How to clear smoke out of a room

Do you have a room that’s filled with smoke?

If so, then you know how important it’s to get smoke out as quickly as possible.

Whether it’s caused by a person smoking tobacco, a cooking accident, an unexpected fire, or a poorly ventilated fireplace, knowing how to clear smoke out of a room is essential.

And not only is it good to know how to get rid of the smoke, but it’s also beneficial to know ways for how to mask smoke odor.

That way, you won’t have a smelly room after the smoke has been cleared.

To help you get rid of smoke and mask the smell, we’ve put together this list of tips and advice for your try.


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How to Clear Smoke Out of a Room

1. Identify the Source

The first step in cleaning smoke out of any room is to know where the smoke is coming from.

If it has been caused by burnt food or an unexpected fire, then make sure to put this out. Use a fire extinguisher to douse the flames to stop more smoke from forming.

Should the smoke be caused by a cigarette or cigar, you’ll need to make sure it has been stamped out and is no longer burning.

Also, dump out any ashtrays if they’re inside the room.

2. Use an Air Purifier

If you want to get rid of smoke from your home without having to put in a lot of effort, then consider adding an air purifier to your space.

In fact, it’s the simplest—and fastest way—how to clear smoke out of a room for good.

Air purifiers can be beneficial when it comes to unexpected smoke incidents and those that are common, such as in homes where tobacco smokers are present.

If the air purifier has a True HEPA filter, then it can remove the visible smoke particles from the air.

If it’s equipped with an Activated Carbon filter, then it can also neutralize smoke odors.

Some air filters are so good at their job of removing smoke and odors from the air, they’ll remove the visible smoke even while a person is smoking.

Many cigar shops use air purifiers in their stores to remove smoke and odors for this reason.

Check out our best air purifier for smoke reviews to find the one that’s right for your home. These devices can work well for unexpected smoke accidents, wildfires, and tobacco products.

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3. Create a Cross Breeze

If you don’t have an air purifier in your home, the next best thing you can do is push the smoke out of your home. 

To do that, you need to create a cross breeze by opening at least one window and another door or window that’s on the opposite side of the room.

If you don’t have any windows that are across from each other to create a cross breeze, use a fan to blow the smoke out of your home through the open window or door.

One of the best ways to get smoke out of your home is to place the fan directly on your windowsill and have it blow outside when turned on.

This will draw the smoke out of your house and keep it from infiltrating other rooms.

4. Use Vinegar

Should you not have an air purifier, windows that create a cross draft, or a fan in your home, you can always try the vinegar trick.

To use vinegar correctly for clearing out smoke, you need to soak a towel in a mixture of vinegar and water.

Then, wring the towel out as much as you can, and swing the towel in a circular motion over your head to create air movement.

This swinging motion will encourage the smoke to go out the nearest window or door.

Plus, the vinegar on the towel is useful in that it will soak up any smoke odor that might be hanging out in the air.

5. Run the Air Conditioner

If you have a whole-house air conditioner or window unit, you can speed up the process of clearing out smoke by turning the unit on.

All air conditioners draw room air into the unit, cool it down, and cycle it back into the space.

And when you turn the air conditioner on, it can help to remove the visible smoke particles.

A window air conditioner would be faster than a whole-house air conditioner since it can work in isolation. But, if you don’t have one, using the central AC system is still a good option.

How to Mask Smoke Odor

Even if you get all of the smoke out of your home, you may find that the odor has continued to linger.

If there’s a person in your home that smokes on a regular basis, this can absorb into the carpet, wood, fabrics, and drywall of a room.

So, finding out how to mask smoke odor is beneficial.

Here are some of the best ways to mask smoke smell indoors.

1. Boil Lemons

For an inexpensive, but effective way to mask smoke odor, you might try boiling lemons.

Lemons are filled with natural oils that mask smoke.

Here’s how to boil lemons for this purpose:

  • Fill a quart pot with water.
  • Slice one or two lemons and add to the water.
  • Bring the water to a rapid boil.
  • Reduce the heat, simmer the lemons and water for 30 minutes.
  • Let the water cool, throw away the lemons, pour the water down the drain.

2. Go Back to Vinegar

If you still notice the smoky smell after boiling lemons, then you can always go back to vinegar.

For this, you’ll fill a small bowl with white vinegar.

Then add a piece of bread to the vinegar and place it in the room with the smoke smell.

The bread should absorb the smoke, and then you can throw it away.

3. Use Vanilla Extract

If you find that you don’t like the smell of lemons or vinegar, then use some vanilla extract.

All you have to do is add vanilla to a bowl and then soak a few cotton balls.

You’ll then place the cotton balls into the smoky room and let them sit for a few hours.

After that, you can then throw them away.

4. Use Air Fresheners or Essential Oils

One of the easiest ways to mask smoke odor is to spray air fresheners into the room.

You can get these in a variety of different scents from the store or online.

You even have the ability to spray these multiple times throughout the day—just don’t spray too much, as this will cause the room to become overwhelmed by chemical fragrances.

Using an essential oil diffuser is even easier than a scented spray.

All you have to do is set it up in the smoky room, add water to the reservoir, put a few drops of your favorite scented oil into the diffuser, and then turn it on.

The diffuser will take care of the rest.

5. Use Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)

If you’ve tried all of the tips above on masking smoke odor, and it’s still not gone, the smoke smell might be embedded in the carpet or furniture.

Sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda, is a very effective deodorizer.

Baking soda can absorb smells rather than just mask them.

Here are a few ways to use baking soda to remove smoke smells:

  • Fill several small bowls with baking soda and then set them all around the room. Leave the baking soda in place for at least 24 hours to soak up as much odor as possible.
  • Sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda onto rugs and carpets. Let it sit overnight or for at least two hours, then vacuum it up.
  • Sprinkle soft furniture with a light coating of baking soda and let it sit for at least two hours, and then thoroughly vacuum it up with an upholstery attachment.

Enjoy a Smoke-Free Room

We hope you enjoyed these tips on how to clear smoke out of a room and how to mask smoke odor.

By using the methods outlined on this page, you can easily get rid of smoke and it’s smell from any room.

Especially, if you combine the use of an air purifier with the odor removal methods.

But, if you’re still experiencing smoky odors even after trying these tips, the final thing you can try is washing down the walls and/or repainting them.

That’s a drastic last step, but it may be necessary if you’re struggling with removing smoke from a room.

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About Katherine Dyson

Katherine is the lead Staff Writer. She conducts in-depth research and interviews with industry experts in order to produce a wide range of content for the site. Her main role is to write helpful articles that aid people who are seeking to improve their indoor air quality and comfort. (See Full Bio)