Heather asked, “How do you clean black soot from a kerosene heater from a white coat? I was running a kerosene heater last winter while I left for a short period of time. My pit bull bumped the heater and black soot filled my kitchen and my daughter’s coat turned black from the soot. How do I clean it; please help!”
Soot contains carbon, dirt and oil, which can leave a serious stain on clothes.¹ If there is any loose soot on the garment, begin by using a vacuum hose to remove as much soot as possible, then select one of the methods below to remove the stain.
You Will Need:
- Formula 409
- Washing soda
- Soapless shampoo
Steps to Remove the Stain:
- Cover the stain with a pile of salt. Allow the salt to soak up the soot for several hours, then launder the garment as usual.²
- Soak the stain with Formula 409, then launder the garment as usual.²
- Adding a half-cup of borax² and/or washing soda to the wash with your regular detergent can be enough to remove the oily stain.³
- Dilute ammonia to 10%. Dab the stain with a soapless shampoo and add several drops of the ammonia solution to the stain. Use a scrub brush to work the cleaners into the stain and rinse the stain with water.¹
Additional Tips and Advice
- If any stain remains, try dabbing the stain with alcohol.³
- Do not apply ammonia to wool, as it can damage the fibers.
- Wear gloves and ventilate the area well when using ammonia. For more ammonia safety information, see Wikipedia.
- Removing Spots and Stains by Ibert and Eleanor Mellan
- Joey Green’s Cleaning Magic
- Don Aslett’s Stainbuster’s Bible