How to Clean Soot

Clean soot to prevent stains from forming.
Clean soot to prevent stains from forming. (Image: smoke image by Einar Bog from

Soot is a black powdery substance that is usually found near pipes or chimneys. It is essentially a byproduct that is produced from combustion of fuel. It is mainly composed of carbon and can stain surfaces very easily. Cleaning soot is a relatively easy process and can be done after following a set of instructions.

Things You'll Need

  • Broom
  • Table salt
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Soot sponge
  • Towel
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Brush
  • Degreaser

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Put on a pair of gloves and goggles. This is primarily done because soot stains surfaces very easily and it can be damaging to your eyes.

Place small amounts of table salt over the soot. The salt will adhere to the soot and make it less "sticky." Salt is considered a form of dry cleaning. Wait about 20 to 30 minutes for the salt to settle before moving on to the next step.

Use a broom to remove the loose soot from the ground. Avoid slow or pressurized movements because this will actually cause the soot to stick to the surface even more. It is best to use brief and quick motions to disperse the particles. Use a sponge to capture any residual soot on the floor.

Vacuum the loose soot particles on the floor. You should be able to remove the majority of soot using a vacuum cleaner because it should be less adherent as a result of the table salt.

Apply the degreaser to any remaining troublesome spots on the surface. Use the brush, and scrub with deep pressure to remove the adherent soot. You may add as much degreaser as needed, and when you are finished, use a towel to dry the area.


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