How to Remove Cigarette Smoke Stains on Doors

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Smoking isn't good for your health or your home.
Smoking isn't good for your health or your home. (Image: cigarette image by Tsvetomila Mitva from Fotolia.com)

If you've just moved into the former home of a smoker or someone in your family smokes, you've probably discovered the effects cigarette smoke can have on your doors and nearly everything else in your house. The nicotine in cigarettes causes things in the surrounding area to develop greasy yellow stains. In older homes the stains may have built up for years. While not the easiest or most pleasant job, you can remove cigarette smoke stains from your doors.

Things You'll Need

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Measuring cups
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Scrub brush or cleaning rags
  • Towel

Fill a bucket halfway with warm water. Measure one cup of white vinegar, and pour it into the bucket of water.

Create your cleaning solution in a bucket.
Create your cleaning solution in a bucket. (Image: bucket image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from Fotolia.com)

Add half a cup of baking soda, which will cause the vinegar and water solution to foam a bit. Stir the mixture with your hand, and saturate your brush or cleaning rag with your cleaning solution.

A cleaning brush adds a little more "elbow grease."
A cleaning brush adds a little more "elbow grease." (Image: cleaning materials image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com)

Scrub the cigarette smoke-stained area with the scrub brush or rag. Each time you dip the brush into the cleaning solution, swirl it around a bit to keep the baking soda from settling. Depending upon the severity of the stain, you may have to work at the stain a bit with the solution and brush.

Scrub repeatedly until the stain is gone.
Scrub repeatedly until the stain is gone. (Image: modern door handle image by Wolszczak from Fotolia.com)

Wipe the door down with plain water.

Rinse and wipe away the vinegar and baking soda solution.
Rinse and wipe away the vinegar and baking soda solution. (Image: towel image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com)

Dry the door with a clean towel.

Tips & Warnings

  • Clean walls and doors regularly if there's a smoker in the house to avoid a buildup of smoke stain.
  • Do not try to paint over cigarette smoke stains. The greasy residue from the nicotine bleeds right, through the paint, leaving a wet looking spot.

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