cigarette smoke cigarette smoke

Wallpaper Advice for Cigarette Smokers

Of course smoking is bad for your health, but today we are talking about the damage it can do to your home when indoor smoking has become a habit. Reducing the value of your home, smoking indoors causes staining and odor that is difficult to remove. This creates even more questions when it comes to wallpaper. In this article we will talk about the effects of smoking on your interior décor, what kind of wallpapers you can choose to minimize these effects and how you can attempt to fix damage that’s already been done by smoking inside the house.

Read Ahead:

Stone wallpaper for a smoking home

The beiges and browns of this stone wall wallpaper mural will obscure the look of nicotine stains and will be easy to clean.

The Effects of Smoking Indoors

The same oils and tar in cigarettes that stains skin and teeth, unsurprisingly will also do the same to the walls of your home if you choose to smoke indoors. Binding with dust and dirt, the cigarette residue literally sticks to your walls and is even able to seep deeper all the way to the drywall making it a relatively difficult thing to reverse. Not only does this cause a yellow or brown tinge to the walls, but also a distinctively powerful odor which smokers quickly become nose-blind to, often not even realizing how pungent this odor can be to other people. It is no wonder that the value of homes can drop by up to 30% when they’ve been exposed to years of cigarette smoke.

brown wallpaper for smoking home

Look for cleanable wallpapers with warm tones so that yellow or brown nicotine staining will be much less visible

Choosing Wallpaper for a Smoking Household

Now that we know that nicotine, and cigarette smoke in general, can cause damage to your home in the form of a difficult to clean yellow tinge on the walls and distinctive odor, is there some way to prepare the walls in order to minimize damage when one hasn’t yet decided to quit smoking indoors? White paint will show the signs of indoor smoking very quickly; it soaks in deep and is hard to clean off; even when painted over, the stains can be expected to seep through to the surface again. This is why there are certain types of modern wallpaper that can be a much better choice for those who enjoy smoking in their homes to reduce the damage caused by the smoking as best as possible.

Of course, older paper style wallpaper is not ideal for a smoking household as the porous paper will absorb the smoke and quickly allow for staining. What we want is a wallpaper that will, most importantly, act as a barrier, preventing the nicotine from seeping too deeply into the walls, and secondly, a wallpaper with a ‘non-stick’ surface that will be easy to wipe clean. In general, looking for waterproof and scrubbable wallpapers will ensure that the nicotine won’t get further than the surface of the wallpaper and at least, that the surface can be cleaned. Vinyl wallpaper would fit this bill perfectly, but also certain non-wovens would also be sufficient.

Depending on how heavy the smoking is in the space, the surface of the walls can start to show signs of nicotine relatively quickly. Avoid whites; instead opt for darker, warmer colors to help disguise the appearance of staining. As well, pick wallpaper with a smooth surface or else residue will be able to build up in the texture and be nearly impossible to clean out. With a smooth scrubbable wallpaper, all that’s left is to actually clean the walls every few weeks!

black damask wallpaper

This sexy black damask wallpaper would be perfect to decorate the walls of your cigar room.

How to Remove Nicotine Stains from Wallpaper

The trick to preventing nicotine stain damage is not letting it get out of control in the first place. This means cleaning your walls regularly if you’re a friend of smoking indoors. Let’s discuss how you can keep your wallpaper clean:

Depending on the type of wallpaper you have, it will affect the way you need to clean it. The best-case scenario is that you have a vinyl wallpaper or a non-woven with a protective coating that makes it waterproof. In this case you can clean it with a soft damp cloth (never use an abrasive material to clean wallpaper!) and some water with dish soap in it. Just ensure no soap is left on the walls by wiping them with plain water afterwards, since dust will stick to soap residue.

In the case that you have an older style paper or fabric material wallpaper, you need to be more cautious when cleaning so be sure to always test your strategy on an inconspicuous area before proceeding to the entire wall. As well, if the wallpaper isn’t waterproof it is important to make sure that water doesn’t soak in too deep as mold can form behind the wallpaper if it gets trapped. With this in mind, use a soft just barely damp cloth with a mix of water and dish soap to gently wipe the walls. After washing, rinse with a barely damp cloth using just water as any soap residue left over will attract dust to stick to it. Finally, pat the walls dry with a dry cloth or towel and ensure good air circulation by opening the windows or using fans so that any water on the wallpaper will evaporate.

The worst-case scenario is that the wallpaper has been totally ruined by nicotine stains. But look on the bright side, at least wallpaper can be removed and redone. When painted walls become saturated with nicotine, even when they are repainted, the stains will soak through to the surface again. Wallpaper acts as a practical barrier, protecting the actual walls from damage and is easy to change every few years to keep things looking fresh.

wallpaper in smoking households pin

To Summarize

  • Smoking indoors will cause damage to your walls in the form of hard to remove yellow staining and odor.
  • Avoid white wallpapers, opting rather for warm tones and darker colors.
  • Choose waterproof (vinyl or non-woven) wallpapers that have a smooth easy-to-clean surface that won’t hold grime.
  • Wash walls regularly with soap and water, paying special attention to remove all soap from the walls and that the walls are able to completely dry.
  • Worst case scenario – change the wallpaper!

Do you smoke inside you home? How do you deal with the residue left by cigarette smoke? Let us know in the comments below!