Anyone know how to get black soot off painted walls? Tried using a cleaning solution w/ water and it made more of a mess

Laurie M
by Laurie M
  15 answers
  • Once the soot has been washed into the walls, the only solution is to repaint. There are cleaning solutions that may work, but typically the finish ends up being dulled and damaged as the final result. Much easier to paint.
  • Pam Pam on Apr 28, 2012
    You might try mixing peroxide and baking soda into a paste (not too dry). Rub it in and let set for a while. Then wash off with a wet towel. Or try the peroxide cleaning solutions. They may not work but what have you got to loose. They won't harm the paint. Or clorax bleaching cleaner for the bathroom. Can't hurt to try before having to repaint.
  • La E La E on Apr 28, 2012
    Hi Laurie, I used to work doing fire & water damage restoration. We used a product we referred to as a "chem sponge". (You never wet the sponge to clean any surface or to clean the sponge. ) After using the dry sponge, ensuring the area was well ventilated, pilot lights extinguished, then apply oil based Kilz and allowit to thoroughly dry. (The oil based Kilz will not allow soot to bleed through the new paint.) The next day the surface could be painted with any paint that was desired. hope this helps.
  • Laurie M Laurie M on Apr 29, 2012
    Thanks everyone for the information. I will look for one of the sponges at Home Depot today and will try it if they have them.
  • TERESA A TERESA A on Apr 29, 2012
    DO NOT TO ANY OF THE ABOVE.. Fire restoration sponges are the only way. I know, my elderly Dad did a good job forcing me to find a fix
  • Lulu Dubin Lulu Dubin on Apr 29, 2012
    Hi Laurie, I would also try Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I've never had an issue with soot, but this product really is magic. I've used it on many surfaces for many types of stains and it's always worked really well. You should be able to find it at any drug store or WalMart. Good luck!
  • Cheryl M Cheryl M on Apr 29, 2012
    try magic erasers by.~ Mr clean they work wonderful :)
  • John W John W on Apr 29, 2012
    Pinesol with a no scratch scrubber for pots and pans, put it on and let it work for a minute and wipe!
  • Peace Painting Co., Inc. Peace Painting Co., Inc. on Apr 29, 2012
    Damp mop with a soap solution to get the greasy feeling surface soot off, rinse and then prime with oil base kilz to seal the smell in. Best, Charles
  • Venna Juve G Venna Juve G on May 03, 2012
    Amonia and water
  • Sherrie S Sherrie S on Dec 05, 2014
    I learned a lesson after I cleaned my propane fireplace with a shop vac and my entire home 2500 ft was covered with soot. I first thought it was one room until I touched something and my fingers turned black. It was on mirrors, walls, chair rail, everywhere. I tried cleaning the porcelain tile which is never a problem to clean but the black just spread more. I finally called a professional company that handles fires, floods, etc. It was expensive but the cleaning was outstanding. The cleaned plants, ceilings, floors, walls, rugs and the house looks better than ever. They also provided emergency service. I decided to do the easiest room myself and now I know why they are expensive.
  • AvonelleRed AvonelleRed on Dec 09, 2014
    I think I would listen to the professionals who have posted their advice. You don't want to make matters worse by trying something other people may not have tried themselves.
  • Carol Fredette Carol Fredette on May 06, 2016
    Lowe's carries Greased lightning and it will clean soot. Use gloves cause it is very abrasive.
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Dec 07, 2023

    Keep going, It will come off eventually. You may find your whole wall will need doing as it may have taken on dirt over time too.

  • Mogie Mogie on Dec 09, 2023

    Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is the best product for removing soot. While TSP is highly effective, it should always be used sparingly and as a last resort, so only mix up a small batch of what you need after using other methods to remove as much of the soot as possible.