How to Get Charcoal Out of Carpet in 6 Ways
Author: Anne Cowart | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
Your fun experience of relaxing by your fireplace or cooking outdoors can come to an end if you get a charcoal stain on your carpet. You may think that it’s impossible to remove it without a professional carpet cleaner. But that's not true. Let's look at how to get charcoal out of carpet with minimal effort.
At first, you’d have to get most of the charcoal dust out of the carpet by vacuuming and sprinkling some baking soda on it. Then, you can use liquid dish soap, laundry soap, white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or borax to get rid of the charcoal stain.
Let's explore the details on how to remove charcoal stains from your carpet using these household items. We’ll also discuss something you must do to keep the carpet from getting damaged after you remove the discoloration. Let’s dive in!
First Steps in Removing Charcoal from Carpet
If you detect a charcoal stain, it’s important to act quickly as some of the carpet stain may be tar to get out, which will cure if you let it dry for too long. The longer you let it sit, the deeper it’ll go into the carpet fibers, too. That’ll make it harder to get out of the carpet. With that said, here’s what you should immediately do when you notice a charcoal stain on your carpet:
Vacuum the Charcoal Dust
First, you need to get the maximum amount of charcoal out of the carpet fibers. And an excellent way to do that is to vacuum the dark dust. When vacuuming the stained area, ensure that you don’t spread the stain further onto the other areas of the carpet by rubbing or brushing.
You should use the nozzle attachment of the vacuum without the brush when vacuuming the charcoal. If you use the attachment with the brush, the charcoal will go deeper into the carpet, the stain will become more spread out, and it’ll be harder to clean.
Start vacuuming from the outside of the stain and work your way in. The goal here is to get as much charcoal out as you can without pushing it deeper into the carpet fibers. Once you’re happy with the amount of charcoal you got out, it’s time to move on to the next step.
Sprinkle an Absorbent
There will still be some charcoal remaining in the carpet after you vacuum. And you can get a good portion of the remaining charcoal out by using an absorbent. Baking soda, talcum powder, and cornstarch are all excellent absorbents.
Sprinkle any one of these absorbents and let it sit for an hour or two. It’ll absorb some of the charcoal from the carpet. After that, vacuum the stained area of the carpet once again to get the remaining charcoal chunks and dust. Once you do that, there are many ways in which you can get rid of charcoal stains from your carpet.
Charcoal Stain Removal From Carpet
Even if you get the majority of the charcoal out of the carpet, it can still leave a bad stain. The process and ingredients used are very similar to removing rust stains from carpet, which will have the same powder and then a leftover stain to deal with. Here are some natural methods that answer the question of how to remove charcoal stains from carpet:
Liquid Dish Soap
Dish soap is an incredible household item that you can use to combat charcoal stains. Mix a teaspoon of liquid dish soap with a cup of lukewarm water and put the solution in a spray bottle. Spray the stained area with this solution until it becomes visibly saturated.
Now, take a piece of white cloth that’s dry and blot the stained area with it. You should start lifting the stain with the cloth. If that’s not happening, spray some more dish soap solution and wait for a few minutes. Then, lift the stain with a dry cloth.
Repeat the steps as many times as needed until clean. You can also use cotton balls instead of a cloth to remove the stain. With multiple applications, the stain will lighten and eventually disappear.
You can also use laundry soap to get rid of charcoal stains on your carpet. Start by mixing one tablespoon of laundry soap and a cup of cold water. Make sure you wear gloves to protect yourself from the harsh chemicals in laundry soap. Then, put the solution in a bowl.
Use a clean piece of cloth and let it soak the laundry soap solution from the bowl. Squeeze the cloth over the charcoal-stained area and keep doing it until all of the stained areas are covered by the laundry mix. Let the solution sit for a few minutes.
Next, use a sponge and blot the area. Blotting is crucial in how to get charcoal out of carpet. Dip the sponge into the laundry mix and keep cleaning the stain until it completely goes away. Once the stain is gone, you can place a folded towel on the treated area to remove the excess water from the carpet.
White vinegar is a powerful substance when it comes to taking care of stubborn stains. Mix equal parts white vinegar and equal parts water if you want to use it to remove charcoal stains. Then, put the mixture in a spray bottle and apply it to the stained area.
With a soft bristle brush or a toothbrush, brush the carpet fibers lightly so the vinegar solution can get into the stained carpet fibers. Wait for a few minutes for the vinegar to settle in. After that, take a cotton ball and check if you’re able to lift the stain by blotting it.
If you can, keep going at it until you remove the entire stain. If it’s not coming off, spray the solution again and wait for a few minutes. And keep doing it as many times as you need until the stain finally begins to come off.
Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent that’ll surely lift charcoal stains from your carpet. The only problem is that it can also have an effect on your carpet as it can lighten a dark-colored carpet. So, you should use hydrogen peroxide to remove charcoal stains only on a white or light carpet.
If you want to use it on a dark carpet, test it on a small area first and see if it causes any discoloration. If there are no adverse effects, you can use hydrogen peroxide to remove charcoal stains. Mix half a cup of hydrogen peroxide with a cup of water and put the mixture in a bowl.
From there on, repeat the same steps to get rid of the stains as you did with the white vinegar. Soak the stained area, blot it with a sponge, and keep it until the stain completely disappears.
You can use borax to get rid of charcoal stains as well. Wear gloves when working with borax so that your skin doesn’t get irritated. Combine a teaspoon of borax and a cup of cold water and put the solution in a spray bottle. Apply it to the stained area and give the solution ten to fifteen minutes to settle.
After that, sprinkle some dry borax over the stained area and place a clean cloth over it. Press the cloth with the curved side of a spoon to get the dry borax into the stain without rubbing the carpet fibers. You may not want borax fumes indoors but if you spilled charcoal on your outdoor rug on your concrete patio while grilling, then it'll work wonders there for you.
Let it sit for a few minutes, and spray the spot with the borax solution once again. Use a clean cloth or cotton ball to blot the area. You should be able to lift the stain. Keep adding more spray as you need to remove the stain but don’t add any more borax powder.
And that's the charcoal stain removal from carpet procedure. Try multiple methods if needed and watch each improve the discoloration more and more until your rug or carpet is back to it's original state.
What to Do After Getting Charcoal Out of Carpet
When you’ve taken care of the dust and charcoal stains on your carpet, you’re nearly done with the job. But to protect your carpet from being damaged, you need to make sure that you get the cleaning products out of it.
Rinse the treated area with cold water to start removing the cleaning residue from it. Blot the area with a clean cloth until you feel confident that you’ve got all of the cleaning products out of the carpet. Once that’s done, wait for the carpet to dry and vacuum it to restore its original look.
That’s How to Get Charcoal Out of Carpet!
While the carbonization process of creating charcoal reduces the ash and tar content to very minimal percentages (less than 7% combined with other chemicals), some of that remains along side the carbon. It's no wonder charcoal can leave such horrid stains.
By now, you know many ways to deal with this unsightly issue. Use the method that’s most convenient for you to get rid of the stain. Make sure you rinse the area after removing the stain so you aren't leaving behind chemicals that can slowly create their own discoloration.
Charcoal stains make a carpet look unattractive, and it’s understandable to worry about how you can deal with them. But hopefully, you’ll no longer have to think about how to get charcoal out of carpet now that you've read this.