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If you’ve moved into a home that was previously owned by smokers, you might notice discolored walls and suffer from an unpleasant odor. There’s a simple answer to cutting through the stained walls and smoke smells: vinegar.

In this post, you’ll learn the how to clean walls with vinegar. You’ll also discover how vinegar cuts through that stale smoke smell.

Can you clean walls with vinegar?

Vinegar can be an effective cleaning agent, especially for those that don’t want to use harsher chemicals. However, it does take some elbow grease to get the best results and remove the yellowing from walls. Here’s how to clean smoke stained walls with vinegar:

  1. Warm the vinegar and add it to an equal amount of warm water. For tougher stains, use more vinegar.
  2. Pour the vinegar solution into a spray bottle.
  3. Spray directly onto the wall.
  4. The sticky tar and nicotine layer will be softened by the warmth of the solution and its acidity.
  5. Leave the solution to work on the walls for a few minutes.
  6. Wipe off, and repeat steps 1 to 5 as necessary.

What if the smoke stains are tough to remove?

If the smoke stains are particularly tough, you may need to use Trisodium Phosphate. This is a degreaser and cleaning agent. If you do use this, mix one tablespoon in one gallon of warm water. Always wear gloves, goggles, and protective clothing.

Apply to walls from the bottom up, and leave for a few minutes before wiping off with a clean sponge dipped in clean water. Change the water regularly. You may need to prime and paint the walls after cleaning.

Back to the vinegar to remove the smoke odor

White vinegar is an excellent product to help remove smoke smells from a home. It has a strong odor itself, but more importantly it acts to soak up smoke odor particles from the air. Here’s how to use white vinegar when you have smoke odors hanging around:

  • Wipe surfaces with a vinegar solution (furniture, floors, ceilings and walls).
  • Next, dip a clean cloth in the vinegar solution. Wring it out so that it is nearly dry. Wave it around your head in the affected room.
  • Place a bowl of white vinegar in the affected room, and leave for 24 hours.
  • If the smell persists, put a slice of bread in a bowl and wet it with white vinegar. Place this in the affected room. Throw away the bread after a day, and repeat.
  • Keep the room well ventilated throughout.

For more tips on getting rid of the smell of smoke, see our article, “5 easy ways to remove smoke odor from your home”.

If the cause of your smoke damaged walls is a fire, then you will likely be left with a soot residue. When you are cleaning this type of smoke damage, it is best to contact a professional cleaning company. Soot is abrasive. Bad cleaning techniques when getting rid of soot can cause more damage and cost. See our article, “What do professionals use to clean smoke damage from fire”, for some handy hints.

If you aren’t certain about how to clean smoke damaged walls with vinegar or other cleaning agents, don’t hesitate to contact Porter’s Cleaning. We’ll provide the professional restoration your home deserves.

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