A plume of smoke swirls around a smoke detector

How to Clean Walls from Smoke Damage

Accidents happen, and knowing how to clean smoke off walls can help you avoid health risks and prevent further damage to your property. Whether you have smoke stains because of small mishaps from small house fires or heaters, it is essential to begin cleaning your walls as soon as possible.

However, you should always seek professional help. At Steamatic of Central Florida, we offer restoration and cleanup services, giving your property a new aesthetic look. This guide will help you learn to clean smoke off your walls.


Depending on the size of the smoke damage, you can do parts of the cleanup by yourself. Here is how you can do this task.


Start by vacuuming the walls softly with an upholstery brush attachment, which will help remove any loose material or debris. For this task, a shop vac with powerful suction can be very helpful. The smoke-damaged area can be lightly brushed with the vacuum’s brush attachment as you suck any loose debris. Make sure you do it gently, without scraping, as this might aggravate stains or cause etching.


Use a gallon of hot water, a half cup of baking soda, and three tablespoons of dishwashing soap to make a cleaning solution. With this solution, scrub the walls with a rag. Work in small portions and immediately dry each area of the wall with a cloth after each one to prevent the drywall from being moist.

Another method is to fill a spray bottle with a cup of undiluted vinegar, ammonia, or lemon juice. Always use protective gear such as gloves and protective eyewear. Open your windows or use a fan to enhance ventilation. These precautions are essential while working with ammonia, which is hazardous to inhale and causes skin and eye irritation.

Spray your selected solution on the wall and scrub the stains with a sponge. After you’ve completed your initial cleansing, rinse the sponge in fresh water, wring it out, and wipe the walls clean.


Cleaning smoke stains from textured walls, such as those seen in popcorn ceilings, can be challenging. Using a drywall sander with fine-grit paper will make your task easier. However, this method may harm or discolor the surface of the ceiling. If you don’t want to take that chance, you might try dissolving the spots with an adhesive remover first, then scrubbing them with your cleaning solution and rinsing the surface.


If the smoke stains persist after attempting these approaches, you may need to repaint the affected areas. Paint can occasionally help cover up significant smoke stains, while it may not completely eradicate the odor.

When painting, you can use a primer made expressly for this reason. It will help form a neutral base layer that will conceal most smoke stains. If none of the solutions listed above work for your specific scenario, you can always seek the assistance of a professional drywall contractor.


At Steamatic of Central Florida, we distinguish ourselves from other fire restoration companies because we can recover structures and provide furniture cleaning services. Our professionals respond with compassion during stressful and emotional moments.

A wall damaged by smoke from a fire

If you have a fire outbreak on your property or want to clean smoke off your walls, we offer various fire and smoke restoration services in Orlando, Florida, such as:

    • Smoke odor removal and air purification
    • Stabilization of fire, smoke, or water-damaged property
    • Fast estimation of work
    • 24/7 emergency response
    • Removal and cleaning of soot and corrosive byproducts


Cleaning smoke off your walls can be challenging, especially if it’s a significant surface. Steamatic of Central Florida offers residential and commercial cleaning and restoration services for your home or business. Contact us today for more information, and we will make your time worthwhile.

Image Source: r.classen / Jomic / Shutterstock

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