Post # 1
So FI and I were looking at an apartment, it was huge, in a safe area, ran by a nice man, etc. The only issue was that it smelled a little like smoke. I have asthma, which also makes me EXTREMELY SENSITIVE to smoke. I didn’t think it was that bad when I first saw it, said we should go for it. We went to go sign the lease today, FI was super excited about it.
However, it smelled a little worse than before, but with the lease, FI… I was super hesitant but said it was ok and that we would work with it. I plan on cleaning the whole place top to bottom, and have even found a company that can 100% guaranteed clean out smoke smells in case I can’t do it.
Does anyone have any experience with cleaning out smells? I’ve gotten lots of advice from people of things to try! Carpet is almost brand new, has already been cleaned, and walls have been painted. But cabinets are dusty and it definitely needs a thorough cleaning top to bottom. Any experience? Any advice? I’m super scared and won’t be able to get super excited about the new place (which is super adorable by the way) until it’s smell free, which makes FI sad.
Post # 3
Have they painted? Most states have laws they must. If not you should wash the walls and paint. Use a low voc for your asthma if possible. Carpet is tough. You can try powder and vaccum, or febreeze. my friend also tried an ionic filter for the post few weeks. open your windows to air it out, too. Good luck
Post # 4
trying leaving open containers of backing soda around and sprinkling it on the carpet to absorb the odor.
and this might sound weird, but i’ve heard kitty litter works well at getting rid of odors too.
Post # 5
Sometimes I can smell smoke from other people in the building. Look for places where air can flow through, I have an issue with the bathroom vent. I wish it were a typical fan, as sometimes it sucks and other times it blows.
Air purifiers really do help.
Post # 6
@aranel1002: if it is in the walls there’s nothing you can do except tear out the walls. Seriously. I would call them TODAY and discuss. Something tells me you are not going to be happy here- you will be thinking about it and notice it more.
Post # 7
PAINT! Paint will get rid of the smoke scent that is trapped in the pores of the wall. Definitely call the cleaners and after they do the job, sprinkle the baking soda all over the carpet and let it absorb for a few days (you can walk on the baking soda). If the smell doesn’t come out, it may mean that there isn’t a choice but to replace the flooring.
Post # 8
Maybe try a good air purifier with ionizer. I went to a hot yoga class once and it smelled so bad! I tried anither place and there was no smell. I was told it was because of an air purifier with ionizer that helped.
Post # 9
Sealing in the walls with Kilz or another sealing primer is key. Is the issue old smoke, or is the issue that current tenants you share a wall with smoke inside and it seeps in through the walls? If it was worse than when you first looked at the place, that could actually be the issue. In which case, no amount of priming will fix that. Only moving, or having the tenant barred from smoking inside…
Post # 10
I use a product called “Room Shocker” on my rental units. You can buy it on Amazon.
Post # 11
I have VCD which essentially makes me allergic to smoke, and my next door neighbor smokes. I’ve had the bathroom sealed up as well as I can get maintainece to do it and constantly run an air purifier in there which helps quite a bit. I also made a draft dodger full of kitty litter that we keep in front of the door to keep out the smoke from the hallway. The hallway is still awful though and I frequently get attacks trying to get into my apartment :/ in fact I had a nasty one last night. As of the new year my building banned smoking indoors, so hopefully I can call management on him now.
If you have a medical problem with smoke and can avoid it, I would just as soon not live there. (the only reason I didn’t take my own advice is that I did not see our actual apartment untii after the lease was signed.)
Post # 12
Clean, prime and paint the walls and ceilings… Seriously, people always forget about the ceilings when they’re trying to get rid of smells. Replace the filters in the furnace. Have the carpets professionally cleaned, and make sure they know that you’re trying to remove the smoke smell. If there are no soffits above your kitchen cabinets, get up on top of them with a degreaser and clean the tops. This is one area that never-ever seems to get cleaned when landlords flip apartments, and grease can hold a lot of orders. Don’t forget to clean inside the cabinets. Clean the window treatments…if it’s blinds, take them down and soake them in the tub.
Buy this stuff called Gonzo Odor Eliminator. They have it Lowes and Home Depot. It’s made out of volcanic stones. Put one in every room. You hang it up, and it’s supposed to take care of any odors in the room.
Post # 13
Wow thanks for all the advice!
They have already painted everything and already cleaned the carpets, but we are still planning on a thorough cleaning of everything, and the kitchen does seem to smell worse.
@crayfish: I’ve read a lot about Kilz and I will look into it, I’m not sure if he’d let us paint with it or not but if we need to we may do it and not tell him haha.
@Eckle: I’m not alone!! It usually doesn’t bother me that quickly, and yes I probably should have passed on the apartment but was nervous about what FI would say, as when we looked at another unit in the same building that smelled even worse FI (wrongly) got upset, mostly at the situation, because if I didn’t have a problem he would have taken it then. He feels awful for influencing me like that. But we have already signed the lease and can’t go back now….
@mamadingdong: I have a kinda icky gut feeling too, but I’m just super nervous because my badly maintained asthma kicked up bad a few weeks ago and put me in the ER (I’m seeing an Asthma specialist now to prevent that). We have already signed a lease though… I did call the cleaners who work specifically with smoke smells, and I’m pretty confident that they will help. They use an enzyme treatment that I’ve read a lot of good things about, and it’s a money back guarantee so I won’t need to worry about that. And, the smells are coming at least a little from the carpet and the uncleaned kitchen, so I’m hoping the cleaners and a thorough cleaning should take care of it.
Post # 14
@MayaBean: I’ve read about that too, we will try and use that in case the cleaners don’t work.
@angiebee: A good air purifier will probably be bought as well!! I’ve read good things about those too.
Post # 15
Usually here in California they replace the carpet in apartments when new tenants come in. Tell them the scent if smoke is an issue and you want the place recarpeted and painted.
Post # 16
@Cory_loves_this_girl: The last guy who lived there was only there for a few months, and he moved in with new carpet. It’s privately owned, and I doubt the guy would replace it again so soon. I wonder what they used to ‘clean’ the carpets. They definitely don’t smell new, but they do look new. I’m hoping that the cleaning service works, it is short term too, FI will live there for seven months, I will be there for about five. We will probably move out of state when I graduate in August. I’m hoping that it’ll be tolerable enough for five months once we fix it.