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How to Clean Nicotine-Stained Walls

If you live in a home with a smoker, or the previous residents of your home smoked, your walls probably have nicotine stains. Nicotine stains make the walls appear yellow and discoloured. Before you repaint the wall to hide the stains, you can remove them from your wall with household cleaners. Cleaning the walls also can remove nicotine stains' unpleasant odour.

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Combine 2 tablespoons of dishwashing detergent with 4 cups of hot water. Stir to mix the detergent into the water.

Dampen a non-abrasive sponge with the soapy water. Wash the walls down with the mixture. Apply a slight pressure to the sponge.

Combine one part ammonia with one part vinegar in a bucket.

Soak a sponge in the solution and wring out any excess. Scrub the walls in a circular motion to remove the nicotine stain. Clean small sections at a time, and rinse the walls with clean water.


Open your windows to ventilate the home. Wear gloves and goggles to protect yourself from the ammonia.

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Things You'll Need

  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Hot water
  • Sponge
  • Ammonia
  • Vinegar
  • Bucket

About the Author

Angela LaFollette holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising with a minor in political science from Marshall University. LaFollette found her passion for writing during an internship as a reporter for "The West Virginia Standard" in 2007. She has more than six years of writing experience and specializes in topics in garden and pets.

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