Heritage Council Neighborhoods How to Clean Walls in a Smokers House

How to Clean Walls in a Smokers House


How to Clean Walls in a Smoker’s House

Living in a smoker’s house can be a challenge, especially when it comes to cleaning the walls. The residue left behind by tobacco smoke can accumulate over time, resulting in yellowish stains and an unpleasant odor. However, with the right techniques and cleaning products, you can restore your walls to their former glory. In this article, we will guide you through the process of cleaning walls in a smoker’s house, ensuring a fresh and smoke-free environment.

1. Prepare the area: Start by removing any furniture or decorations near the walls to avoid accidental damage or hindrance during the cleaning process.

2. Dust and vacuum: Before starting the cleaning process, remove loose dirt and dust from the walls using a soft cloth or duster. Follow this up by vacuuming the walls with a brush attachment to remove any remaining particles.

3. Test an inconspicuous area: Before applying any cleaning solution to the entire wall, test it on a small, inconspicuous area. This will help ensure that the solution does not damage or discolor the wall.

4. Use a mild detergent solution: Mix a small amount of mild detergent, such as dish soap, with warm water in a bucket. Dip a sponge or soft cloth into the solution and gently scrub the walls in a circular motion. Start from the top and work your way down.

5. Rinse with clean water: After scrubbing, rinse the walls with clean water to remove any soapy residue. Use a clean cloth or sponge dampened in water to wipe the walls thoroughly.

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6. Remove stubborn stains: If the smoke stains are persistent, you may need a stronger cleaning solution. Mix equal parts of vinegar and water or use a commercial smoke stain remover. Apply the solution to a cloth or sponge and gently rub the stains until they fade away. Rinse with clean water afterward.

7. Tackle nicotine buildup: Nicotine can leave a sticky residue on walls. To remove it, mix a cup of ammonia with half a gallon of warm water. Apply the solution to the walls using a sponge or cloth and scrub gently. Rinse well with water.

8. Address odor: Smoke odor can linger even after cleaning the walls. To combat this, place bowls of white vinegar or activated charcoal around the room. These natural odor absorbers will help eliminate the smoky smell over time.

9. Consider repainting: If the walls still appear discolored or if the smoke smell persists, you may need to consider repainting. Choose a high-quality primer designed to block stains and odors before applying a fresh coat of paint.

10. Clean regularly: To prevent smoke stains from building up again, make it a habit to clean your walls regularly. Regular dusting and occasional wiping with a mild detergent solution will help keep your walls smoke-free.

11. Ventilation is key: Finally, ensure proper ventilation in your home. Open windows or use exhaust fans to allow fresh air to circulate, reducing the impact of smoke on your walls.


1. Can I use bleach to clean smoke stains from walls?
Bleach is not recommended as it may discolor the walls. Stick to mild detergents or commercial smoke stain removers.

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2. How often should I clean my walls in a smoker’s house?
It is advisable to clean your walls at least once every six months, or as needed.

3. Can I use a pressure washer to clean smoke stains?
Using a pressure washer may damage the walls. Stick to gentle scrubbing with a sponge or cloth.

4. Should I wear protective gear while cleaning?
It is advisable to wear gloves and a mask to protect yourself from chemicals and dust.

5. Can I clean wallpapered walls in a smoker’s house?
Yes, but be cautious and test the cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area first to avoid damaging the wallpaper.

6. Will cleaning remove the nicotine smell entirely?
While cleaning will significantly reduce the odor, it may not completely eliminate it. Additional measures like using odor absorbers may be necessary.

7. Can I hire professionals to clean my smoker’s house walls?
Yes, professional cleaners may have specialized equipment and products that can effectively clean smoke stains from walls.

8. Can I use vinegar alone to clean smoke stains?
Vinegar alone may not be sufficient for stubborn smoke stains. Combine it with water or use stronger cleaning solutions if needed.

9. How long does it take for the vinegar or charcoal to eliminate smoke odor?
It may take a few days to a couple of weeks for the vinegar or activated charcoal to absorb the smoke odor completely.

10. Are there any long-term solutions to prevent smoke stains?
Quitting smoking indoors or designating smoking areas outside can significantly reduce smoke stains in the long run.

11. Can I use a steam cleaner to clean smoke stains?
Steam cleaners can be effective, but make sure your walls are suitable for steam cleaning and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid damage.

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