Smelling and tasting smoke is part of the experience of smoking a cigar. But once the final retrohales have faded, knowing how to eliminate cigar odor is equally important. Whether it’s preventing that stale cigar smell from lingering on your breath or removing smoke odor from clothing, we’ll look at some of the best ways to get rid of cigar smoke.
Why does the smell of smoke linger?
Strictly speaking, burning tobacco doesn’t produce smoke. Any fully combusted fuel only produces carbon dioxide and water, which are invisible. When you smoke a cigar, some microscopic particles of tobacco (and if you don’t remove it, the paper band too) do not fully burn. You see them as clouds of smoke as they disperse into the air.
These particles can stay airborne for quite some time, eventually coming into contact with a surface. That could be your clothing, your furniture, or the floor and walls of your room. Inside your mouth, the particles can also attach to your tongue and throat.
All of this adds up to smoke residues that can stay in your environment until they are cleaned away, creating that stale cigar smell that is best avoided.
How to get rid of cigar breath
Preventing the cigar smell from lingering on your breath can help to make sure a great cigar is not ruined by an unpleasant aftertaste for the rest of the day. Let’s go through how you can get rid of that cigar aftertaste.
It’s worth being aware that bad breath is not caused by a single cigar. Your choice of food, drinks, snacks, and general oral hygiene will all have an impact on how your breath smells, especially later in the day if you have been unable to properly clean your teeth since the morning.
A good oral hygiene routine involves regular brushing with a good toothbrush and toothpaste, flossing to remove any scraps of food and other debris caught between your teeth, and rinsing with a good-quality mouthwash to leave things feeling fresh.
When this isn’t possible, carry sugar-free chewing gum to freshen your mouth and pick up any smoke residue left on your teeth and tongue. Chewing will increase the amount of saliva your mouth produces, which acts as a natural disinfectant.
Stay hydrated and your breath will stay fresher too. That doesn’t mean drinking coffee or alcohol, and you should limit your intake of acidic fruit juices. Instead, opt for plain water or alkaline water to combat excess stomach acid and enjoy a fresher afternoon.
Removing smoke odor from clothing
Because fabric is porous, removing smoke odor from clothing can be a challenge. This is not only true of smoke – we’ve all known friends or family who worked around strong smells, and how they bring home that aroma on their clothing.
A quick fix is to use a steamer to remove smoke from clothing in the very same way it got there. The clouds of water vapor will pass through the weave of the fabric, helping to push out any particles lodged there. Follow up with a garment brush to tease out even more of that microscopic smoke residue.
Business suits and cocktail dresses are likely to be dry clean only, so take them to the cleaners regularly to get the smoky smell removed in the correct way if you want to prolong the life of the outfit.
Washable clothing can benefit from a rinse in white vinegar. Put the garments in the wash on a cold setting, with two cups of white vinegar added to the load. This should neutralize the smoke odor, after which you’re free to put everything back in with some detergent to give it that freshly washed aroma.
Once your clothes are clean, think about the room where you’re planning to store them. If that also has an aroma of smoke, then rest assured your garments will promptly pick it back up too. With that in mind, it’s time to think about how to eliminate cigar odor from furniture, carpets, and walls.
How to eliminate cigar odor from furniture?
Furniture is not easy to wash, which makes it challenging to rid them of cigar odor.
If your furniture has removable covers, you can follow the white vinegar process described above, while also sticking to any washing instructions provided on the manufacturer’s label inside the covers.
Non-removable covers need a different approach. One of the best methods is to use baking soda. Sift the baking soda as a fine, consistent layer over your furniture and carpets. Leave for up to an hour, then carefully vacuum all the surfaces, using appropriate attachments to get into tight corners or to brush over uneven furniture shapes. Try to avoid getting the baking soda wet – you want it to remain as a dry powder.
If your walls have a washable surface, wipe them down with a solution of 25% water and 75% white vinegar (or less if you find the vinegar smell overpowering). Greasy smoke residue is often found high on the walls, so work right from the ceiling downward.
The sniff test
Leave the room for a good amount of time, at least an hour or more, then return and check what you can smell – probably vinegar, but also possibly some remaining smoke odor. If so, repeat the steps described above once more.
Finally, throw open your windows and get some fresh air into the room, or run your air conditioning on exhaust mode for several hours to flush out any stale smells hanging in the air itself, and to let the vinegar aroma dissipate.
These simple steps don’t need to be done every time you smoke a cigar, but try to stay aware of any lingering smoke smells and clean your space from time to time. Your guests will thank you and you’ll have a cleaner, fresher room so that next time you light up your cigar, you’re only experiencing the smells and tastes of the cigar in your hand and not the ghost of every stick you’ve ever smoked before.