How to Get Soot From Fireplace out of Clothing

Although soot typically stays in the fireplace, residue on the hearth can end up on clothing. The black, dusty residue leftover from a burning fire easily smears onto clothing, leaving a smoky-smelling black stain. It's important to treat the stain prior to placing the clothing with other laundry to avoid having the soot rub off on other items. By using the proper supplies, a soot stain can be successfully removed from your clothing.

Separate any soot-stained clothing by the severity of the stains. Divide clothing into piles with light stains, medium stains or heavy soot stains so you can wash each pile separately. Make a separate pile for dry clean-only clothing and bring them to the dry cleaner's as promptly as possible.

Fill the washing machine with the hottest water allowed for the fabric. Add washing powder, 1 cup of water conditioner and 1/2 cup of all-fabric bleach to the wash cycle to clean soot stains and help remove the odour.

Add 1 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to further deodorise the clothing and remove any remaining stains.

Check the clothing upon removal from the washing machine. If any soot stains remain, repeat these steps to remove them. Air dry clothing outdoors or near an open window by hanging them over a drying rack.


Take soot-covered clothing outdoors and shake the clothing out to remove excess soot.


Avoid drying heavily soot stained clothing in the dryer. Even if the stains are removed, heat from the dryer can reactivate smoke odour. Smoke odour may still linger after soot stains are removed. Expose clothing to fresh air for several hours per day until the smell is gone.

Things You'll Need

  • Washing powder
  • 1 cup water conditioner
  • 1/2 cup all-fabric bleach
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • Drying rack
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About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.