How to Get Smoke Smell Out of Wood Furniture

Have you ever walked into a room and been hit by the lingering scent of smoke? It’s a common issue, especially in homes where smoking is or is prevalent. The smell of smoke can permeate wood furniture, leaving an unpleasant odor that can be tough to eliminate.

Smoke smell in wood furniture is not just an inconvenience; it’s a reminder of the damage that smoke can cause. When someone smokes in a room, the smoke doesn’t just disappear. Instead, it lingers, with tiny particles of tar and nicotine settling into every available surface. Wood furniture is particularly susceptible to absorbing these particles with its porous nature.

The smoke particles, tar, and nicotine get absorbed into the wood’s pores. Over time, these substances build up and create a strong, persistent odor. This is why merely cleaning the furniture’s surface often isn’t enough to eliminate the smell. The problem lies deeper, within the wood itself. This article will delve into the problem of smoke smell in wood furniture, why it’s a problem, and how to get rid of it effectively.

How to remove smoke smell from wood furniture

Step 1: Preparation

Wear disposable gloves or protective clothing when handling tobacco products or cleaning chemicals. This helps prevent unpleasant contact and skin irritation due to the chemicals in certain cleaners. Remove all sources of smoke, such as cigarette butts, ends of cigars, ashtrays, etc., from your home and outside space. Dispose of these items after they have been completely extinguished.

Step 2: Air Out the Furniture

Open all windows and doors to air out the house. This should be done frequently throughout the cleaning and deodorizing process. You can place fans strategically throughout your home for increased airflow. Point your fans in corners of the room that may not have good airflow to push air out—or point fans toward doorways and windows to help stale air leave home.

Step 3: Use Deodorizing Products

Purchase deodorizing products that have a cleaning agent included. Products that mask odors will not eliminate the smell of smoke. Look for products that have baking soda, activated charcoal, or hydrogen peroxide. Baking soda naturally neutralizes odors, charcoal acts as a great deodorizing agent that absorbs odors and smells, and hydrogen peroxide deodorizes by giving oxygen to a contaminated or smelly area.

Step 4: Clean the Furniture

Wipe all the wood, plastic, and metal furniture and appliances with distilled white vinegar. Put the vinegar in a spray bottle and wipe it with a rag. Follow up by rinsing with water and drying with a clean rag if the furniture is delicate. Place several drops of lavender, citrus, or rosemary essential oil to offset the smell of the vinegar.

Step 5: Replace Air Filters

Replace your air filters, furnace filters, and air conditioning filters. Air forced through your home will still contain smoky smells, so replacing any filters will begin to purify the air and move clean, fresh air into the home.

Step 6: Use an Air Purifier

You can install an air purifier in your home’s forced air system or buy cleaners that can be placed in a single room. Make sure to consider the size of the room or home and purchase equipment that is the right size and strength for the area.

Smoke Smell and Its Removal

Smoke smell, especially when it clings to wood furniture, can be a persistent and unpleasant problem. But why does smoke smell stick to wood, and how can it be removed? The answer lies in the science of smoke particles and the properties of wood.

Smoke is composed of tiny particles that are released during the combustion process. These particles can contain various chemicals, depending on what is being burned. For instance, cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, including nicotine and tar, giving it a distinctive smell.

Wood, on the other hand, is a porous material. It has tiny holes or pores that can absorb and trap smoke particles. When smoke comes into contact with wood furniture, the particles enter these pores and get stuck, causing the smell to linger.

The removal of smoke smell involves a process known as desorption, which is the opposite of absorption. Various methods can facilitate desorption, such as using activated charcoal, baking soda, or commercial odor removers. These substances attract and bind to the smoke particles, pulling them out of the wood’s pores.

In the case of cigarette smoke, the removal process can be more challenging due to nicotine and tar. These substances are sticky and can form a residue on the surface of the wood, making them harder to remove. However, specialized cleaning solutions designed for cigarette smoke can break down these substances on a molecular level, making it easier to remove them.

Prevention Measures

Preventing smoke smell from settling in wood furniture is much easier than removing it. Here are some tips and tricks to keep your furniture smelling fresh.

Firstly, avoid smoking indoors, especially near wooden furniture. Smoke particles can easily get trapped in the wood’s pores, causing the smell to linger. If you must smoke, do it outside or in a well-ventilated area.

Secondly, regular cleaning can help prevent smoke smell. Wipe down your furniture with a mild soap solution regularly to remove any potential smoke particles before they can settle into the pores.

For cigarette smoke, consider using an air purifier. These devices can filter smoke particles from the air, reducing the amount that comes into contact with your furniture. Some air purifiers are even designed specifically to remove cigarette smoke.

Lastly, consider treating your wood furniture with a sealant. This creates a barrier on the surface of the wood that can prevent smoke particles from entering the pores.

DIY Solutions: Vinegar

Vinegar is a versatile household item that can be used as a DIY solution for removing smoke smell from wood furniture. Its acidic nature helps break down the smoke particles trapped in the wood, effectively neutralizing the odor.

To use vinegar for smoke smell removal, you’ll need white vinegar, warm water, and a soft cloth. Mix equal parts of vinegar and warm water in a bowl. Soak the cloth in the solution, wring out the excess, and wipe down the furniture. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies.

After wiping, let the furniture air dry. If the weather permits, you can place the furniture outside for faster drying and additional airing. Repeat the process if necessary until the smoke smell is gone.

Vinegar is also effective in removing the cigarette smoke smell from furniture. However, heavy smokers might need to repeat the process several times to eliminate the smell.

DIY Solutions: Baking Soda

Another DIY solution for removing smoke smell from wood furniture is baking soda. Known for its odor-absorbing properties, baking soda can help neutralize the smoke smell in your furniture.

To use baking soda, sprinkle it generously over the smoky area and let it sit for several hours or overnight. The baking soda will absorb the smoke smell during this time. Afterward, vacuum or brush off the baking soda.

You might need to repeat the process for deep-seated smoke smells a few times. Mix baking soda with water to paste and apply it to the smoky areas. Let the paste dry, then brush it off.

Baking soda is a natural and safe cleaning agent. However, like vinegar, it’s recommended to test it on a small, hidden area first to ensure it doesn’t discolor or damage the finish of your furniture.

DIY Solutions: Other Home Remedies

Several other home remedies can effectively remove the smoke smell from wood furniture. These include coffee grounds, activated charcoal, and Murphy’s oil soap.

Coffee Grounds: Coffee grounds are known for their strong, pleasant aroma, which can help to mask and absorb the smoke smell. To use this method, place dry coffee grounds in several shallow bowls or on a baking sheet. Please leave them in the room with the smoky furniture for a few days. As the coffee grounds dry out, they’ll absorb some smoke smell.

Activated Charcoal: Activated charcoal is another excellent odor absorber. Like coffee grounds, you can place bowls of activated charcoal around the room, or even inside drawers or cabinets of the smoky furniture. Leave them for a few days to absorb the smoke smell.

Murphy’s Oil Soap: This wood cleaner is often effective in removing smoke smell from wood furniture. Mix the soap as directed on the bottle, then use a soft cloth to wipe down the furniture. Make sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. After cleaning, let the furniture air dry.

Remember, these methods may need to be repeated several times before the smoke’s smell completely disappears. It’s also important to note that while these methods can help reduce the smoke smell, they may not eliminate it, especially if the smoke exposure is heavy or long-term.

Comparing DIY Solutions

Each DIY solution for removing smoke smell from wood furniture has pros and cons.

Vinegar: Vinegar is a natural deodorizer, and it’s often effective in removing smoke smell. However, it has a strong smell, which some people find unpleasant. It’s also not as effective on heavy smoke smells.

Baking Soda: Baking soda is another natural deodorizer, and it’s good at absorbing smells. However, it can be messy and may not be as effective on stronger smells.

Coffee Grounds: Coffee grounds can mask and absorb smoke, leaving a pleasant coffee aroma behind. However, they can be messy and not strong enough for heavy smoke smells.

Activated Charcoal: Activated charcoal is excellent at absorbing smells and doesn’t leave any smell of its own. However, it can be more expensive and harder to find than other DIY solutions.

Murphy’s Oil Soap: This wood cleaner can be effective at removing smoke smell from wood furniture, and it leaves the wood looking shiny and clean. However, it may not be strong enough for heavy smoke smells and requires more work.

Commercial Products: Smelleze® Reusable Smoking Smell Deodorizer Pouch

One commercial product that can be effective in removing smoke smell from wood furniture is the Smelleze® Reusable Smoking Smell Deodorizer Pouch. This product is designed to absorb and neutralize smoke odors, making it a great option for dealing with smoke smell in wood cabinets and dressers.

To use the Smelleze® pouch, place it where you want to eliminate the smoke smell. The pouch will absorb the smoke odors and can be reused by rejuvenating it in direct sunlight. This safe, non-toxic, and eco-friendly product makes it a good choice for those who prefer green cleaning solutions.

Commercial Products: GOOD Riddance Smoke Odor

Another commercial product that can help with removing smoke smell from wood furniture is the GOOD Riddance Smoke Odor Eliminating Spray. This spray is designed to neutralize and eliminate smoke odors on contact, making it a good option for dealing with smoke smell in painted wood furniture.

To use the GOOD Riddance spray, spray it on the area where you want to eliminate the smoke smell. The spray will neutralize the smoke odors, leaving your furniture smelling fresh and clean.

Comparing Commercial Products

Both Smelleze® Reusable Smoking Smell Deodorizer Pouch and GOOD Riddance Smoke Odor Eliminating Spray have unique strengths regarding commercial products for removing smoke smell from wood furniture.

The Smelleze® pouch is a reusable product that absorbs and neutralizes smoke odors. It’s eco-friendly and non-toxic, making it a safe choice for households. It’s particularly effective for dealing with smoke smell in wood cabinets and dressers. However, it may take some time to absorb the smoke smell fully, and it needs to be rejuvenated in direct sunlight for reuse.

On the other hand, GOOD Riddance Smoke Odor Eliminating Spray is a quick and easy solution. It neutralizes and eliminates smoke odors on contact, making it a good choice for immediate results. It’s particularly effective for dealing with smoke smell in painted wood furniture. However, it’s a spray product, so it may not be as long-lasting as the Smelleze® pouch, and you may need to reapply it periodically.

Professional Help

Sometimes DIY solutions and commercial products might not be enough to remove the smoke smell from your wood furniture fully. In such cases, it might be necessary to seek professional help.

Professional smoke smell removal services have the expertise and specialized equipment to effectively remove smoke smell from all types of furniture, including wood walls. They use advanced techniques and industrial-grade products that can penetrate deep into the wood pores to neutralize and eliminate smoke odors.

When choosing a professional service, consider their experience, customer reviews, and whether they specialize in smoke smell removal. Also, ask about their process and the products they use to ensure they are safe for your furniture and your home environment.


Once you’ve successfully removed the smoke smell from your wood furniture, it’s crucial to maintain it properly to prevent the smell from returning. Here are some tips to help you keep your furniture smelling fresh and clean:

  1. Regular Cleaning: Clean your wood furniture with mild soap and water. This will help remove residual smoke particles and prevent them from settling into the wood pores. Remember to dry the furniture thoroughly after cleaning to prevent moisture damage.
  2. Use of Furniture Polish: Good quality furniture polish can help seal the wood pores, making it harder for smoke particles to penetrate. Choose a polish that’s suitable for your type of wood furniture.
  3. Proper Ventilation: Ensure your room is well-ventilated, especially if you’re a smoker or live with one. Good ventilation can help disperse smoke particles in the air, reducing the amount that settles on your furniture.
  4. Regular Air Freshening: Consider using natural air fresheners, like essential oils, to keep your space smelling fresh. Avoid synthetic air fresheners as they can sometimes react with smoke particles and create unpleasant odors.

Long-Term Prevention

In the long run, the best way to prevent the return of smoke smell in your wood furniture is to eliminate the source of the smoke. However, if that’s not possible, here are some long-term measures you can take:

  1. No Smoking Indoors: If possible, avoid smoking indoors. Smoke particles can easily settle on furniture and other surfaces, leading to persistent odors.
  2. Use of Odor Absorbers: Consider using odor absorbers, like activated charcoal or baking soda, in rooms with smoke. These can help absorb smoke particles before they settle on your furniture.
  3. Regular Deep Cleaning: Schedule regular deep cleaning sessions for your furniture. This could involve using DIY solutions or commercial products, or even hiring professional services if the smoke smells severe.
  4. Protective Covers: Using protective covers on your furniture can help prevent smoke particles from settling directly on the wood. These covers can be easily removed and washed, making them a practical solution for homes with smokers.

Product Reviews

Smelleze® Reusable Smoking Smell Deodorizer Pouch and GOOD Riddance Smoke Odor Eliminating Spray are generally well-regarded in the market for their effectiveness in removing smoke smell from various surfaces, including wood furniture.

Users often appreciate the ease of use and the eco-friendly nature of the Smelleze® pouch. It’s praised for absorbing smoke odors over time, making it a good long-term solution.

The GOOD Riddance Spray, on the other hand, is often lauded for its immediate effect. Users have reported that it quickly neutralizes smoke odors, leaving their furniture smelling fresh.


What takes cigarette smoke smell out of wood furniture?
Various methods can be used to remove cigarette smoke smell from wood furniture. These include DIY solutions like vinegar and baking soda, commercial products like Smelleze® and GOOD Riddance, and professional cleaning services.

How do you remove tar and nicotine from wood furniture?
Tar and nicotine, components of cigarette smoke, can be removed from wood furniture using a mild soap and water solution. For stubborn stains, a mixture of vinegar and water can be used. Commercial products designed to remove smoke odors can also be effective.

Will cigarette smoke smell eventually go away from furniture?
Cigarette smoke smell can linger on furniture for a long time if not treated. However, it’s possible to completely remove the smell with proper cleaning and maintenance.


Removing smoke smell from wood furniture is crucial for maintaining a clean and comfortable living environment. Whether you choose DIY solutions, commercial products, or professional services, the key is to act promptly and maintain your furniture properly to prevent the smell from returning. Remember, a smoke-free home is more pleasant and healthier for you and your loved ones.