How to Remove Smoke/Any Bad Odor from Your Home

So today's post is content-heavy and about a topic Parker and I decided we would never share with anyone. However, now that our issue has been resolved, I feel like I should risk exposing our stupidity in hopes of our newfound knowledge helping someone else.  

The Background Story

It all started when we began our search for a new home to rent in Southaven. We came down from Fayetteville, Arkansas for two days in search of a new home. Parker has been doing this moving-around-for-work thing for 10+ years, and he's gotten really good at finding the perfect house for us. He made a list of 18 houses for us to check out. I remember this number because the lady who brought us to see all of these houses thought that 18 was an insanely high number and enjoyed joking with Parker about how ridiculous it was to look at that many houses.  

Long story short, we found several houses we could see ourselves in and couldn't decide on which one to choose before we left. I guess that's what looking at 18 houses will do to you? So we came back to Fayetteville and continued to look at our notes and check out our options online. Well, we ended up finding one online that we fell in love with and didn't know was available to look at while we were in Southaven. So we got the kind lady (who had taken us to 18 houses) to go back and look at it while FaceTiming us. We asked her to do this not only so that we could see what the house looked like via video, but also so that she could walk into the house and let us know if it smelled like smoke. It looked fabulous. Parker was sure to say- Stacey, you know we turned down several of the other houses because we will not move into a house where a smoker has lived. Does this house smell like cigarette smoke? She said no, and we signed the paperwork. 

Fast forward a few weeks and we are beyond ecstatic to move out of the Town Place Suites where we had been living in Fayetteville (because our lease ended at our house there before Parker's job was done). Living in a hotel for over a month with two dogs is about as glamorous as it sounds, so our level of excitement about moving into our new home with a huge fenced in backyard was through the roof. Parker walks in and is elated. I walk in, and all I notice is the smell of cigarette smoke. My excitement shoots down real low real quick. Somehow Parker couldn't smell it. As soon as I mention it to him, his excitement disappears too. What could we do? The movers were outside with all of our stuff, and we'd already filled out the paperwork.

We are with the guy who is doing our walk through inspection, and he writes it down in his notes and says- no worries, I have something in my car that will make the smell go away in no time. Parker and I had never dealt with this issue before, so I believed the guy. I didn't know it would take a million different attempts, quite a few dollars, and 3 months before we would find a solution. 

What We Tried:

1. Renuzit Air Fresheners (what the guy pulled out of his trunk) 

2. Candles  

3. Zep Smoke Odor Eliminator Spray from Amazon

4. Ozium Air Sanitizer Spray from Amazon

5. Smoke Odor Exterminator & Air Freshener Spray from Amazon

6. 4 TrueAir Machines from Amazon 

7. Sara Organic Air Purifier & Odor Remover (aka activated bamboo charcoal) x 9

8. 2 Ozone Machines (Google really made us think these intense things would do the trick- they did not)  

9. Baking Soda (spread out on the carpets- this briefly helped, but the cigarette smell came back eventually) 

10. Essential Oils in a Diffuser (specifically Young Living Peppermint and Walmart Tea Tree Purifying Essential Oil)

What Saved Us

Let me start this section by saying I have never used essential oils before. I do not sell essential oils. And I am making $0 by writing this post. I am writing this post in hopes of helping someone else who cannot live happily with the smell of cigarette smoke (or any other unpleasant odor) around them constantly. 

When Parker and I were on vacation at the lake with his family, I finally broke my silence. Parker's parents were coming up to visit us a week and a half after we visited them, so I thought I should warn them about the cigarette smoke smell and also ask them if they had any suggestions. Parker's mom immediately suggested essential oils. I have always been skeptical about essential oils when she has suggested them for other reasons. However, I had gotten to the point where I would try ANYTHING to get rid of the smell. 

Mrs. Carol so kindly brought her diffuser and essential oils to share with us when she and Mr. Mike came to visit. I will admit that I thought the chances of this working were slim to none. She set it all up, placed it in the area that I thought smelled the most like smoke (by Parker's bedside table), and shut the door. We kept the door closed for a couple of hours, and, YALL, when I went back in there, I couldn't smell the cigarette smoke. Not even a hint of it. I started to believe the essential oils might be our knight in shining armor at this point. (Plus, there are so many other uses for them, but I won't digress. If you've made it this far, I love you!)

The moment of truth came when we left the house on Saturday and went to the lake. You know how when you don't leave the house for a little while, you grow accustomed to a smell? I was so worried that I had gotten used to the cigarette smell, and the essential oils were just a momentary fix and as soon as we returned from our outing, I would smell it again. Nope, I can't tell you how relieved I was to come home from the lake, open the door, and breathe in fresh air for the first time since we moved into the house.

We continued to use Mrs. Carol's diffuser and essential oils through Monday. I was scared the smell would return, so I went to Walmart the following day and bought my own diffuser and purifying oil. Mrs. Carol left her Young Living Peppermint oil with us. I have set up my diffuser with water and 3-5 drops of each of those two oils every day, and our house is still smelling fresh!


The essential oils do not just mask the smell, like so many of the other things we tried. Essential oils purify the air and eliminate the bad odors. I am now a firm believer in them! Also, I am aware this was a super long post that didn't have anything to do with art, fashion, or fun. However, I want to share our solution with everyone! I hope you don't ever need to use this information, but if someone you know does, you can pass this info along to them! Essential oils for the win! 

Thanks so much for reading! If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below or go to the Contact page and shoot me a message!