How to Remove Soot Stains

How to Remove Soot Stains

If you have a fireplace, you also likely have soot stains on the hearth, mantle, and any other surrounding surfaces.

And that’s OK.

A minimal amount of soot — the result of incomplete combustion during a fire — is normal for wood burning fireplaces. But the build-up of this black residue can be unattractive. Cleaning your hearth, mantle, and surrounding areas on a regular basis is recommended to keep the area clear from any soot stains and keep the area appealing to visiting family and friends.

Below is a list of our recommendations to best clean soot from the area surrounding the fireplace:

1. Vacuum the area — Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter and brush attachment, start by vacuuming the surfaces you want to clean. This will suck up any loose soot on the hearth and mantle.

2. A little elbow grease goes a long way — For surfaces with minimal soot build-up, a mild soap, warm water, and a scrubbing brush may be all you need to clean the area.

3. Still not clean? — To remove caked-on build-up, try using a soot eraser made of 100 percent natural vulcanized rubber. The product, found at many big-box retailers and online, can be used on a variety of surfaces and needs no water or solvents to be effective.

4. Another option — If scrubbing and erasing doesn’t get the job done, consider one of many spray solvents available made specifically for removing soot stains. Be sure to carefully read instructions and use only as directed for best results. These sprays, like the erasers, can be found at brick-and-mortar retailers and online.

The recommendations above are designed to remove minimal soot build-up. If there’s an abnormally high amount of soot coupled with increased smoke in the home when burning, there’s likely another issue with your fireplace or chimney that could be harmful to you or your family. These issues can include blockages, drafting problems, or excessive creosote build-up in the chimney.

To resolve these issues, contact us immediately. Our MCP Chimney and Masonry technicians have the expertise and knowledge to thoroughly clean your chimney, remove any blockages, and fix any worn or broken fireplace or chimney components that could cause increased soot and smoke in your home.