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Smoking Indoors - Odor Elimination Question

(35 posts)
  • Started 1 year ago by exbenedict
  • Latest reply from jpmcwjr
  1. exbenedict

    exbenedict

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    Ok, so here is my question. My wife is considering letting me smoke in the house, officially only in my study, but I am ok with that, and I was wondering if anyone who also smokes in the house has a recommendation for an odor destroyer, cleanser, remover, whatever that is effective and won't cost an arm and a leg. Preferably something that someone has actually used or is using. Any info is appreciated. Thanks!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. warren

    warren

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    You can reduce the reek some but, it will get into the carpet, drapes, paint, etc. Those little bits of smoke adhere to everything. You won't notice the reek but, non-smoking visitors will.

    Others will pipe up with methods they use to mitigate the smell to their satisfaction.

    PS

    You and the wife will become inured to the odor in time as you most likely have with the aromas in your hair and clothing. Wear it proudly, it IDs you as a proud pipe smoker.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. chasingembers

    Embers

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    Lampe Berger catalyst lamps work well.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. ron123

    ron123

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    I've tried a lot of things. Containment is one goal you might want to shoot for. I have a den and I put a sweep on the bottom of the door. I also had a couple of bathroom fans installed in the ceiling and I usually open a window at least a crack, even in winter, which helps the fans by creating a cross breeze. Virginias dissipate the best, while Latakia blends hunker down in the room longer. I tried a HEGA filter air cleaner (about $600 10+ years ago) and it was worthless. Didn't do a thing...I blew smoke at it, and the smoke came right out the other side. A friend uses a Rabbit Air and swore by it, but the filters are expensive and need to be changed regularly...and recently he was bitching that he thought it was about dead. The Sharper Image ozone air cleaners supposedly work well, but you don't want to run them while you're in the room. I tried a lamp berger, and my wife bitched about the smell of the oils I burnt...basically they just masked the smoke. Same thing with Febreeze. I hate to say it, but it's an uphill battle, and I've not found a real magic bullet, having searched for years. A battle worth fighting, but a PITA nevertheless. Good luck.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. upnorth1

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    I am self-banished to the heated garage in winter, smoke only outside in summer. It's all a compromise.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. dottiewarden

    dottiewarden

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    Smoking stinks!

    Dot
    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. brian64

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    I've had one of these ozone generators for a few years now and it works pretty good. Nothing is going to be 100%, but if you're limiting it to one room, this will take care of a lot of it.

    https://www.amazon.com/Best-Choice-Products-Purifier-Ionizer/dp/B004FGNTYE/ref=sr_1_30?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1526619828&sr=1-30&keywords=ozone+generator

    “Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out.” – George Carlin
    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. jaytex969

    jaytex969

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    I have a standard issue box fan in the window, exhausting to outside.

    I cut a piece of cardboard and taped it to the fan, covering the inside, with a hole just a few inches smaller than the fan blade diameter to create more positive one way flow and prevent excess exchange with the warmer/colder air outside.

    I fitted a board beside the fan to fill in the gap. A folded hand towel is laid across the top of the fan and positioned to seal the edge by the glass.

    Another old towel is rolled and placed at the bottom of the door to lessen the pull of air from other parts of the house.

    I keep a shot glass with a flared out top on my desk. I dump pipe ash into it. A match book lays flat on top to contain odor. When it fills, I empty it into a ziplock baggie kept in the trash can. I smoke 1-3 bowls per evening.

    No ash or dottle is ever left exposed to the room air. The ceiling fan stays on and the closet door stays closed. The box fan is left running for at least 15 minutes after the last smoke. Then, I close up for the night.

    This is the room where we also do most evening TV viewing and my very nonsmoking wife seems comfortable.

    I work from 5am until about 1 or 2pm. I only smoke in there from about 3pm until 9pm, maybe midnight on my "weekend" nights.

    In the morning, after the room has been closed all night, there is a light smoking aroma but never as bad as entering the home of a cigarette smoker or the tobacconist shop. It's not apparent anywhere else in the house.

    I'm coming up on a year of pipe smoking and this arrangement has been a suitable compromise for our household.

    Gunner, Black Frigate. Say "Hello" to my little friend!
    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. woodsroad

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    As per usual, Warren has the correct answer.

    The most effective way to remove the "aroma" is to exhaust the smoke as it's produced, before it has a chance to adhere to surfaces. Once the smoke is settled, nothing will eliminate the odor. But you'll need smoke close to the exhaust, and it will need to move a lot of CFM's to be effective. Think large and powerful kitchen exhaust hood.

    Ozone generators are somewhat effective, but breathing ozone is very bad for the lungs.

    Some swear by Lampe Berger, but I found that they only add perfume and never really mask the smell. I also wonder how healthy it is to breath that stuff. Febreeze is an endocrine disruptor and, again, is ineffective as it mostly just adds another layer of (different) odor.

    As Warren said, you may become acclimated to the smell of stale smoke, but non-smoking visitors to your house will not be fooled.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. chasingembers

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    Some swear by Lampe Berger, but I found that they only add perfume and never really mask the smell.

    I just use denatured alcohol in mine, and it works just fine. Then again, I don't produce clouds of smoke when smoking either.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. brian64

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    Ozone generators are somewhat effective, but breathing ozone is very bad for the lungs.

    Yeah, you don't run it while you're in the room. You just run it for a little while with the door closed when you're not going to be in there.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. dino

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    I, too, like the Lampe Berger. I make my own fuel, 91% Isopropyl Alcohol and a few drops of essential oil. There a many oils available to suit your sense of smell. Just don't use a lot. The Lampe Berger is quite effective for my purposes, as it works not only on my latakia blends, but is also great for neutralizing cooking smells, like fried food. And, most importantly, my wife approves.
    Dino

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. newbroom

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    I finally bought a HEPA filter air cleaner. I don't know how great it is, really, but it makes me feel as if I'm trying to keep the place a little less smoky.
    My chair is right in front of the unit which is right in front of the intake on my a/c unit.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. mikethompson

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    Just install one of these babies in your study

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. tfdickson

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    My method is similar to Jay’s but without the towels and cardboard. Box fan in the window, let it run a bit after I’m done. I’ve found that the smoke itself is the least of my issues in keeping away odor. More important is getting rid of ash and dottle as soon as I’m done for the night and making sure all loose strands of tobacco that end up on my desk and floor are cleaned up. Once a week vacuuming is the only other thing I do and there is minimal odor in my den and none in the rest of the house.

    Ted

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. cosmicfolklore

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    We've just grown to accept the smell of Virginias in the house as our "smell of home." It's not like cigarettes at all, and we find the aroma quite pleasing. That said, we do have powerful inline vents, to remove smoke quietly. My wife doesn't mind the small as much as just accumulated smoke in the room while trying to watch movies. I have a very good air filter, but they aren't designed to remove smells.
    But, when we stay at hotels or rents cars that I smoke in (breaking the rental agreement), I use Ozium spray, which knocks the particles out of the air. So far, after dozens of rooms and about ten rental cars, I've never been questioned. But, using it daily in your house is just not going to be effective.

    I think you should start off making an effort to remove the smell, and then just taper off. She will stop smelling it while in the house. She might smell it when re-entering the house after being out all day, but everyone will soon come to see it as just the aroma of "home." Unless you smoke latakia or those foul aromatics. In those cases, you house will smell like ass.
    A little aromatic, as in a morning bowl with coffee might not be bad, but walking into the home of someone who smokes a lot of aromatics is not as pleasant as you'd think. Virginias and VaPers tend to just smell like quality tobacco to me, very light and natural. I guess a tobacco nazi would hate it, but we've gotten compliments on the aroma often. It covers the smell of dogs, cats, and farts very well.

    Michael
    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. warren

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    It's really no different than living with a dog, cat or living in a home with a really great chef who cooks Italian all the time. I had a car salesman stick his head in my "trade-in" and immediately observe that I was a smoker and owned a dog. Accumulated odors are why many realtors suggest the "vanilla" ploy before showing a house. Some odors are offensive and some are not, depends on the nose. Kinda like a country boy, used to fresh air, moving to Detroit or L.A., both reek to me.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    tom12

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    I use several containers of white wine vinegar that I put around my study. It won't totally eliminate the aroma but if you leave it overnight the smell is gone by the morning.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. woodsroad

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    but we've gotten compliments on the aroma often. It covers the smell of dogs, cats, and farts very well.
    Well, yes. There's that, too. Maybe I should start smoking in the house.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. cosmicfolklore

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    Tom, so you like a McClelland's aroma going on in your smoking room. Try apple vinegar. We clean with it, and we really like the smell, better than white vinegar.

    Yeh, before selling, just deep clean any carpets, repaint the walls, and toss a eucalyptus sachet in the main airduct of your HVAC. The place will be as good as new.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    tom12

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    Ok, thanks for the advice Cosmic I'll try it out, I rent so no worries on that part, may have to fabreeze the house though

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. cigrmaster

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    A commercial grade Ozone generating machine will work. When you are done crank it up and let it run all night when you are not in the room. A good one is around 500.00.

    Harris
    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. irishearl

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    I only smoke in our den and go with the box fan in the window. Wouldn't be able to afford any fancy venting systems. I smoke intermittently throughout a day and just leave the fan to run continuously from when I start in the am til when I go to bed. Seems to work well enough. Would agree that getting rid of ashes helps reduce the smell in the room. Have never been an outdoor smoker except for cigars. Due to their strength of smell, only smoke them on the porch.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. voorhees

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    I use a 3rd spare bedroom as a den. I smoke 2-3 times a week in there. I frequently use a small double exhaust window fan to pull the smoke out. My wife doesn't complain.(about the smell)

    Jason
    Posted 1 year ago #
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    panamacharlie

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    I smoke all day in my office/den, and in the living room watching TV in the evenings. In this climate, I can keep a window open most of the time. I do have tile floors instead of carpet. So I guess the odor will build up over time, but I am so old that I will probably die here, then it won't be my problem.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. irishearl

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    Like you, panama, only place we have carpet is on the second floor where the bedrooms are. So, having wood or tile flooring where the smoking is going on also, of course, minimizes the absorption of smoke into the room.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. pipebuddy

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    I smoke in my study. I only smoke my pipes there.
    I always let the window open during the good months and I use an air purifier and always leave the window slightly open over the winter.
    At night before going to bed, anytime of the year, I shut the door and let the air purifier do its thing. I change the filters twice a year.
    The result is that it only leaves a tiny residue of odor in the mornings. When we leave the house for a few days, it will be more perceivable but after opening the window for 5 minutes or so, it's gone.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  28. woodsroad

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    We bought a house that was previously owned by cigarette and cigar smokers for 50 years. I'm not comparing cigarette smoking with pipe smoking except to say that smoke sticks to everything. Everything. The walls. The fireplace. The aluminum window frames. The stainless steel sink. The toilet. The wall were white at the bottom and tan at the top.

    We spent a month washing down the walls and woodwork with TSP before painting everything. The hardwood floors were sanded and polyurathaned. Eventually, the fireplace was sandblasted. I've gutted three rooms out to the studs and completely renovated them. Still, on a hot summer day, 20 years later, we will still catch a whiff of cigarette/cigar smoke.

    Pervasive stuff!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. exbenedict

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    Wow, lots of good advice. I'll figure out something to try and we'll see if she is happy. Thanks!

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    armonts

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    The smell of tobacco clings especially to everything that is fabric, curtains, carpets ect ... As on the hair or clothes.
    Here it is difficult to get away even after aerating.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  31. echambers

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    My strategy which was designed when I was smoking exclusively cigars which are:

    1. Well-sealed door - sweep on the bottom, weather stripping all around.
    2. Fans x2 (for my 11x11 space). They make better fans but ultra quite bathroom fans have other advantages
    3. A Rabbit air cleaner

    Beyond this you need to eliminate any cloth - blinds instead of drapes, wood or tile floor instead of carpet, leather instead of cloth furniture. Repaint with a washable latex and plan on washing the walls once a year -- you'll be amazed and the impact it has.

    Depending on where the walls are I'd also suggest outlet isolation - they make kits designed for outlets on exterior walls to keep the cold out but you should put them on any interior walls too.

    If you are in a basement you may want to rip the ceiling out and use spay insulation around each of the joists IF you plan to smoke all day or have lots of people over. Overkill though for a casual smoker IMHO.

    "There's something that doesn't make sense. Let's go poke it with a stick."
    Posted 1 year ago #
  32. cosmicfolklore

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    Wow, you guys are hardcore. I had never considered doing this much stuff before smoking. Funny, I just smoke mostly Virginias inside, and the only remarks I get are how it is an herbally smell. Everyone seems pleased. I think that there is a huge difference between the smell of cigarette smoke and a quality pipe tobacco. The first smell that hits people when they walk into our house is usually about what's cooking in the kitchen. I have never had someone say that it smelled like ass in my house, and if you knew my friends and family... they wouldn't hold back. But, like I said, this isn't latakia which already smells like burning tires, nor aromatics which you'd think would smell good, but... turn to ass quickly in a roomnote.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  33. mackeson

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    I always just burned candles, but have recently started burning a Lampe Berger thanks to Duane's recommendation. Works great IMHO

    "Once you go down the Lakeland path, forever will it dominate your destiny."
    -Apologies to Master Yoda
    Posted 1 year ago #
  34. warren

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    There are two types of smells which, may or may not, need to be dealt with. Fresh smoke which spouses and friends find agreeable. Fresh smoke which is from a blend or cigar which is acceptable only to the smoker and must be contained. And then there is the stale smoke which drives realtors nuts. That's the smell which will remain long after you have moved onto a new residence, either above ground or sodded over. That's the smell my kids will have to remove if top dollar is wanted for the house they inherit.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  35. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Has anyone experience with this or even a take on how it may work?

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 1 year ago #

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