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How to Remove Black Soot From Fabric

Antonia Sorin

Soot is an opaque, black substance that comes from flames. Soot on clothing isn't the result of the clothing coming into contact with the flame itself. Soot appears when clothing comes into contact with smoke. Soot stains are not permanent if the clothing is treated properly prior to laundering.

  1. Place 1 cup powdered laundry detergent in a bucket.

  2. Add 4 quarts of hot water to the bucket.

  3. Stir the water in the bucket until the powdered laundry detergent has dissolved.

  4. Add the stained clothing to the bucket. Allow the clothing to soak overnight.

  5. Launder and dry as usual.

  6. Tip

    If the clothing is heavily covered in soot, repeat the steps and soak the garment again before laundering.


    Don't pre-soak dry-clean-only fabric to remove the soot. The water will damage the fabric. Take the garment to your usual dry cleaners instead.