How To Clean Smoke Off Walls

Perhaps you recently moved into a property that has a smoky odor or appearance. Or perhaps you recently stopped smoking and want to get rid of the residue on your property. Whatever the reason, cigarette smoke has certainly seeped into your walls and ceiling, leaving behind some unpleasant odors and stains.

Since smoke rises, according to science, tar and nicotine cause your walls to turn yellow, especially near or on the ceiling. This smoke residue is not only ugly, but it also has the potential to be harmful because thirdhand smoke on surfaces like walls can have negative health effects. The residual particles are so tiny that it’s possible to accidentally breathe them in, where they can then enter your circulatory system.

Steps on How to Clean Smoke Off Walls

clean smoke off wall

It’s a good idea to get the walls newly painted to give the property new life, and getting rid of as much of the stain as you can reduces the possibility that the residue will show through the newly painted area.

The following are the steps on how to clean smoke off walls:

Analyze the Damage

Smoke and soot are extremely challenging to clean because of their chemical residue. They may enter porous materials’ air pockets and linger there for a long time.

Chemicals in smoke and soot cause them to attach and stick to construction materials and furniture. Removing the smoke smell is also one of the most difficult parts of cleanup.

Choose a Cleaning Solution

There are various choices you might consider when deciding on a solution for cleaning cigarette smoke off walls, including:

  •       Ammonia
  •       Magic Eraser
  •       TSP, or Trisodium Phosphate
  •       White vinegar
  •       Other cleaning products for walls

Find the best solution for your property. Always exercise caution and protection while using harsher chemicals like ammonia and TSP because they are strong and will remove huge, challenging stains.

Cleaning a small or partially stained area may just require a milder solution, such as the Magic Eraser.

Take Safety Measures

Make sure you’re wearing protective clothing. To keep tiny particles from entering your lungs, put on a mask with an appropriate filter. Wear full clothing, appropriate gloves, and an eye shield to protect your skin from the irritation caused by soot.

Remove or Replaced the Stained Items

Smoke odors may remain on carpets and even things like light bulbs that you might not expect. Carpets should be removed and cleaned, but you should think about replacing them because the smell may have seeped into the carpet pad and will continue to emit.

As you clean the area, remove and replace basic components like lightbulbs. Smoke from cigarettes may not seem to be bothersome until the light turns on and the heat from the bulb intensifies the smell of rotten tobacco smoke.

Wash and Dry the Stained Area

Always test your cleaning solutions on a tiny, hidden area of the wall (or the upholstery, if you’re cleaning it), so you can prevent damage if there is a bad reaction between the painted wall and the cleaner or chemical sponges.

Dry all surfaces well after washing them, then let them air dry and breathe so you can see what is left after using the dry cleaning sponge and the cleaning solution to clean the walls. The surfaces still have smoke residue on them if the rags have any yellow stains on them after drying. Everything could appear to be clean until the room is well-lit or someone enters from the outside and finds the stains or the persistent odors.

If the problem remains after two or three mild cleaning attempts, a harsher solution could be needed. Take caution while using any heavy-duty cleaner, but bleach or an all-purpose cleanser might be beneficial. To ensure that the solution won’t damage the surface, test it beforehand.

Clean the HVAC Systems/Ducts

Air circulates throughout the property through HVAC systems. The ductwork collects air particles over time. The HVAC filters can’t completely remove particles or stop odors. In a property with cigarette smoke damage, giving attention to air filter replacement and ductwork cleaning is recommended. Using the furnace or cooling system before cleaning can make the problem worse.

Paint the Stain Area

painting wall stained with smoke

Fresh paint can help in masking the stains and the odor, but it usually needs more than one layer of paint. A single coat of paint and primer can make the area initially look excellent, but with time, the residue beneath the surface may penetrate the stain and become visible. The stains might come back with the odor.

If you don’t know how to paint, call a professional when dealing with challenging circumstances, such as cigarette stains. Make sure the company painting the property is aware of the situation. Usually, the painters will have to use more coats than they normally do. Most painters will use a certain primer and paint that can trap the stains or odor. Consider painting all of the inside surfaces of the property, not just the ones in the designated smoking areas.

Tips to Prevent Cigarette Smoke from Ruining Your Walls

Preventing cigarette smoke from entering your property is the most effective way to protect your walls from damage.  If you intend to smoke:

  •       Smoke outside the property
  •       Shut all the windows and doors
  •       Regularly throw away your ashtrays
  •       Another option is to switch to smoking electronic cigarettes

Close your windows and doors as soon as you can if there are nearby smokers to prevent the smoke from entering the property.


guy smoking near wall

The health of your family sometimes relies on a healthy property. Smokey odors not only disrupt your lifestyle, but they may also decrease your property’s worth and hurt your health.

It might be difficult to clean your property after smoke or soot damage. Even the smallest air pockets are damaged by smoke. However, you might find that despite your best efforts, some soot and smoke may remain on the property after cleaning it thoroughly. In these situations, don’t be hesitant to contact the top professionals in the area to completely rid the smell and appearance of smoke and soot.


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We also do : Water Damage Restoration, Drying & Dehumidification, Fire, Smoke & Soot Clean Up, Sump Pump Failures, Restoration and Mitigation, Crime Scene Clean Up, Pack Outs, Biohazard, Puff-back Cleanup, Mold Remediation, Sewage Clean Up, Water Extraction and General Contracting

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York, PA 17403


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