How to remove soot

How to Remove Soot from Walls and Surfaces

Sometimes soot can spread from one area of your home (fireplace, candles, burning objects, etc) to the walls thereby making the entire house look dirty and stained. In case of such a scenario, the main concern is removing it and getting the walls back to their original state.

What is Soot?

Soot is a sticky black powdery substances that results from incomplete combustion. It is primarily made of black carbon which poses threats to the natural environment. On the other hand, the entire composition of soot has the potential to cause harm to human health.

The stickiness feature of soot makes it get attached to fireplace glass door and chimneys after a fun session of enjoying winter fireplace warmth. Accordingly, it tis important to try and achieve combustion efficiency by using dry wood.

How to Remove Soot from Walls

 Since soot is sticky and messy, the process of removing it requires patience. In addition, you have to prepare yourself first.

How to remove soot

Tools and Supplies

  • Protective eyewear
  • Gloves
  • Respirator/ Dust Mask
  • Vacuum with upholstery attachment
  • Clean rags/ large polythene bags/ Old towels/ Drop Clothes
  • Water
  • Soot Sponge
  • Cleaning sponge
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Trisodium Phosphate
  • Bucket
  • Ladder (Optional)


Follow our step by step on how to remove soot from walls for best results.


Removing soot from walls requires thorough preparation. Ideally, you have to begin by caring about your own safety. Accordingly, start buy putting on your protective gear. Ensure that your eyes, mouth, nose and hands are well covered to prevent exposure to harmful particles.

Follow up by preparing the room and the working area as well. Open all the windows and doors to allow proper circulation of air. Remove upholstery, wall hangings and all other valuable items that might be exposed to permanent soot damage. Make a decision on whether to take large items such as sofas outside. You can as well go with the option of covering them with large polythene materials or clean rags and old towels. Cover the floor next to the working area with drop clothes. You do not want any of the grime to end up directly on your floor.

Vacuum the Walls

Before getting down to the real business, begin by vacuuming all the loose particles from the walls. Essentially, this step will make the work much easier and less time consuming. Begin from one side of the wall to the other. You might also decide to move the vacuum in an up and down motion depending on how the soot is spread out.

Important Note: The vacuum brush should be an inch or two away from the wall.

Use a Soot Sponge to Clear the Residue

At this point, your wall is not as dark as it was in the beginning. However, there is still a long way to go and the desire is to ensure that every small step is done right. Grab a soot sponge and wipe the wall in a circular motion to remove more soot. The sponge will begin to change in color as it absorbs the soot.

 If you do not have a soot sponge, your concern might be whether a magic eraser will work in the same way. No, it will help but the results will not be the same.

Clear the Stains

Now you have already done the donkey work. All that is left is restoring your wall back to its original state. Take a bucket and mix water with trisodium phosphate in the appropriate ratio. The amount of solution that you make depends on the area that you intend to clean. Wet a sponge with the solution and scrub the wall until it cleans up completely. Wipe with a damp microfiber cloth and dry off with an extra cloth or dry rags.

Put the House in Order

Take out the drop rag carefully to avoid spreading the mess on the floor. Uncover all the rag or polythene-covered areas. Finally, return your furniture, carpet, lampshades and wall hangings back to the house.

Final Note

Sounds hectic. Doesn’t It?

Well, this procedure is applicable to other hard surfaces as well. In case soot has spread-out to your furniture, consider hiring a professional.

Do you have any other ideas on how to remove soot from walls? Kindly share them with our readers in the comment section.

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