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Fireplace Ash and Soot in Your Carpets? Here’s What to Do.

chimney cleaning and removing creosote in Highland CAMost masonry fireplaces will experience occasional downdrafts or backdrafts that cause soot and ash to blow from the firebox and onto nearby rugs and carpets. Don’t panic. There’s a simple solution.

Ye Olde Brit Chimney Sweep of San Bernardino, CA, would like to share some tips on removing ash and soot from carpets, along with a few ways to reduce the occurrence of blowing fireplace debris.

The cleaning process

Very important: after the stain has gotten onto the carpet or rug, don’t let people walk on it. Use a vacuum (on suction only, not brush) to remove as much of the offending material as possible.

Then gingerly dampen the stain with a sponge. Make sure it’s nice and damp but not saturated. This will help loosen the stain for the next step.

Get some baking soda. Since at least the late 1700s, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) has been used for baking, of course, but also for disinfecting, extinguishing fires, increasing athletes’ endurance, neutralizing acids and getting ash and soot out of carpets.

Sprinkle baking soda onto the stained area, let it work for an hour, then vacuum it up with only the suction function. This will remove most ash and soot stains. If it doesn’t remove yours, here’s what to do.

Dampen the stain again and reapply the baking soda. Use a spoon with a light touch to mix the baking soda into the stain. This will attack the stain more aggressively. Let it sit for an hour, then vacuum like you did before.

Things to keep in mind

Baking soda is a fairly gentle cleaner and should be safe for use on most types of carpets and rugs. However, the age, style and color of your carpet might warrant a different approach. The first time you do this process, test a small, out-of-the-way section of your carpet or rug first.

If you still have doubts, check with a professional carpet cleaner or a retailer specializing in carpeting.

Soot and ash stain prevention

Soot and ash blowing out of the fireplace is no good – and not just for carpets. Nobody wants all that junk in their room and on their furniture or other belongings.

A good way to reduce downdrafts and backdrafts is by installing a chimney cap at the top of your chimney. An even better guard is a top-sealing damper, which will close tightly to completely secure the flue opening.

Not only will these two components block outside wind that stirs up soot and ash in the firebox, they’ll also keep tree debris and small animals out of your chimney flue, which will help you avoid drafting problems.

Sometimes, a backward draft can be prevented by not running kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans or the AC system when the fireplace damper is open. Anything that pulls air from the home can pull air down the chimney.

Fireplaces Cleaning in San Bernardino, CAHelp with more involved chimney cleaning tasks

You should be able to remove soot and ash stains from your carpets and keep the problem from happening most of the time. You can’t, however, properly clean your chimney. That’s a job for the professionals at Ye Olde Brit.

For more than 30 years, we’ve provided experienced chimney sweeping, chimney inspections and chimney repairs for our customers throughout the San Bernardino region of Southern California. We’re here to keep your chimney clean, safe and efficient.

Reach a chimney expert today at (909) 880-2120. You can also get in touch with our handy contact form.


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