Anyone who buys collectibles or antiques are often faced with the question of removing the smoke odor from the item. It is a common problem for in 1965, 42% of the adult population smoked...everywhere.
Here are some common fixes you can try to remove that smoke smell... NOTE: If there is ANY DOUBT, do a test area first. If the item is valuable my advice is to take it to a professional.
Books (paper in general)
- Use 4-6 unused dry sheets between pages of the book and seal in a zip lock back for about a week. Longer, if needed
- Try a couple tablespoons of unused ground coffee in a zip lock back with the book
- Gently wipe the outside of the book damp cloth or a baby wipe
Wood Furniture (wood sculptures, knickknacks, etc) NOTE: Always test a small corner before doing the whole thing. Always air dry out of direct sunlight
- Sprinkle baking soda over the surface of the wood. Let set for 8-12 hours, then remove with sweeping it up and then vacuuming
- Wipe down with a mixture of 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water
- Set open bowl of baking soda in drawers and cabinets
- For acrylic paintings use a q-tip or cotton ball and saliva. The enzymes in the saliva clean the dirt and smoke residue. Work slowly, lightly, and carefully, working on a 2-3 inch square at a time.
- For oil paintings try a drop of Dawn soap in water and gently clean with a cotton ball or Q-tip. This may have to be done more than once
- Anything that is glazed just mild soap such as Dawn and warm water should do the trick. Note that I say 'warm' not hot
- More porous pieces can be dusted with baking soda and permitted to sit for 12-24 hours and then cleaned up with a damp cloth
- Mix 1 part vinegar to 2 parts of water. Add 1 tbl baking soda. Gently swipe the item with a damp sponge. You do not want to soak the item. Rinse by wiping with damp clear water sponge
- Set the piece out in the sunlight (this may take days)
There is a lot of help online if you are willing to look for it. Smoke was a part of our history and there is no way around it. What you can do though is alleviate it and still have those wonderful collectibles to enjoy.