How to Remove Soot From a Painted Mantle

eHow may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Dry cleaning sponge

  • Clean rag

  • Ammonia

  • Water

  • Bucket

Soot from a fireplace can cause deep stains on a painted mantle which greatly detracts from its overall appearance. There is a way to ensure that your painted mantle stays clean which is beneficial for a number of reasons. Whether you are trying to sell your home or brighten up a room, a soot-free painted mantle will make a difference. Cleaning your painted mantle will also to reduce the smell of soot in your home as well.


Step 1

Using a dry cleaning sponge, carefully wipe the surface of your painted mantle. In many cases this will remove most of the soot.

Video of the Day

Step 2

Mix a solution of ammonia and warm water together in a bucket. Use 1 cup of ammonia for every 1/2 gallon of water.

Step 3

Soak your clean rag into the ammonia solution and then squeeze out the excess liquid.

Step 4

Wipe the surface of your painted mantle with your rag.


Step 5

Let your painted mantle dry.

Step 6

Repeat steps two through five until all soot is gone.


A dry cleaning sponge is also known as a soot sponge. They are intended to be used dry, so avoid using them with cleaning products.

Mr. Clean Erasers can also be used to remove soot from a painted mantle but they are not as effective as a dry cleaning sponge.

Work in small sections in order to avoid streaking soot all over the surface of your painted mantle.


Make sure to test the dry cleaning sponge and ammonia solution in an inconspicuous area to ensure that no damage is done to the paint on your mantle.

Avoid scrubbing the paint too hard to prevent damage from occurring.