It really does not matter where you stand on your preference for certain smells, pot is pungent. And unless your pot smells like fresh baked cookies, no one is going to be a fan of the lingering odors that come with it.
Let me tell you about some friends I had who were smokers. They reeked. Literally everything in their house carried the acrid smell of old smoke. The walls, the furniture, even the fur on their cat reeked of smoke. It got to the point where even an air purifier was no match for the smell, not that they tried very hard to cover it up to begin with. If I was going over for a visit I pretty much knew whatever I was wearing would have to be washed immediately, lest the smell permeate the rest of my stuff. I just knew that one day I'd forget and wear the same jacket to work, and then I'd be doomed to being in an elevator with a colleague while they'd suspiciously sniff the air around me. If I couldn't launder my clothes right away, they got a heavy deodorizing spray treatment and sequestered away from the rest of my laundry.
Now you may be thinking, "But Edie, I don't smoke that much. Surely my stuff doesn't smell!" Well, you may be right. But we all get acclimated to smells over time, and it may just take one hot summer day, a new visitor, or a week away on vacation to bring back ghosts of bong hits past. And unfortunately if you live in an apartment or condo complex, your neighbors may also be putting up with your smelly stuff and eventually complain to management or the cops.
Since recreational legalization of marijuana in Colorado, the Denver police are getting an increasing amount of odor complaints due to cannabis plants. So much that they have needed to crack down on smell ordinances using a Smell-O-Scope. So lets be courteous to our guests and neighbors and try to keep the air a little cleaner, it's a benefit for you and everyone else.
One of the best and easiest ways to cut down on odor is to not smoke at all or smoke outside. Edibles and vaporizers are good alternatives to smoking, for those who really want a minimal to completely odor free experience. Though they will result in a different sensation than what you may be used to from smoking, so keep that in mind when trying it out for the first time. And if you are making your own cannabutter, you still run the risk of a really smelly kitchen. If you're going to go with edibles for the smell factor, please talk to your dispensary (if you have one) about prepackaged items or bug a friend who doesn't mind a smelly kitchen.
Lets focus on cutting down the smell of smoking and vaporizing indoors, especially if outside smoking is not an option for you. While vaporizing carries minimal smell, those with sensitive noses may still be bothered by it. One of the easiest methods for cutting down on smell is a sploof, aka a paper or plastic tube system stuffed with dryer sheets and/or activated carbon that you exhale your smoke into. But as far as I'm concerned, toilet paper tubes have much better upcycle uses and plastic containers belong in the recycling bin. Besides, dryer sheets contain a host of chemicals that were not meant to be held up to your face with any frequency. There are pre made plastic sploofs, but they don't do any more than the DIY tube system and frankly you're still blowing into a tube ($9.58).
I highly advise against smoking in windowless rooms such as the bathroom, as the smoke has no place to escape except for the vents and electrical outlets. In order to cut down on the risk of smoke travelling through the walls and vents, you can install wall plate insulators ($1.93) behind your sockets and light switches. A door draft stopper ($7.87) is also an easy solution to keep all manner of smells from travelling out, and it's much more attractive than rolling up a towel that you may trip over.
As for immediately extinguishing smoke, my top recommendation is to use a fume extraction fan in a well ventilated room. These are usually marketed for absorbing the toxic fumes caused by soldering metal, so handling a little bit of exhaled smoke should be a piece of cake for these devices. Make Magazine has the instructions on making a mini fume extractor for about $10, should you be a crafty person who wants something portable. If you don't want to purchase all of the pieces separately, Jameco Kitpro ($24.95) has assembled all of the materials for you, all you need to do is put it together. But if you're not into DIY projects, there are plenty of desktop carbon based extraction fans ($45) out there as well.
If you are looking for a solution that doesn't involve blowing directly into a fan or something that will accommodate more than a few people, your best bet is an air purifier that eliminates smoke smells. The great thing about the air purifiers is that they cover a lot of surface, and the sleek designs and quiet technology will make for easier blending into your everyday appliances. And for allergy sufferers, they are a vital tool for comfortable living. Though it's important to note that the method of purification is different with each purifier on the market. Some use the same carbon based method as the extracting fans mentioned above; while others use a HEPA filter air cleaning, which is great for most allergens but doesn't catch all of the same particles that carbon will. Ionic air purification systems are really popular, but they don't eliminate impurities so much as change the structure of the particle to neutralize it. So I would advise staying away from solely ionic purifiers if you are looking for something to eliminate smoke. TL;DR, your best bet is to go with a combination carbon and HEPA filter system.
If you wanna talk top of the line Jetsons Style air cleaning and filtration with a modern look, my top recommendation is going to be the Rabbit Air MinusA2 ($549.95). Seriously, look at this thing. It has 6 stages of filtration, is almost completely silent, and you can pick a customized filter to suit your specific needs. It's a gorgeous looking piece of machinery and can hang on a wall, but it's also more than half my rent.
If you're looking for a solid mid range machine for all around filtration, the Fellowes Quiet Air Purifier with True HEPA Filter ($200.97) is a safe bet. It's got 4 filtration systems, is whisper quiet on a low setting, and has an intuitive easy to read screen. There are some reviews that note that the ionizer makes an obnoxious noise, but they seem to be limited to those with very sensitive hearing.
So what about eliminating smells on furniture and clothing? I try to stick with the most natural, chemical free methods for neutralizing fabric smells. Organic Authority has a recipe for an all purpose refresher spray, and all you need to do is select the best essential oils to suit your taste. Simply fill a spray bottle with the following:
1 Cup white vinegar
1 Cup water
1/2 Teaspoon glycerin
1/2 Teaspoon essential oil (I recommend mint, lavender, lemongrass, or any combination of herbs.)
Protip: Many bugs hate peppermint oil. So that's a bonus if you live in a buggy area!
And be sure to clean your walls and carpets every year. Lots of smells collect and linger on large, easy to ignore surfaces. A good carpet shampooing or wall cleaning will give you a much better living space regardless of if you smoke or not. Just be sure to test a small surface before cleaning so you know what you're getting into. And just in case, maybe bake cookies anyway because mmm... cookies.
These posts are 100% not sponsored by anyone and I am getting paid a grand total of $0 to endorse anything. It tickles me greatly that any of you think I'm making any money off of this. Top image via Flickr.com.