Many of us have come home from a smoky club, restaurant or party with our hair or clothes stinking of smoke. It’s never pleasant but rarely avoidable unless you’ve been somewhere non-smoking.

It’s not just the smell. A study from the University of California, Riverside reports that third-hand smoke becomes increasingly toxic over time. Third-hand smoke is defined as smoke that is allowed to settle on objects in any environment. Non-smoking children, co-workers, spouses and friends of smokers breathe in such carcinogens left in rooms and furniture that are exposed to cigarette smoke or shisha and this can be just as deadly as smoking itself.

Most countries have implemented smoking bans indoors and others have gone even further, with the UK making it illegal to smoke in a car where an under 18 is present. However, given that this isn’t the case in the UAE, here are a few tips and tricks for getting rid of that smoke smell:

  1. White Vinegar. Add a cup of distilled white vinegar when washing your clothes. Also keep a small dish of white vinegar near where people are smoking. This breaks down the cigarette smoke molecules, however do remember to ventilate well whilst smoking and afterwards.
  2. Air dry your clothes. This is simple but effective. It allows the cigarette smoke to disperse.
  3. Clean your Air Ducts. When exhaled indoors, cigarette smoke can easily make its way into your air ducts. This means that it can be recycled multiple times within your living space. Having your air ducts cleaned every 3 – 6 months is good practice and can also help with removal of other toxic compounds.
  4. Deep Clean your Carpets, Curtains and Upholstery. Curtains in particular can act as nets, trapping cigarette smoke and slowly releasing Benzene and other nasties into the air that you breathe.
  5. Change your Light bulbs regularly. This is probably the least obvious place that cigarette smoke clings to. But it does. What’s more, when you turn on the lights, this then heats up said smoke which then releases the odour back into your room. Alternatively, you can switch to LED bulbs which are also more energy efficient (albeit a bigger upfront investment).