Smoking is probably one of the most popular ‘’bad’’ habits and even though the health risks that come with it have been proven, smokers do not mind and just keep enjoying their smokes. Apart from a bunch of health issues, smoking can bring more unpleasantries to you. If you smoke inside your house, you may notice that your once-white walls or ceilings are now yellow. Not only that but strong odours will also be noticeable. This may be overwhelming sometimes, especially if it is winter and you don’t get to open your windows as much as you would like.
While yellow-stained walls and ceilings will simply need to be repainted, fabrics can be saved. In this article, we will show you the best way in which you can get rid of yellow cigarette stains and foul odours. The method you will need to use depends on the type of fabric, however, you will probably need to use only products you already have at home.
Do not forget to check the care label of the fabric. Follow all specific requirements mentioned there. If the item is dry cleaning only, notify your professional cleaner of the stain. If you use a home dry cleaning kit, make sure to treat the stain with the stain solution provided in the kit before placing the item in the dryer bag. You will have far greater luck eliminating the stains if you hire a professional cleaner.
Cleaning nicotine stains from cotton clothes and linens
- Mix a cleaning solution – Mix 1 litre of water and ½ teaspoon of heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent. Submerge the garment in the solution and leave them in for at least 15 minutes. Squeeze out the excess water once you are done.
- Stain treatment – Sponge the discoloured area with rubbing alcohol until the stain is removed. Wash the garment as usual but make sure you use the recommended cycle and temperature as mentioned on the fabric care label.
- Inspect the fabric – When you are done with all of the above, inspect the fabric for any remaining stains. If the discolouration is not completely gone, do not place the fabric in the dryer. The high heat may set the stain and cause it to become permanent. If you can still see the stain, repeat the cleaning steps.
Cleaning nicotine stains from synthetic fabrics (polyester, acrylic, nylon, or rayon clothes)
- Mix a spot cleaning solution – In a big jar, combine 1 part glycerin, 1 part liquid dishwashing detergent, and 8 parts water to make a spot cleaner. To prevent evaporation, label and keep tightly closed.
- Treat the stain – Dampen the discoloured area with a sponge and apply gentle sweeps starting at the centre of the stain, working your way outward. Directly on top of the stain, apply a few drops of the spot-cleaning solution and a few drops of distilled white vinegar. Use a cotton pad or white cloth to set over the stain, covering its whole surface. Keep the stain moist until it fades, then rinse with water and wash as usual.
For other clothing stained with nicotine
Mix a solution of oxygen-based bleach (like OxiClean) and cool water for any washable cloth that needs to be whitened after stain treatment. Follow the package instructions for how much product to use per gallon of water, This way you will ensure the best results possible. Submerge the garment completely and soak it for at least eight hours or overnight. Examine the colour. If it’s white enough, wash it normally. If it remains yellow, make a new solution and try again. It may take numerous soakings to completely brighten it.
To prevent nicotine stains from occurring as often
If you have garments stored in the room where you smoke on a regular basis, wash them, then store them covered in cloth (not plastic). That way you will prevent nicotine stains from occurring and setting in the fabric. Yellow stains and streaks will be reduced and your clothes will stay clean and fresh for longer.
Do not put any nicotine-stained clothes in the dryer. The heat will set the discolouration and cause it to become permanent. It will be extremely hard to remove those stains once they are set.
If you tried to remove the stains but they persisted and then dried the item in a dryer, the spots may have permanently set. You can still attempt these tips before throwing away your garments.
You can use the same cleaning methods for your curtains or tablecloths. Make sure you identify the specific fabric type before attempting anything. That way, you will ensure the best results possible, and avoid causing any damage. It is best to do a test in an inconspicuous area before using any type of cleaning solution on any fabric. That way, you will be able to see if any discolouration occurs.