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Learn How To Clean Soot Off Walls


Soot clings to almost any surface such as ceilings, cabinets, furniture, and walls of your property. Sooty walls are the after-effects of candles, fireplaces, cigarettes, or even small fires like in your kitchen. Since soot is acidic, it can leave unpleasant, black stains on all the materials it encounters. 

Furthermore, soot is difficult to remove from walls so it will require particular tools and techniques from a fire damage restoration expert. Getting rid of soot inappropriately may lead to spreading the soot more so we’ll share information and tips on how to clean soot off walls the right way.


Is soot harmful to your health?

Because of the size of the soot, it can get inside your body through inhalation, ingestion, or via the skin and eyes. These tiny particles which can be toxic can cause breathing problems, such as bronchitis, coronary heart disease, and even cancer. It can also aggravate asthma and other respiratory diseases.


How to clean soot off walls?

Protecting Yourself Not Only Your Property — A Necessary Thing

  • Opening your windows is a must. Soot can harm your lungs especially if you inhale too much. This will provide fresh air and allow soot particles to escape outside thus reducing the amount of soot in your home.
  • Turning on fans and opening vents is important when cleaning soot. This will also help in providing a constant supply of fresh air and allowing fresh air to circulate throughout the room. 
  • Wearing personal protective gear will protect you from the dangers of soot particles. Wear a full array of personal protective equipment such as mask or respirator, safety glasses, rubber gloves, long-sleeved shirt, and pants when cleaning soot off walls.
  • Emptying the room will help you move freely and clean. Since soot will just float around your room and settle on the carpet, furniture, curtains, personal items, and anything that’s inside the room. 
  • Covering your floor once everything has been removed is necessary when removing soot from walls. Use drop cloth/sheet, newspaper, or canvas to protect the floor and keep surfaces from soot particles, dirt, dust, and spills.
  • For big items that are hard to move like furniture, you can cover it with a drop cloth/sheet as well.


Getting Rid of Soot

  1. Use a dry cleaning sponge (a.k.a. chemical sponge). Dry cleaning sponges don’t contain chemicals but are made from vulcanized rubber. They are designed for residue absorption and are perfect for cleaning soot. 

Since soot is easy to smear, using a regular sponge may just push the soot farther into the wall which can lead to a permanent stain.  

2. Begin at the top left edge of the soot stain then pressing the sponge firmly against the wall. Wipe the wall downward in a vertical line and with overlapping strokes. Repeat until you get to the bottom edge of the stain and have wiped the whole surface.

 Another tip: Don’t scrub, just wipe. Scrubbing can move the soot particles around and cause the stain to spread.

 3. Use the fresh section of the sponge as necessary. If the sponge gets a lot of soot and becomes clogged, just use the clean side by flipping it over.

Another tip: Don’t attempt to clean the sponge with water, or it won’t be usable for cleaning soot.

4. When all sections of the sponge are clogged with soot, cut off the affected layers. If the sponge is clean again, just continue to use it in removing soot.

5/ Repeat wiping the wall until it is clean. Once the sponge has absorbed and removed all the soot, you can get rid of any stain left with a regular sponge and a degreasing solution or cleaner.


Cleaning the Residue Stains on the Walls

  • After removing all soot from the wall, treat the remaining stain with a degreaser. Mix the cleaning solution in a bucket.
  • Sugar soap solution: mix 3 tbsps of sugar soap with a half-gallon or 1.9L of water
  • TSP (trisodium phosphate) solution: mix a half cup or 4oz of TSP with a half-gallon of water. This may not be available in all areas since it’s a harsh chemical. You can check with a local home improvement store for other alternative cleaning solutions.
  • Degreasing dish soap solution: mix 2 tbsps of liquid detergent with a half-gallon of water.
  • Begin to clean the wall with a degreaser by soaking the sponge in the solution and wring out the excess. Use a damp sponge to remove soot residue 
  • Once you finish cleaning the wall with a degreaser, rinse the area with water. Then get a damp sponge to wipe away the excess cleaner and soot.
  • Dry the wall and its surfaces by using a towel or a rag. Then allow the wall to air dry for a couple of hours.
  • Once you finish cleaning the wall, you can now remove the protective cover of the floor. Do it carefully to avoid the spreading of soot everywhere.
  • Use a long nozzle attachment to vacuum thoroughly. Vacuum carpets, furniture, floors, baseboards that were left in the room when you were cleaning your wall.

When everything is clean, return what has been removed to its original places.

Seek Experts for Smoke and Soot Removal 

If the tips above on cleaning soot off walls are not successful, it is time to reach out to skilled professionals of Superior Restoration and Shamrock Cleaning.  They have years of experience and use advanced tools, equipment, and products that clean soot off walls and remove even the smoke and oily by-products. Moreover, our fire and smoke damage restoration service company can clean and restore your home with expertise so you can return to your home safely.

Please contact Water Damage Rancho Cucamonga. We serve not only in Rancho Cucamonga but surrounding areas as well. We’re available 24/7.