Best Essential Oils To Eliminate Smoke Odor At Home (kill smoke smell)

What are the best essential oils to eliminate smoke odor?

Of all the unpleasant and lingering odors that exist, smoke is one of the most pervasive and persistent.

Whether you have had an inconsiderate guest smoke a cigarette in your house or car, or burned a roast in the oven, be prepared to smell it for days.

The pungent aroma can get into your upholstery, drapes, and your clothes, and hair.

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Best essential oils to eliminate smoke odor

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If you don’t like commercial air fresheners use natural alternatives, like essential oils. Essential oils offer a completely natural solution to the problem of lingering smoke odor.

These 100% natural compounds are safe and offer the versatility required to eliminate smoke odor wherever it resides.

essential oils disclaimer

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are not oils in the sense you may be thinking. They are compounds extracted from plants via pressing or distillation.

These compounds contain the concentrated essence of the plant.

Most notably for our purposes here, essential oils are powerfully impregnated with the scents of their source material.

A drop of rose oil can contain the scent distilled from 100 roses, for example.

Not all essential oils are created equally, however. There are synthetic, lab-formulated variants that mimic the scents of some plants but are not natural products.

Choose USDA Certified Organic oils to ensure that you have a pure and natural substance derived directly from nature.

The Best Essential Oils To Eliminate Smoke Odor

While all essential oils have a specific aroma, not all of them are ideal for combating smoke. Mild odors that dissipate quickly or won’t help.

For this reason, citric oils are at the top of the list. Lemon oil, lime oil, grapefruit oil, and orange essential oils all share a common ingredient: the compound limonene.

Limonene is responsible for the powerful, clean scent we primarily associate with lemons and oranges.

In fact, this compound makes up 98% of orange essential oil and the majority of other citrus oils.

Citrus oils have more than just scents going for them. These compounds are naturally antibacterial and work as natural solvents, breaking down grease and oils.

They are also considered to have mood-boosting effects. These essential oils are also effective to eliminate other types of odors.

Don’t use essential oils containing limonene (citrus) if you have pets. For a list of toxic essential oils for pets read this article.

Related article: 17 of the best-smelling essential oils to use at home

How To Use Essential Oils to Fight Odors (4 DIY Recipes)

Now that you know the best odor-killing essential oils, all that remains is to learn the most effective ways in which to use them.

The following home remedies will help you eliminate the smoke odor and unpleasant odors anywhere in your home.

1. Removing Smoke Odor From Clothing in The Washing Machine

Washing machine with a bottle of lavender essential oil and scoop of detergent
Essential oils are a great way to get rid of bad smells

Just washing your clothes with normal laundry detergent should significantly lessen the smell of smoke, but amazingly will not always eliminate it.

To make sure your clothing comes out of the wash smelling fresh, drip just a few drops of essential oils such as lemon or lavender oil into the wash water when the washer is filled.

To get similar results in the dryer, apply several drops of your favorite essential oil to a rag or towel, then run the dryer with the smoky garments tossed in with the towel.

Relate reading: 11 Hacks to make your laundry smell good and fresh

2. Eliminate the Smoke Smell From Carpets and Rugs

DIY recipe with baking soda and essential oils on a wooden surface
A powder carpet cleaner is a natural way to remove smoke odors

Carpets are magnets for odor. Not just the threads we walk on but the padding beneath are havens for odor-emitting compounds.

To get down deep into the pile, you’ll need to combine your oils with baking soda to create your own homemade carpet deodorizer.

Scoop 1 cup (or 2) of baking soda into a container and drip in several drops of oil, depending on how strong you want the scent to be. I like to use lemon essential oil with lavender or eucalyptus.

Shake well to mix the two thoroughly, then sprinkle the mixture onto your carpets and rugs. To ensure deep penetration, you can go over the areas with a broom or brush.

Let the powder sit for a few hours. This works in two ways. Baking soda absorbs and traps odors and the oil scent overpowers them.

After sufficient time has passed, vacuum well. Your carpets will smell fresh and smoke-free.

3. Use Lavender Sprigs

Springs of lavender and essential oil bottle

Another way to neutralize the smoke smell and achieve a pleasant scent is by placing lavender sprigs or white vinegar on open containers. White vinegar is an effective way to eliminate cigarette smells.

Spray lavender essential oil over them and put them in strategic places around your home.

4. Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning with essential oils to eliminate smoke odor

Add a few drops of essential oils to the water reservoir of a steam cleaner before using it on carpets, curtains, or upholstery. The steam will help to penetrate and remove smoke odors while leaving behind a fresh scent.

5. DIY Spray To Remove Smoke Odor From The Air

Homemade spray to get rid of smoke smell with essential oils

Not a fan of commercial sprays? The best way to avoid them is to make your own powerful odor eliminator to neutralize smoke smells in the air. Gather together the following:

  • empty spray bottle (you’ll want one with a fine, misting nozzle)
  • 40 drops of lavender or citrus essential oils (or a combination)
  • 1 cup of distilled water
  • 5 tablespoons of 60% vodka or rubbing alcohol

Combine the distilled water with the alcohol. Add the essential oils of your choice. Pour into the spray bottle and shake well to combine.

Make sure you don’t fill the bottle completely, so there is room to shake the liquid.

You can spray this around the house to keep things smelling fresh.

NOTE: Don’t spray around candles, gas stoves, or open flames. Be careful when spraying on finished surfaces. Test in a small area first. And if you have pets, check this article about dangerous essential oils for pets.

An even more effective air freshening method involves the use of a diffuser. This reduces the oil to vapor and disperses it.

It will find its way into every nook and cranny, just like smoke, and become the dominant aroma throughout the treated space.

✅ Essential oil diffuser to remove bad smell

Another way to eliminate the smoke smell (including cigarette smoke) is with this favorite home diffuser.

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lit cigarette in an ashtray


While the smoke odor is definitely a pain to contend with, nature has provided a variety of safe and effective methods, free of harsh chemicals, we can use to combat it. With the right essential oils, offensive odors will never gain a foothold in your home again.

Do you use essential oils to eliminate smoke odor or any other smell?

2 thoughts on “Best Essential Oils To Eliminate Smoke Odor At Home (kill smoke smell)”

  1. What essential oil would you recommend if one has pets? My mom is heavy smoker. She is thinking of selling her house, but has two inside dogs.

    1. Hi, I’m not qualified to recommend essential oils for pets. To be safe it would be better to consult the vet of your mother’s dogs because he/she would know if your dogs have any known allergies or serious health issues before using essential oils. Good luck!

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