Weed smoke, weed smoke –– at once pernicious and soothing, vilified and lauded for what it represents and how it smells. Personally, we believe in freedom of fragrance: Smell how you want. But, facts are facts. And, even if we like that familiar funk as consumers, it still holds a position in the minds, and olfactory sensibilities, of most law abiding people.
Whether you’re worried about an authority figure getting hip to what you’re puffing, or just don’t want to smell like that fresh, dank, sticky stuff, OR, generally, you’re curious about how to get rid of weed smell; we’ve got you.
The following articles break down how you can get weed smell out of just about everything. We know what you’re thinking: ‘don’t these guys make a weed odor eliminator? Surely they’re just going to shamelessly shill their own solution here’. Yes, Veil is the best odor eliminator spray on the market in our humble opinion, but we’re not here to hawk our goods. Veil is perfect to get rid of the weed smell after you smoke, and making a habit of spraying it every session will save you a lot of work down the road. For older, set-in odors, though, you might need more than some spritzes of Veil.
If it’s not in here, email us and we’ll do some testing. This exists as an ever-evolving resource for any and everyone who is 4/20 friendly. So, light something and settle in.
If you’re reading this, then you’re a real head. Congratulations. Let’s get into this.
First of all, the cannabis we smoke is a flower. It’s important to remember that. Cannabis Flower refers to the smokable section of the cannabis plant, also known as nuggets, nuggies, sticky icky, cheeba, ganj, kind bud, loud, or buds.
In the common parlance of combusting cannabis, users grind Flower before smoking, packing, or decarbing it. Ground cannabis burns more evenly and can be much more easily manipulated, be it in a bowl or measured into a cup and poured onto a baking sheet. Don’t forget, combusted cannabis is why we’re here. More on that later.
As a flower, female cannabis plants tend to have an aroma. This aroma is the result of terpenes, which are the primary components of essential oils — aromatics responsible for a plant’s regeneration, oxygenation, and immunity defense. Essential oils have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, and extracted from a variety of plants and foods (not just cannabis!).
Terpenes are created by plants to protect against herbivores, insects, and other environmental dangers. That dank smell not only deters some critters from chowing down on cannabis plants, but also attracts the right kind of insects to pollinate and spread cannabis pollen grains from flower to flower – i.e. mating ~~far out~~.
Terpenes are also what attract us to various strains of cannabis. The appealing aromas and flavors we experience when we consume cannabis are all thanks to terpenes. Think of cannabis like a flower (because it is one). Different flowers have different fragrances, and even consumptive qualities. A rose is a rose is a rose, but cannabis is not cannabis is not cannabis. Different cannabis flowers = different fragrances = different tastes = different effects.
Back to fragrance though. Remember when we said terpenes are the primary components of essential oils? Have you ever experienced an oil diffuser? Not that kind, like the kind that would be in Anthropologie. It’s the same idea. These essential oil components, when combusted, disperse tiny droplets of oil into the water droplets contained in smoke. Those droplets contain fragrance.
Water? Smoke? Fire? What’s happening here?!? Wikipedia, bless it, defines smoke as, “A collection of airborne solid and liquid particulates and gases emitted when a material undergoes combustion or pyrolysis, together with the quantity of air that is entrained or otherwise mixed into the mass.” Liquid! Yes. And that’s where the root of this “weed smoke sell is contained.” Get some air in there, and you’re smelling loud.
In sum, terpenes are the building blocks of essential oils. Essential oils contain fragrance, also liquid. When combusted, these solids become liquid and gas. This fragrance sticks to teensy weensy water droplets, which are then dispersed via air. That air circulates; it enters your nose. Bang, there you have it: smoke smell!
Now let’s get rid of it.
There’s no place like home (to smoke weed). One of the best parts of being a grownup is the ability to light up in the comfort of your own abode. Lots of folks enjoy blanketing their place with that comforting aroma. Even for the headiest of heads, though, there are times when you want (or need) to get rid of the weed odor in your home.
It bears repeating: if you want to avoid big deodorization moves, you should spray Veil after you smoke to get rid of the weed smell. We’re not here to Monday-morning-quarterback ya, though. If your place is reeking of the devil’s lettuce from many Veil-less sessions, there are 5 areas you gotta attack: Air, Furniture, Rugs/Carpet, Floors, and Walls/Ceilings.
The stanky air in your home is an obvious place to start, as this is probably where the majority of your weed odor is living. To clear the air, you wanna keep two things in mind: circulate + absorb.
This isn’t rocket science. If you want to get rid of odors in the existing air, the logical first step is to bring in some fresh air. Open all the windows you possibly can and crank up whatever fans you have around — ideally you have some windows on at least two sides of your home so you can get some cross ventilation going. The absolute ideal setup for maximum new air circulation is as follows:
On one side of your home, open the available windows and place a fan pointing inward in front of one window. On the other side of your home, open those windows too, but place a second fan facing out a window.
The last and oft-overlooked aspect of air circulation in your home, for those who are lucky enough to have central heat/air, is your air filter(s). According to the so-called experts, surely in the pocket of Big Air Filter, you’re supposed to change your air filters every 60-90 days. If you’re anything like us, you’re just now learning that you may have something called an air filter and that you should have changed it three or four times already this year. These things trap all sorts of particles like dust, mold, and dander that are constantly floating around your home. All those pesky particles can have rank smells themselves, but they can also hold onto the odor from your cannabis smoke.
The above begs the question: what kind of moneybags have two fans on-hand, let alone central air?! As minuscule Brooklyn apartment-dwellers ourselves, we certainly don’t have either. Which brings us to the second aspect of air de-skunking: absorption.
There are many substances that, when left out and uncovered, will essentially absorb the odor in your environment. Absorb is a bit of an oversimplification, as the science of how each of these household items deodorizes varies quite a bit:
Let’s start with the obvious: if you spill some bong water on your coffee table or accidentally ash on an arm rest, those mishaps are gonna make your place smell like weed. Even if you’ve been racking up days-since-last-accident in your home, just the smell from your smoking habit can become ingrained in your furniture.
Start off by dusting everything – dust particles just mean more stuff for that pesky odor to cling to. Furniture that is made of a hard or synthetic material – wood, metal, plastic – is all going to be pretty easy to clean. Just use soapy water and wipe it down thoroughly. Bonus points for bringing in an additional cleaning agent after you’ve done your wipe down to really lock-in that clean smell. And make sure you use a cleaning agent that is formulated for whatever material you’re cleaning, so as to avoid any degradation of your furniture.
That was the easy stuff, now let’s talk fabric. Fabric is pro-level, go-to-school-and-get-a-masters-in-cleaning type stuff. But that’s why we’re here. Best case is if your fabric furniture has a layer that can be removed, then run through the wash. For fabric furniture that can’t be machine washed, try applying baking soda, leaving it for a day, then vacuuming that off.
A couple of other fabric furniture cleaning options, for your consideration: The first, a homemade solution of dishwashing liquid, water, white vinegar, and baking soda (easy on those last two components). Dip an absorbent rag or sponge into the solution and gently blot smelly areas.
The second, and our preferred method, is a wonderful, beautifully scented, spray called Veil. Spray liberally over – or directly on – fabric furniture. It’s colorless and non-toxic, so you don’t have to worry about it negatively affecting your furniture. We recommend spraying over the course of a couple of days to really let the fragrance sink into your furniture and mask the smell of smoke. We recommend pairing Veil with one, or multiples, of the solutions we mentioned above – especially the baking soda technique.
Just like with your furniture, your carpets and rugs can hold a lot of odor. Start by vacuuming everything thoroughly – this will catch any bits of lint, dust, ash, or dirt that could also hold odor (or be producing odors of their own).
After a healthy vacuum, try applying a cleaning solution to any particularly perniciously odorous sections of carpet. We’ve had a lot of success with Nature’s Miracle. Technically a product for cleaning up “pet messes,” but also extremely effective at knocking out odor. Nature’s Miracle is also an all-purpose disinfectant, which is especially relevant right now.
For smaller area rugs, the washing machine is always an option. Just remember to hang dry as most rugs were not sewn with the intention of being run through a dryer. Big rugs and carpets can also be sent out and dry cleaned or steamed. This will likely run you upwards of $100, but is certainly worth it for a surface that may seem beyond reproach. There are a number of companies who do only rug cleaning (Stanley Steemer, anyone?) and they’re dang good at it.
If you prefer a more natural approach to cleaning, our homemade solution of dishwashing liquid, water, white vinegar, and baking soda works just as well on rugs as it does on fabric. Dip an absorbent rag or sponge into the solution and gently blot smelly areas.
Let’s pick up where we left off with rugs: Our homemade, dishwashing liquid and vinegar-based solution! This works especially well on hardwood and stone flooring. Rather than using a sponge or rag, grab a mop and go to town. After you’ve mopped the floor with a wet mop, run it back with a dry mop to finish the job. Then, if you want sparkling clean AND completely odorless floors, we would recommend closing things out with a few spritzes of Endust. It’s definitely a product of Big Cleaning, but boy does it work.
A good ol’ fashioned mopping, regardless of your preferred cleaning solution, will always do wonders on a floor – whether hardwood, stone, or synthetic. Products like Pine-Sol and Fabuloso are cheap, come in bulk, and actually don’t smell half bad. Once again, Big Cleaning – but, typically, general opacity of chemical formulation and product efficacy are negatively correlated; so take your pick.
To that end, some start-up and direct-to-consumer brands have been popping up recently promising the effectiveness of the big, legacy brands with fewer nebulous chemicals and sketchy corporate fundamentals. Blueland is one of our favorites. Their product is effective and smells great, not to mention made without parabens, phosphates, and other esoterica. Their subscription service also makes for easy re-ups!
If you’ve made a regular habit of smoking in your home, then it’s likely that the walls, ceilings, and windows have all absorbed the weed smell as well — so we’re going to need to clean them too. Again, we’d like to take a brief moment to remind you that you can avoid all this hard work by making Veil a part of your session routine. A spritz of Veil in time saves nine… hours of scrubbing every surface of your home to get rid of marijuana odor. That’s the end of this edition of shameless self-promotion, now back to our regularly-scheduled programming.
That homemade concoction of water, dishwashing liquid, and white vinegar that we used for our furniture, carpets, and floors will work just as well on getting the weed smell out of your walls, ceilings, windows, and window sills. Be careful, though, if you have wallpaper, as this mostly harmless solution may not be tolerated by some wallpapers. To avoid destroying your wallpaper, test the solution first on a small, lesser-seen section of the wall (like behind a piece of furniture) to make sure it’s not going to be an issue.
It’s probably overkill in most cases, but the completionist in us requires that we inform you that odor-defending paint is a thing you can buy in 2020. Perhaps you’ve been hotboxing your apartment continuously since the Bush administration, we’re not here to judge (no matter which Bush administration). Smoking weed or cigarettes continuously in a super confined area can not only cause the cannabis odor to become ingrained in the walls, it can also cause discoloration of the walls as well. You may have seen a yellow accent on the ceilings of some particularly divey bars in your day. That authentic look is hard-earned from years of patrons’ chain smoking.
If you look up from your screen right now and see some discoloration on your wall or ceiling, no amount of scrubbing is going to totally solve your problem — you’re gonna need a fresh coat of paint. Odor-defending paint, like the aptly named OdorDefender brand, is specifically designed to seal in whatever smells your stanky walls are already emitting + block the walls from absorbing more odor and discoloration.
Our honest take: a coat of odor-defending paint might make sense if you’re a landlord or homeowner looking to remove and prevent weed smells from accumulating in your property once and for all. It’s not cheap, though, so in most cases a good scrubbing + a fresh coat of regular ass paint should be sufficient to get rid of your marijuana odor.
Sure it’s 2020, but you probably still don’t want your stash of bud out in the open for all to see. Any self-respecting pothead has some sorta designated drawer or cabinet for her substances and paraphernalia. Wherever you choose to store your weed, it’s possible for the odor of the yet-to-be-smoked flower to seep into that small environment. Because it’s usually not finished on the inside as it is on the outside, the porous wood in your cabinets and drawers absorbs smells incredibly easily.
First things first: get yourself a decent stash jar or container that’s airtight and smell proof. Not only is this going to prevent the raw weed smell from accumulating, it’s going to protect your precious nugs from drying out or molding. You’re going to want to avoid anything plastic, as it’s porous so it’ll let the smells out and let air in, slowly draining your weed of potency. There are lots of fancy jars on the market that are specifically made to keep your stash fresh and contain the smell, but we swear by a simple glass jar with a hinged, airtight lid. They’re affordable and easily found at a variety of general stores or kitchen supply shops. Keep in mind, though, that UV rays can degrade your bud, so if your container isn’t opaque, you’re going to want to keep it in a dark place… hence the drawer or cabinet.
Assuming you’ve got your storage sorted, you still might have some weed smell to get rid of in your drawers or cabinets. Either your previously-subpar stash situation caused the odor to seep in, or more likely, you’ve been smoking in the vicinity of these storage areas of your home. These small, enclosed spaces are the perfect use case for baking soda, coffee grounds, or activated charcoal. Sprinkle one of those substances in your drawer or cabinet and let sit for a few hours, then vacuum it up. Alternatively, you can pace an open container of baking soda in these spaces for ongoing odor absorption.