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How to Remove Soot from Walls

By Luke Armstrong

You don’t need to experience a large fire in your home or business to have soot on the walls and ceiling. Fireplaces and candles can leave dark, smoky residue on the interiors of your rooms, and years of cigarette and cigar smoke can turn light colored walls dull and dingy.

Restoring Soot and Smoke Damage

Be sure to follow the steps listed below to clean a small area damaged by soot.

Removing soot from an entire home will require professional help, but it’s easy to learn how to remove soot from walls in smaller cleaning situations. Cleaning soot from walls requires more than just wiping away the residue however; improper cleaning techniques can spread soot and make things look even worse. Follow these suggestions to learn how to clean soot from walls without causing further damage.

As with any cleaning job, you’ll need the right tools to ensure you can get the work done right the first time. You’ll need the following for removing soot from walls:

  • Rubber gloves
  • A vacuum with an upholstery attachment
  • Dry-cleaning sponges
  • Rubbing alcohol or paint thinner
  • Cleaning cloths
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Bucket

Start by opening nearby windows to allow air circulation to dry out the area. Fumes from cleaning products and soot particles can irritate your lungs. Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from being dried out by water and cleaning products. Cover the floor underneath the sooty area with dropcloths or newspapers to catch loose particles and keep them clean.

Follow these tips to effectively remove soot damage from walls:

  1. Pick up loose pieces of soot from the walls and ceiling using the upholstery attachment on the vacuum cleaner to avoid denting paint or tearing wallpaper. Avoid using the brush attachment; it will spread soot even further.
  2. Wipe any remains away with a dry-cleaning sponge but don’t scrub; this will push soot into the surface. These special sponges can’t be rinsed out, but they can be flipped over, or you can slice off the dirty edge.
  3. If traces of soot persist, use rubbing alcohol on a clean cloth to dab at the stains. Paint thinner can be substituted for rubbing alcohol but be sure there is adequate ventilation. You can also combine three or four squirts of liquid dish soap and a quart of water in a bucket and apply it to small sections of the soot area with a sponge.
  4. Wipe the area with clean water after all traces of soot are removed. Never use a water-based cleaner on plaster walls; it will spread the soot further into the wall.

    For professional technicians at ServiceMaster by Mason can handle soot and smoke damage of any size. Give them a call during any property emergency.

Professional Smoke and Soot Removal

If these cleaning methods are not successful, it is highly recommended to reach out to a professional. This is because they use advanced products and equipment that were designed especially for removing soot and oily byproducts. One such company that can handle this for you is ServiceMaster by Mason. They service the entire southwestern Rhode Island and southeastern Connecticut area.

When you need fire damage restoration services in Providence, RI, you need a company that understands that time is critical when it comes to salvaging your precious possessions. That’s why one of your first calls should be to ServiceMaster by Mason.

We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to residential and commercial fires of all sizes. Our highly trained technicians use advanced products and equipment to remove corrosive damage from the fire. ServiceMaster by Mason will also restore the damaged building materials before it becomes permanent, giving you the peace of mind you deserve after a fire.