How to Clean Nicotine Build Up


Iona asked: How do I clean an Oreck ionic air purifier metal piece? A can of expensive spray came with the air purifier system, and of course, it didn’t last very long. Is there any natural cleaner I can use instead to remove the nicotine?

Nicotine has a tar-like stickiness to it that can make it difficult to remove. However, metal surfaces are smooth and easy to clean. This allows the tar to be removed with everyday household products.

You Will Need:

  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Sponge or soft cloths
  • Bucket

Steps to Remove the Nicotine:

  1. Fill a bucket with warm water.
  2. Add a small amount of dish soap.
  3. Moisten a cloth with the sudsy water and wring out the excess water.
  4. Wipe the nicotine from the surface of the metal.
  5. Rinse with clean water.
  6. Dry with a soft cloth.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Nicotine is a tar with an oily base to it. Degreasing dish soaps, such as Dawn, work best.
  • Mr. Clean Magic Erasers also work well to remove the sticky film.
  • Other cleaning products like Simple Green work well to cut through grease and tar. They should be effective on nicotine as well.
  • For cleaning parts of an air purifier such as this, check the care instructions for any warnings or cleaning products not to use. Sometimes, the parts are treated in a special way or require special cleaning methods to keep working properly.
  • These same soap and water cleaning methods work on walls, wallpaper, furniture, etc. when cleaning a smoker’s home.

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