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Ready to take out the barbie? With this guide to removing soot & ash stains, your clothes are safe!

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Marshmallows being roasted over a bonfire.

How to remove soot from clothes

Spending an evening around the campfire with the family, setting up the barbie for a new season of outdoor grill-a-thons, toasting marshmallows with your kids: many of the best summer activities come with a small risk of soot stains. The good news is that these greyish-smudgy marks don’t have to ruin the fun, since it’s not tough to remove soot stains and ash stains from clothes. Here’s how!


How to tackle ash stains on your clothes

In many cases, ash stains can just be shaken out of your clothing – that is, if the stain hasn’t been ground into the fabric too much. To keep this from happening, either lightly brush the ash away, or carefully shake the fabric to dislodge it. Still looking at grey, ashy stains? Then it’s time to move on to the next method. Here’s how to get ash out of clothes:

  1. Rinse with cold water. Get the cold tap running and put the garment under it, making sure that the cold water flows from behind the stain to the front. This should help push some of the ash out. You can also try soaking the garment in a sink or basin filled with cold water. 
  2. Dab detergent onto the stain. Apply a small amount of OMO Ultimate Liquid to the stained area. You could also try rubbing alcohol or a professional stain remover if the stain is particularly stubborn. 
  3. Pop in the machine (or hand wash) as usual. If the stain hasn’t completely faded, repeat the steps above. 

Hint: Always remember to check the instructions on laundry product packaging, and test new stain removal methods on a discreet area of the fabric, like the inside hem.


How to get soot out of clothes

It can be slightly trickier to remove soot than ash, as it can contain stickier and oilier substances like carbon and tar. But there’s no need to worry: the steps below explain how to remove soot stains: 

  1. Brush it off. Shaking the piece of clothing or lightly brushing it will encourage excess soot to go quietly.
  2. Sprinkle on baking soda. Everyday baking soda is great at absorbing oil and grease. Just heap a generous amount onto the stain and let it sit for fifteen minutes or so before shaking it off. If you don’t have any baking soda lying around, salt will work fine too. 
  3. Dab detergent onto the stain. If the baking soda doesn’t draw out all of the soot, you can use your favourite OMO liquid (or a commercial stain remover or bleach if needed) to pre-treat the stain – just remember to check the wash care label to see what the fabric can and can’t handle. If you go with OMO, just apply a small amount of the liquid to the stain and let it sit for a few hours. If you’re using bleach or a stain remover, carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to find out how to get soot out of clothes with them.
  4. Wash as you normally would, on the warmest setting the fabric can take. Wash the garment on the hottest machine setting allowed – this can be found on the garment’s care label. 


See? Those grey, dusty stains you found after a fun night by the fire don’t have to be a reason to panic – not now that you know how to remove soot from clothes. Relax, and let OMO handle it!