Clean an Ashtray With Ease
Ashtrays can be a mess to clean. If you smoke, you already know how dirty an ashtray can get. Tar, ash, and nicotine build up and form those nasty-looking cakes of grime that give you all the reasons to stop smoking. A clean ashtray looks more appealing, and can give you the motivation to quit the nasty habit.
Most decorative ashtrays are made of glass. Glass ashtrays, especially ones made of thick clear glass, are especially prone to tar and nicotine stains. Yellowish nicotine stains can be removed with wedges of unripe lemon or, better yet, a good soaking in hot vinegar. The acidic vinegar reacts with the acids in the nicotine, and loosens up the tar and nicotine particles on the glass surface. (If you want to know other uses of vinegar, learn how to make household uses for vinegar)
Nicotine stains on metal ashtrays can be easily removed with hot soapy water. Blackened and caked-in tar stains are easily removed with a small amount of acetone or nail polish remover. Tar stains and nicotine stains can also be removed with a paste made of baking soda and purified water. The baking soda paste will dissolve the tar and the nicotine, and at the same time scrub the caked-in stains away. (For other uses of baking soda, read 75 extraordinary uses for baking soda)
Ashtrays made from wood are very tricky to clean. You cannot remove the burn marks and the scorch marks on the lip of the ashtray. Tar and nicotine may also make their way into the grain of the wood. These stains can be dissolved and removed with a bit of paint thinner or household ammonia, and you can re-apply some varnish afterwards. You have to be really careful when you’re removing stains from wooden ashtrays. If your wooden ashtray gets too dirty, you’re better off disposing of it than cleaning it.
Dirt and grime from ashtrays can be a pain, but they are easy to remove. With the right tools and enough time, your ashtrays will look as good as new.