How to Remove Soot from Carpet

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Connie asked: How can I remove soot from carpet? We had some smoke damage to the carpet. I have removed most of it in the living area, but there is still a black line around the baseboards of the carpet. Any suggestions on what to use to remove that part of the carpet? Thank you.

Soot stains can be tricky and require more than a simple soap and water solution to get them to release from the carpet fibers. Fortunately, the steps are simple with a few key products to have on hand. Follow these guidelines to lift the soot stains and make them disappear for good.

You Will Need:

  • Baking soda or corn starch
  • Dry cleaning solvent
  • Clean, white cloths
  • Vacuum with attachments

Steps to Remove the Soot:

  1. Start by sprinkling baking soda, corn starch or other absorbent powder over the stained area.
  2. Allow it to set for an hour or so.
  3. Vacuum the powder away with a vacuum cleaner. If the affected areas are along the baseboards, it will be helpful to use an attachment to reach the area more easily.
  4. Next, moisten a soft, clean cloth with dry cleaning fluid.
  5. Blot the stained areas to moisten them with the fluid.
  6. Blot with a clean cloth to remove the stain and the excess fluid.
  7. Continue to apply the fluid and blot with a clean cloth until the stains are removed.
  8. Allow the area to air dry completely.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Dryel has a stain treatment in the dry cleaning kit that can also be used to treat these stubborn stains. Apply and blot with a clean cloth the same as described above.
  • Carpet steam/deep cleaners also work well for cleaning soot from carpet. The heated water and instant removal helps to pull the dirt out of the fibers. There are soap additives that can be used as well for additional cleaning power.
  • If there are chunks of soot present on the carpet, scrape them with a dull knife or spoon first and vacuum the debris away.
  • If no dry cleaning solution is available, mix one cup of water with one tablespoon of clear, bleach-free dish soap. Apply it to the stained area and blot off with a clean cloth.
  • Tough areas may require cleaning with hydrogen peroxide. Simply moisten a cloth and blot it on any stains that are not removed with the more carpet friendly solutions above. Rinse well with clean water and allow the area to dry completely.

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