Moved into a flat that was occupied by smokers?

Open the windows as much as possible. Buy a couple of tubs of bicarbonate of soda (cheaper on the internet) and sprinkle plenty of it over the carpets and any upholstered furniture left by the previous owner, leave overnight and vacuum off. This will absorb the smoky smell without masking the odour or harming the fabric. Use a fabric deodoriser for any curtains.

You should wash all wood and paintwork with a mild solution of sugar soap (from hardware shops) and place a few homemade air fresheners around the place: put three tablespoons bicarbonate of soda in a bowl and add a few drops of your favourite essential oil. Rub a little of the oil on to light bulbs.

You could also try the Moso air purifying bag, which contains bamboo charcoal and absorbs nasty smells produced by smoke, pets, mildew, etc. It will also pick up airborne bacteria, allergens and excessive moisture.

If you’re going to redecorate, this will help hugely to freshen the place.

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