It is crucial to remove all traces of black smoke stains from walls and other surfaces, whether cleaning up minor fire damage, gradual smoke buildup around a fireplace, or accidental soot stains from a candle, as it traps odors that can linger for quite some time.
Essential Steps to clean smoke off painted walls
Black smoke stains should be addressed immediately and cautiously because breathing in tiny soot particles is harmful. When dealing with smoke stains on a painted wall, it’s best to follow a try-and-true guide before attempting to remove them with water or other common household cleaners; an unprofessional approach may worsen and ruin the paint and aesthetic beauty of your home. Therefore:
Be Prepared for the Cleaning.
Getting everything ready before attempting to clean a giant black smoke stain with lots of soot accumulated on a painted wall is vital. Safety measures should be taken, like;
- Wearing protective gear such as goggles, gloves, and a mask
- Open windows to allow air in the house
- Use torn cloth, old sheet, or newspaper at the base of the wall to prevent a soot-covered floor after cleaning.
Make Use of a Dry Soot Sponge.
The most efficient and effective tool is a soot sponge to remove soot stains from painted walls. These can be purchased locally or online and are crafted from a unique rubber that attracts and traps soot particles. You should invest in multiple sponges to clean up a large smoke stain.
Use long, parallel, vertical strokes working from the top down to remove the soot stains, and avoid wetting the soot sponge. Instead of rubbing in a circular motion, you should scrub in a straight line to remove the stain.
Wash With Cleaning Agent
After removing as much of the black smoke stain with a soot sponge as possible, you can clean the remaining stains with various paint-safe cleaning agents. Also, a regular sponge or soft cloth soaked in the solution to gently wipe the stain away without scrubbing, and repeat the process with fresh water as needed. Other alternatives are:
- A large amount of liquid soap with warm water.
- Undiluted white vinegar or Alcohol for topical application, for rubbing
- Other Soot removal products (To be used according to the manufacturer).
After the black soot stain has been washed away, the wall should be dried by blotting with a clean, soft towel. Do not allow the wall dry naturally, as prolonged exposure to moisture can ruin the paint.
Removing Tough Discolorations
If the black smoke stains on your walls are particularly stubborn, you may need to try removing them twice. You’ll likely need to repaint if you can still detect the stain’s presence in the wall or its odor.
A stain-blocking primer that claims to cover smoke stains should be applied in multiple coats to the affected areas and the entire wall surface before painting. However, after much effort, you must call a professional if you notice persistent smoke stains.
Consult a professional fire damage specialist or a professional restoration expert, such as PCAM Services if the smoke damage is too extensive for you to handle alone. Call us at our Seattle, WA (206-458-5237) or Boise, Id locations (208-947-7280)