How to get rid of cigarette smell in room?

I recently had a tenant vacate who ignored the no smoking clause and chain smoked in the unit resulting in a very strong cigarette smell that is proving hard to get rid of.

I am o'seas but a mate tells me it's so bad it makes him gag and the PM recently emailed me saying she took 2 applicants to inspect but they ran away once they had a smell inside. The PM has mentioned using a company called Odour Munchers but a google shows some type of pet product. Has anyone else heard of them or know how they get rid of smells?

There's loads of info on the web with tips about getting rid of cigarette smell but does anyone know a good method that doesn't involve too much work? The usual tips i've read say to leave out plates of white vinegar, baking soda, citrus peels etc to soak up the smell. Most sites advise against using air freshener which just masks the smell.

I am replacing the worn out carpet next week so this should help reduce the smell but i don't want to re-paint the interior.

I found this Chlorine Dioxide product from the USA called roomSHOCKER and wonder if any outlets in Australia like Bunnings, Big W, K-Mart etc would carry something similar? If not i can order it delivered to Oz for about US$40 which sounds ok if it does the job.


Chlorine Dioxide (ClO2) is a potent oxidizer that literally uses oxygen to break up odor molecules. This sort of oxidizing action is found in many chemicals, but ClO2 is one of the most effective. Chances are that you've used oxidizers before: "Oxy-Clean" is an example of an oxidizer that cleans -- it uses Sodium Perchlorate.

Unlike most oxidizers, Chlorine Dioxide degrades very quickly into to simple salts and water (within hours). Under the best conditions, it is unlikely to last two weeks. Basically, as a product, it has no shelf life. And for that reason has never really been available to consumers.

It has had widespread industrial use (pretty much all paper is turned white using ClO2 and many municipal water systems use it instead of chlorine) where large machines to generate it, often using electrolysis.

Now, thanks to a revolutionary new gas generator technology, the high-tech NosGuard packet, you simply place the pouch in water (following the directions of course!) and it generates Chlorine Dioxide gas.

ClO2 gas is especially good at oxidizing organic odor-causing substances, including Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). It does not MASK them like perfumes do, it NEUTRALIZES them through oxidation. Very effective.

Their website looks a bit dodgy but i came across them from a good testimonial.

I have been using a new product that a friend recomended, it's called ROOM SHOCKER, this stuff works great! It does not just mask odors, it completely eliminates them. Something about a vapor that it generates that penetrates all porous surfaces, killing all the odor causing bacteria, and it also kills mold and fungus. You can get the stuff at, it's inexpensive and easy to use, just put it down with a little warm tap water and walk away for anywhere from 8 to 24 hrs, depending on how bad the smell and how large the room is. It also works great in cars, I bought my daughter a used car on which I got a great deal because of reeked of smoke, I put one of these in the car and came back a few hours later, not a hint of smoke. Check it out for yourself, they have a money back guarantee.
There's loads of info on the web with tips about getting rid of cigarette smell but does anyone know a good method that doesn't involve too much work?
I hear that you're overseas and not able to get there yourself to do it...but my suggestion is to get someone out there and just wash...everything.
Even if you get that company to come in, the scum will still be all over the walls.
I'd rather not re-paint the walls so it looks like i'll order this product which creates a vapour that breaks down odour molecules and even penetrates all porous surfaces including painted walls. It's a pity the Australian market doesn't make oxidizers easily available.
Known to work wonders, is using elbow grease and sugar soap to thoroughly wash all walls and ceilings (usually needs to be done twice). If not sufficient then one coat of fresh paint over existing paint would help.

Curtains and blinds often need to be ditched and tearing up and replacing carpet along with thorough washing of floor beneath is highly recommended.
As a non smoker, any effort to disguise the tobacco odor, that falls short of this would have me turning my nose up at this as a potential home :(

Otherwise... consider just leaving as is and advertising that smokers are welcome tenants :D

If you are o/s and your pm has not acted to prevent this from occurring/continuing then what's to stop the pattern from repeating?