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How to Remove Cigarette Stains From Ceilings and Walls

Updated February 21, 2017

The smoke and nicotine from cigarettes can stain many things such as teeth, clothes, walls and ceilings. The cigarette smoke clings to walls, creating brown streaks and discolouring ceilings. If you live in a home with a smoker or move into a home where a smoker used to live, you can follow a few simple steps to rid the walls and ceilings of cigarette stains.

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Mix a solution of one part ammonia, one part white vinegar and 2 teaspoons of dish detergent in a bucket.

Place towels along the bottom of walls to catch any liquid runoff as you clean. You may need to put sheets on the floors to catch cleaner that may drip from the ceilings.

Place a sponge or mop in the cleaning solution, wring out excess water and start cleaning nicotine stains from the walls, starting from the top and working down. Use a ladder or step stool to reach the top of walls and ceilings.

Rinse walls and ceilings with a damp rag after removing stains. Dry the surfaces with clean cloths after rinsing.


Open windows when cleaning with ammonia to avoid inhaling toxic fumes. Wear rubber gloves and goggles to protect your eyes from the ammonia.

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Things You'll Need

  • Ammonia
  • White vinegar
  • Dish detergent
  • Bucket
  • Sponge or mop
  • Rags
  • Sheets
  • Water
  • Ladder or step stool
  • Cloths

About the Author

Constance Barker, located in the hills of southern Ohio, is the owner and writer of several financial, credit report and travel websites. She started writing in 1999 for private clients and began creating website content in 2004. She gained expertise in home improvement after she and her husband built their home themselves.

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