Ask a House Cleaner, A Smokers Tale, Savvy Cleaner

A Smokers Tale – What Happens to Your House

A smokers tale is the result of a recent cleaning video Angela Brown did on odor removal. And a guy writes in with a smokers tale of house damage and his struggle with odor and tar remediation.

His house stinks and DIY odor eliminators don’t remove the tar. A smokers tale is a quest for #NicotineRemoval – how to get rid of tar. And what happens to your house when you smoke indoors.

Want to know how to clean cigarette smoke from walls? He shares his usage of Taback Attack., ProRestore Three-Stage Elimination Program and Atomic Degreaser.

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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.

A Viewer Writes in with A Smokers Tale

A Smokers Tale, Woman Holding NoseAll right, so we did a show on marijuana smell, and how to give rid of the 420 smell inside your home if you’re doing an Airbnb turnover.

And it sparked a lot of controversies, and a lot of interest, and a lot of conversation on YouTube and in our Facebook groups.

There was somebody that wrote into the show, and they had an interesting story, and I wanted to share that with you today.

So, with their permission, I would like to read to you the email that they sent.

A Smokers Tale in His Own Words

A Smokers Tale, Woman Are You JokingHi, I’m a smoker who smoked in his house for 15 years. And I never thought about selling my house. Nor did I know the degree that tobacco would embed itself in every nook and cranny and crevice.

The time came where I wanted to sell my house, and I figured a wall washing with warm vinegar, and a fresh coat of paint would suffice. Wrong.

The first thing the realtor mentioned upon entering my house is that there was a strong smell of tobacco, which I couldn’t smell. I was nose blind. He said it would lower the value of my house and would repel my potential buyers. I researched more and I commenced cleaning all the walls with Borax and hot water. I pulled out lots of yellow tar, so I’m now set, right? Wrong.

A Smokers Tale of Research

Back to researching, and I fell into the gold mines, painters’ forums, and carpet cleaning forums. The painters’ experience revealed that painting with KILZ® is the solution. KILZ® is a brand name. But I left that as a last-ditch option.

Through the carpet cleaner’s forum, I tracked down a janitorial supply outlet near me. And I popped in to see if they could hook me up with a cleaning solution. I mentioned my scenario and the guy said, “I have just the product for you.” And he moved to the back shop and brought out a product called Tabak-Attack.

A Smokers Tale Includes a Garden Sprayer

A Smokers Tale, Man in Hazmat SuitI bought a gallon and commenced spraying my house with a two-gallon garden sprayer. Don’t worry, I had proper safety garb on. Goggles, ventilator, hat, no bare arms, and legs. Then I had my neighbor come over and do a sniff test. The results: The stink factor was reduced by about 50%.

ProRestore has a three-step smoke elimination program. So, I went back to the janitorial supply.

This time they hooked me up with a product called Atomic Degreaser.

So, again, I commenced washing all the walls again. The neighbor came back and did another sniff test, and the result was they could barely smell any tobacco stench.

A Smokers Tale Turns OCD

A Smokers Tale, Wiping WallsBy the way, I went ballistic OCD, and I cleaned every nook and cranny. And I was blown away where I was pulling deep-yellow tar from. The biggest surprise to me is that the bottom underneath sides of my front door. What on earth? This stuff gets everywhere. My advice is smoke outside and go straight to the KILZ® paint as a solution.

By the way, I tried pans of vinegar, charcoal, baking soda on the carpet, and who knows what else. The tobacco stink just laughed at him.”

Inspired by A Smokers Tale

A Smokers Tale, Man Smoking CigaretteThat’s the end of the smokers tale. And, I love the fact that the smoker was willing to try so many different options. He researched so many different choices, to get rid of the smell. And then calling in an outside person to do the sniff test. How else are you going to find out if your house stinks if you are nose blind, as they suggested?

When you smoke indoors, there’s a lot of tar that gets stuck on everywhere. It even gets stuck in your computer keyboards, and in the remote controls of your TV remote. It gets everywhere.

All right, so the problem is this. When you smoke, and we’ll go back to the Airbnb show that we did the other day, how to get rid of the 420 smell. When that show came out, I got bombarded with emails.

Smoke and Odor Removal is Expensive

A Smokers Tale, Furniture CleaningI had said in that video that some Airbnb hosts charge $50 to $75 for a reset fee if you smoke inside their property. And they came back and they’re like, “We do not charge $50 to $75. We charge $500. And they’re like, “Don’t you dare tell people they can get off with $50 or $75. We can’t clean the place for that price.” I was wrong. Okay, the prices have gone up.

If you smoke in somebody’s house, which is a no-no in most houses, there will be a steep cleaning fee.

Because you do have to go through so many hoops, and you have to have your furniture professionally cleaned.

That sits in the drapes, and on your sofas, and your fabric couches, and in your throw rugs, and your oriental carpets, and things like that.

Hiring a Professional Remediation Company is Expensive

A Smokers Tale, Man With Finger UpCleaning drapes, carpet, and upholstery cost well more than $75.

So, I can see with the enormous amount of redo that they’re doing that it could be significantly more money.

Quick Fix: Don’t Smoke Indoors

As a guest of hotels and vacation rentals – don’t smoke indoors.

As a homeowner who values your own property – don’t smoke indoors.

Your house is an enormous investment, and for most people, it’s their biggest asset. And you can’t sell it if there’s smoke damage, odor, and tar in your home.  You’re going to have to go through some serious cleaning processes. Now you know what to do thanks to this gentleman that sent us this note. But you’re going to have to jump through some serious hoops to bring that property back up to resell value.

So, that’s just a little word to the wise there. Thanks to our listener for this information. All right, if you found this tip helpful, please pass it on, share it with a friend.

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About the Show

Learn how the show came to be, interesting facts about the show host, and other frequently asked questions about the show.

Resources For This Episode

Pro Restore 3-Stage Elimination Program PDF –

Benefect Botanical Atomic Degreaser –

ProRestore – Odor X – 9D9 – Fire and Smoke Odor Counteractant –

Benefect Botanical Atomic Degreaser –


ProRestore – Last Resort – Odor X Counteractant Additive –

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