How to get soot out of carpet

Domestic dirt

There you are, snuggled up by a warm, crackling fireplace, sipping on a mug of your favorite drink. The evening is perfect until – oops! – an accidental bump sends a puff of soot settling into your pristine carpet. Now, what? Fear not, dear reader. With a bit of patience and the right tools, you can tackle that unsightly stain in no time.

What You Will Need:

  1. Baking soda or cornstarch
  2. Vacuum cleaner
  3. Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol)
  4. Clean white cloth or sponge
  5. Soft bristle brush
  6. Commercial carpet cleaning products (optional)

Method 1: Using Baking Soda or Cornstarch

Step 1: Before anything, ensure the soot is cool. Trying to clean hot or warm soot can smudge it further into the carpet.

Step 2: Gently blot the soot stain to remove any loose particles. It’s crucial to blot and not rub, as rubbing can work the soot deeper into the carpet fibers.

Step 3: Generously sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch over the affected area. These natural absorbers will latch onto the soot particles, making it easier to remove them from the carpet.

Step 4: Let the baking soda or cornstarch sit for at least an hour. For best results, leave it overnight.

Step 5: Vacuum the area thoroughly. Make sure you go over the area multiple times to ensure all the baking soda or cornstarch – and the soot with it – is gone.

Method 2: Using Alcohol

Step 1: First, test the alcohol on an inconspicuous area of your carpet to ensure it doesn’t cause discoloration.

Step 2: Dampen a clean white cloth or sponge with the alcohol.

Step 3: Gently dab the soot stain, being cautious not to rub or press too hard.

Step 4: As the stain begins to lift, move to a clean part of the cloth and continue.

Step 5: Once the stain is gone, blot the area with a clean, damp cloth to remove any leftover alcohol.

Step 6: Allow the area to dry thoroughly.

For Those Looking for Commercial Options:

  1. Carpet Magic: Known for its stain-removing prowess, especially with soot.
  2. SootAway Pro: A specialized cleaner made just for soot and ash.
  3. PureClean Shimmer: Not only removes stains but also leaves a fresh scent.

When soot does embed itself into the carpet, it can be difficult to remove it completely, especially if it covers a large area. To avoid further damage to the carpet, contact a professional service and have them take a look.


Soot stains, while daunting, aren’t unbeatable foes. With a bit of knowledge and elbow grease, your carpet can return to its former glory. Whether you opt for a home remedy or a commercial product, the key is patience and gentle treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use any type of alcohol for Method 2?
It’s best to use isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol as it’s effective and less likely to discolor your carpet.
How long should I let the baking soda sit on a heavy soot stain?
For heavier stains, it’s beneficial to let it sit overnight for optimal absorption.
Is it safe to combine both methods?
Yes, but always start with the baking soda or cornstarch method first before trying the alcohol.
Can I use these methods on colored carpets?
Always do a spot test first, especially before using alcohol, to ensure no discoloration occurs.
Are there any preventive measures to avoid soot stains?
Regular maintenance of fireplaces and avoiding direct contact with carpets can minimize the risk of soot stains.
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