There are few things more irksome to a nonsmoker than reaching the end of a long journey, stepping into your hotel room and taking in a lung full of stale smoke. Many hotels don't allow smoking inside the rooms or have nonsmoking rooms, but guests sometimes still smoke. If the desk clerk is unable to move you to another room, you will have to make the best of it. It may require a quick trip to the store or a dash to the mall.

Light several scented candles and allow them to burn for three to five hours. Many major candle manufacturers sell travel candles. The most popular fragrances are packaged in metal tins and filled with candles sized to burn for 20 to 40 hours. Alternatively, you can light incense to achieve a similar result. This method does not remove the smoke, but it should mask it so that it's virtually unnoticeable.

Sprinkle baking soda around the room or dump it into small cups and place them around the room. If you’re going to be in your hotel room for more than a day or two, it may be more effective in the long run.

Add 10 to 15 drops of essential oil to a box of baking soda and shake. Allow the mixture to stand for six to eight hours and then shake it onto the carpet. Leave a note asking housekeeping to vacuum when they come through. Repeat as needed. You may want to make this at home.

Pour ½ cup of white vinegar into a few hotel cups. Set the cups around the room. Refill the cups as the smoke smell begins to dissipate. You can wipe down the mirrors and any glass surfaces with vinegar to remove nicotine.

Put several pieces of activated charcoal on a paper towel and set it in the middle of the room. Add more charcoal for particular strong smoke.

Spray the room with air freshener. Look for one designed for cigarette smoke. Citrus fabric-freshener scents work well.

You can also plug in an electronic air filter or ozone generator. They’re expensive, but they're effective and some models are portable.

Things You Will Need
  • Scented candles

  • Incense sticks

  • Matches

  • Baking soda

  • Essential oil

  • Vinegar

  • Activated charcoal

  • Air fresheners

  • Air filter


The steps outlined above can be used individually, but you may achieve a more satisfactory result by using a combination of techniques.


Do not leave candles burning unattended.