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Removing Soot Stains from Carpet

Soot can leave all kinds of nasty dark stains on your carpet. The fireplace is one big source of potential soot stains, but even candles or something small can create soot that can get into your carpet or other surfaces around the house. It often seems that the more you try to scrub and wipe the spots soot leaves behind, the more the stain spreads. Soot stains are especially a problem if it gets into light or white-colored carpet. You may be afraid that your carpet is ruined once soot gets into it, but there is hope that you can get it back to normal again. There are various ways that you use when removing soot stains from carpet. Most of them you can even use yourself.

To get a soot spot out of your carpet, here are some ideas you can use:

  • Remove chunks. Before doing anything else, it is a good idea to clear away any chunks or pieces of soot that you can. Carefully use a paper towel to pick up bits that may still be around the stain.
  • Vacuum. Try to absorb the soot and vacuum it away. Sprinkle some cornstarch or baking soda over the stain to help absorb it. After letting it sit for a while, vacuum the area. Use another method to clean up any remaining soot.
  • Dry clean. Using a dry cleaning solvent, attempt to clean the stain with a cloth. Take care not to spread the soot around or make the stain worse. Gently wipe up the solvent.
  • Rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol is another option for cleaning. Blot a little onto the stain with a cloth, but be careful not to spread the spot. Don't let the alcohol get too deep into the carpet, either, as this may damage it. Next, clean the spot with some soap. Dish soap or detergent should work fine. Blot the area with the diluted soap and a cloth. Leave a paper towel against the spot as it dries.
  • Hydrogen peroxide. Use a little hydrogen peroxide (3%). Get the area wet and leave it for about an hour, repeating until the spot is gone.
  • Trust the professionals. If the soot spot remains after your efforts to clean it, it's time to call a professional cleaner. A professional should be able to save your carpet without any further damage or spreading of the stain.

Remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To help prevent soot from finding its way to your precious carpet, don't burn candles near carpeted areas and protect the carpet near your fireplace.

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