The odor of smoke, whether from cigarettes or even a grease fire, tends to stick around a great deal longer than the actual event that caused the odor in the first location. Smoke clings to fabrics and virtually every surface in the room, permeating areas you might never expect, such as the paneling on your own walls. Thorough cleaning and venting help remove those unwanted scents once and for all.
Combat that funky smoke odor dish soap and white vinegar. Dip a rag in vinegar, then wipe of the paneling down using it. Vinegar helps remove the odor and protects residue out of the wall. Follow up with a little dish soap mixed in a bucket of warm water and a clean rag. Wipe the paneling. If the paneling still smells like vinegar after it dries, then wipe it down with vinegar again, opening windows or turning on a ceiling fan to facilitate ventilation and drying.
Scrub and Scrub
If the smoke remains difficult to remove in the paneling, a specialty product referred to as a compound sponge comes to the rescue. This brick-shaped product works somewhat like an eraser, rubbing smoke residue and odor off the paneling. Unlike a standard sponge, a compound sponge is used dry. Stir the sponge as areas of it becoming dirty; if the whole thing seems filthy, cut off part of it to reveal a clean edge. This avoids spreading back the residue that is smoky .
Industrial Strength Solution
A tablespoon of TSP — tri-sodium phosphate — in a gallon of warm water removes the dirt and soot left behind from the smoke. Sponge the solution over the paneling completely, then wipe the panels down immediately with a new sponge dipped in clean water. TSP might lead to discoloration on painted panels, so check it on an inconspicuous place before wiping down all of the paneling. For the the TSP solution and the wash water, keep the sponges moist instead of sopping wet to prevent drips that might lead to marks or damage the paneling.
A Breath of Fresh Air
If the paneling reeks of smoke, then odds are the odor lingers in the room as a whole, and also on other surfaces. Wash fabrics such as drapes which might be covering part of the paneling; differently, the odor might impact the paneling even when you’ve cleaned it. Open windows or doors at opposite ends of the room or home to encourage cross-ventilation; flip on the ceiling fan or deliver a portable fan in the room to hasten the process. Even the ceiling may bear a smoky odor, so make sure you give it a vinegar wipe-down too.