What Are the Best Chemicals to Remove Smoke Damage From Drywall?

Written by amanda flanigan Google
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What Are the Best Chemicals to Remove Smoke Damage From Drywall?
Trying to restore drywall that has been damaged by smoke can be a difficult task. (Smoke image by Vasiliy Koval from Fotolia.com)

When cleaning smoke damage from drywall, you have to deal with the soot as well as the greasy residue that the smoke leaves behind. Removing smoke damage from drywall can be a difficult task. Fortunately, there are a few chemicals that can successfully remove the smoke damage as well as the soot, residue and odour that accompanies smoke.

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TSP--also known as trisodium phosphate--is a strong cleaning chemical that can remove mould, mildew, grease, smoke and soot. Many people commonly use TSP to clean walls prior to painting. TSP can cause eye and skin irritation and should be only be used in a well ventilated area with proper safety clothing. You can clean a variety of surfaces such as painted walls, drywall, panelling and wallpaper. You can also clean floors, counter tops and furniture with TSP. To remove the smoke damage from drywall, create a solution of one tbsp of TSP to every one gallon of water. Saturate a sponge in the solution and wipe the smoke damaged drywall with the sponge. When the sponge becomes dingy, rinse it in clean water. Submerge the sponge in the solution and continue scrubbing the drywall to remove all the smoke damage.


Ammonia is not as harsh as TSP but can still remove tough stains, soot and smoke damage. You should dilute the ammonia before using. Use a solution with equal parts ammonia and water. Use a sponge or clean cloth to scrub the drywall with the ammonia. When the cloth becomes dirty, rinse it with clean water and continue scrubbing the walls with the ammonia.


If you are looking for a way to clean smoke damage from drywall without harsh chemicals try vinegar. Vinegar has long been used as an all-natural cleaner and deodoriser for a variety of items such as clothing, walls, tiles and upholstery. Vinegar can remove grease, mould, mildew, odour and soot from drywall without the possibility of harsh fumes and skin irritation. Start by creating a solution of one cup white vinegar to one gallon of water. You can increase the amount of vinegar for tough problem areas. Use a sponge to scrub the drywall with the vinegar. Vinegar has a pungent odour but it disperses quickly and will remove the smoke odour from the drywall.

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