Cleaning Smoke Off Walls

March 15, 2005

Cleaning Smoke Stains from WallsHello, Can some one help me? I have a smoke stained wall. Is there any thing that can get it out?





By Marn (Guest Post)
March 16, 20051 found this helpful
Best Answer

Paint it with KILZ. If you paint it with anything else, the nicotine will bleed through the paint. You can even ask the paint department/store to tint it the color you prefer the wall to be.

By Gary (Guest Post)
October 21, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

You have to use oil based Kilz, not the latex. The stain will bleed through the latex Kilz. I learned this the hard way, after 3 coats of latex.

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6 More Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

June 4, 2015

How do I clean smoke from walls after a kitchen fire?


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 523 Posts
June 5, 20155 found this helpful
Best Answer

I can tell you how I would do it. First, I would get a fan large enough to keep the area well ventilated, place it where it is most effective and turn it on. Next, I would fill a large, clean, empty spray bottle with household ammonia. Add nothing to the ammonia, certainly not bleach. Any type of cleanser added would just cause you to have to rinse and would not improve the effectiveness of the ammonia.


With plenty of clean rags handy, start spraying the ammonia at the bottom most area of smoke damage. You will quickly learn just how much to spray and how many seconds to wait before wiping. It needs to stay on the wall 2-3 seconds, but not long enough to run down the wall.

From this point, work your way up the wall, either rinsing your rag in clear water often or switching to an unused one. How much ammonia, time and labor is involved depends on the amount of damage.

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May 27, 2005

I recently had a house fire, what is the best way to clean heavy smoke damage on my walls, ceiling and hardwood floors?

Virginia Owens


May 28, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

If you have insurance, let them hire professionals to do the job. If you have to do this yourself, and can't afford a fire restoration firm to do the cleanup for you, consider purchasing their chemicals. The chemical cleaners used in fire cleanup are a combination degreaser/deodorizer. As a last resort, use a citrus-based all purpose cleaner, preferably something with orange oil in it.


Clean your ceilings, lamp shades and such with dry chemical sponges (your local hardware or walmart may have these)

Walls should be washed from the bottom up. Use the citrus cleaner or professional smoke wash and change water frequently. You may need to wash more than once, but that depends on your products, technique and amount of smoke. You might find sudsy ammonia works well also.

Hardwood floors may require stripping and refinishing.

You don't mention the contents, but the citrus cleaner should work there as well. For laundry, try adding the citrus cleaner to the wash water. If that doesn't work, try a half cup of ammonia.

Good luck

May 29, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

The primer would be either Kilz or Binz and should be available at most hardware/paint stores, but repainting is not always necessary for smoke damage. These sealant-type primers also help cover mildew.

By BarrettCleaningandRestoration (Guest Post)
June 3, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

1st when cleaning walls and ceilings, with flat paint, dry chemical sponging is performed first. With an eggshell or glossy paint, use spic and span and water, and wipe all ceilings down. Then use Bin Zinser 123 latex paint for a primer, then paint with your final finish coat of paint (might be 2 coats).


If you dont clean, before you paint, you are wasting your time and money. Read the paint can labels:)

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January 11, 2012

Is there an easy to clean candle smoke from walls and ceilings?

By Carol


January 13, 20121 found this helpful
Best Answer

Can't help with cleaning, but have two suggestions for prevention in future. When anyone is smoking 1. light a candle nearby, the flames attract the smoke and makes it disappear, and 2.


put/leave out a dish or cup of vinegar, it also attracts the smoke, you can tell because it turns black on top, when completely black, time for a new bowl.


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 282 Feedbacks
January 14, 20121 found this helpful
Best Answer

A solution of half vinegar, half water will clean the soot (and nicotine, other stainings) from your walls, and has the bonus value of freshening the air as well. Be sure to wash the ceilings too.

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March 9, 2010

How do you get smoke stains off the walls from the fireplace?

By jenny


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 969 Posts
March 13, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

TSP is Tri Sodium Phosphate. It's amazing for cleaning years of smoking off the walls, so it will work for this. Good Luck!

March 18, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

Muriatic acid is made especially to clean bricks. Use gloves and a mask and keep room ventilated.

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April 3, 2012

I am cleaning walls that have been smoke covered. I left a pan on the stovetop and smoked out the house. I would like to know what to use to clean smoke off?

By Louise

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March 9, 2010

I am helping clean a 50 year old house that has severe smoke stains from a fireplace.

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