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Nicotine Residue on Plaster Walls

I am purchasing a new home where there were obviously heavy smokers in the house for a long long time. The walls are plaster!

Does anyone have any "valuable" recomendations about cleaning the residue off of the walls, cabinets, original wood molding, etc. ?


Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Best regards.



Nicotine Residue on Plaster Walls

I bought a house last year with nicotine on the walls and a professional painter recommended that I mop the walls with Trisodium Phosphate. I picked up a box at a local hardware store and it worked great! (05/03/2005)

By CeiliSue

Nicotine Residue on Plaster Walls

That's exactly what you need to use! I worked in the Paint department of Home Depot for several years. The product is commonly referred to as TSP and comes in a green and yellow box. It will be found in the paint section of your local hardware store. Make sure you wear gloves and follow the manufacturer's directions exactly. TSP can also bleach some fabrics so make sure you remove all curtains etc before you start on a section.


I would also recommend using a product called KILZ as a paint. This product is not only a paint but also a sealer. Often times, even though you wash the walls thoroughly, steam from the bathroom or kitchen can cause the nicotine residue buried deep in the walls to make brown spots on your paint. They sell KILZ at most hardware stores, and they just started carrying it at Walmart too! You can usually have it mixed to any color but I recommend going to Home Depot or Lowes if you want it colored because they use computerated coloring systems. That will insure that all your cans of paint are uniformly colored. (05/03/2005)

By bunnyboo

Nicotine Residue on Plaster Walls

My mom and I have had a lot of success cleaning up my grandparents' belongings with foaming bathroom cleaner, like Scrubbing Bubbles or Lysol Basin Tub and Tile Cleaner. My grandparents smoked A LOT for YEARS and it was amazing to see the nicotine residue melt away-- many items that we thought were supposed to have a brassy finish actually had a silver-type finish! (05/03/2005)


By Allison

Nicotine Residue on Plaster Walls

I had the same problem and used Oxy Clean with warm water, rinsed with clear water, then painted with Kilz primer (2 coats) and regular paint. Your rags/sponges and rinse water will turn orange, but it really works well and you do not need gloves, mask or anything as it is non-toxic. You can work with closed windows also. (05/05/2005)

By QueenBeeCrafts

Nicotine Residue on Plaster Walls

Speaking from personal experience, I recommend the amazing quality of KILZ as a primer for the nicotine problem. But under no circumstances should someone use this product in an unventilated room! This stuff comes with a vapor that will stun an ox at a distance. So beware! (03/14/2008)

By JimmyD

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