Cleaning Soot from Carpeting

by Lecia DeBrine
(last updated May 8, 2009)

Fireplaces in your home area great thing, you can warm your house and create a pleasant atmosphere, you can even cook in them, but over time the smoke from your fires can leave a sooty residue on the surfaces in your home. Among the most difficult of places to remove this from is a carpet, the soot sticks to the fibers and only smears when wiped or rubbed not actually coming out of the carpet. Here are some ways you can use to get rid of the stain:

Before you start the affected area should be vacuumed with a hose attachment, this will remove any dirt or other particles that may have settled on the stain and will also pull out some of the soot.

  • Baking soda or cornstarch poured on the stain and left to sit for an hour will absorb the greasy soot so you can vacuum it out. Then you want to use a dry cleaning agent and a clean white cloth to lift the rest of the stain out by spraying the spot and blotting out the solvent. The white cloth will show your progress, when the dry cleaning agent comes out of the carpet clear, your stain is completely gone.
  • Over the entire area pour a thick layer of loose salt onto the carpet, letting it sit for five minutes before carefully sweeping it off. The broom or brush you use should be as coarse as your carpet can take to pick up the both the salt and the soot. Remember when "sweeping" to use short flicking motions and not long strokes, this should be done gently to prevent the salt from being pushed down into the rug and the stain from spreading.
  • Steam cleaners can work to remove this type of stain as well. Use hot water, as hot as possible, and a degreasing cleaner in your steamer and remember to go slow. Finding a cleaner that will work on soot may be a challenge, make sure you choose one that will cut through grease and will not ruin you carpet, test a hidden area before you use it.

Do not rule out calling in a professional, they may be able to get out the more stubborn stains that you are having a hard time with, at the very least they can give you some advice on how to get it out yourself. Whether you hire someone or attempt it yourself, keep in mind that soot is one of the harder stains to remove and if it cannot be removed maybe now you can get that new floor you've been wanting.

Author Bio

Lecia DeBrine

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