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Marshmallows being roasted over a bonfire.

How to Remove Ash Stains

Sometimes, getting your marshmallows properly toasted on the campfire or making your killer potjie means risk of ash stains, let’s face it: it’s worth it, especially since these marks don’t have to stay on your clothes very long. Here’s how to remove soot stains and ash stains from clothes … once the feast is over, of course.

How to remove ash stains from clothes

Removing ash stains isn’t that tricky – sometimes they can just be shaken out of clothing. Be careful, though! Too much pressure will just grind the ash deeper, so make sure that you either shake the ash away or lightly brush it off. If you’re still left with grey stains, here’s how to remove ash stains from clothes:

  1. Flush the stain out with cold water. Direct running water onto the back of the stain to force the ash out of the fabric, or soak the garment in a bucket of cold water.

  2. Pre-treat the stain with OMO Auto Washing Liquid or Powder. Stubborn ash stains can be treated with a rubbing alcohol or a commercial stain remover – check the instructions on the packaging, and remember to test these options on an inconspicuous area of fabric before applying them to the stain.

  3. Wash as normal. Repeat the above steps if the stain is still there.

How to remove soot stains from clothes

Removing soot stains can be a little more difficult. While ash is dry and powdery, soot can contain substances like tar and carbon, which are stickier and oilier than the particles found in ash. There’s no need to worry, though. Just follow these steps to help remove soot from clothing:

  1. Shake the soot out. Just like with ash, gently shake the garment to remove as much excess soot as possible.

  2. Apply baking soda. Baking soda will help draw out any oil or grease in the fabric. Sprinkle it liberally over the stain and leave for about fifteen minutes before shaking off. If you don’t have baking soda, salt works well too.

  3. Treat the stain. You could use something like OMO liquid or, if the fabric can take it (check the label!), a commercial stain remover or even colour-safe bleach. If you’re using OMO, apply the liquid directly to the stain and then soak the fabric in water for a few hours or overnight. If you’re using another product, follow the directions on the packaging.

  4. Wash as usual. Use the hottest setting indicated on the garment’s care label.

So, now you know how to remove ash stains and soot stains. That means you can relax by the fire and keep on toasting those marshmallows.