The tricky thing about smoking weed is convincing yourself, once properly stoned and ready to go about your day, that no one can actually tell that you’re high.
It probably doesn’t really matter, but erasing the telltale signs can ease even the chillest person’s mind and allow them to enjoy themselves to the fullest. Eye drops and gum aside, once the physical markers of having just enjoyed a joint to yourself in your home are gone, the one thing that lingers is that weed-stink — instantly recognizable and a dead giveaway.
There’s no need to be ashamed about getting stoned, but sometimes you just want to live your life to the fullest without sending up a flare that announces to whomever you share living space with that you’re stoned. After one too many offhand comments from my roommate about how he could smell weed from the vestibule of our apartment building, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Armed with the power of the internet, a bag of Cherry Kush and my vape, I tested a variety of DIY methods of getting that stank out of my home. Here’s what worked.
1. A sploof: The last time I made one of these, I was a freshmen in college, eager to smoke the garbage weed we bought from a fifth-year senior from the comfort of my dorm room. We thought we were doing a great job of being slick and keeping it classy, but when the RA knocked on the door and told us that the hallway smelled like Downy and weed, I vowed to never use this method again.
You’d think I learned my lesson that day, but since my roommate often comes home to find me in a haze of weed-stink eating frozen grapes and watching the Food Network, I figured I’d do them — and myself — the courtesy of having our shared home smell pleasantly like a laundromat. Looking to upgrade from the traditional paper-towel-roll-and-drier-sheet model of my youth, I chugged a bottle of seltzer and followed this tutorial. For consideration, I parked myself in my room with the door open — my usual stance — and got after it.
The sploof surprised me. Even with the windows closed and even though I effectively hot boxed my cat, who observed these proceedings with amusement from the radiator, my room smelled like artificial freshness. Maybe there was hint of weed, too, but less like I’d been holed up with a bong and some snacks for three days and more like the person behind the counter at the laundromat was hitting the vape in the back between customers.
Verdict: This might be your best bet. Dryer sheet technology may have improved since I was an undergrad, but even if it hasn’t and I’m just tricking myself, there are plenty of sploofs on the market that use charcoal filters. Some people say they work, but in a pinch, some dryer sheets and a paper towel roll is the way to go.
2. Cooking food to mask the smell.
This method feels like common sense — replace one lingering, noxious odor with another — and I’m pleased to report that it does, but the results are extremely temporary. During my testing, I was making a very aromatic chicken chile verde in my slow cooker which was emitting smells so strong that you could tell what it was from the hallway. While my dinner cooked away, I parked myself in the kitchen and exhaled in the general direction of the slow cooker. As the smoke dissipated, there was a brief moment when the weed-stink and the food-stink battled for dominance, but the onions and garlic eventually took over.
Verdict: If you want to smoke a joint and sauté onions and garlic for fifteen minutes, then you’re good to go. But, I don’t think the scent of, say, cookies, in the oven would overpower weed, so use caution with this method.
3. Lighting a match
Here’s the thing — the odors that lighting a match “mask” and the smell of a giant cloud of weed smoke hanging out in your living room are two very different beasts. Nothing about this “trick” leads me to believe that it would do anything about weed smoke either. Still, I gave it a shot, exhaling a cloud of smoke into my living room and immediately lighting a match afterwards. Briefly, my nostrils were filled with the acrid scent of burnt match. Thirty seconds later, it was replaced with weed.
Verdict: Do not proceed! This trick doesn’t even work on bathroom odors because all it does is briefly mask the smell, not eliminate it completely.
I couldn’t find Ozium, which comes highly reccomended so I used the Febreze that was sitting in the bathroom. The scent is “Meadows & Rain”, if it matters, but trust me, it doesn’t. I exhaled two huge clouds of smoke into my bedroom, then immediately sprayed the Febreze. As with every method I’ve tried, there’s a lingering scent of weed before whatever I chose to cover it up with takes effect, but I’m happy to report that this worked. After re-entering the space, I noticed that the scent of weed was gone.
Verdict: This has a home in every baby pothead’s starter kit for a reason.
5. Running the shower in the bathroom a towel stuffed under the door.
As I live in New York and do not have the privilege of having a window in my bathroom, I tried my best to simulate fresh air by turning on the wheezing ventilator fan, put the shower on as hot as it would go and stuffed a towel in the crack between the door and the floor. Supposedly, the steam from the shower and the circulation from the fan will allow you to smoke as much weed as you want without leaving a trace. What actually happened was that I hotboxed the bathroom, releasing a cartoonish cloud of both steam and smoke into my hallway upon my exit.
Verdict: No. Just don’t do it.