How can I get the smell of smoke out of my room?
February 26, 2010 8:09 AM   Subscribe

I had a party at my place and stupidly let a friend have a smoke. How do I get the smell out?

My (drunk) friend insisted to (drunk) me that because she smoked cloves and would "blow the smoke out of the window", it wouldn't stink up my apartment. Oops! She only had two, but made the room reek horribly of clove. I spent all day with the window open and the fan on in the room and attacked with Febreeze, which eradicated it for the most part. But there's still this vague sweet-smoky clove smoke smell, which coupled with the Febreeze makes me want to puke.

Google is full of resources for rooms that belonged to regular smokers, but this was just one night and two smokes - and, anyway, I can't afford to steamclean the place. Is the smoke smell going to linger in the room, or will aerating it for another day or two do the trick? What can I try next?
posted by vanitas to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: It will go away. Set out a bowl of vinegar and keep airing it out.
posted by wrok at 8:12 AM on February 26, 2010

ozium. the dorm-dweller's best friend
posted by kid_dynamite at 8:16 AM on February 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Time and air.
Settting out a few shallow bowls of fresh coffee grounds might help, too.
posted by SLC Mom at 8:20 AM on February 26, 2010

It won't last forever. Keep airing the place out. Vinegar might help, but the coffee ground will probably work better. Or any of those activated charcoal air fresheners for heavy duty odours.
posted by sandraregina at 8:25 AM on February 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

set an open saucepan on the stove with water in it, on low simmer. add cinnamon sticks, vanilla extract, various other sweet aromatic spices (ginger, etc) that you like the smell of. I usually add clove, but looks like you could do without that ;-)

let that simmer throughout the day or evening, whenever you are there, and have the windows open and fan on while you're at it. this is a realtor kind of thing to recommend, that they have people do to prepare for an open house.
posted by toodleydoodley at 8:31 AM on February 26, 2010

A bowl of apples or a bowl of plain old charcoal; don't use the kind soaked with lighter fluid!
posted by Allee Katze at 8:49 AM on February 26, 2010

Best answer: Open another window so there's actual airflow. I had the same problem with some bad cheese years ago. Two weeks of having the kitchen window open didn't help at all. One morning, I opened enough windows and doors throughout the apartment so air was moving through the kitchen, and the smell was gone by the time I got back from work.
posted by Etrigan at 9:38 AM on February 26, 2010

A previous askmefi thread said that spritzing with vodka removes smoke smells from fabric effectively.
posted by lizbunny at 9:43 AM on February 26, 2010

My experience from the ancient time before Thou Shalt Not Smoke Indoors became the 11th Commandment is that occasional smoking of cigars, joints, hookahs, various cigarettes is no big deal on the long term. It's the chain smokers who end up with "different" smelling and looking homes.
posted by philip-random at 9:53 AM on February 26, 2010

Best answer: If you follow the vinegar advice, crumple up a paper towel and place it in the bowl of vinegar. It provides more of a wicking action that seems to help.
posted by CathyG at 1:08 PM on February 26, 2010

Best answer: also, dip towel in vinegar and fan it about a while.
posted by xammerboy at 1:47 PM on February 26, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks! I didn't have any fresh coffee grounds or charcoal lyingn around, but a few more hours of ventilation, combined with the bowls of vinegar and waving around a vinegar-soaked rag like a fool, seem to have done the trick. If the smell returns I'll buy some Ozium.
posted by vanitas at 4:26 PM on February 26, 2010

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