How to Remove Soot Stains
By Steve Gillman
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
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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