How do I prevent/remove cigar odor?
February 9, 2006 6:46 AM   Subscribe

How do I remove cigar odor? How do I minimize it in the first place?

I occasionally host poker night, and inevitably, some stogies are torched. My place reeks for days afterward, even with the windows open. Are there any effective techniques to minimize the odor, or remove it afterward?
posted by juliewhite to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
Not allowing cigar smoking in the house is what works for me.
posted by Goofyy at 7:00 AM on February 9, 2006

What always works for me is a couple of shallow bowls filled with ammonia. It absorbs odors and it really seems to work - I've used it after parties and it always gets rid of the smell of stale smoke. Be really careful to keep it well out of reach of pets or kids, though. Just pour some in a little bowl and leave it sit for a couple of days - having 3 or 4 little bowls around the room/s is best. Fabreeze (or however you spell it...) spray is also pretty miraculous on lots of smelly fabrics, although I've never tried it for cigar smoke. It works really well at neutralizing the bacteria that causes odors.
posted by iconomy at 7:07 AM on February 9, 2006

Try frying a pound of bacon. It fooled my parents consistently during my teenaged years.
posted by dobie at 7:11 AM on February 9, 2006

I use one of those noisy electric air filters. My poker table is in the basement, so it doesn't bother me much, and that seems to do the trick in about 12 hours. Also, get rid of the butts & ashes immediately after the game (drown them or make sure there are no embers!). Do you have drapes in the room? Odors seem to cling to them.
posted by sixpack at 7:19 AM on February 9, 2006

I've heard good things about Csonka purifiers.
posted by skylar at 7:39 AM on February 9, 2006

Febreze EVERYTHING. Ok, not the best solution, but Febreze is like, a godsend. :)
posted by antifuse at 8:14 AM on February 9, 2006

Ona and Ozium sprays work well.

Also, consider an Ozone Generator or Dispenser -- also listed on the page linked above.
posted by ericb at 8:31 AM on February 9, 2006

I really advise against sprays like Febreze. They don't do enough to disperse the smoke particles which cling to things; instead it appears they do more to add other fragrances into the room which mingle and make it apparent that something isn't as it should be!
posted by skylar at 8:57 AM on February 9, 2006

I use an Ionic Breeze air purifier/filter (the ones you see advertised on TV). Some people hate them and say they don't work, but my wife sometimes smokes 4 packs/day and the Ionic Breeze keeps the computer room from smelling like a bar. I have to clean it at least once a week, but its better than continually buying HEPA filters.

I recently picked up four of the "Desktop" sized units with their UV-lamp "Germicidal Protecion" feature as refurbs from the Outlet Store section of their web page for $49 each. They've also got the Quadra Compact model for $79.
posted by mrbill at 9:12 AM on February 9, 2006

Candles work.
Unscented candles.
They burn any odor: tobacco, cooking oil, etc.
Have a couple of them burning all the time during the game and 2 hours afterward.
posted by bru at 9:38 AM on February 9, 2006

Make sure you get the cigar butts out of your house. Those things reek.
posted by agropyron at 9:45 AM on February 9, 2006

agropyron is right. Don't leave the butts in the house, and make sure no one crushes out their cigar when putting it out, just lay the butt aside and the cigar will extinguish itself. When you crush a used cigar butt, all the burned tobacco "oils" are released through the split wrapper and really reek up the place.
posted by valkane at 3:58 AM on February 10, 2006

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