Instructables

How to Remove Cigarette Odor from (a lot of) Books

Picture of How to Remove Cigarette Odor from (a lot of) Books
My fiancee and I recently moved into our own home.

I came from a household with three smokers (at least, depending on who visited) who smoked 100% indoors.

This, naturally, posed a problem when we moved into a clean-smelling house, especially since neither of us are smokers.

Google searches and Instructables searches for removing such odors were for small quantities or for rooms, and I couldn't find anything for doing hundreds of books in a short amount of time.

I wracked my brain, packed with limited household skills (so far) and hit upon an idea.

Back when I had gerbils, years ago, I used cedar shavings as bedding.  While most pet stores and pet professionals will strongly advise against using cedar shavings for bedding for rodents these days, there was a side effect that I was most interested in taking advantage of.

Back then, cedar shavings made my bedroom smell absolutely wonderful.

I hopped in the car and drove out to a nearby chain pet store and picked up a 2 cubic foot package of cedar shavings for under 12 bucks.

If you have access to cedar chips or shavings from somewhere else, you could save yourself the gas and cost of the purchased package.
 
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karen.dahle.94 months ago

Thank you so much for posting this. I now live in my mom's house. When she passed away I took all the photo albums and stored them in an empty closet. I open the door to the closet for the first time a few weeks ago and the smell of nicotine smoke is overwhelming. Will be picking up some cedar shavings today while I am in the city. Will post an update later when I get it done.

aspen427 months ago

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am new to the book trade and recently kind of accidentally (long story) bought a ton of books that it turned out smelled badly of smoke. As I have a boss I was super-worried about the purchase and did a lot of research and experimentation about how to fix the problem. Hands-down the best method I have tried. Not only did it save my rather large (and otherwise great) buy from being a bust but I think we may use it in our store for other books. It is effective and doesn't take a lot of time away from our employees, as it only takes a few minutes to change out books every couple hours.