The Best Way to Get Nicotine Off Windows

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Things You'll Need

  • Ammonia

  • Washcloth or paper towel

  • White vinegar

  • Newspaper or squeegee

Cigarettes contain hundreds of chemicals, including nicotine.

For smokers, one of the toughest aspects of keeping house is getting rid of nicotine stains. Chemicals from cigarettes can coat the walls, ceilings and windows. Buildup on the windows makes them appear dirty or grimy, and enough buildup can even block the view or interfere with opening and closing the window. To rid windows of nicotine buildup, a few household products and a bit of elbow grease can have windows clear and clean quickly and inexpensively.


Step 1

Mix 1 cup ammonia per 2 ½ gallons of water. Some prefer scented ammonia, like lemon, which leaves less of a chemical smell.

Step 2

Dampen a cloth or paper towel with the ammonia/water mixture. Alternatively, use a spray bottle to distribute the mixture on the window.

Step 3

Wipe the window with the cloth or paper towel. The ammonia mixture should break up the nicotine grime, making it easy to wipe off. Repeat until the entire window is clean.

Step 4

Get rid of streaks by cleaning the windows with a piece of crumpled-up newspaper or a rubber-tipped squeegee.

White Vinegar

Step 1

Mix a 50-50 solution of white vinegar and water.

Step 2

Pour the solution into an empty spray bottle.

Step 3

Spray the window. The white vinegar in the solution will dislodge the nicotine, making it easy to clean off.

Step 4

Wipe off the solution and nicotine with a piece of crumpled-up newspaper.

references & resources

Charlotte Kirkwood

A professional writer since 2008, Charlotte Kirkwood’s articles have appeared on Pop Syndicate,, CollectionDX and other websites. She enjoys writing about travel, films, literature, beauty, homemaking, pop culture and anime. Kirkwood's previous jobs include makeup artist and book seller. She studied English and art history at Southwest State University.