white vinegar and wipe down the ENTIRE piece. Vinegar is a natural deodorizer.

Next put 3 TBS of baking soda on a towel in each drawer. Close the drawers and let sit for several days. The baking soda will start to absorb the remaining odor.

And for the final touch grab some Arm & Hammer Munchkin baking soda and lavender diaper pail disks. Wrap them up in some left over fabric and tie them up.

Add a cute little sachet to each drawer. The baking soda will continue to absorb any remaining odor and the lavender adds a great spring smell.

Also any surface that you paint or seal will not smell anymore. 

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  1. Pine Tree Home says:

    Those little discs looks like something I will try!

  2. Prudently Painted Vintage says:

    Good tips! Nothing worst than stale cigarette smell! Yuck!!

  3. Twice Nice says:

    I like the idea of those diaper pail disks…next time. The last time I had smoke to remove, after wiping it down well with vinegar/water I put 1/4 cup of ground coffee in some old socks, tied the top closed and placed one in each drawer for a week or so. Works well in refrigerators/freezers when you have them unplugged for a move so they don't stink when you get ready to use them again.

  4. eleven-o-one says:

    When I was pregnant with my second, we bought an antique bedroom set that we loved. But once it was moved in, the smell of it made me so sick I couldn't sleep in the same room any more. Wish I'd known of your solution! Hubby worked really hard at getting rid of the smell. Once he finally did, we discovered it had termites, too! The dealer we bought from managed to help with that issue but we still laugh at the trouble the set caused us. We still have it and love it. I guess it was worth the trouble.

  5. stellar junk says:

    Wow, thanks for this, I have a dresser that I love, but I got it home and after noticing the STINK, it was downgraded from clothing storage to scrapbooking supplies storage. Maybe it can FINALLY be for clothes again soon?? lol.

  6. Sippy Cup Mom says:

    What a gorgeous desk! And thank you so much for this, I have not bought items before because of smoke, but now I can and will try this!

  7. Cook Clean Craft says:

    It's a lovely desk and I'm sure it was worth the effort. I am so glad smoking rates are going down because it is such a disgusting smell.

  8. Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking says:

    What great tips and I so agree what a great looking desk!!

  9. Heather says:

    I can think of some other uses for that cute little fabric wrapped A&H deodorizer. The older my boys get, the more I find different smells associated with them that aren't that desirable! Thanks for the tip!

  10. Designing Domesticity says:

    Don't you just love those little deodorizers. I swear by them! Good to know about Basic G – have been wondering about a proper disinfectant. Can't wait to see what you do to the desk! Liz

  11. michelle @ this little light says:

    Oh that desk is gorgeous!!!! Why can I never find something like that when I'm thrifting?! Good luck!

  12. Shabby Chic Sandy says:

    Thanks for sharing!

  13. ashley says:

    what is basic h & basic g? where can I buy it?

  14. Shawna Lieberman says:

    I just bought a gorgeous chalk painted dresser last night. Got it home and my daughter noticed the smell of smoke right away. I can’t believe I didn’t notice it when I was buying it. Anyway – it is a gorgeous handpainted finish that I could NEVER duplicate, so I can’t really scrub the surface of it – at least I don’t think I could. Any recommendations for a piece that is already finished?

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  1. […] H + Basic G + Fine Steal Wool: Thanks to the blog, Three Boys, for this tip! After my vinegar method didn’t fully neutralize the smell, I went on an […]

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