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Paint and Cigarette smoke without nicotine stains


Just purchased a newer home that smells strongly of cigarette smoke but there is no staining on any of the walls at all.  Since there is no staining, do we still need to wash/TSPthewalls first orcans we go straight to applying a KILLZ primer or even just a KILLZ paint? 




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Posted 2012-08-23T00:16:28+0000  by Jragan Jragan




If there are no visible signs of yellowing on the walls, I doubt that the walls are the primary source of your nicotine odor. Does you new home have carpet and soft drapes? If so, I would suspect they are the major contributor of the odor. It may also be in your heating ducts if you have a hot air/cooling system.


That being said, there is certainly no harm in washing down the walls. Following the cleaning, my preference would be for either the Behr Premium Plus or Premium Plus Ultra paint. Both are now self-priming.  The Ultra line excells at stain killing and moisture and mildew resistance in humid areas such as baths.


A good cleaning and a coat of primium paint should suppress any odor emanating from the walls. A professional carpet cleaning company should help with odor emanating from the carpet. Drapes that are washable should be washed. Nicotine is water soluble. Drycleaning does not do a good job of removing nicotine staining from fabrics.


Hope this helps

Posted 2012-08-23T05:01:37+0000  by ordjen
Thanks for the thorough response! The stairs and upstairs were the only carpetted areas and we had completely the carpet and padding within a couple hours of closing. The downstairs is all tile with a decent number of draperies still hanging. We'll remove the draperies next.

Will the tile/grout have absorbed any smoke? What would be best to clean it?

Posted 2012-08-23T12:23:00+0000  by Jragan

Hey there Jragan,


Thanks for joining the community!~


Since it's a porous material, grout certainly could absorb smoke. Albeit, the only time I've seen this happen is in the case of a major fire. Usually the sealer that you have on the grout helps to keep the smoke from penetrating. Depending on how severely discolored your grout is, you can use anything from a cleaner such as  this Custom Building Products 32 oz. Grout and Tile Cleaner all the way to a grout dye such as this Custom Building Products #10 Antique White 8 fl. oz. Grout Renew.


If you have any pictures of the affected area, then please feel free to share them so that we can give a more precise analysis =)

Posted 2012-08-23T18:14:54+0000  by Jay_HD_CHI


I like Clorox "Clean-up" for tile cleaning tile. It is a combination of  detergent and bleach. It is fairly potent, so you will need to have good ventilation to use it. I will load it it into a small quart and a half pump garden sprayer, take a big breath and run in and spray the tile until my air gives out.  It takes two or three runs in or out, but the bleach really cleans the tile. Finally rinse the tile down with clean water and wipe it dry.If a slight film remains, use window cleaner to cleann it off. "Clean Up" works great on tile counter tops too.


If you have silicone caulking in the bath, you might have discovered that silicon absorbs nicotine and it cannot be removed. As the husband of a former smoker, I learned this the hard way. I had to scrape out all the silicon caulk I had used and replace it with acrylic based caulk.


We also had very expensive Swedish made drapes which were still yellow after a trip to the drapery dry cleaners. I watched in horror as my wife put them into the washing machine The water turned immediately dark yellow !!! YUCK!!!  Fortunately, the drapes did not lose their shape and stretched out when hung while damp.


Thank God she finally gave up smoking!


Hope this has helped.

Posted 2012-08-24T03:35:32+0000  by ordjen
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