Soot stain removal becomes an important skill when that enjoyable fire in your fireplace somehow causes a big mess on your clothes, upholstery or couch.
Soot stains can be exasperating because they are so dark, and seem to spread around, especially when you are not even paying attention.
You get a bit of soot on your pant leg and before you know it the stain has spread onto your upholstered couch, or your carpet too.
Below are step by step instructions for removing stains caused by soot from your clothing, upholstery and carpet.
The most important thing to remember about removing soot stains is that until you shake as much of it out of the fabric, do not wet it down or this will just create a sludge that will smear and be even more difficult to remove.
Step 1: Shake off any excess soot from the fabric, being careful not to spread the stain further or grind the soot into the fabric.
Step 2: Run the fabric, inside out, under cold water to flush out as much of the soot as possible.
Step 3: Pretreat the stain with a laundry stain remover.
Step 4: Launder in the hottest water the fabric will allow to get out the stain, and either chlorine bleach if the fabric will allow it, or color safe bleach if not.
Hint: Make sure the stain is gone after washing, but before you place in the dryer or you may set the stain.
Step 5: If the soot stain still remains after steps 3-4 sponge the stained area with rubbing alcohol to remove the stain, and then wash the item again.
Step 1: Vacuum up as much of the soot as possible, being careful not to spread the stain from the soot further.
Hint: If the soot is damp or wet before vacuuming place an absorbent, such as cornstarch or baking soda, onto the soot, and let it soak in for approximately 15 minutes.
Then, you can scrape up or vacuum up the absorbent, which has absorbed some of the damp soot.
Hint: Depending on the amount of soot you may need to repeat this step until no more damp soot is absorbed by the baking soda or corn starch.
Step 2: Mix a solution of two cups cool water and one tablespoon dishwashing liquid.
Step 3: Using this solution, sponge the stain from the soot with a clean white cloth.
Step 4: Next, blot at the stain until the liquid is absorbed.
Step 5: Repeat steps 3-4 until the stain is removed from the upholstery.
Step 6: Now that the stain is removed you should get plain cold water and a new white cloth and sponge the area to remove the cleaning solution, and then blot dry.
Hint: Be sure to get the upholstery only as wet as necessary to remove the soot stains.
If this does not work, an alternative is to use a dry cleaning solvent on the upholstery until the stain disappears.
You can get more information on how to clean upholstery here.
The instructions for soot stain removal from carpet is the same as for upholstery.
Click here for video tips for removing soot from hard surfaces, like cabinets, walls, and ceilings, with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
Are you a stain magnet like me? If so, check out the A to Z Stain Removal Guide which gives directions for how to remove over 100 types of stains from all kinds of surfaces.
Bottom photo by Ted Percival
Hi, I'm Taylor, a busy mom with 3 kids, so I have lots of hands on experience with house cleaning, laundry and my fair share of spots, spills and other messy catastrophes. Thanks for visiting my site.
I update the website all the time with tips, tutorials, cleaning recipes, reviews of products from readers like you, and tests I've done on various cleaners, removers and laundry supplies.
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A-Z Guide: Instructions For Removing Over 100 Types Of Stains
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CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.
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