How To Remove Soot From Carpets: A Step-By-Step Guide
We all love to sit beside a roaring fire on cold winter nights. But unfortunately, those flames can leave more than just a warm glow! When black soot from your fire lands on your carpet, it can create unsightly stains that are incredibly difficult to remove.
If you’ve tried to scrub the soot out of your carpet, you’ve probably noticed this rubs it deeper into the fibers. That means it’s crucial to follow the correct steps for a soot-free carpet that looks as good as new.
At All Dry USA, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to removing soot from your carpets. With a few simple steps and some household equipment, you can get rid of those stains and enjoy a fresh, clean home once more. You will need:
- A utensil such as a spoon or blunt knife
- Baking soda or corn starch
- A vacuum cleaner and hose nozzle attachment
- Rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide
- A clean cloth
- Warm water
1. Remove Any Soot From The Surface
Stains occur when chunks of soot land on your carpet and become ground into the fibers. If you can see any large pieces of soot that haven’t disintegrated, the first step is to remove them from the surface of your carpet as carefully as you can.
Using a spoon or knife, gently pick up the pieces and put them into your bin. This will prevent them from becoming crushed and making the existing stain worse. Make sure to do this carefully – the last thing you want is to crush them accidentally! Once you’ve got rid of the visible pieces of soot, you can start tackling the stain.
2. Apply Baking Soda or Corn Starch
Common ingredients to keep in your kitchen cupboards, baking soda and corn starch, are both absorbents. This means they bind to other substances, making them much easier to remove.
Sprinkle your baking soda or corn starch all over the stain. Make sure to cover the area thoroughly; otherwise, some of the soot might not come away from the carpet. You will need to leave the soda or corn starch for at least an hour for it to soak into your carpet and start absorbing the soot. If you have time, feel free to leave it for a couple of hours or even overnight if the stain is particularly bad!
3. Use Your Vacuum Cleaner To Remove Soot
After an hour has passed, the soda or starch will have bound to the soot in your carpet. Now it’s time to get out your vacuum cleaner and start removing the stain. Turn your machine onto a high setting and vacuum up the soda. You should notice that the soot stain comes away from the carpet as you go.
If possible, start using a hose nozzle attachment (as opposed to a brush head) while you complete this step. Your vacuum cleaner’s brush head is designed to drag dirt up from your carpet but can equally rub it further into the fibers. By starting with a nozzle, you can suck up any baking soda on the surface of your carpet before tackling the soot that’s more deeply embedded with a brush head.
4. Apply Rubbing Alcohol or Hydrogen Peroxide
After you’ve used your vacuum cleaner, your soot stain should be a lot less distinct. It may even be gone completely, though you shouldn’t panic if not. There are some additional steps you can take that will make the stain fade even more, and eventually, you’ll be able to say goodbye to it for good.
Next, soak a clean cloth in rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. You will need either:
- One tablespoon of rubbing alcohol on its own.
- One tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide combined with three tablespoons of warm water. (You need to dilute the hydrogen peroxide as it can be dangerous).
If your cloth isn’t plain white, bear in mind the hydrogen peroxide could bleach the fabric of its color. More importantly, it could also bleach your carpet, so only use it if your carpet is very light-colored.
If you’re unsure, always carry out a quick test by dabbing your soaked cloth onto an area of your carpet that will be easy to hide. Try testing a sport beneath your coffee table, behind the door, or by the side of your skirting boards.
Once you’ve tested your carpet and are happy with your choice of either rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, you can start blotting the stain with your soaked cloth. It’s vital to blot instead of rub. As we mentioned earlier, scrubbing at the stain will only push it deeper into your carpet.
5. Blot The Stain With Warm Water
The next step is to blot the stain again, this time with plain warm water. Make sure the cloth isn’t too wet – you want it just damp enough to remove the excess alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Wet spots on your carpet could lead to mold growth, so keep blotting until you’re happy that you’ve removed the substance. Then, all that’s left to do is to leave your carpet to dry.
6. Leave Your Carpet To Dry
It’s important to let your carpet dry thoroughly. If possible, leave your windows and doors open to encourage airflow and prevent your room from becoming damp. You could even use a handheld fan to encourage the carpet to dry more quickly.
Once your carpet has dried completely, you’ll be able to assess how well the cleaning process has worked. Don’t be disappointed if you can still see some of the soot. Depending on how severe your stain was, to begin with, you may need to repeat the process – or even a couple more times – to remove the soot altogether.
Don’t let sooty carpets get you down. By following the tips in our step-by-step guide, you should be able to remove soot stains for a squeaky-clean carpet that shows no sign of damage.
But sometimes, dirty carpets aren’t the only thing you have to worry about. If you’re dealing with serious fire damage in your home, you’ll need more than baking soda and a clean cloth.
That’s where All Dry USA comes in. Our emergency fire restoration services are available 24/7, every day of the year. For smoke or soot restoration, give our trusted team a call on (888) 998-2379. We’ll help restore your home to its former glory and give you back the property you love.