How to Remove Nicotine From Upholstery

Written by april dowling
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How to Remove Nicotine From Upholstery
Cigarettes can leave nicotine stains on upholstered couches. (Image Source Pink/Valueline/Getty Images)

Nicotine is a poisonous substance found in cigarettes and chewing tobacco. Nicotine is what makes smokers physically addicted to cigarettes, according to the American Lung Association. Smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco indoors can cause tiny nicotine particles to drop onto upholstered surfaces. Oily brown nicotine stains can cause upholstery to appear dingy and unkempt. The longer the stains remain, the more embedded they become in upholstery fibres and are more difficult to remove. Fortunately, basic solutions can remove nicotine from upholstery.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 2 plastic bowls
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 tbsp liquid dish soap
  • 3 soft clean cloths
  • Paper towels
  • 2 terry cloth towels
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp sodium thiosulfate
  • 2 drops household ammonia
  • Eyedropper

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Fill a plastic bowl with 2 cups of cold water. Add 1 tbsp of liquid dish soap to the water. Thoroughly mix the solution.

  2. 2

    Dampen a soft, clean cloth in the soapy water. Blot the nicotine with the damp cloth. Keep the soapy water on the upholstery for 30 minutes.

  3. 3

    Blot the upholstery with paper towels until the solution is absorbed.

  4. 4

    Insect the upholstery for remaining nicotine. If stains remain, continue blotting them with the soapy water.

  5. 5

    Dampen another soft cloth with cold water. Blot the upholstery with the damp cloth to rinse out the soap.

  6. 6

    Blot the upholstery with a terry cloth towel until completely dry.

  7. 7

    Inspect the upholstery for remaining nicotine. If stubborn stains persist, combine 1 cup of warm water, 1 tbsp of sodium thiosulfate and two drops of household ammonia in another plastic bowl. Thoroughly mix the solution.

  8. 8

    Apply a few drops of the solution directly to the nicotine stain, using an eyedropper. Blot the upholstery with clean paper towels until the solution is completely absorbed.

  9. 9

    Dampen another soft cloth with cold water. Blot the upholstery with the damp cloth to rinse out the solution.

  10. 10

    Dry the upholstery with a clean terry cloth towel. Repeat the steps if necessary.

Tips and warnings

  • Test all solutions on an inconspicuous area of the upholstery to ensure no discolouration occurs.

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