How to clean soot off walls. When a fire has recently swept through a structure, the charred remains that settle on every surface may be quick to clean off with a vacuum and other methods but you would then be left with only the soot that’s left behind.
When this happens, there are several effective ways to deal with it quickly. The first is to use common detergents in conjunction with industrial sponges like these.
These will not only get rid of the build-up, but they’ll also usher out black all of those soot specks from their home on your wall or wherever else they’ve decided to settle themselves giving them no choice but to leave your premises and never return.
How to clean soot off walls
Mix one cup of water to one-half cup of vinegar, then wipe gently with a soft sponge or microfiber cloth to remove soot from walls, ceilings, or woodwork.
When cleaning finished wood, do not allow the solution to sit for too long. This only takes about 5 minutes for the vinegar to stain the surface. After that, you’ll need a chemical cleaner.
Put on protective gear
Before you begin cleaning, put on a pair of safety glasses, protective gloves, and an old shirt to protect yourself from the harmful chemicals.
Likewise, you might want to wear a mask that covers your mouth and neck in order to avoid breathing in debris and dust that might otherwise irritate your throat and lungs.
Clean the walls with a vacuum
Remove items from the room or cover them with drop cloths. Also, you will want to leave your HVAC system on for at least 24 hours after a fire before re-entering the space, as soot can cause respiratory problems and make it unsafe for anyone who might be inside with exposed lungs.
To clean soot off a wall or ceiling after a fire, start at the top of the surface and use something akin to a duster on your vacuum cleaner to connect with surfaces in order to get them free of loose debris.
But beware do not draw it close enough to actually touch anything or you may end up smearing contaminated matter over quite a large area instead which would only be harmful.
Using a dry cleaning solution
The sponges that collect soot go by many names. Some examples include soot sponges, dry cleaning sponges, and chemical sponges.
With its vulcanized rubber surface, the sponge helps to easily grab and remove soot from hard surfaces. When a sponge absorbs soot on a surface, it becomes discolored, leaving behind a whiter finish.
Whenever you need a new sponge, just cut away the top layer of the original one. This will reveal a new and even more receptive surface.
You should always start at the ceiling and work your way downwards using straight and overlapping strokes.
Make a wet cleaning solution
If there is residual staining on the wall from fire or smoke damage, it might require a professional to get rid of it for you.
Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) which can also be known by any name under the sun like TP, TSP-PF, and whatnot is one product you could use to remove said stains but if it’s unavailable in your area.
There are similar methods that you could use in order to achieve your desired outcome. And if all else fails just simply squeeze some degreasing dishwashing liquid into a bucket filled with water and let the magic happen.
Wash the walls and ceilings
Cleaning with a cellulose sponge is helpful. After dipping the sponge in the solution, wring it so it can act as a sturdy ladder when placed on the surface at hand.
Rinse and wring out your sponge frequently once it becomes black from soot.
With this method, you can keep your home clean effectively without the use of chemical detergents which might otherwise be dangerous for your health.
Rinse and dry surfaces
After washing the walls, ceilings, and floor with a clean towel it’s important to make sure you wipe the place down once more with a damp lint-free microfiber cloth which should be wrung out just until it’s damp and then can be used to wipe down the surfaces.
Take off the protective materials and vacuum
You should also vacuum the floor after taking down the drop cloths and tarps. Empty the dust cup in a well-ventilated area or remove the vacuum bag carefully to avoid inhalation.