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How to Clean Nicotine Stains On Your Walls

Good Monday morning, Moppers. We hope you all had fantastic weekend, and for those of our Florida Moppers affected by Hurricane Irma we hope you and your loved ones are safe and sound.

This weekend we tagged along with some friends who were looking into buying a house, and while we could tell you some horror stories of all the messes we saw along the way, we’ll focus on one of the things that stood out the most: nicotine stains.

You know what we’re talking about right? The kind of stains that when you take a picture off the wall the area behind it is completely white, because everything else is stained that off-yellow color thanks to smoking.

Now, if you’re a smoker we’re not here to judge, but we are here to tell you how you can remove those unsightly stains, because eww.

If you’re not a smoker but you’ve just moved into a new house that used to be occupied by one, then have no fear, Mop Up Your Mess is here!

What You’ll Need:

  • Microfiber or chamois cloths
  • Sponges
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Baking Soda
  • White vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Bowl

Step 1: Dust

Before you do anything to those nicotine stained walls, you’re going to want to make sure they’re free of dust. Grab a microfiber or a damp chamois cloth, and wipe down those walls until all that dust has disappeared.

Bonus Tip: If you’re having a hard time getting up in the corners, you can use a vacuum with a hose and upholstery attachment to suck those corners clean.

Step 2: Fill

Grab a bucket and fill it with hot water, then add 3 tablespoons of liquid dish soap, and 1/2 cup of baking soda. Mix it all around.

Step 3: Wash

At this point you’re not washing the walls to get the nicotine off, you’re washing them to remover any dirt that’s on there, because if you don’t do this, then all you’re going to be doing later is pushing that grime around while trying to remove the nicotine.

So grab a sponge, dip it in the bucket, wring it out, and wash those walls from bottom to top. When you’re done, dry them with a chamois of microfiber cloth.

Step 4: Stain Remover

In a bowl, add 1 cup of undiluted white vinegar, or lemon juice. If you’re planning on using the vinegar, open a window to cut back on the sharp aroma.

Step 5: Scrub

This is the part where you watch those nicotine stains start to disappear. It’s going to take some work, but be patient and you’ll get there. Just dip a sponge in the vinegar or lemon juice, and wash the walls from the bottom to the top, just like before. Go in small, circular motions until all of that nicotine is gone.

Step 6: Rinse/Dry

Once you’ve done all of that you should notice a significant difference in your walls. Now it’s time to rinse everything clean. Simply dip a clean sponge in some clean water, and wipe the walls down. When you’re done, dry them right away with a microfiber or chamois cloth to prevent those walls from absorbing too much water.

Bonus Step: Paint

If you’re looking to paint your newly cleaned walls, add a coat of primer before you give them the once over with your main color. This will prevent any remaining stains from bleeding through the paint.

Depending on how long you’ve been a smoker, or how long the person before you lived in that house you just bought, those nicotine stains are going to be tough to remove. There’s no foolproof method to make those walls look brand new again other than giving them a fresh coat of paint, but if you’re not in the position to do that right now, giving them a good cleaning using the steps above will definitely help improve the look of your home. Even if you do decide to paint, you should still clean them to the best of your ability to help remove those stains, because they’re just nasty.

That’s all for now, Moppers. We’ll talk to you again on hump day, and in the meantime stay safe, and stay clean!


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