What's the best way to get the smell of cigarettes out of a mattress?

I've just moved into a houseshare and last night in bed I became very very aware of the smell of cigarette smoke eminating from the mattress (the previous occupant smoked). I'm going to try Febreze later when I get home, but I've got a feeling that the smoke will be deep set right within the core of the mattress and will soon get through to the outer layer.

It's got a fabric outer cover, but no outer plastic layer on top of that.

Note: I cannot afford to replace the whole mattress!

I also need said mattress to sleep on, so please no suggestions that I air it outside for a few days to get rid of the smell!


I want my mattress to smell of nothing - not coffee, vinegar or any other foodstuff which any of you might consider good at masking smells - the aroma of pickled onions is not an acceptable substitute for cigarette smoke!

I also need to avoid liquid as i'll just end up with a damp mattress and I'll get the added problem of mildew......

16 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best answer

    I wouldn't use Febreze because it will wet the material and the smell will soak in even more( in my opinion).

    It's gonna be a pain to get rid of the smell but here is a suggestion..

    Get a couple boxes of Baking Soda and before you leave in the morning lightly coat the mattress with it, when you get home vacuum it off. (alternate sides daily).

    The baking soda should absorb the smell over time, It may take a week or so of sprinkling/vacuuming to notice an improvement.

    You can also try standing it upright off the boxspring to let it "breathe" close by an open window.


    You could get one of those plastic (zipper) mattress covers and maybe it will keep the smell inside it.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The Fabreeze Controversy

    When confronted with any odor on furniture, curtains, or bed linens, the natural thing to do is reach for a deodorizer such as Fabreeze. Some argue that this simply masks the odor temporarily and it will return as soon as the spray product evaporates. There have also been reports of breathing problems associated with the use of fabreeze and other deodorizers. Others swear it doesn’t work anyway. It just turns the odor into a disgusting blend of smoke and the great outdoors. If the odor your battling is very weak, it’s worth a try. If it’s strong then don’t even bother.

    Get it Steam Cleaned

    Cigarette smoke smell in fabrics emanates from tar ash and oil deposits left in it’s fibers. In order to remove the smell, you need to remove these deposits. Unfortunately, when cigarette smoke condenses onto something, the resulting ‘goo’ is very, very stubborn. If you’ve ever cleaned (scraped) this residue off of glass or painted walls you know exactly how stubborn it can be – imagine that same goo stuck in every fiber of the piece of furniture you wish to clean. The bottom line is that household cleaners just won’t cut it, hire some professionals to come and clean it for you. Make sure they use a van-mounted steam cleaner and tell them exactly what your objective is so they can use the appropriate cleaning solution.

    Low Budget?

    Completely cover the piece of furniture you’re cleaning with baking soda and then rub it and pat it into the fabric so it gets as far into it as possible. Let it sit overnight and then vacuum it all back up.

    Get Rid of it

    This is not meant to be flip, but sometimes you just have to cut your losses. When cigarette smoke gets deeply enmeshed into the fabric of an ex-smokers favorite couch, there may be nothing that will ever get it out. Unless you enjoy reupholstering furniture, you might just have to throw it away. Better yet, sell it to a smoker.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    What i would do is when you are not sleeping in it during the day, rather make your bed, take all the sheets and bedding covers off. This will allow it to air out whilst you are not using it. Carry on using febreeze to help the odour dissapear. It may take some time but it will eventually stop smelling of smoke!

    Also a good idea is to hoover the bed (all sides). The stale smoke is most likely lingering on the dust that is present in mattresses, thus by hoovering the mattress this will help to get rid of the smell.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    there is no way 2 get rid i bought a setee of sum1 who smoked we tried everything all we managed 2 do was make it smell worse as every thing mixed 2gther and it smelt disgusting fair enough u say u cant afford a new 1 but theres not alot u can do except put up with the smell or use very strong conditioner on ur sheets 2 mask the smell until u can get another mattress

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  • Sabina
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Sprinkle it with a lot of baking soda and put it in the sun if you can. Leave it for as long as you can. Vacuum up the baking soda and then spray with Fabreeze. If you think you can still smell smoke, place some dryer sheets between the mattress and the bottom sheet.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yeah I would febreze the heck out of it before I go to work then see what it smells like when you get home. I would also vacuum it. I know it sounds strange but they also suggest vacuuming your mattress to help get rid of dust mites.

  • ?
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Use a hand held steam cleaner. It will get rid of any nasty niff's, and, if someone else has been sleeping on it it will also sterilise the mattress! Dead easy to do and doesn't leave it wet through either. Good luck.

  • 1 decade ago

    try using air fresher, if it does not work the way u want can try out something like use the best perfume u love most, spray it in the mattress and cover it with the bedsheet, do that like for three days and see the results.

  • 1 decade ago

    Start smoking,then you won't notice the smell! Or since you can't afford to replace the whole mattress,maybe you can afford to replace part of it...

  • 1 decade ago

    Get a new mattress,hire a steam cleaner and steam clean it or use a British product called febreeze-which gets rid of bad smells.

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