1. Air the place out
Circulate as much fresh air around the property as possible by opening windows and using fans where available. Keep windows open during the cleaning process and for a few days afterwards if possible.
2. Wash all hard surfaces
It’s important to clean all hard surfaces within the property, including ceilings, walls, floors, cabinets and other built-in fixtures. Be thorough – smoke can even make its way into the inside of cupboards and drawers. Sugar soap, available from hardware stores, is recommended for walls and ceilings and will be good preparation if you decide to repaint. A mixture of one part white vinegar to two parts water can be used to clean other hard surfaces and help neutralise odours. Choose a floor cleaner suited to the floor’s material.
3. Clean window coverings
Remove and wash any detachable window coverings such as curtains and drapes. Check with the manufacturer to see if you can wash these yourself, or consider sending them to a dry cleaner to be professionally cleaned. A damp cloth dipped in white vinegar may be used to wipe down vertical or Venetian blinds. Rinse the cloth regularly while working and leave blinds to air-dry.
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4. Deodorise carpets and rugs
If there is a large area of carpet to be cleaned, it may be worthwhile to invest in professional steam cleaning for your investment property. If this isn’t possible, try sprinkling carpets and rugs with baking soda and vacuuming after 30 min – 1 hour. Carpets can be also lightly sprayed with a mixture of one part white vinegar to two parts water to help remove odours. Use fans where available to help carpets dry quickly.
5. Consider repainting
If the cigarette odour is particularly strong or especially concentrated in one or two rooms, you may need to repaint these areas. It’s possible to obtain odour-blocking paint primer from hardware stores to really help block out the smell.