How to Get Old Ash Stains Out of Carpet

How to Get Old Ash Stains Out of Carpet

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There may be a million distinct reasons why as to why you might have old ash stains on your carpet.

Maybe Aunt Bertha and her habit of chain-smoking in the guest bedroom left remnants on the rug over the holidays.

Or perhaps you recently purchased your dream home, only to find out the previous owner smoked like a chimney and used the living room floor as a great place to dispose of cigarette butts.

Whatever the reason, it is not as challenging to banish these tough stains as you might think. A little bit of knowledge and a skosh of elbow grease will get the job done quickly. Keep reading to learn more.

Do ash stains come out?

Fortunately the removal of ash stains is practiced using the methods which I will outline below. If you smoke or live with someone who smokes, I would suggest preparing the material ahead of time for the inevitable.

How do you you remove ash stains from carpet?

There are several ways to deal with ash stains. Most ingredients are already available in the pantry, such as baking soda, vinegar, and dish soap.

You will also see two and three methods of vacuuming. Anything with a brush roll is recommended so that it can lift the remnants of ash from under the carpet strips. Stick vacuum is a good option if you want something light. There are options like Dyson V11 Torque Drive or Tineco S12 if you want something that is capable of removing embedded dirt.

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Method 1: Baking soda + dry cleaning solvent

The first way you can try to remove old ash stains from carpets is to add baking soda and a little dry cleaning solvent, available at your local home improvement or hardware store.

For this method of carpet cleaning, you will need baking soda, dry cleaning solvent, vacuum cleaner and a soft cloth.

Sprinkle baking soda: Start by spraying a large amount of baking soda directly on the ash stain. Leave it on for about an hour to help remove any debris trapped in the carpet fibers.
Vacuum well: Use a vacuum cleaner to clean the baking soda. Although it can be difficult to see, the ashes left in the carpet fibers should come up immediately. At this point, the stain should be slightly less noticeable.
Add Dry Cleaning Solvents: Next, apply a small amount of dry cleaning solvent to the soft rag. Press the cloth over the stain to help lift any very deep ash debris.
Repeat until the stain disappears: Repeat steps two and three until the stain disappears. It may take a bit of vacuuming and more solvent, but with a little patience, it should disappear completely.

Method 2: Corn starch + dishwashing soap

This is the method you want to try if the ash stain is relatively new or only a few days old, and the debris is still visible.

For this method of removing ash from your carpet, you will need a vacuum cleaner, a damp paper towel, dish soap, warm water, and corn starch.

Vacuum Excess Ash: Start by using a stick attachment on your vacuum cleaner to suck out any excess ash. This will prevent it from gaining more ground in the fibers of your carpet, which can cause more noticeable stains.
Moisten with paper towels: Moisten paper towels with a little warm water. Apply one to two drops of ordinary dish soap on a paper towel and rub it together for a little foam. Press the ash stain with a soapy paper towel.
Rinse with warm water: Rinse the area with warm water and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. Most of the stains will be removed. If not, repeat step two.
Add corn starch to dry: Apply plenty of corn starch directly to the stain and let it sit overnight. This will help lift any remaining debris and absorb excess water from the rinsing process.
Vacuum corn starch: Vacuum corn starch. At this point, how to get old ash stains out of carpet the stain should no longer be visible.

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Method 3: Baking soda + mild dish soap + vinegar

For really hard ash stains, try this method. This is similar to the one mentioned above but seems to penetrate a little deeper into the fibers of the carpet.

To remove old ash stains from carpets, you will need white vinegar, mild dish soap, baking soda, a small scrub brush, a vacuum cleaner and a soft cloth.

Suck out any debris: If the stain is old, there is a good chance that dust and debris have already accumulated on top of the ash stain. So it is important to start by clearing the area thoroughly. This step will also remove the ash hidden in the carpet fibers.
Add baking soda: Freely apply baking soda directly to carpet stains. Let it rest for about an hour so that it absorbs any ash left on the carpet.
Mix water, soap, and vinegar: In a small bowl or cup, mix two cups of warm water, a few drops of dish soap (use something mild), and two tablespoons of white vinegar. Stir until it becomes a light foam.
Pour the liquid on the carpet: Pour the liquid mixture directly over the baking soda on the carpet. This should cause a chemical reaction that causes a slight bubble, and that’s fine.
Clean stains: Use a small scrub brush to apply baking soda paste to carpet fibers. The chemical reaction of vinegar and baking soda should remove any remaining stains. You can also sift it with a soft cloth.
Let it dry and vacuum: Let the paste dry well before vacuuming. By this time, it should be completely gone.

Instant Ash Removal

A vacuum cleaner is the best tool for handling ash, not only because it works fast, but also because it won’t spread dirt, as some other cleaning methods can have. A small portable vacuum cleaner with a handheld vacuum cleaner or hose allows you to hit the spill space, placing the vacuum suction device directly on top of the ash. For a large ash mess, such as an entire ashtray hanging on the carpet, a standard floor vacuum cleaner with powerful suction is a good choice, or attach a wide attachment to the hose end of the vacuum cleaner. Instead of running backwards, vacuum directly on the spot, which can push the ash around and spread it far and wide.

If any ash or black residue remains, sprinkle baking soda on the area. Let it sit for 30 minutes or more and then empty the space. Baking soda absorbs odors, moisture and chemical residues that can remain in the ashes. As an easy way to refresh carpets without chemicals, spray baking soda on the entire carpet any day before vacuuming.

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Wet Cleaning Methods

Although cigarette ash does not usually stain like a chimney or chimney mascara,  moisture-based cleaning methods are effective in removing both types of dirt. Use as much moisture as possible after vacuuming as much ash as possible. Otherwise, cleaning can spread the dirt deep into the carpet fibers.

Pour a small amount of isopropyl rubbing alcohol on a lint-free, absorbent white cloth. Another color can transfer dye to the carpet, which can cause stains. Lightly press, press, and hold the ash spot with the rubbing alcohol, then check the cloth to see if there is any gray or black movement the cloth. If so, select a fresh piece of fabric and repeat the process. If not, re-stain, or gently rub the area in one direction from the outside of the stain toward the center. Use only enough alcohol to wet the fabric, as putting too much sticky carpet together can be harmful.

If you still notice any discoloration, lightly stain the area again with white dish soap and warm water. Gently press or wipe in one direction towards the center of the stain. Rinse the cloth, press it again to clean the carpet fibers. Then strain the excess moisture with another lint-free white cloth. Allow the area to dry before walking on it.


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