The nicotine and tar contained in cigarettes are not only harmful to your health, but can also damage your home. These substances cannot damage their internal structure as they do in humans, but the problems they cause will be just as visible.
If you smoke or live with someone who smokes, you may see yellow stains on the walls and ceiling that weren’t there before. This is nicotine impregnated on the walls, and if you don’t do anything, your entire home will soon be filled with these stains. Today we’re going to teach you how to clean nicotine from the walls to get a healthier home.
What do we mean by a healthier home? It turns out that nicotine stains on the walls are still dangerous as they also create dangerous smells.
Don’t worry though, as stains caused by the cigarette can be cleaned using the right methods. You can buy a new home with stained walls and know that you can clean them and even remove the unpleasant smell.
In the most extreme cases, you will have to repaint the wall. Porous walls are a nightmare to clean because they easily absorb nicotine stains. Otherwise, the smooth walls are easy to clean, so all you have to do is use a scrub or grease cleaner to remove these annoying stains.
Now that you have this superficial knowledge of the subject, it’s time to start looking into cleaning techniques.
How to remove nicotine from walls
Both the technique you use and the product depend entirely on the type of wall you want to clean.
When cleaning a wall that has been painted with oil or latex paint, you shouldn’t use rustic sponges to brush, as this can damage the paint and leave gaps that are much more difficult to repair than the nicotine stains.
Prepare everything you need
Before you start cleaning, you need to prepare both the area you want to clean and the instruments you need.
- Always use basic protective equipment such as gloves, safety glasses and a mask to perform these tasks. In the event of poisoning or allergies, it is advisable to have a first aid kit nearby.
- Rearrange the furniture in the room to be cleaned so that it does not interfere with the process.
- Protect areas that tend to stain in the area. It is best to use plastic sheeting so that no liquids get through them.
- Open all windows and doors in the room to ensure ventilation. Tobacco stains and the like can emit strong smells that can be harmful. You should therefore always ventilate them during work.
- Have a cloth nearby to wipe off any drops that may occur. Many of the techniques use liquid solutions, so this will be a recurring event. You can also protect the baseboards with dry rags to avoid accidents.
- A more extreme measure is to remove the electrical energy from the room before working. This way there is no risk of short circuits.
How to remove smoke from walls with vinegar
Vinegar is not the only compound you can use for this process. Ammonia is an excellent substitute due to its similar properties. Vinegar is one of the most commonly used cleaning substances because its abrasive properties can remove almost all stains.
You don’t need anything special to know how to clean nicotine from walls with vinegar, as the process is very simple, although you need a vacuum cleaner to be more effective.
Vacuum the walls first to remove large debris. Use a brush to clean the most difficult residue.
Now you need to prepare a mixture in a gallon of hot water that contains three tablespoons of dish soap and half a cup of baking soda. This solution is used to remove the stain and make working with vinegar easier.
The best way to spread this mixture is to use a cloth. Moisten it lightly to avoid stains. Run it bottom-up over the nicotine several times to prevent the rag from leaking. Dry the wall after passing it several times.
It’s time to use vinegar or ammonia to remove the stain. With the windows open, pour the white vinegar, lemon juice, or ammonia into a cup so you can stick a sponge or rag in it.
In the same way, you have to guide the soaked cloth from bottom to top and rub in a circular motion. In this way, the abrasive properties of vinegar or ammonia should be able to break down nicotine and completely remove the stain.
Wipe the wall dry after cleaning.
If the stain does not go away, repeat the process as many times as necessary. Even if the stain does not completely disappear, it is advisable to use this process to be able to paint the walls.
Stains that seem impossible to remove
There are cases where nicotine stains have been attached to a wall for so long that they are practically just another decoration. Although they seem impossible to remove, there is a more extreme connection in these cases.
The best cleaner for wall nicotine is the Savogran trisodium phosphate (TSP) as it acts as a degreaser and tar remover.
This compound is more dangerous to handle than vinegar, so you should always wear gloves and glasses, even if possible, clothing that covers all of the exposed skin. The TSP can be bought in any store that sells cleaning products.
To apply TSP, you must first dilute it. The effectiveness of the compound is high, so only one tablespoon of TSP in a gallon of warm water is needed to make the solution.
The cleaning process is similar to that of vinegar. Apply the substance to a rag or sponge and brush the wall from the bottom up to avoid stains.
In this case, you need to let the mixture sit for a while to remove stains. You should not remove them immediately.
After a few minutes, use a damp cloth or sponge to clean the wall. Always use clean water and remember to rinse it regularly.
Don’t forget to remove odors
If you don’t remove any odors, cleaning has been in vain. The smell of nicotine can be kept in your home, which may contaminate the walls. This usually occurs because it circulates in the home HVAC system.
The most common places where the smell of nicotine remains are carpets, curtains and vents. You need to clean these items after you remove the nicotine stains.
To prevent nicotine smell from remaining in your home while cleaning the stains, you need to open your home’s windows to redirect the air. If this is not enough, place a reversible fan in a window to work as an exhaust fan.
Wash the air filters in your ventilation system or replace them with new ones.
Two solutions effectively remove the smell of nicotine:
- Smoking candles: These candles are made of materials that counteract bad smells, not just cigarette smells. A single candle can clean your home after several hours.
- Odor absorbing products: Some substances like white vinegar or cat litter can neutralize bad smells from their environment. As with candles, all you have to do is place a bowl of the product in the room so that it can do its job.
How To Clean Nicotine Walls – When Everything Else Fails
The last thing you need to know to remove nicotine from walls is that the above methods either fail or do not work completely. In these cases you can paint the walls.
Before doing so, try to remove as much as possible using the methods in the instructions. Also note that before painting, you need to apply a primer to remove the nicotine smell.
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