Get cigarette smoke stains off of walls

Heidi Lawson
by Heidi Lawson
If you can help it would be appreciated. My walls are stained from cigarette smoke and are leaving a bad smell in the house. I've tried vinegar, ammonia and baking soda spray but not helping. Can't afford to re-paint.
  12 answers
  • William William on Aug 18, 2016
    Use TSP. Cuts into the greasy nicotine stains.
  • Roxe Roxe on Aug 18, 2016
    It's inexpensive. When my mother passed away a few years ago (she was a smoker) and the walls had not been cleaned in a few years. I wanted something that would damage the walls, and some walls were wallpapered partially with washable surface. I tried Simply Orange Cleaner from the Dollar Tree. It worked like a charm. I diluted it just a bit and used a spray bottle and damp rag, that I kept wrung out in clean water. It really did the trick! And it doesn't leave marks or residue. Just make sure to clean from top to bottom to avoid streaks. I went through 3 bottles, $3 worth for the whole house.
  • Sherrie Sherrie on Aug 19, 2016
    We cleaned the walls with Simple Green and repainted the walls. TSP will also clean like a charm. But Simple Green isn't as abrasive. Even Dawn Dish soap should work. My father was a smoker and when he passed we had to clean and get the house ready for sale. We got the smoke off the walls. We also made sure the cabinets were cleaned the plug ends cover and light covers, doors and all the trim all the time was also cleaned including all Windows and we replaced the blinds. We cleaned all baseboards. The ceiling is part of it. Then we painted. We got the smell out of everything but th carpet. It had to have it cleaned twice . My fathers house was 4 to 5 years old new carpet. It takes work. I also have a cleaning company. You are wanting to use something with soap in it to clean it and to rinse it off but there is more than the walls it is he whole house . Doable just work.
  • Marge Shay Marge Shay on Aug 19, 2016
    After washing the walls, there is a paint that contains baking soda to get rid of the odors. You can also add scents into the paint, you can find them where they sell paints.
  • Jane Jane on Aug 19, 2016
    Spic and Span works. Better yet quit smoking and go on a nice vacation with the money saved. Your doctor will love you.
  • Shirley Harlan Shirley Harlan on Aug 19, 2016
    I use 1 c baking soda, 1 TBSP Citric Acid, 1 c Borax, 1 tsp of either Dawn Blue or Castile soaps, and 2 gals of distilled or well filtered water. I heat up about 1/2 gal of water to dissolve the citric acid, baking soda, and borax then let it cool down to the touch of your hand then add the soap and rest of the water. stir do not shake then you can use either that water or add about 2 cups to a bucket of water. If the stain is really bad I would use the mix only. the borax and baking soda will get rid of the smell, citric acid will make it cleaner. I sometimes use about 1 cup of Peroxide in the mix. This is totally chemical free and you really don't need to wear gloves I do hope this helps you
  • Judy Wickert Judy Wickert on Aug 19, 2016
    I used Jasco TSP No-Rinse Substitute and it got all of the yellow stain off of the walls and my walls are white. It did a good enough job to pass a housing white glove inspection. Just make sure that you wear gloves if at all possible because it is rough on the hands.
    Go to The Dollar Tree Store, buy the Ausome in a spray is the Best Ever and it costs $1...I use this on every thing ...even stains on clothing..
  • Linda Jowers Linda Jowers on Aug 20, 2016
    You might search & find my quest for or help about 2 years ago when my daughter had to do this to every wall in her house. The best spray purchased" with many recommendations posted was Greased Lightening. We used a number of products & TSP was also good just messier, but since all of the hardwood floors had to be refinished any way, we didn't worry too much about that. In addition we preprinted every with Kilz. Since the popcorn ceilings could not be cleaned, all of those were also Kilzed. Even though some of the paint was supposed to include primer, we found most rooms still needed 2 coats of paint. Hope this helps.
  • Darrel Rose Darrel Rose on Aug 21, 2016
    Try TSP (trisodium phosphate) that has worked for me in the past on a clients house I cleaned she had cigarette smoke stains all over her walls, now it is gleaming and brought it back to the original color of the paint, all I did was make up a solution that they recommend on the package put this in a bucket and used a floor sponge mop and wiped the walls down and ceiling down with this solution, it even took off cigarette nicotine stain off her bathroom counter.
  • Patty Patty on Aug 21, 2016
    I think I remember that Sherwin Williams sells paint that specifically will cover smoke smelling walls. Wish I had known about it when I had my guest room painted because even regular paint just won't cover the smell.