Can A Dehumidifier Get Rid Of Smoke Smell?

Smoke smells and cigarette smoke smells in particular can be one of the most difficult scents to remove from furniture, clothing, and homes in general. Often, once a home has been smoked in, it will continue to have a slight smoke smell even for years to come.

If you’re smoking in your home regularly, or have a new house where the smoke smell needs to be removed, adding a dehumidifier or similar device may be one of the solutions available.

Dehumidifiers have many health benefits and can also be used to reduce the smell of smoke. Adding a dehumidifier to a home can help mask smoke smells by reducing humidity, but only to a certain extent. A dedicated air purifier can help with smoke smells more effectively, but certain models of dehumidifier can also have air purifying modes.

Not only is a dehumidifier great for ridding a home of unwanted smells, but there are countless other health benefits.

We periodically use our own dehumidifier to help remove smells from our home thanks to its dedicated air purifier mode and range of filters and features, and have even used it to get rid of smoke smells.

The dehumidifier we own and use

Even by using the main dehumidifying features to collect moisture from the air in our home, the air goes through a number of filters which can help reduce smells over time.

Adding a dehumidifier to your home is almost always a great decision, but we will break down the ins and outs of these machines. If you are interested in learning more, keep reading!

Using A Dehumidifier For Removing Cigarette Smoke

Dehumidifiers can be used to remove the smell of smoke in many homes.

While they may not be the best choice for purifying the air, they can help control the overall smell of smoke in a home. Of course, the best way to ensure that you are removing smoke smells from your home is stop smoking in the home entirely.

However, if you are living in a home where someone has smoked or continue to smoke inside of a home, combating the smells is important. The smell of cigarette smoke can soak into clothing, furniture, and even the hair and body of those living in the home.

Adding and using a dehumidifier can help you control these smells to some extent.

Choosing A Dehumidifier For Cigarette Smells

It’s important to note that not all dehumidifiers are created equally, and some will not work as effectively as others at removing smoke smells.

You will want to find a dehumidifier that is high quality and comes with high reviews from other users. An even better option is to look for dehumidifiers that are notable for removing unwanted scents.

One of the best ways to ensure your dehumidifier will remove unwanted scents is to use a HEPA filter.

Some things to keep in mind about these filters are:

  • Most traditional dehumidifiers come with a standard G3 filter. However, you can replace this filter with a HEPA, or carbon activated filter. You will want to ensure that the appliance you chose allows you to interchange these filters.
  • HEPA filters are easily found but much better at purifying the air. They are able to catch very, very small airborne particles and remove them from the air. This means that they will capture cigarette smoke.
  • If you can find a compatible carbon activated filter, these are great for removing odors. They can help remove smoke particles and the cigarette odors throughout your home.

We bought HEPA and activated carbon filters (which were optional extras) when buying our dehumidifier and they were definitely worth the extra amount.

Dehumidifier HEPA Filter
The HEPA filter from inside our dehumidifier
Dehumidifier Carbon Filter
The activated carbon filter from our dehumidifier

The manual to our desiccant dehumidifier explains that we can use it to help remove smoke smells:

Desiccant dehumidifiers tend to absorb odours from the surrounding environment like cigarettes.’


Another option if you cannot find a HEPA or carbon filter that will work for your appliance is to attach a thin sheet of carbon filter onto your current G3 filter. This will help improve the quality of this filter and enhance its ability to remove smoke smells.

Air Purifier vs. Dehumidifier

Often, the best way to remove cigarette smoke from the home is to opt for an air purifier device.

These are great as they can remove the toxins and other unwanted particles that come from regular cigarette smoking. As most know, cigarettes are dangerous to your overall health and leaving these particles in the air can cause damage to those in the home.

However, air purifiers do not remove the humidity in the air like dehumidifiers do. There are dehumidifiers that have an air purifier built in.

The best option is to find a dehumidifier that also offers some purifying qualities.

These are a great option, along with changing out the filter to a better quality one as mentioned.

We chose our dehumidifier because it came with a dedicated air purifying mode that can be active at the press of a button.

Dehumidifier Mode Control
Our dehumidifier has an air purifier mode

It also has Ionizer and UV light features to enhance the air purifying features even further.

Dehumidifier Controls
Our dehumidifier also has Ionizer and UV light features

One thing to note is that when this air purifying mode is activated on our dehumidifier, it’s not collecting water. The air purifier mode is separate to the dehumidifier mode.

Using Your Dehumidifier

Now that you know more about these appliances and what works best for removing cigarette smoke, let’s discuss how to actually use them.

The first step to removing cigarette smoke in your home is to remove as much of the smoke as possible. Since cleaning the air is not the main goal of a dehumidifier, it will not work magic and will do best with a little pre-work.

First things first, open all doors and windows to air out any extra smoke that may be in the air. If you have ashtrays or cigarette butts in a certain area of your home, dump these out and clean them. Also, turning on a fan can help.

Once you have aired out the home, these are your next steps:

  • Make sure that your dehumidifier has the proper filter. These will be located somewhere near the fan and you can easily remove and replace the filter. Make sure that the filter is clean and that you have a new filter that fits the manufacturer recommendations.
  • If you are going to add an activated carbon filter or HEPA filter onto the current filter, do so now. You can duct tape this into place and it will add a layer of filtering.
  • Make sure you empty the water reservoir that is often found at the base of the dehumidifier. This should be empty and clean.
  • Put the dehumidifier in an area where cigarette smoke smells are heavy. It should be placed in the center of the smoke-filled room and you will want to turn it onto a high setting.

After that, just let the dehumidifier run until the smoke is removed from the room. You should check the filters after each cleaning and always empty out the reservoir.

If your dehumidifier has an air purifier mode, you can use that for added effect.

Additional Benefits Of Adding A Dehumidifier To Your Home

As mentioned, a dehumidifier is an appliance that is used to remove any extra moisture from the air in your home. If you live in an area that is prone to added moisture, humidity, or even mold, these can be a great option. For many with asthma or other allergies a dehumidifier can help ease breathing and be highly beneficial.

Humidity itself may not seem like a bad thing, and in essence it is not. However, when humidity is built up in the air, it can cause unwanted breathing problems and can wreak havoc on your home.

If you have too much water vapor in your home, it can lead to mold and mildew buildup.

Health Benefits Of Dehumidifiers

One of the biggest health benefits of dehumidifiers is that they reduce common allergy triggers that you may have in your home.

The most common allergy triggers that most households contain are:

  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Mold
  • Animal Dander
  • Mildew
Window Condensation
The condensation that leads to mold in our home

Most of these triggers can be enhanced from added moisture in the air, which can lead to a ton of health issues. By adding a dehumidifier, you can dry out the air in your home and keep the triggers to a minimum. Not to mention, dehumidifiers lower mold growth, which is a huge concern for many households.

Those who have added a dehumidifier to their home have found a lowered rate of allergy attacks, meaning you should see a decrease in:

  • Sneezing
  • Eye Irritations or Eye Watering
  • Wheezing and Coughing
  • Chest Pains
  • Itchy Skin

As you can see, even those who do not smoke regularly can benefit from dehumidifiers!

Rid Your Home of Unwanted Smoke Smell

If your home has unwanted cigarette smoke smell, removing these smells can help you live more comfortably and be proud of your home.

Adding a dehumidifier can not only help you combat these smells but also improve your health.

Using a dehumidifier with a HEPA and/or activated carbon filter is a great way to help reduce smoke smells in a home.

Looking for a dehumidifier that has a built-in air purifying mode and features such as UV light and Ionizer can help to remove smoke smells even further.

Further Reading

Can A Dehumidifier Eliminate Other Odors?

Can A Dehumidifier Also Abe A Humidifier?

Can A Dehumidifier Act As An Air Purifier?