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How to Remove Soot Stains


The easiest way to remove soot and the stains left by it is to call a professional carpet cleaner, but if you want to save yourself the expense don't worry - there are other remedies covered below. If it is a small spot you might get it out yourself without too much trouble.

Start with vacuuming, being sure to use the crevice tool to get into every corner where the soot might have spilled. Then, if you still see large areas of discoloration on the carpet, you'll probably need a carpet cleaning machine. Soot can often be removed using the portable units that you can rent (although a good truck-mounted hot-water-extraction machine will do a much better job). If it is just a small stain, try the following.

Soak part of a clean white cotton rag in isopropyl alcohol. This is also known as rubbing alcohol, and the types that are 90% are better than the ones that are 70% alcohol. Rub this gently across the stained fibers, and look to see if there is stain transferring to the cloth. Be careful not to allow the alcohol to drip into the carpet as it may damage the backing if it goes that deep.

Repeat the process with more alcohol and clean parts of the rag until you no longer see transference of the soot stains. That is about as clean as you will get it. Use a solution of warm water (a cup or so) and dish detergent (a few drops - use Joy or Dawn or other non-fragrant ones) to carefully wash away the alcohol and further clean the stain.

Rinse with tap water, applying a little and blotting it up again and again.

Dry the area with clean white rags or paper towels weighted down over the spot, replacing them as they get wet.

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