How to Remove Soot Stains From Carpet

Soot is a sticky substance that forms when combustion of carbon is incomplete. You often find soot in fireplaces, chimneys and even on the exhaust pipes of your vehicle. Soot is dark brown or black, and it's easily tracked in through the home, where it can stain your carpet permanently if not cleaned properly right away. You can learn how to remove soot stains from carpet in just a few steps.

Sprinkle cornstarch powder on the entire stain and let stand for one hour.

Vacuum the area well to pick up cornstarch and as much of the stain as possible.

Apply carpet cleaner liberally to cover the area, but do not soak the carpet.

Use the white cloth to gently blot the stained area. Continue blotting until the cleaner has been absorbed.

Repeat spraying and blotting the carpet cleaner until the stain has completely disappeared.


Do not apply liquid to the soot before vacuuming the stain as it will cause an even bigger, more permanent stain. You can substitute carpet cleaning spray with two cups of cool water and one tablespoon of liquid dish soap. You can substitute cornstarch with baking soda. If the carpet cleaner does not remove the stain completely, you can purchase an industrial dry cleaning solvent.


If you haven’t used carpet cleaner on your carpets before, do a spot test in a hidden area of the rug to be sure the colour is not affected by the spray. If you must use dry cleaning solvent to remove the stain, be sure to work in a well-ventilated area.

Things You'll Need

  • Cornstarch
  • Clean, white cloth
  • Carpet cleaning solvent
  • Vacuum cleaner
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About the Author

Tisha Tolar is a freelance writer and co-owner of Trifecta Strategies, LLC, where she specializes in original articles, e-books, blog posts, Web content, and marketing copy. She has been an online writer since 2007 and has co-established several websites including and She is a graduate of the Art Institute of Philadelphia with a degree in specialized business technology.