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Tips for Dealing With a Smoke Smell When Listing a Home for Sale

When it comes to time to put their Green Bay and N.E. Wisconsin real estate on the market, a lot of people struggle to successfully eliminate smoke smells in their homes.


For many people, the process of ridding a home and the furniture in it can end up being an incredibly time consuming or expensive process. No matter how the smell got there in the first place, whether it was leftover from a house fire or residual cigarette smoke, the general rule is that the stronger the smell, the more difficult it will be to get rid of.


The following article is going to cover some handy tips and tricks that homeowners can do to help prevent a smoke smell in the first place, not to mention reduce or eliminate an unappealing smokey smell when it comes time to sell. Read on to find out more.

Why a Smoke Smell Can Be So Hard to Eliminate

The smell of smoke is actually caused by tiny airborne smoke particles coming to rest on surfaces of the home. Unfortunately, since these particles are so small, they can end up building up almost anywhere, including the inside of tiny nooks, crannies, cracks and crevices.


This is why for long-term smokers or particularly strong or prevalent smell, hiring a professional cleaning service is often the only viable option when it comes to eliminating that set-in smell completely from any type of real estate in Green Bay and N.E. Wisconsin.


That said, when dealing with newer or more subtle odors, most homeowners have a fighting chance of either reducing or getting rid of the smell completely without having to shell out for professional cleaners, and this article is going to cover how to do it.

What Causes a Smoke Smell to Stick Around

Anybody who has ever dealt with any kind of smoke in the home is probably well aware that smoke is a smell that likes to stick around that builds upon indoor surfaces as a yellowish residue.


It will stick to anything from fabric to carpet to wood to walls to decor, and the more porous and breathable the surface, the stronger the hold of the smell.


Depending on the amount of buildup that is left behind by smoke, the smell of smoke will generally linger in the home from anywhere from a few days, but if the smell is prevalent or severe enough, it can also take months to disappear completely, especially if the area is not well ventilated.


Obviously, this smell will hardly be a plus for anybody hoping to sell their Green Bay and N.E. Wisconsin real estate in a timely manner, so most sellers choose to take measures to reduce or eliminate the smell of smoke from their home before listing it on the market.

Can Residual Smoke Have Negative Health Impacts?

The answer, in short, is yes.


A lot of people are already aware of the negative impact that second-hand smoke can have on the health of others, but any kind of smoke residue can affect the health of the residents of a home through a phenomenon known as third-hand smoke inhalation. There is much more research that needs to be done in this area, but some studies have associated third-hand smoke with increased risk for heart disease, respiratory problems and cancer.


This means that a smoky smell is hardly likely to be a draw for potential buyers, and it is important for anybody considering selling a home with a smoke smell to discuss the ethics of disclosure with their realtors in Green Bay and N.E. Wisconsin. Even if the smoke smell is successfully eliminated, homeowners can expect to have to disclose if the home was a smoking or non-smoking home during the selling process.

DIY Smoke-Busting: The Two Essential Ingredients

Most homeowners who are planning on selling their real estate in Green Bay and N.E. Wisconsin will be happy to hear that the two most effective ingredients that tend to work best for DIY-style smoke smell removal jobs are both cheap and easy to find.


When it comes to busting household smoke smells, many realtors in Green Bay and N.E. Wisconsin will recommend trying a simple mix of baking soda and white vinegar. Aside from frequently appearing in school science fair ingredients, these two simple baking supplies actually make for a powerful cleaning agent when combined, and make for an eco-friendly and all-natural way to deodorize.


The best part is that when baking soda and white vinegar are combined together and applied directly to a stinky area, they will neutralize the pH of smoke particles that are trapped in impossible or hard to reach surfaces so that the smoke residue doesn’t have to be removed completely in order to get rid of the smell.

A Quick Fix

For those hoping to reduce the chance of smoke smell lingering around their home for the long term, the best strategy is to make sure that the space is well ventilated.


Open the windows and doors and turn on some fans to get air moving. Then clean out any ashtrays or disposal receptacles. Use a cloth soaked in standard white vinegar to wipe down any fabrics or surfaces that might be holding on to the odor.

A Deeper Clean

For those hoping to partially or fully DIY their smoke removal process, they can take the following steps to make it happen. However, keep in mind that professional services might still be in order to eliminate the smell completely.

Step One:

Use a solution mixed from vinegar and water to thoroughly wipe all hard surfaces, including walls and floors. Place bowls filled with a mixture of white vinegar and coffee ground in each room while cleaning to help to neutralize any airborne particles during the cleaning process.

Step Two:

Wash any removable fabric components including sheets, bedding, blankets, cushion covers and curtains. In most of these instances, professional dry-cleaning service is preferable.

Step Three:

If there are carpeted areas in the home, sprinkle them with a layer of baking soda before bed and leave at least overnight, if not longer, to set. Vacuum thoroughly to remove trapped particles.


It is also a good idea to consider adding an air purification system or scrubber to the most-affected rooms. Plants are natural air-purifiers and will help make a room look more attractive to sell.

Important Things to Consider

Whether considering buying or selling a home with smoke smell, it is important to work with professional Green Bay and N.E. Wisconsin realtors to learn more about the proper way to deal with Green Bay and N.E. Wisconsin real estate with smoke smell.


Should a home require professional-level cleaning, they will also know how to guide homeowners to the appropriate services that will help eliminate those unpleasant smells for good, so be sure to reach out to find out more.

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