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How to clean soot from brick and carpet

Don’t let soot get under your nose at home – follow our steps to clean it from walls and floors.


By Cleanipedia Team

How to clean soot from brick : fireplace with a blanket and mugs

Key steps

When it’s time to clean soot off bricks, walls or carpets, remember these steps:

  1. Test your method on a small area first to prevent damage.
  2. Start by cleaning the floor – then cover it when you clean the walls and bricks.
  3. Brush away loose soot first.
  4. Blot remaining soot stains with baking soda and water or white vinegar. Don’t rub.
  5. Rinse the area by dabbing with clean water when done.
  6. Leave to dry completely.

There’s not much that’s cosier than an evening in front of the fire with the people we love. Only one problem: fires produce soot, and soot gets everywhere. If soot on the floor is driving you up the wall (which is also covered in soot) then try these tips on how to remove soot from carpet, wall or brick. Whilst you're cleaning up soot, why don't you find out how to clean cast iron fireplaces and how to clean the hearth around your fire to keep the whole area spick and span.

Whether you’re trying to clean soot off brick, wall, or carpet, brush off as much dry soot as possible before attempting any wet cleaning methods. Dry soot is much easier to remove than wet soot!

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How to get soot out of carpet

First, let’s tackle the floors:

  1. Clear loose soot with a vacuum cleaner. Be careful: it’s easy to spread the soot around.
  2. Sprinkle the remaining soot stain with dry baking soda or talcum powder.
  3. Leave it for at least 1 hour, then carefully vacuum that up as well. The powder should absorb some of the soot.
  4. Now to deal with the remaining stain. Take a clean white cloth and use it to blot the stain with rubbing alcohol or cold water mixed with a small amount of washing-up liquid. Wear gloves, keep the room ventilated, and test on a small area first.
  5. Keep blotting until the stain is gone. Change the cloth occasionally if necessary.
  6. Rinse the area by spraying or sponging it with clean water.
  7. Dry with kitchen roll or a towel.

How to get soot off walls

Now, move up onto the walls:

  1. The same process from above can be used to learn how to remove soot from walls – just with a few small adjustments.
  2. Cover up any carpet or flooring beneath the wall before you begin or you may end up having to follow our steps for how to remove soot from carpet all over again.
  3. Dab the wall repeatedly with a dry sponge to remove as much soot as possible before introducing any liquid solutions.
  4. Instead of using loose baking soda, turn it into a paste by mixing with a little water. It won’t stick to the wall otherwise.

How to remove soot from brick

Finally, let’s learn how to clean soot off brick – a material that commonly surrounds fireplaces. There are two methods you can try:

1: How to clean soot off brick with baking soda and water

  1. Cover the floor below the brick.
  2. Vacuum up as much loose soot as you can.
  3. Scrub the bricks with hot water and a scrubbing brush.
  4. Dip a cloth into hot water and then into baking soda.
  5. Rub the damp baking soda onto your sooty bricks.
  6. Leave for 10-15 minutes
  7. Dip your brush in clean water and scrub again.
  8. Repeat as necessary until all the soot is removed.
  9. Dry the brickwork thoroughly with a clean cloth.

2. How to remove soot from brick using white vinegar

  1. Cover the floor below the brick.
  2. Vacuum up as much loose soot as you can.
  3. Apply white vinegar to the brick using a cloth or spray bottle.
  4. Use a handheld scrubbing brush to clean the brickwork.
  5. Rinse by scrubbing or sponging the area with clean water. Vinegar can damage the brickwork if not washed off.
  6. Repeat as necessary until all the soot is removed.
  7. Again, use a clean cloth to dry the bricks thoroughly when finished.

As bricks can vary hugely in condition, it’s important to test your chosen cleaning method on a small area first. Old brickwork might be damaged by methods that could be used safely on newer bricks. 

Originally published