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How to Remove Cigarette Stains

Cigarettes aren't good for your health and they're also not good for the cleanliness or condition of your clothing or home. Many people smoke indoors as a form of stress relief or relaxation without realizing the effect of nicotine stains on their surroundings. While it would be easier to smoke outdoors and avoid the cleanup, you can remove cigarette stains from clothing and your home without the purchase of expensive, commercial products.

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  1. Lay down a towel on your work surface. Dampen the stained area of your clothing or textile with cool water. Place your garment on the towel with the cigarette stain face up.

  2. Rub a bar of mild soap on the cigarette stain. Work the soap into the fibers of the cloth by rubbing the fabric together. Allow the soap to sit on the stain for 15 minutes.

  3. Rinse the soap off the cigarette-stained garment or textile. Apply an enzyme pre-wash liquid to any remaining cigarette stain. Rub it into the fabric and allow to sit for 15 minutes.

  4. Add a color-safe oxygen bleach to your wash water to rid your fabric item of any remaining cigarette stain. Allow your textile or garment to hang dry and check to make sure the cigarette stain was completely removed. Drying fabric in the dryer will set any missed or remaining cigarette stains.

  5. Pour 1/2 gallon of hot water into a bucket and add 1 cup of white vinegar.

  6. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the vinegar and water mixture, creating a foaming action.

  7. Soak a clean cloth or scrub brush with the solution. Wash walls, floors and hard furniture with the baking soda and vinegar mixture to remove cigarette smoke stains and deodorize the surfaces. Change to a fresh cleaning solution when the water gets dirty.

  8. Wet a clean sponge with plain water, then wring out the excess. Wipe down all surfaces, rinsing the sponge frequently, to remove the cleaning solution. Dry the walls, floors and hard-surfaced furniture with a clean cloth.

  9. Tip

    Prevent smoking stains in your home by asking smokers to smoke outdoors. Lessen the severity of cigarette stains by opening windows and running ventilation fans.


    Smoking eventually will stain your fingers too. Rub lemon juice on them, before washing with soap and water, to get rid of cigarette stains and odors.

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Things You'll Need

  • Towel
  • White, mild bar soap
  • Enzyme pre-wash liquid
  • Color-safe oxygen bleach
  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • Bucket
  • Baking soda
  • Scrub brush or cleaning cloths
  • Sponge

About the Author

Mary Ylisela

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.

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