How to remove nicotine stains from wallpaper

If you or someone in your household smokes frequently, it affects the walls of your home. Nicotine from cigarettes leaves behind an oily residue that can become hard to remove with just soap and water. The smoke sticks to surfaces and often discolours wallpaper with a yellow hue. In order to keep your wallpaper in good condition, you need to clean the walls frequently to prevent a thick layer of nicotine and tar build-up from forming. If the build-up becomes too thick, your only option may be to replace the wallpaper.

Squeeze out 2 tsp of liquid dish detergent into a small container.

Fill the container with warm water.

Soak a sponge in the soapy water. Rub the sponge on the wall. Repeat scrubbing the wallpaper carefully to remove the yellow stains.

Combine 2 cups of hydrogen peroxide with 1 cup of warm water.

Add 1 tsp of rubbing alcohol to the mixture.

Soak a washcloth in the solution, and wring out the excess.

Wash the wallpaper with this solution to remove the yellow stains.

Rinse the wallpaper with clean water.


Remove any old wallpaper from the walls. Old wallpaper will not clean as easily, and will need replaced if the build-up of nicotine appears thick.


Avoid soaking the wallpaper with too much water or it may begin to form bubbles.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 tsp liquid dish detergent
  • Small container
  • Sponge
  • 2 cups hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp rubbing alcohol
  • Washcloths
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About the Author

Angela LaFollette holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising with a minor in political science from Marshall University. LaFollette found her passion for writing during an internship as a reporter for "The West Virginia Standard" in 2007. She has more than six years of writing experience and specializes in topics in garden and pets.