Friday, February 15, 2013

What Removes Nicotine Smell & Stains From Vinylcovered Sheetrock

Smoking indoors stains interior surfaces, including walls.

Years of exposure to cigarette smoke permeates vinyl-covered sheetrock walls and leaves a buildup of yellow to brown grime on the surface. Though nicotine damage may be more than skin deep, the sheetrock's vinyl coating was designed as a protectant, making it possible to restore the surface and remove the odor in most cases.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a natural deodorizer. Combined with vinegar, it makes an effective cleaner and deodorizer for minor nicotine odor and stains. Mix 1 part white vinegar with 4 parts water and spray or sponge it on the vinyl sheetrock. The discoloration should begin to liquefy. While the vinyl coating is still wet, sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge and wipe it over the surface to remove the odor. Rinse the vinyl well with clean water.

Oxygen Bleach

Oxygen bleach, sold in tubs as a white powder, removes moderate nicotine staining and odor without causing abrasion damage to the walls, making it a good method for when you do not plan to repaint the walls and want to maintain a shiny surface. Oxygen bleach must be mixed with hot, but not boiling, water to activate properly. Dissolve 1 cup of oxygen bleach in 1 gallon of hot tap water and wipe the solution on the vinyl-covered sheetrock to remove the stains.


With its strong smell and deep cleaning power, ammonia removes moderate nicotine stains. Its strong smell covers the nicotine odor when wet, leaving a cleaner smell once it dries. Always dilute ammonia with plain water -- and never mix it with chlorine bleach, which will cause a toxic chemical reaction. Ventilate the room by opening all of the windows and then combine 1/2 cup of ammonia to 1 gallon of water. Use the solution to wipe the walls and then rinse with clean water.

Trisodium Phosphate

Trisodium phosphate or TSP, is a heavy-duty cleaner used to prepare walls for repainting. It is effective on heavy nicotine staining and odor -- partially because it strips the surface of the vinyl. The result is an etched, matte surface that may be undesirable, but which is excellent for painting. Use TSP only if other methods don't work or if you plan to paint the vinyl-covered sheetrock. Wear rubber gloves and safety glasses when working with TSP. To use, mix 1/4 cup of TSP with 1 gallon of warm water, sponge over the surface and rinse.

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