There may be a million reasons 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 outlined 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 remove ash stains from carpets?
There are several methods to consider when dealing with ash stains. Most ingredients are available in the pantry, like baking soda, vinegar, and dish soap.
You’ll also notice methods two and three end with vacuuming. Anything with a brush roll should pick up even ash residue underneath carpet strands.
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.
You’ll need baking soda, dry cleaning solvent, a vacuum cleaner, and a soft cloth for this carpet cleaning method.
- 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 carpet fibers.
- 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 simultaneously. At this point, the stain should be a little less noticeable.
- 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 super-deep ash debris.
- 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.
- Vacuum excess ash: Use 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.
- Dab with a paper towel: Dampen a towel with warm water. Apply one to two droplets of regular dish soap onto the paper towel and rub them together to foam. Dab the ash stain with the soapy paper towel.
- Rinse with warm water: Rinse the area and dry it using paper towels. This should lift most of the stain out. If not, repeat step two.
- 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.
- 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 hard-to-clean ash stains, try this method. It is similar to the ones mentioned above but penetrates the carpet’s fibers more deeply.
You’ll need white vinegar, mild dish soap, baking soda, a small scrub brush, a vacuum cleaner, and a soft cloth to get old ash stains out of the carpet.
- 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 in the carpet’s fibers.
- Add baking soda: Liberally pour baking soda directly onto the carpet stain. Let it rest for around an hour, absorbing any remaining ash left on the rug.
- 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.
- Pour the liquid on the carpet: Sprinkle baking soda over the carpet, then pour the liquid mixture. It should cause a chemical reaction that bubbles up slightly, and that’s fine.
- Scrub the Stain: Use a small scrub brush to work the baking soda paste into the carpet’s fibers. 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.
- Let it dry and vacuum: Let the paste dry thoroughly before vacuuming it up. By this point, it should be completely gone.