How to Remove Yellowing Stains From Painted Furniture

Written by kallie johnson
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How to Remove Yellowing Stains From Painted Furniture
Nicotine can leave yellow stains on white or light-coloured painted furniture. (modern furniture image by terex from

Smoking typically causes yellowing stains on furniture. The nicotine can leave behind a stain on painted furniture that can turn yellow with age. Although the stain may exist on all colours and types of painted furniture, the yellowing is most obvious on white or light-coloured furniture. To remove the stain, you must remove the nicotine from the furniture. While this is easy, the stains will continue to occur if an individual continues to smoke around the furniture.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Bucket
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Sponge, rag or cloth
  • Bleach

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  1. 1

    Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a bucket. Two tbsp baking soda per gallon of water can be added to the mixture to help neutralise the smell.

  2. 2

    Dip a sponge or rag into the mixture. Squeeze to remove excess moisture. Rub the cloth onto the wood to clean and remove the stain. Rinse the sponge or rag in clean water before dipping back into the mixture. If you dip the dirty sponge or rag into the mixture, it will discolour the water, which can spread the nicotine onto the furniture. Continue cleaning until the stain is removed.

  3. 3

    Dillute 3/4 cup water with a gallon of bleach in a bucket. Dip a sponge or rag in the mixture. Rub onto hard-to-remove nicotine stains. Continue cleaning until the stain is removed.

  4. 4

    Dampen a clean cloth or rag in water. Rub the cloth on the furniture to remove all cleaning agents. Towel-dry the area to prevent water spots.

Tips and warnings

  • Bleach can discolour some types and colours of wood.

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