How to Remove Smoke Odors From Upholstery

08 July
Removing smoke odors from upholstery

I've been working hard on my blog... cleaning it up, organizing it, and going back through old posts (over 400 of them!) and editing some content and improving pictures.

As I was going back through them I came across this one where I shared how I painted a velvet headboard: Master Bedroom Redo - Painted Fabric Headboard.

The headboard was purchased from a friend who also purchased from a friend and that friend smoked and so the headboard smelled horribly of cigarette smoke... that's why my friend sold it to me.

I took a big gamble with that purchase because I know cigarette odors are notoriously HARD if not impossible to get rid of but I wanted to try! I was successful with a very simple and inexpensive method and I realized that I never really gave that method the proper attention it deserved!

So today I'm sharing how to remove smoke odors from upholstery in case you find something you love but are scared because of the smell.

Supplies needed:

Spray Bottle

Step 1... wait... whaaaat? Vinegar? That's it?!
YES! :o) That's it!!
  1. Put the vinegar (undiluted) into the spray bottle.
  2. Lay down a tarp of some sort (I use old shower curtain liners) and put your furniture piece on it
  3. Spray the entire piece down with the vinegar
  4. Let it dry overnight
I did this with the velvet headboard and the next morning I stuck my nose right up against the fabric and took a big whiff... and it didn't smell at all!

And Since I wrote that original headboard post January 1, 2015 I have had the headboard on my bed where I sleep every night and I have never smelled even a hint of cigarette smoke!

Some precautions/warnings:
  • Test it in an area on your piece that won't be visible first to make sure it doesn't do anything to the color. I did not do this step because I knew that I was going to paint this headboard so it didn't matter.
  • Do this outside! I did it indoors because it was winter and COLD outside at the time and I wanted it to dry not freeze! This was a BIG Mistake! After awhile my eyes started watering, burning, and swelling! :o(
  • This method worked for me and the headboard but I cannot guarantee that it will work for you so I would not spend a ton of money on something that has smoke odors just in case. I would hate for you to spend hundreds and be stuck with a stinky piece you can't use in your home.
Did you find this post useful? Do you think you'll try this method on something?

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  1. Vinegar seems to be the magical ingredient in lots of potions!

  2. Thanks for this tip, Tania, had no clue this worked but I'm definitely giving it a try!


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