Tips for eliminating stale cigarette odors include eliminating odors from the air with bowls of ammonia or vinegar, washing drapes and other soft fabrics, cleaning or painting the walls, and shampooing the carpets. Cigarette smoke contains tar that collects on surfaces and continues to emit the stale odors unless you remove or cover it.
Small, open bowls of ammonia or vinegar set around the room help eliminate odors in the air. Boiling water on the stove with citrus or spices can also help mask the odors.
Smoke often collects in fabrics and fabric-covered items. Wash any items that are machine washable using detergent and the warmest water safe for the item. Use an upholstery cleaner for any furniture.
Wash the walls using a minimal amount of water and a mild detergent. If the tobacco has penetrated the paint, apply a new coat to seal in the odors. A good quality sealant over the paint provides an additional layer of protection without altering the paint color.
Clean the carpets to remove smoke odors. Granulated carpet cleaners are often effective at removing smoke, but if the odor remains, use a steam cleaner. In homes where heavy smoking occurs, it is sometimes necessary to replace the carpets.