- Open All Windows and Turn on the Fans. This one is obvious. Throw open the windows. Turn on the fans. At first we pointed the fans blowing the smoke out. But after about 20 minutes we turned the fans to blow fresh air in. Immediately discard whatever you burnt. Take the trash outside – the lingering smell from the food and/or the pan will only make things worse. Keep any doors to other rooms closed if possible.
- Wipe Down All Surfaces. The cabinets in our kitchen really seemed to retain the smell of the smoke, so I removed all dishes and washed in the dishwasher. Then I took a solution of equal parts water and white distilled vinegar (or you can use undiluted vinegar on counters, etc.) and wiped down every last surface. Walls and floors can also absorb smells. Swifter your floors clean and wash walls if need be with a mixture of water and bleach. Don’t forget the fixtures in the room – wipe down blinds, light fixtures and ceiling fans with your water and vinegar mixture.
- Boil a Pot of Lemon Water on the Stove. Throw a large pot of water on the stove. Slice up a lemon or two and toss in. Boil the water for 10-30 minutes for a fresh smell throughout the kitchen. You can also boil a pot of white vinegar to absorb odors. Or a pot of orange rinds, cinnamon and cloves. Really anything to keep your house smelling fresh and chemical free. Repeat over the next few days as necessary.
- Set Out Natural Odor Eliminators. Soak slices of bread or crumpled newspaper in white vinegar and then place throughout the room (on plates) to soak up odor.
- Sprinkle Baking Soda on the Carpet. Leave the baking soda (or other store bought deodorizer) for 30 minutes, then vacuum it up. This should help remove any odors lingering in the carpet. Spray down carpet with Febreze odor eliminator after.
- Take Down any Drapes and Remove Pillow Cases. Wash if possible, or at least hang outside to air out. Add 1 cup distilled white vinegar to your laundry with the regular amount of detergent. Be sure to wash these items separately from non-smokey clothing. Spray pillows and linens that can’t be washed as well as upholstered furniture with Febreze fabric refresher. Wipe down any leather furniture with your water and vinegar mixture then rub down with leather cleaner.
- Replace Air Filters. Your filters may still have smoky air clinging to it, so it will help to replace with a fresh filter.
All in all, it may take a few days for the lingering smells to dissipate. In the meantime scrub away, look at this as a second spring cleaning. Pour your man a beer when he gets home and maybe have his favorite cookies baking in the oven (both to bribe him and to cover the smell of smoke from earlier). Mistakes certainly happen. We live and we learn. I know that in the future I need to make an effort to be much more careful! But in the present I am grateful for a man who loves me and doesn’t sweat the smokey stuff.
Have any of you had a similar experience? If you are willing to share your shame… please let me know if you have any additional tips and tricks! We hapless housewives need to stick together!