Removing Smoke Stains From Wallpaper

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Try a Soapy Solution

  • Smoke stains are notoriously difficult to remove from wallpaper. However, depending on how old and widespread the stains are, a simple solution of dish soap and warm water really is the best bet.
    Squirt a couple teaspoonfuls of a gentle dish soap into a bucket and fill the bucket with warm water. Starting with the stains in the least-noticeable area, soak a sponge in the soapy water and rub it on the spot. If the water appears to stain or deteriorate the wallpaper, don't use it on the rest of the stains. The soapy sponge should start to lift up the darkest parts of the stain within a minute or so of light scrubbing. Allow the area to dry thoroughly and repeat the treatment if any stains remain.
    This method will not work on extremely old wallpaper or set-in stains.

Apply a Magic Eraser

  • Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are generally gentle enough to use on all wallpaper. Again, choose an out-of-the-way spot in which to test the Magic Eraser before applying it to more visible areas on the wall. Wet down the Magic Eraser and gently rub the stained area. The Magic Eraser should immediately begin to lift the stain. Allow the area to dry thoroughly. If the Magic Eraser discolors or tears the wallpaper, discontinue use immediately.

Remove the Wallpaper

  • If the stains are very old, there may be no way to remove them other than taking down the old wallpaper and replacing it with new. After stripping the old wallpaper from the wall, apply a heavy-duty base coat to the wall before painting or re-wallpapering the area. This step will keep stains (and smoky smells) from re-emerging after the room is redecorated.

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