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How to Get Smoke Smell Out of a House

How to get smoke smell out of a house {without effort}.

get rid of smoke smell without paint

I bet you didn’t see this post coming! After a conversation with my friend Allyson last night, I felt inclined to let you in on a little secret, just in case you and your home are suffering too.

We have purchased not one, but two homes that have smelled like smoke. The garage of our primary residence was frequently smoked in, presumably with the garage door down or merely cracked. When we purchased the home, the painter left the door open every day for two weeks. Eventually, we even had the walls of the garage primed and painted in hopes of eliminating the smoke smell which inspired this garage organization project.

easy way to get rid of smoke smell

The larger issue however was how the smoke smell permeated the mudroom and powder room. With a full renovation, the smell finally dissipated. However, that’s not always an option.


easy way to get rid of smoke smell

When we purchased the lake home, we noticed a stale smell, but every time we unpacked our bags at home, we couldn’t wait to wash everything – clean or dirty! Our clothes and bags reeked of stale smoke though no one had smoked in the home for years. {Please note this post uses affiliate links.}

After crowdsourcing on Instagram we have tried several methods, many of which require an investment of time and money.

How to get rid of smoke smell in house:

  • prime and paint
  • remove wallpaper
  • update curtains
  • clean or replace carpet
  • have ductwork cleaned
  • baking soda in a bowl

how to get smoke smell out

After I mentioned it to Allyson, she let me in on a little secret…volcanic rock. I’ll be honest, I was skeptical. Really skeptical. With nothing to lose but $15, it was worth a shot.

eliminate smell of smoke

How volcanic rock work:

  • absorb moisture and odors
  • natural, non-toxic and environmentally friendly
  • place them in discreet places i.e.: under beds, sofas, etc
  • recharge by placing them in the sun

Crazy, right? We started using them last fall, only putting them out in the sun twice and when we returned to our lake cottage this spring, there was absolutely no evidence of odor thanks to these volcanic rocks! I’m still blown away. Who knew it could be so easy?

You can use them for pet odors, shoe bins, and even in a refrigerator just as you would baking soda.

Have you tried volcanic rocks before or have you had a smoke smell in your home?

entertaining expert and lifestyle blogger Julie Blanner



18 comments on “How to Get Smoke Smell Out of a House”

  1. I use a product sold at Walmart for about 4.00- its over by the ironing boards, etc. it has a black charcoal filter and does the same to eliminate odors. I use it in closets (mine are SMALL) to get rid of the leather shoe odor….my daughter uses one in her bathroom to get rid of a septic tank smell.
    The charcoal eventually evaporates and you get another!
    There may be volcanic rock/ash in there too IDK

    • I’ve heard of that, too! Supposedly volcanic rock is even more effective than charcoal, but what a great option. I’m in awe of all the usss for charcoal!

  2. Where do you get them?

  3. Julie…do you have any idea how exciting this post/information is for me?? My husband and I literally just signed paperwork this week for our “retirement/vacation” home up on a lake and it smells like smoke!! We love this home but that darn smell was a real downer for me when I signed the offer to purchase.

    Thank you so much for writing and sharing this information. I am super pumped!

    • It’s like a miracle, I’m still in awe and don’t smell a hint of it now! I’m so sensitive to the smell of smoke, too! Congratulations on your new home!

  4. I’m wondering if you have a brand of volcanic rock you recommend (I’m guessing you knew this question was coming!) or where to buy it…I did see some options on Amazon, but would love to purchase locally if possible 😉

  5. I’ll have to give this a try. A secret my mom told me was to use vinegar water and a sponge mop to clean the walls. You can literally see nicotine run down the walls. That saved me in a few terrible smelling rentals.

  6. Do you have any advice for getting the smell out of furniture? My significant other got some nice would furniture from his parents, who have been smoking in their house for almost 30 years. Obviously i can’t get rid of the furniture but it makes the house smell horrible! Please help.

  7. Does it help with musty basement smells, too? Any suggestions for this problem. There are no known leaks but we do have s sump pump inside a cabinet built around it. There is no air conditioner there either, but it stays cool all summer.

    Thank you in advance for your response.

  8. Thank you for this tip, Julie! I can think of lots of places in my home to use these- and so much better than sprays, etc. 

  9. I don’t see the link.

  10. You photograph really well julie 🙂

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