What can we use to clean soot and smoke from walls and ceilings?

Our wood stove has made a huge mess. 😢 Can we clean the blinds, wall, and ceiling?? Or do we need to repaint? The walls, ceiling and blinds are covered in a sooty, greasy dust.

  21 answers
  • Even if you repaint you still have to clean the walls. Paint will peel right off if you don't. I would use TSP to clean the walls. Then decide if you need to repaint.

  • Vicki Vicki on Apr 14, 2019

    And if you paint, you will probably need a primer. We purchased a home from a smoker. The walls and ceilings were yellow brown. Cleaning did not help. Primer and repaint.

  • Missie Padoleski Missie Padoleski on Apr 14, 2019

    I would use simple green or a mix of rubbing alcohol and water

    But definitely Wash The Walls before painting

  • Shelli Kisch Haipek Shelli Kisch Haipek on Apr 14, 2019

    TSP cleaner works great. Works great on ALL smoke film and dirt. I suggest the two bucket method. One bucket with TSP and water and one bucket with just clean water. Put sponge in first bucket, wipe, rinse in second bucket, back to first and repeat. Wear gloves!

  • Sari Sari on Apr 14, 2019

    we used the bathroom foam cleaner from dollar tree works wonderful on walls.

  • Angie Wilt Angie Wilt on Apr 14, 2019

    Peroxide in a spray bottle - we used it on a popcorn ceiling - spray lightly so as not to soak that popcorn stuff. Then just leave it on - it works wonders - by the next day your ceiling will look brand new. You can also use this on walls and wipe down with microfiber cloths.

  • Sandra Baker-Malloch Sandra Baker-Malloch on Apr 14, 2019

    Great suggestions! Thanks!

  • Kathleen Kathleen on Apr 14, 2019

    Get soilex red box and read the directions.

  • Ellen Ellen on Apr 14, 2019

    I used murphy’s wood soap diluted with warm water and it worked very well on the walls but my walls and ceiling are shiplap....i primed and painted afterwards

  • Rhoda Rhoda on Apr 14, 2019

    Wear gloves and use peroxide in a spray bottle. If you decide to resent, use Kilz first. Best of luck!

  • Spanky Spanky on Apr 14, 2019

    I would use Shabby Chick all purpose cleaner. You may have to order online, but it is the Best cleaner I have ever used. They use natural products so it's very safe to use.

  • Angel driver Angel driver on Apr 14, 2019

    Oven cleaner , be sure to take proper measures for use , ventilation , safety glasses if need be ,, but for sure tuber heavy duty gloves and long sleeves. You will have to paint the walls I’m sure still . Any non absorbing material you won’t need to

  • Angie Crabtree Angie Crabtree on Apr 14, 2019


  • Lou Lou on Apr 14, 2019

    We used 409 in a bucket of water and full strength on stubborn spots. For the popcorn ceiling I used the same mixture and a paint roller and carefully went over the whole ceiling. It take time but it works.

  • K K on Apr 14, 2019

    After you clean the wall withTSP, prime it with BIN or KILZ primer, which will block any stains. Then repaint with a semigloss finish, which you will be able to wash more easily in the future. Also, check your stove to make sure if it is venting correctly.

  • Khicks4330 Khicks4330 on Apr 15, 2019

    Water and flour. Mix together until it bonds together like bread. Roll it over the area and it will absorb the smoke/dirt. It works very well in brick and stone fireplaces too!

  • V Smith V Smith on Apr 18, 2019

    There is a sponge speciffically designed to remove smoke damage. But if your walls are "greasy" then you may need to wash with detergent and then prime with oil based primer to prevent bleed thru.

    You can find the soot erasers at Amazon.

  • Gra16252398 Gra16252398 on Apr 22, 2019

    There is a sponge made just for that at Ace hardware. I tried many different cleaners that didn’t work and left streaks. Then I found this sponge works great . I bought several because I had a large area to cover. Walls and ceilings in five rooms. Keep rinsed out well. Never burn candle oil in house. I didn’t realize it was putting soot all over.

  • Christine Anne Pieper Christine Anne Pieper on Feb 27, 2020

    Thank you all for your wonderful suggestions. Repainting is out of the question since I live in an apartment, but I will certainly try the cleaning suggestions. Thanks again everyone

  • Mogie Mogie on May 06, 2023