Rugs and carpets are made of fibers that can absorb and retain many odors that build up in the atmosphere over time, including cigarette smoke. Carpet cleaning is a proven method that can eliminate the smell of cigarettes. First, you need to see if the soot is water-soluble or oil-based. If it is soluble in water, you can remove it with a steam cleaner.
Run the steam cleaner over the damaged carpet. Be sure to cover the entire area and let water run through it. The steam cleaner will remove the soot and the smell will accompany it. Leave your home for at least several hours and preferably a day or two.
If the odor persists, repeat the carpet cleaning process with a thicker layer of baking soda. Replace the carpet if the smell doesn't improve with repeated applications. Repaint walls with an odour-removing primer and two coats of latex-based paint. Baking soda is a natural odor remover; you may have noticed this if your mother ever kept an open container of baking soda in the back of the fridge.
Unlike air fresheners, which normally mask scents, baking soda absorbs them. To freshen up your carpet, cover the entire area with a box full of baking soda. We recommend doing it at night before going to sleep or in the morning before going to work, since you should let baking soda work its magic for a full eight hours. Then vacuum everything up, repeating as needed until the smell disappears.
If you determine that the soot is oil-based, you can remove it with a mild detergent and water to clean it. Before you start setting prices for new carpets or stocking up on spicy carpet deodorants, consider some tips for cleaning carpets to eliminate smoky odors. However, you'll eliminate a potential health hazard and create a more pleasant or tolerable living space by removing all traces of smoke from walls and carpets. Always read the instructions printed on chemicals and solutions carefully, and never combine toxic cleaning chemicals.
Vinegar can help get rid of unpleasant odors and you don't need to remove it from the carpet for it to work. It's also vital that homeowners leave this process to professionals, as the steam used to clean carpets is dangerous and can cause burns to the skin, sinus ducts and eyes. Steam cleaning helps melt tars and oils, making them easier to remove during the cleaning process. When trying to remove odors from the carpet or your home, always remember to ventilate the space as much as possible.
Alternatively, you can use the steam cleaner to clean the soot and then use a mild detergent and water to remove any remaining soot. Professional carpet cleaning removes bacteria found in pet stains and, in turn, removes odors from those stains. If water is not thoroughly extracted after cleaning the carpet, the underlying padding and other materials are prone to mold and mildew. The disadvantage of steam cleaning is that carpets can take some time to fully dry, even with proper extraction.
You may be able to smell the smoke from the carpet in your living room even after the fire has been extinguished.