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Sunday 28 February 2016

Do-It-Yourself Soot Removal

Posted at 3:15 PM

Soot stains don’t always have to come from a major fire or home disaster. If your home is outfitted with a stovetop, a fireplace, or even certain types of candles, soot stains can manifest themselves on your walls with a minimal amount of stray burning. These soot stains are unsightly as they are often dark in color and able to transfer onto other surfaces with contact. This can mean goodbye to your pristine cream carpet and ta-ta to your eggshell-white kitchen paint. The secret to keeping your rooms soot stain free is quick and complete cleaning of the impacted areas. But remember, in the event of a major fire, soot removal should be left to a professional service such as ServiceMaster Recovery by Restoration Holdings.

If your soot removal project is small and contained to a reachable area, don’t be afraid to do some cleaning on your own. The first thing to remember is that even in small quantities, soot can be hazardous to inhale or work with. Outfit yourself with hole-less kitchen gloves and some clothes that you won’t miss if things get messy! If you think the job will take more than five minutes, consider adding safety goggles or a mask to the mix as well. Soot is incredibly fine by nature, and if given the chance, it can irritate your eyes and throat.

Once you’ve got your gear on, create a workspace. Soot removal can create a lot of dry residue, so lay down some newspapers, towels, or a mat that can easily be washed. If the soot-covered area is larger than any of these household options can handle, you should tuck your gear away and contact a soot removal professional instead. In those cases, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

After you’ve made a space to work, run a vacuum hose over the impacted area. After you go over the soot stain once, consider another pass with a brush attachment (or just a fine cleaning brush). But before using your brush on the wall, make sure the bristles won’t scratch the paint or leave indentations. A soft brush and a strong vacuum are a good combination. This step should knock loose some of the surface soot and ideally shorten your scrubbing time significantly. And yes, there will be scrubbing.

Once the loose soot is either in the vacuum or on your workspace surface, run a dry sponge or washcloth over the soot stains. Work the sponge back and forth but don’t push down too much if you want to preserve your paint job.

If there’s still noticeable soot stains after you’ve completed the dry sponging, fill a small bowl or bucket with warm water and dish detergent. Wet a clean sponge or cloth and carefully wipe away the last of the residue. Small, even circles are a safer bet than wide wipes. The trick is to take off the remaining soot without rubbing it into the wall like a lotion. If necessary, keep rotating the cloth or sponge to a clean side and repeat until the soot is removed.

If at any point during these steps you thought to yourself “Well, this is just too much work,” that could be a good sign that getting in touch with a soot removal specialist is the next step for your soot problem. This method should only be used in very contained soot situations. If you have a soot-stained wall or ceiling in your home, call ServiceMaster Recovery by Restoration Holdings today at 920.336.7411 or visit their website here. Even if the soot spot is small, it may still be out of your reach or too thick to comfortably deal with. In any of these cases, ServiceMaster Recovery by Restoration Holdings are waiting for your call.