Removing Nicotine from Walls with Chlorine Dioxide
Cleaning the residue of nicotine and tobacco ash soot from past smokers on walls and trim can be a BIG job. It takes a solution that can simultaneously both break down the soil and eliminate the odor. The answer begins with ClO2 by Envirotab.

What is Nicotine and Why is it So Hard to Clean?

Nicotine is a highly addictive substance found in tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco. It is a chemical compound that acts as a stimulant on the nervous system, providing a temporary sense of relaxation and pleasure. However, nicotine also has numerous harmful effects on both the body and environment, but that is for another discussion.


When it comes to cleaning nicotine from surfaces, it can be an incredibly challenging task due to several reasons. Firstly, nicotine is a sticky and oily substance that tends to adhere strongly to various surfaces. This sticky nature makes it difficult to simply wipe or clean away with regular cleaning agents. Nicotine has a tendency to absorb into porous materials, such as fabric, walls, and wooden surfaces. This absorption not only makes it hard to remove but also leads to a lingering smell that is characteristic of tobacco smoke. Additionally, nicotine stains surface quickly, often leaving behind unpleasant yellow or brown discoloration that is particularly stubborn. Furthermore, nicotine can chemically react with certain cleaning agents, causing further challenges in removing it. Using the wrong cleaning products or techniques can result in surfaces being damaged or discolored even more.


It is worth noting that nicotine residue can accumulate over time, especially in areas with poor ventilation. This build-up increases the difficulty of cleaning and may require specialized cleaning methods or professional assistance, which makes the odor issues even more pronounced and problematic. With its adhesive nature, tendency to stain, and potential chemical reactions with many traditional cleaning agents, nicotine and smoker's soot can be among the most stubborn of substances to clean from surfaces, posing a challenge for maintaining cleanliness in environments exposed to nicotine.

Related: Chlorine Dioxide: The Natural Cleaning Agent

What Makes Chlorine Dioxide the Best Choice for Cleaning Nicotine-Stained Walls?

Chlorine dioxide (ClO2) can break down nicotine through a chemical reaction known as oxidation. When chlorine dioxide comes into contact with nicotine, it reacts with it and alters its chemical structure. You see, what makes nicotine particularly sticky is its ionic bonding. This is reversed through a process called 'oxidation'. Oxidation is a process in which a substance loses electrons, resulting in a change in its chemical behavior. In the case of chlorine dioxide and nicotine, the chlorine dioxide molecule acts as an oxidizing agent, meaning it causes the nicotine molecule to lose electrons.

Related: What are Chlorine Dioxide Tablets?


Chlorine dioxide is a powerful oxidizing agent due to its high reactivity and ability to readily donate oxygen atoms. When it reacts with nicotine, it transfers oxygen atoms to the nicotine molecule, leading to the breakdown of its chemical bonds. This reaction ultimately transforms nicotine into different compounds, such as carbon dioxide, water, and simpler organic molecules.


The specific reactions and products formed during the breakdown of nicotine by chlorine dioxide can vary depending on the precise conditions, such as temperature, pH, and concentration. However, the general principle remains the same – chlorine dioxide oxidizes nicotine by donating oxygen atoms, resulting in the degradation of nicotine into smaller, less harmful compounds.

How to Use Envirotab 10g Tablets for Removing Soot and Nicotine from Walls and Trim

Envirotab 10g tablets for contractors
Synergy Soil Break for cleaning and deodorizing with ClO2

It all begins with 10g Envirotab ClO2-Generating Tablets and Synergy Soil Break.

Your will use (1) tablet & (2) ounces of Soil Break to prepare a 2 gallon container of solution.

The ClO2 generated by Envirotab will provide the oxidating power to the solution and the Soil Break brings the surfactancy - the holding of the soil in solution.

a 2-gallon pump sprayer is handy for cleaning

First, add 1-1/2 to 2 gallons of warm water in a 2-gallon pump sprayer. Start with less water for tougher cleaning applications, fill it with the full 2 gallons if the soil load is light. To this add (1) Envirotab 10g Tablet.

Then, add the tablet and give it 2-3 minutes, with the cap in place, for the tablet to dissolve. Once the tablet has dissolved, add (2) ounces of the concentrated detergent, Soil Break.

After protecting the floor from drippage and puddling, spray the prepared solution on the walls just ahead of where you intend to work.

You want there to be about 2 minutes of dwell-time before you begin cleaning with your wall washing tool. Use both microfiber wall washer kits and microfiber cloths.

Start with dry cloths and mops, rinse and wring out as they soil and reuse.

Shop Envirotab Tablets and Get the Best Value in Cleaning & Deodorizing Available

Who Needs Envirotab Tablets & What Size Fits Your Applications Best?

To put it simply EVERYONE needs the simplicity, efficiency, power and efficacy of our Simply the BEST Chlorine Dioxide Tablets Available Anywhere!

  • Homeowners: Take a quick look at all of the applications below to see what you can do with just our 1 gram tablets and be AMAZED!.
  • Contract Cleaners: Every contract cleaner should stock and use our 4 gram tablets for cleaning, odor remediation, toilet reclamation, mold & mildew .
  • Hotel Housekeeping: Deep cleaning rooms after a long-term stay or pet stay will eliminate odors, freshen the air and reduce pet stress from past tenants.
  • Auto Dealers & Detailers: Detailers use the 1 gram tablets for washing down the dash, doors, headliner and upholstery, then gas the car with 20g.
  • Marinas & Campgrounds: Resell 1g tablets & 20g kits for deodorizing musty tents, campers and boats. Eliminate the odors and keep mildew from forming.
  • Veterinary Clinics & Kennels: 1 gram tablets are perfect for cleaning exam rooms while 10 gram tablets make a great 3 gallon solution for kennels.
  • Farmers & Homesteaders: The uses around the farm are endless! 1 gram tablets for udder wash before milking, removing black spots from plant follage and cleaning tools. 4 gram, 10 gram and 20 gram for treating water, cleaning greenhouses and sanitizing stalls after cleaning.