The Best Way to Get Nicotine Off Windows


For smokers, one of the toughest aspects of keeping house is getting rid of nicotine stains. Chemicals from cigarettes can coat the walls, ceilings and windows. Buildup on the windows makes them appear dirty or grimy, and enough buildup can even block the view or interfere with opening and closing the window. To rid windows of nicotine buildup, a few household products and a bit of elbow grease can have windows clear and clean quickly and inexpensively.

Things You'll Need

  • Ammonia
  • Washcloth or paper towel
  • White vinegar
  • Newspaper or squeegee


  • Mix 1 cup ammonia per 2 ½ gallons of water. Some prefer scented ammonia, like lemon, which leaves less of a chemical smell.

  • Dampen a cloth or paper towel with the ammonia/water mixture. Alternatively, use a spray bottle to distribute the mixture on the window.

  • Wipe the window with the cloth or paper towel. The ammonia mixture should break up the nicotine grime, making it easy to wipe off. Repeat until the entire window is clean.

  • Get rid of streaks by cleaning the windows with a piece of crumpled-up newspaper or a rubber-tipped squeegee.

White Vinegar

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  • Photo Credit hand with the cigarette image by Jaroslav Machacek from
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