How to Clean Cigarette Smoke off Walls

You smoke indoors and it’s starting to be a concern amongst the people that live in your house. Your walls (particularly the wallpaper) have been stained by the smoke you’ve been smoking in the house for years. Here are some proven methods on how to clean cigarette smoke off walls.

Remove furniture and electrical items

If the walls are painted, remove all furniture and electrical items from the room. If the walls are bare drywall, you’ll need to protect them with plastic sheeting. Remove baseboards and window treatments as well.If you have wallpaper on your walls, it’s best to remove it before cleaning so that you don’t risk getting any of the chemicals on it.

Mild soap and water solution

To remove cigarette smoke from walls, you must first wash the walls with a mild soap and water solution. This will remove any loose particles of tar and nicotine. Once this is done, you can use a steam cleaner on the walls to remove any remaining tar or nicotine.

It’s also important to clean all of the surfaces in your home that have been exposed to cigarette smoke. These include carpets, curtains and furniture upholstery. You can hire professional cleaners who specialize in removing cigarette smoke from homes or businesses. Alternatively, you can use a steam cleaner to clean these items yourself.

Vinegar solution

If you smoke, your walls take the brunt of it. The nicotine and tar from cigarette smoke can create a yellow or brown ring on the walls around your home.You may want to clean them off before showing your house for sale or renting it out. You’ll also want to remove the odor that comes with the nicotine and tar stains. Fortunately, this is easy to do with some vinegar and water.

  • Fill a spray bottle with vinegar solution (1 part vinegar to 2 parts water).
  • Spray the solution on the wall where you’re seeing stains.
  • Allow it to sit for 5 minutes then wipe off with a sponge or rag.
  • Repeat as necessary until all stains are removed
  • If you don’t have time to wait for the solution to work, put some baking soda on a damp sponge and rub over areas where there are stains

Cover areas as light switches

You can remove the nicotine, tar and other chemicals from your walls with a combination of mild soap and water. Do this by spraying the wall with warm water and then scrubbing it with a mixture of dishwashing liquid and water. Rinse well with warm water afterward.

Cover any areas you wish to protect, such as light switches, before beginning the cleaning process. You may also want to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from any possible splashes or stains that may occur during the cleaning process.

Another option is to use a product made specifically for removing cigarette smoke residue from walls, such as Simple Green All Purpose Cleaner or Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Bathroom Cleaner Spray. These products work by using strong solvents that break down cigarette smoke residue into its basic components (such as carbon dioxide), which are then easily washed away with water.

Spray down the walls with vinegar solution

Vinegar is an excellent cleaning solution for removing cigarette smoke from walls. It’s mild enough to use on most surfaces, but it’s powerful enough to remove the most stubborn odors. While vinegar doesn’t actually “clean” the walls, it does neutralize the chemicals in cigarette smoke so they’re no longer harmful.

  • Pour one part vinegar into two parts water and mix well until all of the vinegar is dissolved.
  • Spray down the walls with your vinegar solution and allow at least 10 minutes for the chemical to work.
  • You should notice an improvement in smell after just 5 minutes or so; however, leaving it on longer will make it more effective.

Wipe down wall with a damp sponge

The best way to remove cigarette smoke from walls is to wipe them down with a damp sponge. Rinse the sponge frequently in clean water, as it will become discolored.

If you have wallpaper on your walls, wash it with soap and water before attempting to remove the smoke smell. This will help loosen any nicotine stains that might be stuck to the paper.If you don’t have wallpaper, use a paint thinner solution on your walls instead of a sponge. Paint thinner is more effective than water at breaking up grease and removing odors from walls.

Dry the walls thoroughly

To clean cigarette smoke stains from walls, you need a terrycloth towel and an absorbent cleaner. Use a cleaning product designed specifically for nicotine stains, such as Shout or Spray ‘n Wash, which can be found at most grocery stores.

  • Dry the walls thoroughly with clean clothes to prevent mildew growth.
  • Use your towels to blot up any excess liquid that might be left behind.
  • Spray the wall with the cleaning product and let it sit for several minutes before scrubbing with a brush or sponge. Work in small sections so that you don’t drip anything on other areas of the wall.

Paint over stains and smells with a new coat of paint

If you’re dealing with cigarette smoke and other odors in your home, chances are you want to get rid of them as soon as possible.Cigarette smoke can linger in the air for months after smoking takes place. In addition to the unpleasant smell, it can also be a health hazard to anyone who has asthma or allergies.

Another option is to simply paint over stains and smells with a new coat of paint. This will not only cover up the odor but also prevent it from returning in the future. Painting over cigarette smoke marks takes some work but if done correctly it can make your home much more pleasant while reducing the risk of harmful health effects caused by secondhand smoke exposure.


If you have suffered from cigarette smoke buildup and you would like for them to go away for good, you should follow these steps. Doing so will help you to remove all of the unnecessary cigarette odors in your home. You should rest assured that the final results will be satisfactory, and that your house will smell fresh again as long as you take care of the job properly.