How to get rid of weed smell from neighbors

By
Updated on May 9, 2024
Written by
Marie Cookson
Marie worked with the HouseFresh team on a freelance basis throughout 2025 producing in-depth articles that offer practical advice on how to tackle indoor air quality issues.
TL;DR

Even if you’re a non-smoker, the smell of weed from neighbors can drift into your own home. The smoke can travel throughout the building and reach hallways, common areas and your own apartment. 

Fortunately, having a polite word with the neighbor who smokes can often be all it takes to solve the problem. 

Other methods, such as increasing ventilation and using a high-quality air purifier, can keep those strong weed smells at bay.

Whether you live in an apartment building or a condo, the smell of weed creeping into your own home can really impact your quality of life. The good news is that there are plenty of effective ways to eliminate the odor.

If you’re sensitive to weed smoke or just don’t like it, follow the steps below to lessen the problem.

1. Chat with your neighbors

It might be that your neighbors aren’t even aware the smoke is traveling into your home. So, first and foremost, talk to them and let them know that it’s causing you a problem. 

Speak to them politely and kindly — there’s more chance the issue can be resolved amicably. For example, suggest to them that they might smoke in a different room or use an air purifier.

Tip

Check if weed smoking is legal in your city or state: https://disa.com/marijuana-legality-by-state

Anti-smoking laws can vary nationwide and recreational marijuana smoking is legal in states such as Oregon and Washington. This means that if you live in one of these states, you could suggest that your neighbor smokes on a back porch or backyard.

2. Open the windows 

Ventilation is crucial when it comes to removing weed smoke. Opening windows (and doors) can help to air out your home and mitigate the smell. 

Tip

If you have a fan, you could also create a cross-breeze by sticking one in the window — facing outwards — to help recirculate the air and freshen up your home.

3. Use natural odor absorbers 

There are lots of essential store-cupboard items that can absorb and reduce smoke odors. Place small bowls of baking soda, coffee grinds, or vinegar around your place to help soak up the weed smell. 

Tip

You can try using an activated charcoal bag as it has proven to be effective at eliminating pesky odors. You can even try to make your own, following our step-by-step guide to making a charcoal air purifier bag.

4. Try air fresheners

Air fresheners (sprays or plug-ins) are an excellent choice to offset the smell quickly. Just be aware, however, that these won’t eradicate the odor (or the smoke!) but will only mask it for a time.

5. Use essential oils

As with the above, essential oils can effectively mask the smell of weed and help make your home smell fresh. You could place some drops in a bowl or use an oil diffuser. Another option is to use scented candles.

Tip

The following essential oils are well known for masking unwanted smells: 

🍋 Lemon
🌿 Eucalyptus
🌱 Tea tree oil

6. Cover your electrical outlets

Electrical outlets can be one of the main ways weed smoke infiltrates your home: when your neighbor smokes weed, part of it goes through their outlets and comes out through those in your own place.  

Ensure all your sockets are covered with plugs or outlet seals to help prevent the smoke from getting into your space. 

7. Seal gaps with weather stripping

Weed smoke can easily travel between apartments through windows, particularly if your neighbor smokes marijuana on a balcony or patio. Using weather stripping to fill gaps in your window frames will help block the weed smell from coming into your home.

8. Use a door sweep or thick towel to seal gaps beneath your door

Like windows, smoke can also travel between apartments by sneaking in under the doors. Fitting a rubber door sweep between your hallway door and the floor will help block the smoke from traveling to your home.

Tip

Alternatively, simply roll a damp, thick towel to cover the gap under your door.

9. Consider an air purifier with a powerful carbon filter

Air purifiers are great for removing all sorts of pollutants from indoor air, including weed smoke particles. It’s best to go for a device with a high-quality HEPA filter AND a solid activated carbon filter – you will need both types of filtration in order to remove weed smell as well as smoke pollutants.

Tip

Pay attention to the CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate), as this lets you know how much air the device will clean per minute. The higher the rate, the more effective it’ll be. 

Not sure which air purifier to get? We’ve put over 40 air purifiers through our rigorous testing process in the last year alone. These are our top three picks for weed smell:

10. Talk to your landlord 

If you rent, make sure that you and the neighbor smoking weed are clear on the rules and policies of the building. The landlord is responsible for sorting out the problem if your neighbor continually violates the rules.


How to get rid of weed smell from previous owners 

If you’ve recently moved into your new home and there’s a definite whiff of weed smell, follow these tips:

1. Clean the whole place from top to bottom

You need to go deep and give your home a thorough cleaning. If you’re forgetful, why not print out this handy checklist?

Wash walls, ceilings and hard surfaces — simply use a mild soap or another appropriate cleaning product and rinse well. Also, be sure to scrub inside cabinets, drawers and closets. 

Steam-clean your upholstery — you can purchase special shampoos that actively remove odors rather than just masking them.

Wash the curtains — don’t forget about blinds as well. Using an all-purpose cleaner, you can soak these in a bathtub. After scrubbing, hang to dry. 

Clean the carpets smoke particles can get embedded in carpets, so it’s essential to clean them to remove the smell. For a deep clean, it’s worth getting them professionally cleaned.

Wash the windows hot sunshine can warm windows covered in smoke and then spread the smell throughout your home.

2. Use natural deodorizers

As we already talked about, some great natural deodorizers can remove smoke smells. White vinegar and activated charcoal, in particular, are highly effective. You could pour some into a bowl (or bowls) and leave overnight to absorb the smell.

Tip

You can also sprinkle baking soda on carpets and upholstery. Let it sit for a few hours, and then vacuum it up.

3. Repaint your walls

If you can still detect weed smells after deep cleaning, you may need to repaint the walls.

Tip

Be sure to go for a high-quality paint that has a primer, however, as this will help lock in lingering odors.

Just like tobacco, the smell of weed can easily travel through to your home if your neighbor smokes, especially if they do so inside their apartment. And as marijuana has such a pungent odor, it can be even more noticeable than cigarette or cigar smoke. 

This is because the particles within smoke are airborne and incredibly small, meaning that they can get through surfaces such as plaster. That said, it’s more likely that smoke particles will stick to the walls rather than travel through them. 

However, you might be experiencing weed odors because the smoke might be getting into your home via small cracks, tiny holes or pores in the shared walls. Another alternative is that weed smoke and its associated smells are coming through the electrical outlets, windows and doors. 

The intensity of the smell depends on various factors, such as how much your neighbor smokes, the thickness of the walls and your building or unit’s ventilation quality. 


Final thoughts

Whether it’s creeping into your apartment from next-door neighbors or still lingering from previous owners, removing weed smoke odor from your home can be tricky. Yet you can do many things to make your apartment smell fresh again.

Ventilation is crucial, but you can also try using some natural odor-absorbers like white vinegar and charcoal. An air purifier with HEPA and activated carbon filters can also mitigate strong odors. 

And don’t forget that simply having a friendly chat with a neighbor who smokes weed may just do the trick.

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About the author

Marie Cookson

Marie worked with the HouseFresh team on a freelance basis throughout 2025 producing in-depth articles that offer practical advice on how to tackle indoor air quality issues.

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