Why Are There Yellow Stains On My Walls?(4 Main Reasons)

Yellow Stains On My Walls

Note: As an amazon associate I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases if you click to amazon from my site and choose to make a purchase.You can read my complete affiliate disclosure for more details

Why Are There Yellow Stains On My Walls?

There are many different colors of water stains on your home’s exterior, and not all need such urgent treatment.

However, there is one type that homeowners should get fixed immediately: yellow stains. These stains indicate a specific problem in home that needs attention promptly.

Here I will go over what these yellow water stains mean and how to fix them effectively without any hassle. 

Why Are There Yellow Stains On My Walls?

There are various reasons why your walls boast yellow stains, but fortunately, you can fix most of them. Here is a list of the causes and how to get rid of the stains.

An army of bees has attacked your walls. To dismantle their honeycombs, they fill them with a mixture of wax and propolis (a sticky substance collected from trees).

Propolis has antibacterial properties, which allows it to help protect the hive from disease.

Unfortunately for you, when placed in contact with your wall, the bees’ composition dissolves over time, leaving behind a yellow residue, the same as pollen or paint chips.

It’s worth noting that this process has taken place over many years. So, don’t think a swarm has invaded you unless you see thousands of bees or stored honey.

If the bees only removed their honeycombs once, they were probably after another bee’s treasure rather than yours.

The presence of a beehive can lead to an infestation of wasps and hornets who make hives out of paper.

They also leave behind yellow stains, although, unlike bees, these stains indicate the presence of wax covering the walls.

Why Do My Bathroom Walls Feel Sticky?

Your bathroom walls feel sticky because of nicotine or tissue damage. When you smoke in the bathroom, you deposit nicotine.

The nicotine molecule reacts to the paper of your wall or ceiling tile when exposed to humidity. This causes a darkening of that surface and an adhesive-like coating.

This sticky coating attracts dirt and dust particles, making it more visible and harder to clean. You can remove this layer with proper cleaning techniques and tools.

However, I recommend having your space steam cleaned professionally by specialty cleaners trained to handle these sensitive surfaces.

What Causes Yellow Stains In The Shower? -How To Fix

Yellow stains in the shower are a result of excessive use of soap. When the water evaporates, it leaves stains on your favorite shower gel.

This is more common in areas with hard water, where the magnesium and calcium ions from yellow stains on tiles or even within the grout lines.

Yellow stains are unattractive but are easy to remove if you know how to do it.

The first step is to clean away any dirt or soap scum that may already be present in the grout lines between tiles.

Use an old toothbrush for scrubbing off dried-on deposits by using some warm soapy water.

Alternatively, there are commercial products available for this purpose that one can use instead.

Some manufacturers have developed special tools for scrubbing grout, but it’s possible to use any tool to reach the grout lines.

Once you have removed all the dirt and soap scum, you can clean away the stains.

There are commercial products available for this purpose, but many household items also do an excellent job removing yellow stains from tiles or grout.

For best results when using a home solution, pour lemon juice on the affected area and allow it to sit for at least an hour before scrubbing it off with a toothbrush or sponge.

Rinse thoroughly with water after scrubbing until there is no more residue left behind.

You could try leaving chlorine bleach over the stains overnight before rinsing them off in the morning with water.

However, fair warning that excessive use of chlorine bleach can damage or discolor your tiles.

It’s also possible to clean away yellow stains from the grout lines by using a paste mixed with hydrogen peroxide.

Make up a small batch of this using plaster powder and lemon juice, and apply it to the stained area.

Leave it for several hours before scrubbing off with a toothbrush or sponge.

You might need to do this a few times before the stains disappear entirely, but patience will reward you with clean-looking tiles free from unsightly stains.

Note: For deeper stains in grout lines between tiles, there are commercial products specially formulated for cleaning these types of surfaces without causing any damage to them.

In most cases, however, the methods described above will be sufficient, but it’s worth noting that these commercial products can also do an excellent job of removing stains.

Does Vinegar Clean Nicotine Off Walls?

Yes, vinegar can clean nicotine off of walls. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which is what nicotine becomes when it reacts with oxygen in the air.

The acetic acid dissolves nicotine’s alkaloids over time, removing them from the wall and any other surface they are on.

Essentially, vinegar cleans nicotine off walls by gradually eating away at it.

This process takes several months depending on multiple factors, including the concentration of the vinegar solution used to clean the walls.

How much nicotine was initially present. How long ago it was that someone or some animal smoked in the area, it’s cleaning.

Consider using a fan to circulate air around rooms where cigarette smoke lingered after the cigarettes were long extinguished to speed up this process.

This will facilitate the process of nicotine removal by boosting airflow.

Note that no matter which method you use to clean, some residue may remain deep in the drywall due to how easy it’s for nicotine molecules to penetrate porous substances like drywall.

Does Smoking Turn Your Walls Yellow?

Yes, smoking indoors can turn your walls yellow.

Smoking in homes and other indoor spaces causes toxins to build up over time and gradually change the color of your walls. 

Smoking also causes nicotine stains on your wall’s surface. The nicotine gets absorbed through the drywall and hardens over time.

This changes the paint or wallpaper color on the affected area. Over time, the nicotine stains will also yellow and become more visible.

Smoking indoors can be a source of many harmful chemicals that may cause health problems.

So, it’s recommended that you quit smoking or avoid smoking inside your home to prevent yellowing walls and other harmful effects on your health.

Now that you know about the main culprit behind the discoloration of your walls, here are some tips on how to clean them up:

  • Use soap water with ammonia (2 cups each), wipe off the nicotine residue using cotton balls 
  • Apply heat (with an iron) on stained areas 

Scrub down the dulled paint surface using toothpaste mixed with baking soda; clean up excess dirt afterward with vinegar or lemon juice.

Why Do My Bathroom Walls Sweat Brown?

Bathroom walls sweat brown because of the composition of an inorganic mineral called travertine.

The patterns that appear on travertine result from water seeping into the walls and evaporating out of them.

People start seeing brown stains when the air in their bathroom gets humid, and anything made of natural stone gets wet.

Since bathrooms can get very humid, especially after showering, many people notice many brown spots on their travertine tiles and other bathroom surfaces.

Travertine is a porous rock that holds water inside its layers. The water contains minerals such as calcite and fossils.

Mainly due to groundwater flowing through rocks and sediments for thousands of years and depositing these materials.

Calcite is a white or colorless mineral common in many types of rocks and sediments, notably limestone.

Calcite comprises of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Other minerals may be present in the travertine, such as quartz, apatite, pyrite, iron oxides, and various clays.

Travertine’s surface can easily absorb water from humid air because it has high porosity.

It does not allow much evaporation to occur at this point, which means there will be no visible stains on its surface.

If humidity disappears quickly, calcite crystals found inside the pores will form again since they are permeable barriers for water molecules.

If humidity increases even more after some time, the wall becomes wet, and the water molecules evaporate.

This process will cause calcite crystals to dissolve because of their permeability and allow water to flow again.

Some toxins such as iron oxides in travertine’s pores will dissolve at this point, too, because of the water.

How Do I Get Rid Of The Yellow Out Of My Shower?

You can get the yellow out of your shower by filling the bottom of the shower with a mixture of dish soap, hot water, and bleach.

This is very effective at preventing mold in your shower, so it’s good to do every few months.

You can fill the bottom of your shower with vinegar to stop soap scum from building up on your glass door.

If you do this every time you clean your shower, you won’t see any soap scum develop at all. Using vinegar for the purpose also leaves the whole bathroom smelling very fresh.

To keep mold away, use a squeegee or just a wet rag after you get out of the shower. This gets rid of excess water that would otherwise stay in the walls and start growing mold.

Try lemon juice instead if you don’t like vinegar because of its strong smell (which fades quickly).

Just pour some onto an old rag and wipe down your shower doors periodically; it’s just as effective.

If the yellow in your shower is very bad, you may need to clean it more often than once every few months.

If this is the case, use TSP (trisodium phosphate). You can buy it at most hardware stores.

To clean your shower with TSP, mix one-part TSP into three parts water in a large bucket and start scrubbing.

This works best if you let it sit for an hour or two before rinsing off, unlike vinegar and lemon juice, which need only about ten minutes to work.

When cleaning your bathroom, try not to leave the room while spraying cleaner onto surfaces like tiles or grout.

When you come back later, they’ll be much easier to wipe down. 

If all else fails, replace your tiles with new ones and seal your grout. Only this solution works for severe cases of mold.

What Is The Pink Slime In The Shower?

The pink slime in the shower is a bacterium called Serratia marcescens, which has a pink color and occurs naturally in the showerhead.

This bacterium is common on surfaces exposed to water for a while, such as wet tiles or rusty iron objects.

The reason you want to know about this particular bacterium is not that it’s dangerous – it probably isn’t even dangerous at all – but because many people are afraid of all bacteria.

They come across as soon as someone mentions it’s a type of bacteria.

When you mention that something is a bacterium, it sounds hazardous and bad – even though that may not be the case.

Is There White Paint That Doesn’t Yellow?

Yes, there is white paint that doesn’t yellow.

The best-known example of a color that doesn’t yellow with age is trim paint marketed by Benjamin Moore as “Benjamin Moore Advance.”

It’s a synthetic alkyd enamel with zinc oxide. It also comes in a waterborne formulation called Benjamin Moore Reclaim. 

Another good alternative is Pratt & Lambert’s Fluropon series of exterior paints.

With reflrochromatic pigment added to prevent fading – it contains no metal pigments which contribute to browning. 

And, the US military has just had good luck with a new formulation of exterior latex produced by Texaco called Dry-Gard. 


People who smoke in their homes are likely to notice yellowing or brown staining on the walls.

You can remove nicotine stains from your bathroom with a mixture of water and vinegar, but it’s essential not to use this too often since it could damage surfaces.

Clean your shower regularly by removing soap scum and hard water deposits that accumulate over time.

If you’re experiencing problems like sweating walls or pink slime, then contact a professional for help. 


Hi! I' am Tom. I was a manager in one of the biggest stores for over 10 Years, am also an SEO by night. I don't like to call myself a blogger; they are very analytical, do email marketing, and know all SEO stuff. I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. After learning all the things about these products as a manager the hard way, I decided to start a blog and help other people.

Recent Posts