Stain removal tips for creosote

chimney image by hazel proudlove from

Creosote is a thick, oily substance--much like soot--that builds up in chimneys, fireplaces and wood burning stoves. Creosotes can stain a variety of surfaces--such as clothing and concrete--and the oily make-up of the creosote makes removal difficult.

With the correct tips, you can remove creosote stains from almost any surface.

Creosote Stains on Clothing Tips

Treat the garment that is stained with creosote before washing in a washing machine. If you wash the garment before treatment, you could set the creosote stain into the fabric making removal difficult. Before laundering the garment, apply a prewash stain treatment directly to the creosote stain and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Wash the item on the hottest setting allowed for that fabric. If the creosote stain is still visible after the wash, blot the area with rubbing alcohol for several passes and launder the item again.

Creosote Stains on Concrete Tips

Creosote stains on concrete, cement or bricks are removed in the same way. Use water to wash as much of the creosote off the surface as possible. Liberally apply water-displacing spray or eucalyptus oil to the area. The spray or oil will help break down the creosote stain. Allow to penetrate into the concrete for 30 minutes, then scrub the area thoroughly with a stiff-bristled brush. Dip the brush into a mixture of warm water and liquid dish soap and scrub the concrete thoroughly. Once the creosote stain is completely gone, rinse the area with water.

Safety Tips

To prevent potential health hazards, clean your chimneys, fireplaces and wood burning stoves regularly. Before beginning the cleaning process, equip yourself with safety goggles, rubber gloves, long sleeve shirts and trousers. The goggles and gloves will keep the creosote from coming in contact with your skin and eyes. The trousers and shirt should be old clothing that you do not care if they get stained or dirty. If your skin comes in contact with creosote, remove it at once by washing the skin thoroughly with cool water and soap.