How to Remove Nicotine Stains from Wallpaper
LESLIE: Next up we have Rosemary from Virginia who wants to clean some wallpaper.
Rosemary, tell us about the wallpaper a little bit.
ROSEMARY: Well it hasn’t been cleaned in a few years and smokers in the house, so it’s gotten kind of yellow.
LESLIE: Is it a paper or is it a vinyl?
LESLIE: Paper. So the paper you need to be a lot more gentle than you would if it was a vinyl.
TOM: Removing nicotine stains is really one of the toughest stains you have to try to get off a wall and, in your situation, you’re bringing it off of a paper as well. You have to really move slowly. What I would recommend is a product called trisodium phosphate. It’s a soapy solution. It’s available at any home center, it’s available at hardware stores. It’s a powdered mix. You’re going to mix up a fairly weak solution and you want to put it on but not with a lot of water. Try to put it on with just a damp sponge – not a soaking, sopping wet sponge – and work it in circular motions and then follow up with fresh water. You definitely need to rinse. Right. As you start to strip away that nicotine and move down the wall, I think that you’re going to see it brighten up behind you.
ROSEMARY: It’s worth a try.
LESLIE: Well, I’ve also seen something that they’re calling a dry sponge which is available at most hardware stores as well and it’s something that you don’t wet at all and have some sort of solution on it and you use it to wipe across the wallpaper in long strokes. And this is supposed to be really good for older types of wallpaper which don’t have the vinyl surface coating on them either.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.