removing smoke

How To Remove Smoke Smell From Airbnb

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There are a few reasons why your Airbnb smells of smoke. Whether your guests cooked their bacon way too long or lit up a cigarette inside the house. Either way you’re faced with the smelly consequences. 

As an Airbnb Host, you may find yourself at your wits’ end trying to get rid of the smoke odor at short notice. Even if your previous guests were charged for the damage, it doesn’t get rid of the smell. So what if you have a guest checking in tomorrow, but your place still reeks?

Below are a few tricks you can try to remove that smoke smell from your Airbnb. 

Start With a Good Cleaning

If the smoke (wherever it came from) was only in your home for a short while, there’s a chance that some basic cleaning could help. You can either call a cleaning service, or you could bite the bullet and do it yourself. Here are some places to start. 

  1. Get rid of any cigarette butts and any stained cloths, plates, or ashtrays.
  2. Open your windows and doors and place fans everywhere. Place them in the direction that makes them blow toward the outside of the house.
  3. Put new filters in the AC unit in the house to give your house a fresh smell.
  4. Take out everything you can and wash it with a scented detergent to replace the smell of smoke.
  5. Your furniture might be a little dusty, trapping the smoke or ash, so pull out that duster!


If that pesky smoke in your apartment won’t go away, try using vinegar. Depending on the size of your home, about a gallon of it should do the trick.

Vinegar is known to soak up any smells around the area it’s exposed to. Put the vinegar in as many containers or bowls as you can and put them strategically around the house. You may want to use shallow bowls. Put these out for as long as you can, up to a full day.

By the next day, most of the smoke smell should be gone. You can wipe some surfaces with scented water and wash curtains to further eradicate any evidence of smoke in the house.

Baking Soda

Doing a baking soda splash might help make things better, along with slit onions. Gross, I know. But hear us out! Sprinkle baking soda on almost anything in the house that can be vacuumed. Then cut a couple of onions and place them strategically around the house. Go ahead and air the house as well. Allow these to stay overnight. 

By morning you can take out the onions and vacuum the place. Leave the windows and doors open for a few more hours and spray some disinfectant air freshener.

Ozone Machine

Using an ozone machine for a couple of hours can clear up the smell in no time. If you do not own an ozone machine, you can rent one. Be sure to close the windows and doors, and make sure no people, plants, or pets are in the room. Make sure to air out the space for at least 30 minutes after use.

You can also use other purifying systems that can help you get rid of the smoke smell within a short period.  Other products like the Germ Guardian Air Purifier will work too. Before you turn on the machine, bring most of your furniture outside.

You can take out items like chairs and mattresses and leave them outside for at least 24 hours. When you are done with everything, use a spray that’s meant to remove odor. Using room freshener may just make the place smell sickening.

Coffee Grounds 

Coffee grounds can actually do a great job of soaking up heavy, unappealing scents like smoke. Grab a bag in a flavor you love and place a little in small dishes around your home. This works great for getting the smell out of curtains and upholstery.

Let them sit for several hours or overnight. While the smoke scent will be gone, it will be replaced with the smell of coffee, so make sure you have time to air that out too. 

Clean Smoke Smell with Ammonia

Not every surface will respond to some of these less abrasive options. For odorous surfaces that are tougher like countertops, tables, floors, etc., try cleaning with some ammonia or scented cleaner, but never mix ammonia with other cleaners. Depending on where the smoke filled the room, you might even want to give your walls a good wipe-down. Vinegar may be added to the wash if you need to clean fabrics in the machine.


While you can’t always predict someone burning their dinner in your kitchen, there are things you can do to prevent the smoke smell. You can choose to have a “no smoking” policy at your Airbnb, and clearly note this in your house rules and in your rental.

Some Airbnb Hosts allow smoking on the property but not in the building. You can decide to forbid smoking on your property as well. Make it clear where smoking is or isn’t allowed, and that there might be repercussions – including having to pay for a cleaning fee.

About the Author Rachel Jones

Rachel Jones is an award-winning writer and editor from Oklahoma City, OK. Her work has been published on influential sites, including Entrepreneur and International Business Times. She spent several years in property management and leasing, handling short-term rentals, student housing, and community rentals. Rachel is also experienced in staging and real estate photography. With a B.A. in English in her back pocket, Rachel combines her passion for property management with her storytelling ability to offer Airbnb hosts helpful advice as they monetize their homes.