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How to clean cigarette smoke off walls & ceilings

Updated April 17, 2017

Smoking is not only a disgusting habit, but it's also detrimental to your health. People who smoke may find that trying to quit is harder than most challenges they have faced. So, the last thing you want to smell when you walk into your home, after you've quit smoking, is the odour of years of cigarette smoke seeping from your walls and ceiling. Fortunately, it can be removed.

Put on dish gloves. Fill a bucket with warm water and add 2 tbsp dish detergent. Swish the water a couple of times with your hand to make the water sudsy.

Put down a drop cloth to prevent any yellow, soapy water from getting absorbed by your carpeting or drying on your hardwood flooring.

Wash the yellow film of cigarette smoke from your walls and ceiling. Work from the centre of your ceiling out to your walls and then from the top of your walls down and use the sponge mop, Rinse the mop frequently and change the soapy water.

Wash your walls and ceiling until the water that drips from them is no longer yellow, indicating that the smoky film has been removed.

Dry your walls with clean scrap towels once the water rinses clear. The ceiling will drip dry by the time you get to drying the walls.

Sprinkle baking soda on carpeting and let it sit for about an hour before vacuuming it up. Mop hardwood floors with a dish soap and warm water solution. The vacuuming and mopping are an extra cautious step to ensure that no odour remains in your flooring from water dripping from the ceiling and walls.

Things You'll Need

  • Dish gloves
  • Bucket
  • Warm water
  • Dish soap
  • Dropcloths
  • Sponge mop
  • Clean old scrap towels
  • Baking soda (for carpeted areas only)
  • Vacuum
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About the Author

Based in Ypsilanti, Mich., Ainsley Patterson has been a freelance writer since 2007. Her articles appear on various websites. She especially enjoys utilizing her more than 10 years of craft and sewing experience to write tutorials. Patterson is working on her bachelor's degree in liberal arts at the University of Michigan.