Non-smokers unite!!! I know we have come in a long way. We can finally breathe and not suffocate during a mamak football match. We can stay as long as we want. And bringing kids along is not an issue. Asthma inhaler? Never heard of it. New Malaysia’s possibilities seem hopeful.
Unfortunately, the ban is not applicable to private property. So, some people actually…..well….smoke in their house. The horror, I know!
Just in case you can’t imagine the horror, let me paint the picture of it. Filth.
Well, sometimes it’s inevitable. You’ve found the perfect home. 20 minutes drive from work, nearby public library, walking distance to the recreation park. It’s more than anything you wanted. But as soon as you step in, the smell of ashtray in the air.
It’s okay, no big deal. Go ahead for that house, we’ll just have to get down the business…to defeat. The stank.
Cigarette smoke issue doesn’t stop only at the smell, in fact, it is the residue that is called third-hand smoke or THS for short. As petty as you may think, it can still cause cancer. So you might want to grab a mouth mask before you start.
Let’s work from top to bottom.
- Walls and ceilings
The magic ingredient is vinegar and just plain ol’ water. 3:1 mixture. With a spray bottle and a handful of rags, go ahead and spray and wipe the walls, and pay extra attention to the ceilings. If the smell is not subsiding, chances are its the ceiling. Smoke tends to travel upwards and latch onto the first surface it is in contact with.
There are also stronger chemicals such as ammonia, and trisodium phosphate. These bad boys are good for to get tough stains done in one go. But use with caution (and protection!)
If you scrubbing it down is not working, the second option would be just to cover it all up. Applying paint directly will not cover them up. What you can do instead is to apply a stain-blocking primer beforehand. Go for a pigmented shellac-primer to completely block stubborn stains and odour.
Primer set, now the foundation. I mean paint. Go ahead and apply at least two coats of interior latex paint for the best finishing.
- Sun and heat
No, this is not petty at all. You might overlook this but did you know dust can fuse onto light bulb as they get hot, so let’s change that too.
Window blinders can also emit an odor when they’re warmed by the sun. So pat it down with vinegar mix or just a new fresh blinder.
- Curtains, drapes and window shades
Fabric and cloth hold onto smokes smell and dust very well. So cleaning it in a washing machine would generally work. For some material, steam cleaning does the trick. Ultimately a new set of curtain would be the best. You know, a new curtain for a new house.
- Floor and carpets
Depends on flooring, for wood or tile type a mop and a detergent usually does the trick. Don’t forget to vacuum down all the nooks and cranny. The dust contains harmful chemicals, so you wouldn’t want of it.
If your flooring is carpet, try sprinkling baking soda. Let it sit overnight and vacuum it clean the residues day after.
- Get an air filter
This is especially important for a household with children and the elderly. A humidifier purifies indoor air making it safe to breathe. There is also humidifiers available specifically for smoke odor particles.
Ultimately purchasing a house of a non-smoker would save you a lot of maintenance cost and energy. It is also found that indoor smoker’s houses risk the chance of a reduced resell value by a whopping 30%. And it is also found that 88% real estate agent surveyed it is more difficult to sell a home previously occupied by a smoker.
If you are a smoker, you should have a designated area outdoors to smoke. Make it comfortable for you and your guests to prefer smoking outdoors. Lastly, you can try keeping an umbrella near the door to encourage smokers to go outside even in bad weather. Let’s be a good citizen and only smoke at the designated area!
And if you are a SPEEDHOME landlord, you are entitled to have your house smoke-free with our fabulous customizable tenancy agreement!