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Removing Soot from Walls and Ceiling

Soot can be deposited on walls from smoke or even a poorly trimmed candle wick. This is a guide about removing soot from walls.

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June 30, 2014 Flag
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We have soot smoke on the walls and on the ceiling. How can we remove it?

By Gr from Wisconsin

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June 14, 20160 found this helpful

A degreaser formula will take it off the walls

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July 2, 20160 found this helpful

We have soot smoke on the walls and on the ceiling. How can we remove it?

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July 17, 20160 found this helpful

Soot on ceiling over fireplace flat ceiling tile and brick below it.from burning candles

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January 11, 2015 Flag
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We had a chimney fire 6 years ago, and a crack appeared in the chimney. We could see it on the outside. We got it fixed just a 1 year ago, but obviously left it too long. The chimney has a bedroom on either side of it, and we can smell soot when the fire is on. The builders could only go so far in the chimney. Soot must of fallen outside the flues. I'm worried about this odour. If I put my nose to the walls I can smell it.

Do you think putting plaster board on the walls in the bedrooms will help, and skim over it?

By Teresa

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January 11, 20150 found this helpful

I would be calling a company out to inspect the fireplace. Sounds like perhaps the repair may be lacking.

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January 12, 20150 found this helpful

I agree with the previous person. You should not smell any soot in a bedroom if the fireplace and chimney are working correctly. Suggest you have the entire chimney and fireplace inspected with a new estimate for any needed repairs. Also, if the prior repair company is at fault, you might consider a monetary demand for any new repairs you may have to make.

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January 14, 20150 found this helpful

I agree with the other posters. It is time to get this repaired properly. You should not be smelling soot/smoke in the bedrooms though the walls. I do not think this is a problem that can be fixed with plasterboard. I lived in many different houses in my youth with wood and oil burning stoves and brick chimneys. Never at any time could one smell anything from around the chimney. I would also be worried about carbon monoxide, although maybe that is a non-issue. I don't know.

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January 16, 2011 Flag
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I would like to know how to clean soot off of the walls.

By Blake from Flowood, MS

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January 16, 20110 found this helpful

Wash the walls with Trisodium Phosphate. Which is Spic andSpan. If you can't find it try Mr. Clean.

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January 18, 20110 found this helpful

Use TSP made by savagram. You can get from hardware store. Follow directions.

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December 5, 20150 found this helpful

Mr Clean didn't work for my soot.

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May 11, 2011 Flag
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How do I get the smoke damage (black) off my painted walls from the winter use of the woodstove? Any suggestions please?

By Becky R.

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Anonymous Flag
May 12, 20110 found this helpful

Good old fashioned distilled vinegar and water solution and some elbow grease.:-)

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May 16, 20110 found this helpful

I would try "20 Mule Borax" - I know it works on cigarette smoke. Dilute in water according to instructions and also pour some dry into a small container. Once you've wet your cloth/sponge and squeezed it almost dry dip it into the "dry" borax and start washing. Hope this helps.

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June 14, 20160 found this helpful

Menards have a degreaser formula

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February 8, 2014 Flag
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What is the best cleaner to remove soot off painted walls?

By Ed

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February 8, 20140 found this helpful

Look for a product at the dollar store called totally awesome. I have used it for everything from washing mechanic greasy clothes to hard water stains. It's named as it works.

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April 5, 2013 Flag

The ceiling (white) and painted walls beneath the edge of the ceiling are marked with the blackish soot from burning scented candles. What is the best way to remove the soot without making it a blackish sooty mess?

By Boston Baked Bean

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May 14, 20150 found this helpful

My mom had a fire and I had a fire. I also helped my daughter buy a house from an older lady who smoked for 35 years, 24 hours a day. Her house was gross as I am allergic to smoke and throw up. So for my daughter the first thing I did was hire a professional to clean the duct work and the vents. It is worth it. Then not having a lot of money or help I knew a retired, nice, man who helped people all the time and had helped me with an older camp. He had used my alum boat a few times. So I offered him my boat and he thought about it overnight and told me yes the next day. He was an oil man and I bought tools as we needed them. I am kind of creative and I can scrub, hold things up , measure and paint. For the smoke, yucky soot stuff Run to the store and buy Krudcleaner. It is a spray at the lumber yards and the stuff melts and runs on the walls. She had paneling and sheetrock. They do not make sheetrock or paneling the way they use to... Never use water on your walls unless you put all kinds of fans in the room. I used rags and threw them away. Do not save your rags after cleaning soot as it will hurt your washing machine. You could also have reactions with your cleaning supplies. I also used a yellow liquid that was great called Awesome in a spray. The stuff is great. You will use elbow grease. I used many cheap sponge mops and just sprayed the stuff on the sponge and used my painters ladder. All I use was a quality paint from Better Homes and Gardens. I think Wal-Mart use to sell it. I bought the primer and paint in one. On the sheetrock in the bedrooms and one bathroom it just took one coat. I have to tell you that I pray often, ask many questions and read. Now for the paneling I bought the same brand paint but had the primer tinted to the paint color. I used one coat of the primer and then the paint. On the ceilings after cleaning some of the rooms I was not happy so I used a tinted, whited ceiling paint. It took one coat and I bought the least expensive brand. This house had been empty for 3 years and no ac was on. Then they let me turn it on before we closed. Everynight when I left fans of all sizes were running of every size along wit h the ac. You can be so creative if you just stop and listen to yourself. Save pics and write notes about everything. Now comes the sad part after a fire. Everything can not be saved. You have to experiment with things as far as cleaning and always wear gloves. The firemen told me to use All liq detergent and vinegar as soon as possible so I had 3 friends washing for me. My aluminum windows pitted as it got so hot. So many things have reactions to soot. They had to change all my windows. If you have a very shiny finish on ceramics and things like that it will wash easily. But do it as soon as possible. Plastics and woods are another thing. You just have to try different things. The air outside for airing out things after you wash them is a must. If you have any questions feel free to contact me. God bless

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May 7, 2012 Flag
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How do you get the black soot off the wall and ceilings when the furnace blows up and blows it out the vents?

By Susan

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May 8, 20120 found this helpful

Get some arm and hammer eraser sponges, they have something of the same product in dollar stores.

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February 1, 2010 Flag
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How do you clean black soot from a grease fire off textured walls?

By Brass from IA

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February 1, 20100 found this helpful

Textured walls will be hard to clean. But you could try a dry cleaning sponge. They are chemically treated and work well to clean soot and smoke damage from fires.

You could also try a mix of tri sodium phosphate and water.

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February 26, 2005 Flag
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I have just painted my rooms in my house and over the winter I burn candles. Now I have black soot like material on my walls. Anyone have any easy idea on how to get this off? I work 65 hours or more a week at the hospital as a registered nurse and I don't have too much spare time

Thanks everyone,
AJ FAN

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February 26, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

Rubbing alcohol on a clean rag. If you put it in a spray bottle you will get drips.

cj

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November 8, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

Had the same problem--burned candles and got this awful black soot all over the walls and ceiling and carpet edging of my newly constructed house. Was able to easily remove the soot by first vacuuming and then wiping the surfaces down with a dry cleaning sponge--the great part about it is that no water is involved so you don't get streaking on painted walls! :) The sponges get rid of the oily film the soot is made of. I found them online at parish-supply.com--very economical, as one sponge will go a long way---and it doesn't take long to clean. Since then, I the routinely clean the whole house annually with the sponges. Good Luck!:)

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January 25, 20160 found this helpful

This answer was a lifesaver! Worked for me (I used the rubbing alcohol pretty soon after I saw the soot. Not sure if it will work on aged stains.

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January 16, 2011 Flag
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How do I remove black soot from walls?

By Molly from Philadelphia, PA

Answers:

Soot on Painted Wall

A painter shared this with us and it has always worked for me. Get a rag and wet it. Shake some Comet (Ajax, whatever cleanser) on it, make a paste and rub in circles all over the area. Then wipe with water when it is clean. This is great on spot treatments. It will probably take a bit of elbow grease for such a large area, but it should work without hurting the paint. Good luck and let us know how you did! (05/18/2010)

By gamehen

Soot on Painted Wall

I'd get some rags [lots] or paper towels ready, and make
a solution of soapy water, with Dawn or a fairly strong soap, you know how some are mostly water. If you wanted you could dissolve laundry detergent in hot water.

The first layer is going to be very messy. You want to get lots of soap and water on the wall with a scrub brush or sloshy rag, but be prepared to catch the soapy water right away with more rags. Do just a small spot at time, about 4-5 inches in diameter. Work towards center of spot, don't just move the soot around. The first batch of rags/towels probably will have the majority of the soot, just toss them and don't try to rinse them out, it will just spread soot all over the place. Second batch of rags/towels use fresh soapy water, and repeat.

Soot is black carbon with an oily quality. You just want to remove it, not spread it. So wipe and scoop towards the center of the area you are cleaning. Toss as necessary. Finally you will get down to the bare wall again, maybe wash/wipe with something that smells nice. When it dries look at it again. Does it need more washing?

One can often find a paint recycling center where you can get paint for free or almost free. You might not have to paint the whole room, just the wall behind the stove. Rollers can be found at dollar stores. It doesn't have to be a spendy deal. Craigslist might have free paint as well. (05/19/2010)

By PIKKA

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May 18, 2010 Flag
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My boyfriend turned the wrong burner on the stove on, which happened to have a plastic Folgers coffee can (empty) on it. Needless to say, the can melted into the stove (which we got clean), but the painted walls and ceiling are covered in soot. Are there any suggestions on cleaning this up without having to repaint (its a rental house).

Thanks ahead of time.

Sara

Answers:

Soot on Painted Wall

Use ammonia (I prefer sudsy ammonia) in a bucket of water and wash from the bottom up. (03/16/2005)

By beanygurl

Soot on Painted Wall

I received this idea from the firemen when my brother-in-law was involved in a small fire. Mix washing soda, vinegar, and ammonia together to a bucket of water. Then wash the wall with it. This combination works well to remove soot and smoke smell from clothing or curtains, etc. (03/16/2005)

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February 1, 2010 Flag
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How do you get soot from ceilings and walls off after a kitchen grease fire? I have tried the commercial cleaner with no luck, and also tried Mr. Clean and ammonia. Please help.

By Susan from Hamilton, ON

Answers:

Black Soot on Walls

I would wash the walls and ceiling with TSP, which is available in hardware stores, then paint the walls and ceiling. (03/25/2009)

By foxrun41

Black Soot on Walls

I'm commenting on 2 different people's questions here. If the black marks are from a fire, try making a paste of baking soda and water. Use a soft washcloth to clean it off.

I agree with the person who said the candles burning may be covering up the smell of mold. I go to a lot of estate sales, so I've been in lots of people's homes. You'd be surprised by the number of people who have problems with mold. Make sure there is good drainage around your house to prevent mold. Never buy a house with a mold problem. There may be mold in the walls and other areas you can't clean. Bleach kills mold. (03/27/2009)

By Scooter 2

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March 24, 2009 Flag
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