Cigarette smoke can ruin an oil painting. There are many ways to clean an oil painting from this odor. One of the most popular methods is rubbing it with a q-tip, which is moistened by saliva. The q-tips are discarded when they are too dirty. You can then roll the q-tip over the painting with gentle pressure. To avoid scratching the surface, use fresh tampons every few minutes until the smoke-damaged areas are clear.
Another way to clean an oil painting from cigarette smoke is to retouch the varnish by applying a little dishwashing detergent. To do this, use a soft cotton cloth dipped in the vinegar mixture. Gently dab the cloth over the painting, avoiding rubbing it. You should start with an inconspicuous corner, and work your way around. To prevent damage to the painting, you can always apply a gloss varnish to it.
The easiest way to restore an oil painting from cigarette smoke is to rub it with baby oil. To apply it, dip a soft cotton ball into the oil and scrub it in circular motion. While it may make the painting shiny and the colors look vibrant, baby-oil does not rehydrate the oil paint. Instead, it only attracts dust and dirt, which cannot be removed safely. The first step is to remove the ash before you clean the painting.