How to Clean Candle Smoke off of White Walls

Candles can provide a romantic or cosy atmosphere, filling your home with a warming glow. Unfortunately, when dealing with any type of flame, smoke and soot can occur. The candle smoke can stain and discolour white walls while leaving an unpleasant odour. Smoke and soot residue will cover walls near the burning candle with an oily residue. Cleaning generally does little to remove the smoke, soot and odour from the white wall. Fortunately, a few common household items will cut through the smoke residue and restore the look of the white walls.

Take all items off the smoke-stained walls and place them in a safe location. Use this time to wash the items clean if needed. Use a mixture of 1 gallon of water with several drops of dish soap. Wash the items clean with a cloth, rinse with cool water and towel dry.

Add 3 gallons of cool water to a 5-gallon bucket. Pour 1/4 cup of dish soap and 1 cup of clear ammonia in the water and mix thoroughly with a long-handled spoon. Add 3 gallons of cool water in a second 5-gallon bucket.

Wash the candle smoke stains off the white walls with a clean sponge dampened in the soapy mixture. When the sponge becomes soiled, rinse it clean in the water-filled bucket. Saturate the clean sponge in the soapy mixture and continue scrubbing the white walls until the smoke is no longer present.

Rinse the walls clean with a lint-free cloth dampened in cool water. Blot the walls dry with a clean towel.


Never mix ammonia with bleach or products containing bleach. The resulting fumes are dangerous. Refrain from over saturating the walls. Doing so could lead to water damage, stains and possible mould growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Dish soap
  • Cloths
  • Towels
  • 2 buckets
  • 1 cup of clear ammonia
  • Sponge
  • Lint-free cloths
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About the Author

Amanda Flanigan began writing professionally in 2007. Flanigan has written for various publications, including WV Living and American Craft Council, and has published several eBooks on craft and garden-related subjects. Flanigan completed two writing courses at Pierpont Community and Technical College.