How to Clean Cigarette Smoke from Paintings?

Cleaning away cigarette smoke accumulations is critical when it comes to caring for and conserving artworks. Clearing away the smoke and restoring the artwork to its original glory is feasible with the correct equipment and skills.

To remove the cigarette vapor damage, use human saliva, diluted lemon juice, or sodium carbonate. A professional-grade emulsifier or neutralizer may be required for a more thorough clean.

This article will review the tools, procedures, and best practices for cleaning cigarette smoke from paintings. Continue reading if you want to learn the best technique to preserve your artwork from smoke damage.

How to Clean Cigarette Smoke from Paintings? A step-by-step guide

Paintings can suffer significant damage from cigarette smoke, including browning, yellowing, and staining. Paintings should be cleaned of cigarette smoke as soon as possible to save further damage. An instruction manual for removing cigarette smoke from the artwork is provided below:

Step 1: Prepare the painting

Before cleaning, ensure the painting is securely attached to its frame. If the painting is not securely attached, it could be damaged during cleaning.

Step 2: Dust the painting

Use a soft brush to dust off the painting gently. This will help to remove any loose dirt and debris that could be trapped in the paint.

Step 3: Vacuum the painting

Remove any dust and grime that has become trapped in the paint with a vacuum cleaner. Use a brush attachment and be careful not to scratch or harm the painting.

Step 4: Prepare a cleaning solution

Mix a solution of equal parts white vinegar and warm water. This will help break down the cigarette smoke residue stuck to the painting.

Step 5: Apply the cleaning solution

Apply the cleaning solution to the painting gently with a soft cloth. Work in small parts and avoid scrubbing too vigorously, which may damage the paint.

Step 6: Wipe off the cleaning solution

Wipe away the cleaning solution with a clean, dry cloth. This will aid in the removal of any residual residue from the painting.

Step 7: Repeat the process

If necessary, repeat the process until the painting is free of cigarette smoke residue.

Step 8: Dry the painting

Wipe the painting dry carefully with a clean, dry cloth. Allow the painting to dry completely before hanging or storing it again.

Can the Same Cleaning Techniques for Paintings be Applied to Wooden Venetian Blinds?

When it comes to cleaning wooden Venetian blinds, the same delicate techniques used for cleaning paintings can be applied. Using a soft brush or cloth to gently remove dust and dirt, along with a mild cleaning solution, can help maintain the beauty and integrity of both paintings and wooden Venetian blinds.

How Can You Remove the Smell of Cigarettes From Pictures?

Cigarette smoke can be a difficult smell to get out of any item, including pictures. If you have pictures that have been exposed to cigarette smoke, it can create an unpleasant odor that can linger for months or years.

Here, we will discuss how to get cigarette smell out of pictures and other methods to help you keep your pictures smelling fresh.

Method 1: Use a commercial odor remover

You can use several methods to remove the cigarette smoke smell from pictures. A commercial odor remover, such as an aerosol spray, is the most effective way.

These products are specifically designed to neutralize odors and can be found at most hardware stores or online. The spray should be applied liberally to the back of the picture and the frame and left to dry for several hours.

Method 2: Natural Remedies

If you prefer to use natural remedies, there are several options available. One of the most common is to place the picture in a bowl of white vinegar and let it sit overnight. The vinegar will help to neutralize the smell, and any remaining odor should dissipate within a few days.

Another option is to place the picture in a sealed container with a few charcoal briquettes. The charcoal will absorb the smell; any remaining odor should dissipate within a few days.

Method 3: Using Household Items

Use household items if you don’t have access to a commercial odor remover or natural remedies. One of the most common methods is to place the picture in a sealed container with a few cotton balls soaked in vanilla extract.

The vanilla extract will help to neutralize the smell, and any remaining odor should dissipate within a few days. Another option is to place the picture in a sealed container with a few dryer sheets. The dryer sheets will help to absorb the smell, and any remaining odor should dissipate within a few days.

What kind of solvent is used to clean paintings?

The use of a solvent is an important part of the process of cleaning a painting. The type of solvent used depends upon the type of materials used in the painting, such as oil paint, acrylic paint, or watercolors.

For example, oil paintings often require a solvent such as mineral spirits, turpentine, or paint thinners since these solvents effectively break down the oil. For acrylic and watercolor paintings, mild dish soap or laundry detergent may be used, as well as a small amount of white vinegar or rubbing alcohol.

It is important always to test the solvent on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure that it does not damage or discolor the painting. Additionally, using a soft, lint-free cloth when cleaning with solvents is best.


Cleaning cigarette smoke from paintings can be challenging, but it can be done safely and effectively with the right tools and techniques. Following the steps outlined in this article, you can remove the cigarette smell and residue from your paintings.

The most important step is to use a solvent specifically designed for cleaning paintings, as this will ensure the safest and most effective cleaning process. You can also use natural ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice to help remove the smell and residue. 

It is important to take the necessary precautions when cleaning your paintings to ensure the safety of the artwork. So we think this article has provided you with the necessary information. Still, if you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us or comment below. Thank you for reading!

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