Thirdhand smoke can linger indoors for a long time – months to years, depending on the amount of smoking done in a home and for how long. This residue can permeate almost any surface, including dust.
We all know that smoking has its dangers and health risks in Wichita, Kansas, but recent studies have shown that it can create issues in a home long after there has been no smoking taking place in the home. The effects of smoking are broken down into three types. Firsthand smoke is smoke directly inhaled by the person smoking. Secondhand smoke is a combination of the sidestream smoke and the mainstream smoke exhaled by smokers that affects those around them. Thirdhand smoke refers to the secondhand smoke gasses and particles that stick to and become embedded in materials and objects. The one we are going to focus on here is thirdhand smoke, since this is usually the culprit of the cigarette smell that continues in a home.
WHAT EXACTLY IS THIRDHAND SMOKE?
Tobacco smoke contains thousands of different chemicals in the form of gasses and particles as microscopically small, sticky, oily, waxy droplets. After tobacco is smoked, research has shown that 70%-90% of nicotine and NNK (a tobacco-specific lung carcinogen) chemicals stay behind in indoor environments as residue, known as thirdhand smoke. These chemicals that adhere to objects from which they can release back into the air or accumulate in house dust. Some chemicals in thirdhand smoke are not released by the cigarette, but result from chemical transformation of tobacco smoke components that happen in the environment. This is described as a residue since it adheres to surfaces in any home where smoking has taken place, including Wichita, Kansas.
WHAT DOES THIS THIRDHAND SMOKE RESIDUE STICK TO?
Thirdhand smoke can linger indoors for a long time – months to years, depending on the amount of smoking done in a home and for how long. This residue can permeate almost any surface, including dust, in Wichita, Kansas.
Some common objects susceptible to thirdhand smoke residue:
And as unpleasant as it can be to think about, thirdhand smoke can also soak into our skin, hair, and clothing when we touch things that have this residue on them because it can be absorbed even into dust. We can even ingest this residue by eating contaminated objects or dust, and by breathing in air and re-suspended thirdhand smoke components. Now that that’s out of the bag – let’s talk about how to get rid of thirdhand smoke residue in Wichita, Kansas.
GETTING RID OF THIRDHAND SMOKE RESIDUE AND ITS SMELL
Because thirdhand smoke penetrates deep into materials, it isn’t always easy to get rid of the residue and smell of smoke in any home, including those in Wichita, Kansas. But the following list can help in the removal of thirdhand smoke residue and smell.
- Frequent and thorough household cleaning can reduce thirdhand smoke residue that has accumulated on surfaces and in dust. This process requires frequent vacuuming with a HEPA filter and regular wiping/washing/scrubbing of surfaces with acidic (e.g., white household vinegar) and alkaline (e.g., Simple Green) cleaning solutions. Always follow manufacturers’ instructions on the proper dilution and use of cleaning solutions.
- Thirdhand smoke-polluted clothes, blankets, pillows, and cloth toys may be cleaned in a washing machine. Depending on how polluted the fabrics are, they may have to be washed multiple times or replaced.
- Plates, cutlery, and plastic toys affected by thirdhand smoke may be cleaned in a dishwasher. Depending on how badly polluted the objects are, you may need to wash them multiple times or replace them all together.
- You can clean carpets and floors, although given the absorption of carpet and padding, it may need to be removed and replaced.
- Homes have many hidden surfaces that can become polluted by thirdhand smoke such as underside of tables, insides of cabinets, backsides of bookcases, walls covered by paintings, mattresses, upholstery, and closets. Cleaning these hidden thirdhand smoke reservoirs in a home can substantially reduce the presence of thirdhand smoke pollutants.
- Repaint walls with 2 or 3 coats of paint after the walls have been thoroughly washed using multiple clean rags and wearing gloves.
- Clean ventilation ducts, vents, replace filters in the air conditioner and heating systems. Ventilation ducts are essentially the lungs of a home and unfortunately can be a place where a lot of dust and residue can settle. Cleaning the ducts and vents will remove the dust and residue and keep it from being recirculated and redistributed through the home.
Again, the amount and cost of thirdhand smoke residue and smell will depend greatly on how long and how much thirdhand smoke residue has accumulated. It may take cleaning repeatedly or possible replacement of certain items to get rid of the thirdhand residue and smoke smell that lingers in Wichita, Kansas.
If you are experiencing issues in your home regarding thirdhand smoke residue and smell, please give us a call. We provide services that can help in the clean up and removal of residue and smell – give us a call and ask about our options!
“Very helpful. Went beyond my expectations. Would highly recommend them.”
— Christina S. in Wichita, Kansas