How to Remove Nicotine From a Popcorn Ceiling

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    Using a Commercial-Grade Cleaner

    • 1). Open all windows--and doors if possible--within the work area to ventilate the room and carry the harmful fumes out.

    • 2). Remove everything from the room, including curtains and drapes, furniture, knick-knacks and other decorative items. Cover the floor with plastic dropcloths to protect the carpet, tile or wood material from falling drops of cleaning solution.

    • 3). Mix powdered trisodium phosphate (TSP) in a plastic bucket according to package label directions. A common mixing formula for powdered TSP is 1 cup TSP powder to 5 cups water.

    • 4). Set the tall ladder on the floor, under the area where the nicotine staining begins on the popcorn ceiling.

    • 5). Dip a large sponge into the TSP solution, and wring out the excess. Climb the ladder and scrub the popcorn ceiling with the TSP-dampened sponge until the nicotine stain is gone. Continue scrubbing the entire popcorn ceiling until the job is completed.

    • 6). Sit oscillating fans--pointed toward the popcorn ceiling--around the room so the ceiling dries faster.

    Using Household Cleaners

    • 1). Repeat Steps 1, 2, and 3 from Section 1.

    • 2). Pour equal amounts of common household ammonia and vinegar into a deep-sided bowl. Add 3 tsp. of mild dish detergent to the bowl, and slowly mix with a wooden spoon.

    • 3). Dip a clean sponge into the ammonia/vinegar solution and wring the excess out. Climb the ladder, and scrub the nicotine stains from the popcorn ceiling until all are removed.

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