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Why Does My House Smells Like Campfire? (It might surprise you!)

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As homeowners, we always want our home to have a clean and vibrant ambience with smell that soothes our mind. At the same time we all know that our home is the place where we should have a calm and peaceful space which allows us to recharge and enjoy.

But what if unexpected circumstances arise at home and you don’t know why it is happening? Just recently, I encountered smelling campfire inside the house even the furnace is down. As a usual reaction, I panic over this issue as it may be a fire within the house. What causes your house to smell like campfire?

Moreover,  the smell doesn’t lost for days already; that’s why I did my research and I discovered many causes and tips on how to fix it. Eventually, I was able to eliminate the campfire smell. Below are the causes of burning wood smell and how to fix it:

Why Does My House Smells Like Campfire? Here are the Possible Reasons!

1. Humidity

Have you ever smelled mustiness in your home and the scent is all over the place? Well, It is due to excess moisture. When the humidity in your home is high, it may produce mold and mildew build-ups in corners and walls (wooden or concrete). Installing air filters and dehumidifiers are your best option in such case because cooling or heating units that are already old can’t keep up with the level of moisture in the air.

2. Sooty Chimney and Creosote

If you notice black stains surrounding your chimney’s wall, floor and ceiling, those are possibly soot and creosote which are by-products from your chimney. These things tends to cling to exhaust pipes and fue, blocking the ventilation in an instant. Once the ventilation is blocked, creosote emits a strong campfire-like smell.

Since creosote and soot consist of carbon, they can also be hazardous to our health. So in order to avoid this from happening, it is highly recommended to check your chimney at least once a month and clean it to stop soot and creosote from growing.

3.  Electrical Fire

Though a fire is an obvious reason to smell campfire or smoke in the house, we can’t remove the possibility of a wiring or appliance failure. If your house is made in woods, once you smell campfire, the first thing that you have to check is your electrical wirings. Campfire smell can be a result of electrical fire in your wooden materials.

Electrical Fire

Electrical Fire

If you catch fire from outdated outlets and faulty extension cords, putting it out by smothering baking soda is one of the best option. Baking soda can also remove the smell of the smoke. However if it is severe, you have to stop it by using fire extinguisher or immediately call for  firefighters. 4. Old Wood Beam

Some possible causes of campfire scent in your home are a result of old wood beam in the foundation of your house. If you suddenly smell a burning wood out of nowhere, you need to consider checking the woods under the electrical fixtures. The heat from the fixtures may cause decay in the wood.

5. Third hand Smoke

Do you often smoke in your house? Or have some visitors recently smoke in your house? You might wondering why I’m asking this. It’s because cigarette smell that lasts for weeks or month and already blended on your wooden materials in your home is what referred to as third hand smoke.

The particles associated with the combustion that has settled onto surfaces like table top, bed linen and even the ceiling and walls can strongly linger in our sense that can result to respiratory ailments. Fortunately there are simple solutions on this case like providing deodorizers and  plug-in air fresheners at home to avoid acquiring health issues.

6. Open Burning

If you experience smelling a campfire-like smoke in your home yet you discover that it does not come from the inside, you may try to look for an open burn from the neighborhood. Open burning is a prohibited procedure of burning unwanted materials such as dry leaves, grass, paper, wooden sticks and trash.

Unlike the others stated above, you can easily solve this by spraying air fresheners or perfumes. And if you were not that close with your neighbor, you can also report him for violating the law.

7. Phantosmia

While the first six causes are produced from either physical or chemical variation in your home or environment, this one is not. Phantosmia is a condition that causes you to smell unwanted odors that aren’t actually present. It is sometimes called as an olfactory hallucinations and smelling something that’s burning is one of most common odors associated to it. If this is your case, you have to consider consulting an expert.

How to Fix It

Below are other home remedies to eradicate the campfire smell at your home:

1. Fresh Air

If the boiler at your home is airtight covered, it produces higher temperature and change in moisture. While fresh air won’t get rid of all the smell, opening your windows and entries can improve the conditions of the atmosphere.

2. Vinegar

Vinegar is an effective neutralizer of odors so leaving some bowls of it around the house may help reduce the campfire smell.

3. Reupholster

Even this method is costly, having your home reupholstered and floor re-carpeted will get rid of all the trapped smells.

4. Ozone Machine

This is another expensive method but is certainly effective. Buying an ozone machine can release ozone particles, which fasten themselves on the surfaces and purify the air at home.

5. General Cleaning

“Cleanliness is next to Godliness” is indeed a popular proverb which basically mean that proper cleaning can keep us civilized and healthy human beings. This solution is by the far the most practical because cleaning materials like vacuum, scrubs and mop are always available in the house.

General cleaning can prevent musty odors like campfire and cigarette from either appearing or coming back. Make cleaning your home a habit; wiping off dust on the floor and ceiling once a day is a big help.


Such unexpected events are not avoidable but you can find solutions anywhere to stop the situation from worsening. Whether the smoke smell is of campfire or cigarette, if it already lingers badly and damages your senses and health, don’t hesitate to consult for experts and physician.

In the end, regular maintenance is a must to maintain a good balance at your home.

Reference Links:


  • https://ashbusters.net/all-you-need-to-know-about-chimney-soot-and-creosote/
  • https://www.hunker.com/12407618/how-to-remove-the-creosote-smell
  • https://www.houzz.com/discussions/2650090/smoke-smell-in-my-house-where-theres-smoke-theres-fire
  • http://home.bt.com/lifestyle/house-home/cleaning/8-ways-to-remove-smoke-smells-from-your-home-11364032089438
  • https://quitnownh.org/getting-rid-of-the-smoke-smell-fact-sheet/
  • https://www.fireengineering.com/articles/print/volume-148/issue-3/features/odor-of-smoke.html
  • https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/room-smells-like-burnt-wood.83718/
  • https://www.quora.com/Why-does-my-wood-stove-fill-the-house-with-burned-wood-smell





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