Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Nicotine stains

We have been living in our rented condo for nearly a year now.  When we moved in, the landlord had completely re-floored, re-painted and replaced all the appliances.  It has felt so new, that we nearly forgot there had been previous tenants.  Until my we turned on a humidifier in my sons room.  We ran it for nearly a week strait, and the back of his door looked like this:

So this is what happens when your landlord doesn't actually repaint and only wipes glossy surfaces that contain nicotine stains.  The nicotine hides in the wall, un-noticed until you use a humidifier, and they magically appear.  It is gross and sticky and made his whole room smell like smoke.   His room NEVER SMELLED before, it seriously was hiding in the walls.  In order to clean it off and deodorize I turned to vinegar.  The power this stuff has is AMAZING, it cleans and deodorizes and is like $2 a gallon!

I just pored the vinegar directly on a mico-fiber cleaning rag, misted the door with a spray bottle of water and wiped.  The door is so clean, shiny and most importantly no longer smells of smoke!

Our lease is up at the end of next month, and we will need to move sooner than later to make more room for our new special little addition who will be appearing at the end of May.  Not sure where or when, but as much as I love this place, it's things like this that make me hate renting.  Thankfully there are easy solutions such as vinegar for cleaning and getting rid of the smoke smell!



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  1. I know this post is from a couple months ago, but I am SO excited that you posted this. In our old apartment, these gross lines would leak behind the stove every time I cooked! So glad to know what it was, even if we don't have to live with it anymore!

    1. Glad to help. Most landlords simply paint with regular paint or wipe (if a glossy surface) instead of painting with kills 1st to block out the stains. I found some in my kitchen above the stove as well, and in the bathroom. Steam seems to bring it out of hiding. Glad you are not living with it any more. :)

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  3. I have lived in my house for two years now. Even if you do paint the nicotine will bleed through. We recently painted a bathroom and it still does this. We knew the people before us had smoked. So your landlord could have painted and cleaned but it will still come through.

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