Rubbing Alcohol Ideal For Removing Smoke Smell From Electronics?

smoke smell tv remove

You won’t believe how effective using rubbing alcohol is for cleaning the smoke smell off electronics. Truth be told that rubbing alcohol is probably the safest way to get rid of the cigarette smoke that lingers on devices. 

Why Use Isopropyl Alcohol To Clean Electronics?

Isopropyl alcohol or Rubbing Alcohol is the best to use on a computer or any device that uses electricity. The reason why you want to use it to get rid of smoke smells on electronics is that it dries very quickly.

If you used water, it would lead to you destroying the product because water and electricity don’t mix well.

The added benefit of a chemical drying quickly is that it can be effective at removing odors such as cigarette smoke and tar.

Rubbing alcohol can eat away at the tar that is left behind from smoke odors.

What type of Rubbing Alcohol you use is necessary too. You want to use stuff that is 91%. Having a higher percentage means it dries faster, but be careful as the higher the percentage, the more volatile it is. 

Best Way to Use This Stuff?

The best way is to unplug or remove the batteries from the electronic device. This should be the very first thing you do.

The way you use it depends on what you’re using it on. I have great success cleaning things like game controllers, TV remotes, and Even Computers with rubbing alcohol. We list some brief ways to clean certain products below, but the idea for them all is the same.

You must consider the temperature too. Rubbing alcohol works best when the room is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If not, then the rubbing alcohol will not evaporate as quickly and can lead you to other problems. Also, avoid doing it where its above 90 degrees Fahrenheit too.

Sometimes I’ve been known to take my vacuum cleaner to the fan ports and holes to suck out the air inside. This allows you to remove the odor that sits inside without having to take the case apart of devices you can’t take the case off of. 


The best way to clean a computer from smoke odors is to unplug it first. Then remove the case and clean the case with the rubbing alcohol. Be careful as the rubbing alcohol can remove paint if its strong enough. You’ll also want to blow out the computer case since the dust that’s inside can hold the smoke smells in. Also, wipe clean with rubbing alcohol the fans and vents as this is what keeps the cig smoke smell in.

Game Consoles and Controllers

Cleaning the Game Consoles and their controllers are much the same as cleaning a computer. You’ll want to wipe down the case with rubbing alcohol to remove the tar build-up of odors. The problem you might run into is that opening the case of these products can void the warranty. The best option is to vacuum the vents out as much as you can and wipe them too as this is where the smoke smell lives.

Cleaning the TV from the smoke smell is much the same as the Game Consoles. I always go with the vacuuming first since TV’s have many vent holes.

Headphones, Phones, and Any Small Electronics

The smallest electronics can be the hardest to remove the smoke tar odor. They have small ports and get the brunt of the odors. You can try using a Q-Tip and rubbing alcohol to clean as much as you can, and if that doesn’t work, then try test ideas next.

Place them in a bag of rice. Remove the battery and let the phone or other small electronic sit in a bag of rice. The rice will help to absorb the smoke smell.

If the rice doesn’t work, then place the phone in a bag with the battery removed. Place that bag in the fridge. Bacteria that create odors can’t live in freezing temperatures and will die off.