By Katie King
Let’s Clear the Air
Not all of us are so lucky to live in a state with legal weed. Even Oregonians like me remember the not so distant past, when cannabis was contraband and we had to blow our weed smoke out the window like animals. I remember burning incense like a voodoo witch doctor when I lived with my parents (although I’m pretty sure my dad knew what I was up to), before I switched to scented candles in college. At one point or another, I’ve tried it all: smoking joints in the shower, dousing myself in body spray — I’ve even resorted to the almighty sploof once or twice. It all works to some extent, you just have to find what works for you.
Since marijuana has been legalized in nine states and the District of Columbia, more Americans can legally enjoy recreational cannabis. Residents of legal states don’t always have the luxury of being blassé with their bong rips, though. Public consumption laws, rental agreements, and roommates (or parents) might make toking up risky business. So whether you’re flying under the radar in a red state or would just rather your house didn’t smell like Tommy Chong’s van, we’re going to help you clear the air.
Lucky for you, we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to getting rid of the weed smell or avoiding it altogether.
How to Cover Up Marijuana Smell at Home
For most of us, there’s no place like home. After all, that’s where all of our stuff is. Nothing is better than kicking back at the end of a long day with your best friends, Mary Jane and Papa John. Whether you’re in a bachelor pad or you’re a suburban dad, don’t let that weed smell linger in your living room. Try these methods to freshen up your space (and stop the pizza guy from giving you that smug look).
Masking the Smell with Better Smells
Incense: Nag Champa all the way, baby! Incense is a tried and true method of covering up the weed smell. This method is especially effective because the incense creates smoke which will hang in a cloud in the room, masking the smoke from your smoke-ables.
Pros: Smells really strong, creates a literal smokescreen.
Cons: The strong smell may cause headaches.
Candles: Make your house smell like delicious baked goods while you get baked, good. This is my preferred method of getting rid of that weed smell. I usually go for candles with a delicious dessert scent, such as vanilla, pumpkin spice, or cinnamon roll.
Pros: Your house will smell AMAZING.
Cons: There’s always a fire hazard when you light something on fire inside your house. Make sure to never leave candles burning when you are asleep or not at home.
Febreze: Fast and effective. Perfect for that moment when someone knocks on your door unexpectedly.
Pros: It’s fast. It’s effective. It’s available at the Dollar Tree.
Cons: When you spray the Febreze and then accidentally breathe it in.
Cook Something Aromatic: One of the benefits to this method is that you get rid of the weed smell, and you satisfy your munchies, all in one go! It’s a win-win. For best results, use ingredients with extra strong aromas; bacon, garlic, onions, etc. Fortunately, these things are also extremely delicious.
Pros: Munchies are handled.
Cons: Now your house, your hair, and everything you love smells like bacon.
Master Techniques for Displacing the Smell
The Sploof: Ah, the humble sploof. The sploof reminds me of the Apollo 13 spacecraft. In 1970, the Apollo spacecraft was slated to be the third manned mission to the moon. En route, an oxygen tank blew up, compromising the mission. Through no small feat of ingenuity and improvisation, the crew was able to fix their ship using seemingly random and superfluous objects aboard the ship and got themselves back to Earth safely. In a similar way, the sploof must have been born. This objet d’art may be nothing more than a toilet paper roll with a dryer sheet held to one end with a rubber band, but it is a testament to the ingenuity of those desperately trying to not get caught smoking weed in their mom’s basement.
Pros: This thing actually does a pretty good job of masking the weed smell. Exhale slowly for best results.
Cons: You have to say the word “sploof”.
Smoke in the bathroom with the ceiling fan blasting: This is a pretty good technique for hotel rooms and holidays at the in-laws. Try burning a candle to really double down.
Pros: This is actually a pretty good technique
Cons: People get concerned when you’re in the bathroom for long periods of time.
Smoke in the shower: This is basically pro mode for smoking the devil’s lettuce. Get your bluetooth stereo and get ready for a wild Friday night. To accomplish the “Hawaiian Hotbox”, first crank up the heat in the shower. The steam will help dissipate the smoke and the overhead fan will suck it all up. Add a shower beer to really kick this experience up a notch.
Cons: Wet weed
Pros: This thing actually does a pretty good job of masking the weed smell. Exhale slowly for best results.Cons: You have to say the word “sploof”.
Use a Fan or Open the Windows: Ventilating your room or house will help air circulate through and the weed smell will dissipate on its own. This is a risky option if you have close neighbors who might not be as cool as you.
Pros: Ventilation is good for you and for your house.
Cons: It’s cold outside. Or it’s hot outside. Or your nosey neighbors are reporting you to your HOA.
The Nuclear Option
Burn a bag of microwavable popcorn. Or burn some hair. Maybe some old tires, if you’ve got ‘em lying around. Leave your cheese pita in the toaster oven too long. That disgusting burnt smell is sure to mask the weed smell. Sure, your house will smell terrible, but at least it won’t smell like weed.
Pros: Weed smell is gone
Cons: Your house is now uninhabitable.
How to Get the Ganja Smell Off of Yourself
Smoke particles have a tendency to embed themselves in your clothes and hair. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to get that weed smell off of your person. If you practice regular hygiene, you might not have much of a problem with this already. But if you’ve been getting a lot of thumbs up from guys in rasta beanies lately, it might be time to throw that hoodie in the wash.
Mints, Gum, Toothbrush: Mints or gum will help mask your weed breath, but brushing is the only sure way to clean your mouth. Really, it can’t hurt to brush your teeth anyway. Dental hygiene is awesome!
Pros: Your dentist will be impressed.
Cons: Literally none
Wash your clothes/ hair: A shower and a fresh load of laundry can go a long way towards erasing the shame of your 48-hour Breaking Bad marathon.
Pros: You look good! You smell good!
Cons: You spent the entire weekend watching Breaking Bad, you monster.
Body spray/perfume/cologne: This is a classic staple of any smoker’s repertoire. In a pinch, spraying yourself down with your favorite scent is a viable option. Not a great first choice, but definitely a solid last resort.
Pros: You’ll smell good!
Cons: You used too much, and now you smell like a middle school dance!
Ways to Avoid the Weed Smell
Of course, there are ways to avoid getting that weed smell all throughout your clothes and house in the first place.
Go Outside: Walk your dog, walk to 7-11, walk around and pretend to be on your phone. Works well with joints. Does not work well with bongs. For maximum discretion, use a vape pen.
Use a Vape Pen: This is my favorite way to discreetly use cannabis. Perfect for trips to the beach or to visit family, as well as for everyday use, vapes are smokeless and odorless. They’re small and easy to use, too. Just make sure to pack an extra battery or charger for trips, or you’ll be super sad when the battery dies.
Pros: Discreet, portable, and easy to use.
Cons: Sometimes your battery dies.
Edibles: Available from dispensaries or easy to make at home, edibles are another smokeless alternative. Just be aware that the process of making or cooking your weed butter will make your house reek of weed. If you want to avoid that, you can buy pre-made butter, oil, or honey from a dispensary to bake your own treats.
Pros: Delicious treats that will make you feel like you’re in an episode of That 70’s Show.
Cons: Edibles can be unpredictable in their timing and effects.
Minimizing the Weed Smell in Your Home
Here are some things you should do to help minimize the lingering smell of marijuana in your home, even when you’re not smoking.
Store your stuff in airtight containers: You can buy special vacuum sealed containers from smoke shops, but mason jars and ziploc bags can be just as effective.
Clean pipes/ bongs/ ashtrays regularly: There are few things in this world as gross as the smell of dirty bong water. Change the water in your water pipes regularly, and empty them when not in use.
Say Goodbye to the Weed Smell
Even though marijuana can smell great before you smoke it, the stale smoke lingering afterwards does not. Now that you have the secrets to ridding yourself of the dreaded weed smell, you’ll never have to live with stale smoke again. Try some of our techniques for covering up and minimizing the smell of weed, and mix and match for best results. You’ll have a fresh and clean space in no time. Just in time for a surprise visit from your parents!