How to Get Old Ash Stains Out of Carpet

How to Get Old Ash Stains Out of Carpet

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 removing ash stains is doable using the methods I’ll outline below. If you’re a smoker or live with anyone who smokes, I would suggest prepping the materials ahead of time for the inevitable.

How do you you remove ash stains from carpet?

There are several methods to consider when dealing with ash stains. Most of the ingredients are already available in the pantry like baking soda, vinegar, and dish soap.

You’ll also notice methods two and three ends with vacuuming. Anything with a brush roll is recommended so it can pick up even ash residue underneath carpet strands. A stick vacuum is a good option if you want something lightweight. There are options like the Dyson V11 Torque Drive or the Tineco S12 if you want something capable of cleaning embedded dirt.

Method #1: Baking Soda + Dry Cleaning Solvent

The first method you can try to get an old ash stain out of the carpet includes baking soda and a bit of dry cleaning solvent, which is available at your local home improvement or hardware store.

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

  1. Sprinkle baking soda: Start by sprinkling a generous amount of baking soda directly onto the ash stain. Leave it for about an hour to help remove any remaining debris stuck in the fibers of the carpet.
  2. Vacuum thoroughly: Use a vacuum cleaner to clean up the baking soda. While it might be hard to see, any remaining ash left in the carpet fibers should come up at the same time. At this point, the stain should be a little less noticeable.
  3. Add dry cleaning solvent: Next, pour a bit of dry cleaning solvent onto a soft rag. Dab the cloth onto the stain to help lift any of the super-deep ash debris.
  4. Repeat until the stain is gone: Repeat steps two and three until the stain is gone. It may take a bit of vacuuming and more solvent, but with a little patience, it should disappear completely.

Method #2: Cornstarch + Dishwashing Soap

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

For this method of getting ash out of your carpet, you’ll need a vacuum cleaner, a damp paper towel, dish soap, warm water, and cornstarch.

  1. Vacuum excess ash: Begin by using the wand attachment on your vacuum cleaner to suck up any excess ash. This will keep it from getting ground further into the fibers of your rug, which can create a more prominent stain.
  2. Dab with a paper towel: Dampen a paper towel with a little bit of warm water. Apply one to two droplets of regular dish soap onto the paper towel and rub it together to foam just a bit. Dab the ash stain with the soapy paper towel.
  3. Rinse with warm water: Rinse the area with warm water and dry it completely using paper towels. This should lift most of the stain out. If not, repeat step two.
  4. Add cornstarch for drying: Pour a generous amount of cornstarch directly on the stain and let it sit overnight. This will help lift any remaining debris and absorb excess water from the rinsing process.
  5. Vacuum the cornstarch: Vacuum up the cornstarch. At this point, the stain should no longer be visible.

Method #3: Baking Soda + Mild Dish Soap + Vinegar

For really tough ash stains, try this method. It is similar to the ones mentioned above but seems to penetrate the fibers of the carpet a little more deeply.

To get old ash stains out of carpet, you’ll need to have white vinegar, mild dish soap, baking soda, a small scrub brush, a vacuum cleaner, and a soft cloth.

  1. Suck up any debris: If the stain is old, there’s a good chance that dust and debris have already settled on top of the ash stain. That’s why it is crucial to start by vacuuming the area thoroughly. This step will also remove any hidden ash down in the fibers of the carpet.
  2. Add baking soda: Liberally pour baking soda directly onto the carpet stain. Let it rest for around an hour, so it absorbs any of the remaining ash left on the rug.
  3. 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 it up until it is a little foamy.
  4. Pour the liquid on the carpet: Pour the liquid mixture directly onto the carpet over the baking soda. It should cause a chemical reaction that bubbles up slightly, and that’s fine.
  5. Scrub the Stain: Use a small scrub brush to work the baking soda paste into the fibers of the carpet. The chemical reaction from vinegar and baking soda should cause any remaining amount of the stain to lift. You can also dab it with a soft cloth.
  6. Let it dry and vacuum: Let the paste dry thoroughly before vacuuming it up. By this point, it should be completely gone.

Recommended Reading