We know the harmful effects that smoking and secondhand smoke can have on your health, but we don’t often stop to realize the harmful effects it has on everything around us. Cigarette smoke will leave your walls, ceiling, shower, and window sills covered in a yellow tar film. Not only is it unsightly there are even risks to your health from cigarette smoke damage. It is referred to as “thirdhand smoke”.
Air it Out
When walking into a place with a lot of cigarette smoke damage, your first step will be to open all the windows and doors. You will also want to turn on any fans that you have. This will help with the initial “Air out” process.
Choose your cleaning method
There are many solutions that are recommended for removing nicotine and tar damage from homes. A few of our favorites are:
- White vinegar
- Mr. Clean magic eraser
- Trisodium phosphate (TSP)
The stronger chemicals will work better on large and tough stains, whereas the more “natural” alternatives will work best on smaller newer stains. Please research the proper precautions to take with each chemical, and make sure never to mix them!
Once you have assessed the job and chosen a preferred cleaning method, you can gather your supplies. They may be different depending on the chemicals you chose to use, but here are some good basic ones.
- Drop cloth
- Scrub brushes
- Something long like a Swiffer mop to reach to the tops of the walls
- Spray bottle
Prepare your space
Lay down the drop cloth to protect your floors and anything you may already have in the room. The last thing you want to do before you get started is to lightly dust the walls in order to get any debris off before praying your solution.
Get to cleaning!
Now that you have done the research, you are ready to get to work!
- Start by spraying your solution on the wall, or dipping a cloth into the solution.
- Begin scrubbing in small sections starting at the bottom of the wall.
- Depending on the solution used, you may need to rinse it after as well or just let it air dry.
Continue this process in every affected area. You may need to go over the sections a few times in order to get the results you want. If all else fails, you may need to bring in the big dogs – the professionals.