Asked on May 6, 2017

Removal of tar/nicotine from vinyl wallboard and painted surfaces.

BerniceGggC. D. Scallan


5 answers
  • Mary-Lou Epner
    on May 6, 2017

    We've used Fantastic, eraser pads, Dawn, Windex...just about all you would expect to no avail or minimal success. Do we have to clean this off before bin coating and then painting? So labor intensive! Is there a solution out there? Thanks>
  • Janet Pizaro
    on May 6, 2017

    Try making a spray with white vinegar and water 50/50
  • C. D. Scallan
    on May 6, 2017

    Most ammonia based cleaners like Windex will do it unless it's decades worth of build up . Then I would try a 50/50 vinegar and warm water mixture , rinse your sponge or cloth often in clean water . You may have to repeat the process , and then go back over it with orange oil.
  • Ggg
    on May 6, 2017

    You need to clean the surface as best you can then paint it with Kills paint. After the Kills you can paint any color you want.
  • Bernice
    on May 6, 2017

    The White Vinegar Solution
    More than one method removes tar and nicotine cigarette stains from walls. Start by adding warmed vinegar to a spray bottle for tough stains. Dilute using a one-to-one ratio with warm water for less noticeable stains. Apply the warmed vinegar or mixture directly to the walls. Because tar and nicotine develop a sticky and hardened surface, the warmth of the vinegar helps to soften these substances. Vinegar removes both smells and stains.
    The Ammonia Method
    Ammonia can also remove cigarette tar and nicotine from walls when mixed with water. Combine a tablespoon of ammonia for every cup of water, or roughly 1/2 cup of ammonia to a gallon of warm water. For painted walls, reduce the mixture to 1/4 cup to a gallon of water. For a stronger solution, increase the ammonia to a full cup. Apply the cleaning agent directly to the wall and let it sit for about five minutes before wiping it off. Follow with a clean rinse of warm water.
    For Tough Cigarette Stains
    Trisodium phosphate works best to get rid of tough stains because it also degreases the tars from cigarette smoke. You can find trisodium phosphate where you normally purchase household cleaning agents or at your local home improvement or hardware store. Wear gloves when you apply it to the walls after mixing 1 tablespoon in a gallon of warm water. To avoid streaks, start at the bottom of the wall and work your way up. Let the mixture sit on the walls before wiping it off. Rinse with a sponge dipped in clean water, changing the rinse water often as you work. Once walls are clean, they might require a primer and paint coat to freshen them up. Choose a primer product that can cover tough stains.
    The Smoky Smell
    All of these solutions can remove the cigarette stink from the walls, but the smell may linger inside the home and recontaminate the walls if you forget to clean the filters for the home's HVAC system. As you clean the walls, ventilate the house thoroughly. If the house has a whole house fan, turn it on or temporarily set a large reversible square fan inside a window to vent the household air outside. Remove and clean washable cold-air return filters or replace them completely. Clean the grates around the cold-air return to remove tar and nicotine stains. Clean the carpet and drapes thoroughly to get all the offensive odors out of the home.

Your comment...