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Nicotine on glass - How to clean this?

Discussion in 'Vivariums and Terrariums' started by Marvinxox, Jun 5, 2018.

  1. Marvinxox

    Marvinxox Arachnoknight

    Hey there
    Recently I bought an old Exo Terra-Terrarium off someone I found in one of these craigslist-like apps.
    It´s nice and big (45x45x60 aka 18x18x24 inch) and didn´t cost much (20€-thats nearly free for this size).
    Sadly there is a problem with it (as with most very cheap things): it spend the last five years in the flat of chainsmokers and it strongly smells like nicotine. I had the whole thing soaking in my bathtub for about 10 hours and after a lot of water changes, it seemed kinda clean and the water wasn´t brown anymore.
    It still has a lot of the smell on it tho.
    I don´t want to risk that the animals I´m going to put in there will get any health issues from this, so i would like to clean it even more.
    My dad recommended bare soap and vinegar, but I´m not fully sure if thats the best thing to do.

    Does anyone here have a clue how to get rid of the smell and possible nicotine-residues?
    Any advice or ideas would be apprichiated.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
  2. TownesVanZandt

    TownesVanZandt Arachnoangel Active Member

    I have heard that vinegar is the best, so you might want to give it a shot.
  3. MetalMan2004

    MetalMan2004 Arachnobaron Active Member

    If you have access to Dawn dish soap I’d give it a good soak in some soapy water. Over time it seems to dissolve stuff pretty well and is aboht as safe as a soap gets.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. StampFan

    StampFan Arachnobaron Active Member

    I would soak it in soapy water for as long as possible. Hot water. Rinse. Repeat. I'd likely also try vinegar or a reptile cleaning product.
  5. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

  6. Marvinxox

    Marvinxox Arachnoknight

    I think, I´ll try that first. I already have vinegar and using something natural is always my preferred option.

    I guess thats a US-brand? Because I´m from europe and therefore I can´t try this. But thanks for the tip.

    I already had it in the water for quite some time and the stains got washed away, but the smell stayed. Vinegar will be tried and the idea with the reptile cleaning product is great. I think, I´ll try that if everything else fails.

    Acetone? Wouldn´t that also attack the plastic rim of the tank and the silicone?
  7. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    Acetone may attack plastics. Do a test in a corner. The thing is, it's not nicotine, it's the tar. Tar needs a solvent.
  8. MetalMan2004

    MetalMan2004 Arachnobaron Active Member

    Apparently the European version of Dawn is called Fairy. Made by the same company and similar ingredients. I’m assuming the difference is because of some sort of government regulation but who knows. Its what they use to clean oil off of animals after an oil spill.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. AphonopelmaTX

    AphonopelmaTX Moderator Staff Member

    As a smoker myself, the best thing to use to clean tobacco smoke residue from glass is glass cleaner which is a mixture of isopropanol and ammonia. Another option is to use straight rubbing alcohol (isopropanol) as you get from the pharmacy. Don't use acetone. That is overkill for smoke residue and definitely will eat the plastic and silicone sealant. Ammonia and alcohol are both decent solvents and not as dangerous to use. I have never had much luck using vinegar to clean smoke residue from anything, but maybe I have never used enough of it since I can't stand that smell.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. Jonathan159

    Jonathan159 Arachnosquire Active Member

    There's also a great product in the UK called "sugar soap" it's basically a cleaner designed to clean surfaces of dirt and tar stains before painting. I've used it multiple times myself and had no issues. It's a mild decreasing agent that you rub on, leave for recommended time and then wash off with water.
  11. Marvinxox

    Marvinxox Arachnoknight

    I´ll have a look at it´s ingredients and maybe try it, if the vinegar (which I´m currently trying) doesn´t work out.

    Currently I´m trying watered down vinegar (if it´s dilluted in water it doesn´t smell as bad). Alcohol semms like a good idea. Might work good in solving nicotine.

    It seems that this product isn´t aviliable here in Austria. So I sadly can´t give it a try.