How to Get Rid of Black Soot Stains Off Walls After a Fire

Suffering from a home or business fire is devastating, expensive, and stressful. You may not even know how and where to begin. Plus, you have to clean up, which is overwhelming and extensive. 

Removing soot and smoke from your walls is a part of the process. According to experts, smoke and soot are harmful and unsafe for your family. And if left uncleaned, they continue to corrode and damage your property. 

Also, they may permanently stain, etch, or discolor your walls if they remain. So, should you hire a professional for the job? Depending on the severity of the soot and smoke stains, you may need to contact a smoke damage restoration company. 

What Is Soot?

Soot is a carbon residue that remains after a fire, as well as burned candles, matches, and any other burning material. When organic materials catch fire, they release VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that are extremely dangerous to human health when inhaled, ingested, or absorbed by the skin. They remain on walls and other items inside a property after a fire.

That’s why experts warn the public to take caution when entering a property that experienced a fire. These chemicals are especially harmful because they’re tiny and invisible to the eye. They can easily travel through the lungs into your bloodstream to carry these toxic chemicals to your organs, including the brain.

Moreover, smoke can damage appliances at home, such as computers or stereos. Note that even if these electronics function properly after the fire, the chemicals can accumulate on their circuits, possibly leading to short circuits. 

Tips on Removing Soot and Smoke Stains from Walls

Before starting with the process, you need the following materials:

  • Clean rags
  • Sponge
  • Bucket and hot water
  • Vacuum with an upholstery attachment
  • Gloves and respirators
  • Dry cleaning sponge
  • Degreaser or Commercial soot remover

Note: If you have plaster walls, avoid using water-based cleaners.

1. Open windows to increase ventilation. 

2. Wear a proper suit and protective gear, such as gloves and respirator, since soot can irritate your lungs and skin.

3. Cover all areas not damaged by soot. Ensure to place a drop cloth for the floor or use newspapers. Move furniture or valuables away to a different room to avoid contamination.

4. Start cleaning by using your vacuum with an upholstery brush to remove soot particles. Using the brush, vacuum the affected area lightly.

5. Get your dry cleaning sponge or chemical sponge to wipe the soot. Avoid wiping the damaged wall with soot cleaner or water first, as this can spread the soot, making it hard to remove with a chemical sponge. You can use the clean side of the chemical sponge once the other side is contaminated. If it’s necessary, grab another one. 

6. Continue cleaning by wiping to lift the stains. Avoid a scrubbing motion because this can spread the stains or work them deeper into the surface.

7. Wash the surface with a degreaser, commercial soot remover, or dish soap. Make sure to follow the instructions on the label. Dissolve six tablespoons of dish soap or degreaser in one gallon of hot water as a rule of thumb.

8. Use the same wiping motion you used with the sponge. Rinse the rag as it gets dirty and wring it out in the bucket. 

9. Wipe the walls with a bucket of fresh water.

10. Dry the wall with a clean rag and allow the wall surface to dry. You may use a fan to speed up. Some homeowners decide to give their walls a fresh coat of paint. Like this website, you may check online for more professional advice and tips on restoration services.

When to Call Property Restoration Professionals?

If you’re dealing with a tiny area, you can follow the steps above. But if a fire caused large soot and smoke stains on your wall, it’s always best to call the experts. They have the experience, knowledge, and specialized tools to complete the cleanup process while you take care of your family during these difficult recovery times. 

If you need these professionals, you may contact This mold cleaning company is not only reliable when it comes to water damage restoration but also with fire and biohazard cleanup.