Living With A Smoker: Tips for Cleaning Up Your Home Environment

Last Updated on January 26, 2024 by SampleBoard




An estimated 1.3 million non-smokers are killed by secondhand smoke each year. 

This study of over 34,000 participants shows that passive smoking increases the risk of all-cause, cardiovascular disease-related, and cancer-related deaths.

The FDA also points out that non-smokers who live with a smoker have a 25% to 30% greater risk of developing heart disease and a 20% to 30% greater risk of developing lung cancer.

Moreover, if you live with a smoker, you've likely noticed some unsightly changes in your home, such as yellowed walls, unpleasant odors, and ash particles on furnishings.

This is called "thirdhand smoke," or the residual tobacco smoke that remains on the surfaces of your home and in dust.

It can react with other compounds in your home to create secondary pollutants, creating even more health hazards.

Cleaning your home regularly is very important – but so is encouraging your housemate to drop their cigarette habit.

Home cleaning tips


Years of cigarette smoke buildup can result in a deeply embedded smoke smell, as well as stains on walls, ceilings, and hard surfaces.

Your priority should be improving ventilation and scrubbing off all smoke residue. Investing in an air filter may be helpful on the ventilation front.

As discussed in a previous post, air filters can improve indoor air quality and protect your home's HVAC system from dust, dirt, and smoke buildup.

You can open the windows and doors of a smoker's bedroom for several hours daily to release new odors.

There are various ways to eliminate lingering smoke odors, from baking soda to activated charcoal to steam cleaning. What works to deodorize your home will depend on the severity of the smoking habit.

Next, when tackling hard surfaces, it should be noted that nicotine damage doesn't just sit on the surfaces of objects.

Nicotine molecules can burrow into the cracks of unsealed wood panels and seep into carpets, lampshades, and wallpaper.

Any fabrics in the home, such as carpets, curtains, and bed linens, must be laundered thoroughly. Walls, ceilings, and floors must be washed and disinfected to remove all residue.

However, if the stains have persisted for years and DIY cleaning methods don't take, professional smoke damage restoration companies can help.

But it will cost a pretty penny. The only way to remove and prevent smoke damage is to stop tobacco use entirely.

Quit smoking tips


Thirdhand smoke in the home can cause many disastrous effects, such as oxidative stress on the cells that can result in heart disease and cancer.

You can encourage your smoking loved one to put their health – and that of their housemates – first by eliminating combustible tobacco.

Then, support them as they seek more information on smokeless nicotine alternatives like nicotine pouches; the On! brand carries a variety of flavors and strengths for them to choose from.

For instance, the On! Wintergreen 8mg is a medium-strength option that resembles the flavor of menthol cigarettes, and smokers can transition to the On! Citrus 2mg when they're ready.

Nicotine pouches are smoke-free and odor-free, so your loved one can consume nicotine unobtrusively indoors without worrying about affecting others.

Other brands, like Blip, offer nicotine gum with a supportive text message platform to help smokers quit for good, which you can read about here.

As your loved one begins their quit journey, your house won't be smoke-free overnight. Having a tool that can tackle hard surfaces with minimal elbow grease is helpful.

The Dremel Cordless Versa Scrub Daddy Power Scrubber Tool Kit has a powerful motor that minimizes manual effort as you scrub down those smoke-stained walls. 

This product allows you to interchange Scrub Daddy accessories depending on your needs. In some cases, power cleaning tools may eliminate the need to call the professionals.

As you work to bring your home to its former glory and your loved one works to quit smoking, everyone can soon enjoy healthier lungs and an even healthier indoor environment.

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