How to Remove Cigarette Smoke Stains

by Jenny Harrington ; Updated September 28, 2017

Cigarette and cigar smoke leaves behind a yellow stain on clothing and walls. It dulls the surface over time, and moisture in a room can cause the stains to become streaky. Walls and other nonporous surfaces are the easiest to clean. Although the scent may permeate into wallboard and wood, the stains rarely do. Clothing, white materials in particular, may need several cleanings to completely remove the stains.

Mix one part white vinegar with one part water in a large bowl or bucket.

Wipe down all nonporous surfaces to remove the stains. Blinds, walls, and cabinets will wipe clean. Avoid soaking walls, as this causes the paint to bubble and crack.

Paint surfaces such as walls and painted cabinets with a sealer so the smell and stains do not resurface later. Then repaint in the color of choice.

Mix 1/4 cup oxygenated bleach powder with 1 gallon of water. Stir until the powder dissolves.

Soak the stained clothing in the bleach solution for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Wash as usual, adding 1/2 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle of your machine.

Check for any remaining stains before drying. If yellowing is still visible, soak the clothing in the oxygenated bleach solution again.


  • Drying clothing outside in the sun will remove the smell of smoke from most clothing.

Our Everyday Video

Brought to you by LEAFtv
Brought to you by LEAFtv

Photo Credits

  • Duchesssa/sxc.hu

About the Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.