How to Clean a Laptop of Smoke Smells

By Mary Ylisela

Cigarette smoke leaves its odor on surrounding surfaces. Although absorbent materials, such as upholstery and curtain material, might be more susceptible even non-absorbent surfaces can also become smoky smelling. A laptop computer that's consistently exposed to cigarette smoke eventually smells like smoke, too. The process of cleaning a laptop of smoke odor must remove the odor without causing further damage to the computer surface or its inner-workings. To effectively clean the laptop and remove odor, nicotine and tar must be removed from the surface, in addition to smoke smell.

Things You'll Need

  • Alcohol-based wet wipes
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Cotton swabs
  • Large trash bags
  • Old newspaper
  • Cotton balls
  • Vanilla extract

Step 1

Turn off and unplug your laptop.

Step 2

Wipe over the outer area of the laptop with a wet wipe to clean off brown and yellow stains from tar and nicotine. Repeatedly wipe the bottom and backing of the laptop with clean wet wipes until they remain clean. Dry the surface off with a microfiber cloth.

Step 3

Clean over and around the keyboard with a wet wipe to remove smoke stains that cause odor. Wrap a wet wipe around the tip of a cotton swab to clean in-between the keys. Dry the keyboard with the microfiber cloth then wipe the screen with the cloth. Dampen one corner of the microfiber cloth, slightly, to remove cigarette smoke stains from the screen before drying it immediately.

Step 4

Place the open laptop in a large trash bag. Surround the laptop with crumpled-up newspaper, making sure not to use newspaper that has also been exposed to cigarette smoke. Close the trash bag and allow the newspaper to absorb remaining smoke odor overnight.

Step 5

Open the trash bag and throw away the newspaper. If any cigarette smell remains on the laptop, place it in another trash bag with two or three cotton balls that each have three drops of vanilla extract on them. Seal the bag and leave it overnight.

Step 6

Remove the laptop from the trash bag and discard the trash bag and cotton balls.

Tips & Warnings

  • Substitute fabric dryer sheets for the newspaper or cotton balls with vanilla extract to help remove cigarette odor.
  • If the wet wipes used to clean the laptop are more than damp, squeeze out the excess moisture to prevent damage to the laptop.