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If you can leave the house for a few hours, rent or buy an ozone generator. Pretty good at eliminating odors of all kinds:
You should not be in the house while it is running.
buy an ionizer. they work great. My basement gets musty when it rains. 10 minutes of this and it takes the smell away. Just shut the door and let it do its work.
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This is an extreme solution, you probably wouldn't do for a one off item but if you're trying to refurb stuff that smells like smoke to sell it can pay for itself.
Purchase a shock ozone treatment device like this: Ozone Generator
Enclose in large storage container. Hole in side for power. Seal with plumbers putty. Seal lid with weather stripping gasket. Run for about 30 minutes.
Works wonders pulling smells out of about anything.
Would suggest further research before you go this route but it's a pretty effective solution.
We contain the devices in large plastic tubs and run an ozone machine in them for 30 minutes. The room where we do it is quarantined overnight afterwards to allow he ozone to dissipate.
We use machines like:
Get an Ozone generator of amazon make sure its at least 4500mg/hr. Close all windows in the car and the doors. Turn it on for 2 hours, come back at around 1h 30 min and turn on the car, max ac vents set to recirculate. Let that run with the ozone generator on for the last 30 min. Take the ozone generator out when finished, leave the windows closed and the car on with vents blowing for another 30 min. Turn off the car and open all doors to vent the ozone. Done
After using a primer like Kilz, and removing the carpet and any curtains, etc. you can get an ozone machine. I did a ton of research recently because I am buying a house with water damage (mold) and came to this one as the best option:
WARNING. Under NO circumstances should you run an ozone generator in an occupied room or house. DO NOTE BREATH OZONE AS IT CAN CAUSE PERMANENT LUNG DAMAGE. Otherwise, it can help a lot.
In your case, you could do one room at a time - seal the door with plastic sheeting, and turn off the HVAC. Then leave the house.
Any thoughts on this model?
It costs a bit more for less ozone output, but has a built in timer and fan. I like the simplicity. Would running this on a 2 hour timer when leaving for work allow enough time for the room to be safe when I got home? The has an opening to another room without a door, and would run the ceiling fan to help circulate.
It has performed well, but is maintenance intensive. I have replaced the plates about once a year due to the humidity here on the Texas Gulf Coast. Other than that, it is great! It works well for removing the smell of smoke in my truck as well, just run the truck with the AC on recirculate for 20 minutes and it smells like new. If you run it too long in a small room or vehicle, it builds up a film on your windows and other surfaces.
The folks mentioning ozone treatments are correct. It works amazing. You don't even need to take it to a detailer. Just buy the right air purifier on amazon. This one looks like it is about $90.
You could try renting/buying and ozone machine. From the sounds of everything it just looks like you have some mildew/mold growing in your HVAC system, an ozone machine should would fix the issue. You could also try using Odoban instead of Lysol, I've had much better luck with it killing mildew.
Got it this one looks more like what you're talking about it. I'd never heard of that, looks awesome.
ionizer. Enerzen Commercial Ozone Generator 6,000mg Industrial O3 Air Purifier Deodorizer Sterilizer (6,000mg - Black) [link]
I was looking for this comment. The tar etc will be there to stay, unless you pull your hvac ducts apart and manually scrub them down.
Honestly dawn dishsoap works amazing with a brillo sponge thing. I smoke, not in my house, but in my 3 season patio. Every summer it takes me about 6 hours of scrubbing to get all the tar and crap off all the windows, walls, ceiling, fans, etc. I should mention I have 24 windows floor to ceiling on my patio, one reason it takes so damn long.
On the topic of ozone generators in general. I had a small unit that was an "air purifier" and ozone generator I got off ebay. The "air purifier" I'm pretty sure was just a fan that literally did nothing. I have cats and their litter boxes are in my basement, so I would have the ozone generator go off at 4am for 20-30 min a few times a week just to cut down litter smell. I ended up buying this after it crapped out on me https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JAP7388/ just want to say, HOLY CRAP this thing is powerful. It's almost too powerful to use for me. It will wake me up in the middle of the night 3 floors up with the smell of ozone. Maybe close up all the windows in your house, take your air filter out of your hvac, shove the o3 generator in there, turn the hvac fan on continuous, and leave for a day.
An ionizer can do wonders:
I have used an ozone generator on a smoke filled car of a family member and it worked great in the end. I had to do a couple treatments with increased time toward the end to finally get all the lingering odor but it got rid of it all! used this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JAP7388/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Note: detail car well first to get any loose dirt/particles, and run the AC and heat during one of the treatments to get odor out of the vents.
Can't recommend the ozone enough!.
I have this one and it works well.
I bypassed the 2 hour timer and put a 24 hour one on. Now I can run 2 hours on 1hour off until I unplug it.
These are used by industrial odor removal companies: [link]
Read the reviews, it's pretty impressive, even works on pesky dead body smell.
Definitely look into an ozone generator. I have this one in my Amazon cart, just need to pull the trigger.
I think he's going to pull the trigger on this one. What do you think?
Enerzen Commercial Ozone Generator 3500mg Industrial O3 Air Purifier Deodorizer Sterilizer (Black) [link]