There is nothing more nauseating than the odor of cigarette smoke odor that has seeped into fabrics, carpets, wallpaper and living space in general. Eliminating cigarette odor is difficult. Simply washing everything is probably not enough. Items such as upholstered furniture, wallpaper, woodwork and carpets not easily laundered are ready receptors for holding cigarette smoke and pet odors. Getting rid of these offensive cigarette odors in these surfaces is more difficult.
Despite what baking soda manufacturers say, baking soda does not 'absorb odors in your refrigerator' like they claim. This is just a clever marketing ploy to get you buy extra boxes of their product, and essentially, not use them. But you are dutifully reminded to replace these 'odor sinks' every three months. -Like I said, this is a clever marketing ploy designed to sell more of their product despite people's claim that 'food taste better.' This is merely the placebo effect of thinking there is a difference, where none actually exists.
Baking soda works fine in cat boxes, sprinkled on the carpet and brushed-in/vacuumed up, or sprinkled into smelly sneakers where movement of socked feet causes forced physical interaction between the product and odor-laden molecules.
Passive odor absorption can only take place when an 'activated' substance, such as activated charcoal, is present.
"Odor Eaters" shoe inserts and spray products are an excellent example of a genuine 'passive' odor absorber. Another passive substance that might be a good odor absorber would be Fuller's Earth, its relatively large porosity makes it 'greedy' at absorbing greases, oils and contaminants that could also be odiferous.
We're all heard of the product "Febreze" for freshening the air and porous contact surfaces. Febreze does not 'perfume' the air, its active chemical compound "cyclodextrin," -a sugar molecule, is quite effective at encapsulating and trapping odor-causing particulates and molecules, trapping them and felling them out of the air..
Febreze works fine to quickly freshen a room recently soiled by a smoker, but getting rid of the long-term odors that have built-up and soaked into fabrics, walls and woodwork require actual extensive cleaning, and possibly even repainting.
Tough Odors Such as Cigarette Smoke Requires Deep Cleaning, Removal, or Encapsulation
Renovating an apartment previously occupied by a habitual smoker can be a daunting task. Quick-cutting one's losses might mean getting rid of that old armchair, sofa, wallpaper, -and replacing the carpets.
In a rental situation, this might the fastest and most effective way to turn-around a habital space so infected with long-term cigarette odor. Extensive cleaning of other surfaces is also called for.
Products such as "Simple Green" can do wonders. Another ad hoc solution is to use vinegar and sudsy water for general cleaning of vinyl wallpaper and non-porous surfaces. Other surfaces may have absorbed odors too deep to be effectively cleaned, and may require repainting.
Odor-Killing Paints and Primers
A stain-blocking and odor-encapsulating primer & paint such as "Kilz" should be used. The product is effective at sealing-in tough stains from water damage, cooking and cigarette smoke, tannins, pet stains and more.
Other Cigarette Odor-Killing Remedies
Cleaning with lemon juice and water, and adding a teaspoon of lemon juice to your humidifier can go a long way to help hide the odor, even if this is merely hiding the odor and not ridding it.
A sachet of freshly ground coffee beans in a small cloth sack can be left out in open areas where odors are present. Again, this is merely covering up offensive odors but that is better than nothing. Leave an apple that has been sliced into quarters is said to be effective at eating-up cigarette odors if left in a sealed vehicle overnight, so perhaps a few sliced apples left out overnight in the living space will also work.
Some people claim that leaving a pan of ammonia out will also obfuscate cigarette smoke odor, -as if the smell of ammonia isn't bad enough. An air purifier that used activate charcoal filtration will also help clear the air and reduce the immediate smell of cigarette smoke.
Hanging a fabric softener sheet in front of a fan or air conditioner will also help to quickly freshen the air. For that new car smell, stuff a new fabric softener sheet into the springs under the driver's seat. More effective than even the best car freshener, the wonderful fresh smell of 'clean laundry' will more than compensate for any offensive odor that may be present.
Another cure of automotive cigarette odor removal is to place a sliced apple in your car overnight. Supposedly, the apple either absorbs the bad odors, or the smell of the ripening fruit overpowers the offensive odor. Either way, this might be a remedy worth trying.