How to Remove Cigarette Smell from Wooden Furniture


Dana asked: How do I remove cigarette smell from dresser drawers? I purchased this used dresser, and smelly, cigarette clothes must have been stored in the drawers. I have tried using dryer sheets in each drawer, but that has not worked. Please help!

When cigarette smell gets absorbed by wooden furniture, it can take some time to remove it completely. The processes are simple and can safely be repeated until the odor is removed.

You Will Need:

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • Coffee grounds
  • Soft cloths
  • Spray bottle
  • Vacuum

Steps to Remove the Cigarette Odor:

  1. Begin by mixing ½ cup of white vinegar with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle.
  2. Mist the surfaces of the furniture piece.
  3. Wipe away any excess moisture to avoid spotting.
  4. Allow the piece to air dry completely.
  5. Repeat as necessary, vinegar is great at removing odors.
  6. Baking soda also absorbs odors well and can be applied a couple of different ways:
    1. It can be sprinkled directly onto the surface and inside of drawers. Allow it to sit for at least 24 hours before removing.
    2. The baking soda can be wiped out or vacuumed away.
  7. Again, repeat as necessary until the odors are gone.
  8. If you want minimal clean-up, place a bowl filled with baking soda or coffee grounds next to or inside the furniture piece. Allow them to sit there for a day or two and absorb the odor.
  9. Discard and repeat with fresh baking soda/coffee grounds until the smell is gone.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • If it’s possible, set the furniture outdoors, completely open and allow it to air out. The smell will naturally dissipate.
  • Newspapers also absorb odors and can easily be placed around many furniture pieces. The process may take longer, but can be a cheap, effective fix.


  1. Linda says:

    Hi there! Just wanted to say thank you for the tips about removing smoke smells from wooden furniture. I recently bought a dresser from a resale site and although it looked nice, it reeked of stale smoke. I tried putting baking soda in the drawers and leaving it for a few days, to no avail. This morning, I tried the vinegar and water solution and it worked right away! So, thank you again. You made my day!

  2. Erin says:

    I recently found an antique desk. It had been used in a very smoky environment. I am very excited to try this vinegar technique to remove the odor.
    Thank you for the information. Your site has been very helpful!

  3. Caroline says:

    I purchased a wooden bed frame and it too smells smoky. I have washed it down with sugar soap and put it outside to air. If that doesn’t work I’m definitely trying the vinegar and water. Thanks and will let you know how I get on.

  4. J Jones says:

    I have used straight lemon oil. I vacuumed the night table and the smell has dissipated.

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