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Cigarette smoke really does get everywhere. It’s not just your lungs that suffer for it, but the walls in your home as well. They can become quite stained, and it is not an appealing look.
Not to mention the smell often gets trapped with it, leaving a residual odour that you just can’t seem to shift.
However, all is not lost. If you want to get rid of those nasty nicotine stains, this guide has the perfect solution for you. The best part? It’s surprisingly quick and easy.
Can Steam Cleaners be Used on Walls?
Yes, steam cleaners can be used on walls. The fact that they only use water means that you don’t get left with streaks when it dries, and the paint should be safe.
Of course, cheaper paints might not have the same resistance to steam cleaning as others.
This is why you should test an area of your wall before you do the whole thing.
This video from Duprey perfectly demonstrates the simple cleaning techniques needed to steam clean your wall. As you can see, there really is nothing to it and the paint still looks great after each session.
Can Steam be Used to Clean Cigarette Smoke From Walls?
Yes, it can be used to clean cigarette smoke from walls.
There is nothing worse than moving into a new home only to discover walls that have been stained by the smokers who used to live there. This is where the steam cleaner’s ability to clean more than just the floor comes in handy.
Residual smoke really doesn’t have a chance when up against a good steam cleaner.
Can Steam be Used to Clean Tar and Nicotine From Walls?
Yes, tar and nicotine can be removed from walls using a steam cleaner as well.
When you consider how hot the steam cleaner becomes, it is easy for it to break down dirt and grime effortlessly, especially when combined with a quick steam burst for the really stubborn ones.
What your steam cleaner does is zoom through the stain, loosening it for easy removal.
This is why you have the cleaning pad on the bottom, so that it can wipe away all the grime you manage to lift from your chosen surface.
You can even use it on windows, with the added benefit of the steam deodorising the area to keep it smelling fresh and clean.
After all, residual tar and cigarette gunk still poses a credible threat to your health.
How to Remove Smoke Residue From Walls with a Steam Cleaner
A lot of people suggest simply repainting the walls. This can be a great solution, but it doesn’t necessarily fix the issue because you still have the smell and those harmful pollutants underneath the paint. Instead, follow these steps and test your steam cleaner out on your walls.
Step 1: Remove Excess Smoke
For really bad stains, you should remove the excess smoke before you get started. You can use a paper clip to do this, and it works really well for small areas. Anything that falls to the floor should be swept away quickly.
Step 2: Use the Steamer
Now it is time to loosen those tough stains with the steam cleaner. Turn it on, let it heat up, and move the steam cleaner in fluid motions up and down the wall. The pressure and the high temperatures will really loosen the grime that’s there.
Step 3: Wipe it Down
The cloth pad on your steam cleaner will get most of the gunk, but you can also take a separate clean cloth and give the area a once-over if you need to. Generally speaking, you should only need the microfibre pad on the base of your steam cleaner to get the job done.
Step 4: Clean the Floor
All that residue has to go somewhere, that somewhere being your floor. Clean it up immediately so that the cigarette smell doesn’t linger there. Use the steam mop if possible to really combat the pollutants and odours.
Alternative Methods for Smoke Residue Removal
You can also use vinegar and baking soda if steam cleaning isn’t quite working for you. Here’s a quick look at the instructions so that you can try it out for yourself.
#1 Add ¼ cup of baking soda and ¼ cup of white vinegar to around 4L of water.
#2 Mix it well until you have a consistent solution.
#3 Take a sponge and use it to apply the solution to the walls (and ceiling if possible).
#4 Rinse the solution off with a clean sponge and warm water.
#5 Dry the area with a clean cloth or towel.
The above video also provides an excellent example of how to clean nicotine off walls without using a steam cleaner.
While the basic method is the same as the above, she uses a teaspoon of bleach mixed in a spray bottle of water, and simply sprays the solution onto the affected surface before sponging it off.
Certainly one to try for those tougher cigarette marks.
Getting Rid of the Cigarette Odour
One of the best ways to get rid of cigarette odours is with an air purifier that has been designed for smoke.These have a carbon filter as well as the standard HEPA, which is able to trap smoke and other cigarette pollutants so that they aren’t spread through the air.
This removes the odour and leaves your house smelling much better. We actually have a great guide to air purifiers, including those for cigarette smoke.
Once you have removed the smoke, tar, and nicotine from your walls it is time to repaint.
Not everyone likes this part, but it is the best way to ensure that any unsightly marks and smells stay away for good once the offending stain has been removed. Plus, it is the ideal opportunity to personalise your home a little more.
Cigarette smoke is a tough one, and the smell is less than pleasant to live with.
However, a steam cleaner is the answer to all your problems and is highly effective at removing these awful stains and smells.
All you need to do is follow the instructions we have provided above and you will be celebrating a clean and fresh home in no time at all.
Gemma Tyler is a freelance journalist with 15 years of experience writing for consumer publications. She has tested and reviewed a wide range of household items from vacuum cleaners to washing machines and dehumidifiers to steam irons. Her attention to detail and exhaustive testing certainly makes her an expert in her field.