How to remove nicotine from walls and windows

When you or someone else smokes indoors, nicotine stains will develop on your walls, windows and other surfaces. Not only does the nicotine cast a yellow or brown discolouration on walls and windows, it also adds a greasy film that attracts and holds onto other dirt. While the best solution is to smoke outdoors or not at all, if you must smoke indoors, clean your living space regularly to cut down on staining and odour on walls and windows.

Fill a bucket with 1/2 gallon white vinegar, 1/2 gallon warm water, and 1 cup baking soda. The mixture of baking soda and vinegar will create a chemical reaction that causes the solution to foam; this is normal and not dangerous. Vinegar cuts through the greasy nicotine stains, while baking soda acts as a mild abrasive and deodoriser.

Dip a scrub brush into the vinegar and baking soda solution. Scrub nicotine-stained walls with the solution, rinsing your brush frequently and applying more cleansing solution. Make a new batch of cleansing solution whenever the water becomes brown or yellow from the nicotine.

Rinse your walls by wiping them down with a clean cloth dipped in a bucket of plain water. Assess the walls to make sure all nicotine stains have been removed. If any stains remain on your walls, repeat these steps until the stains are gone, then allow the walls to air-dry with windows open.

Mix a cleaning solution to remove nicotine stains from your windows. Combine 3/4 gallon of water with 1/2 cup ammonia and 2 cups rubbing alcohol.

Soak a clean cloth in the window cleaning solution, then wipe the solution over your window. Use a squeegee to wipe down the window, drying the squeegee with a clean cloth after each swipe. Repeat this step as needed until your windows are free of discolouration and greasy film from nicotine.


Nicotine stains can build up on walls and windows and require several washings to remove. Use straight vinegar or lemon juice on stubborn nicotine stains. Place cat litter in your ashtray to help neutralise cigarette odour.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • 1/2 gallon white vinegar
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • Scrub brush
  • Clean cloths
  • 1/2 cup ammonia
  • 2 cups rubbing alcohol
  • Squeegee
  • Lint-free cloth
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About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.