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Cleaning soot/smoke stained walls

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  1. #1
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    Default Cleaning soot/smoke stained walls

    Not sure if Painting is the best forum for this.
    I was doing some housework recently and cleaning a wall above a heating vent, the wall is now streaked with black that wont come off withany household cleaning products I've tried.
    The source is a large wood burning furnace downstairs which has ducting to most rooms upstairs. The walls weren't noticeably dirty or I would have picked it up on the property inspection (rented house)
    I've since cleaned some small spots in the kitchen where there is no vent and while the soot/smoke is not obvious, there is a marked difference in the cleaned area which does clean up without streaking. Whether this is due to no vent in the area or the different paint finish, I can;t tell.

    How can I clean this up without the need to repaint? (which would need cleaning first anyway)

  2. #2
    house trasher jatt's Avatar
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    That doesnt sound good.

    I usually just grab out the suger soap, but after reading your post, I'm thinking its time to break out the sanding gear and paint.

    Only my opinion of course
    When I die, bury me in the hardware store

  3. #3
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    Just use sugar soap and no other cleaners. If that doesn't work, then it needs to be sealed and painted.

  4. #4
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    Tried the sugar soap but no joy, the streaked area remains as is.
    I have an inspection comin gup in a couple of weeks so I'll have to work out how to hide the marks. I'm sure to be blamed for them even though all I did was to try and clean the wall.

  5. #5
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    No help here. my solution has been to plaster over the top ...

  6. #6
    Soldiers Earned Your Right To Free Speech watson's Avatar
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    I know this sounds like a joke, but my dad used to use cow poo soaked in a tub of water. He painted the water on, left it a while, and scrubbed it off with a laundry brush.
    Worked for him.

  7. #7
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    Try BBQ cleaner. There's two brands that I know of - one is a "Selleys" product and the other is the house brand of Barbeques Galore and sold in their stores. The latter seems to be the stronger of the two.

    Note: No guarantees that it won't also wreck the paint and also wear gloves. But I'd expect it to remove the soot pretty well (it cleans most things pretty well). As I said, no guarantees as to what it will do to the paint though. Use at your own risk.

  8. #8
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    You could also try "Triclenium", yes I know it sounds like part of a nuclear bomb. It seems to work like a super sugar soap. I have used it for all sorts of pre-painting cleaning. Readily available at most decent sized hardware stores.

  9. #9
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    It seems that the soot particles are embedded into the paint in the area that I did wash originally which means repainting as the only solution.

    I'll try some of the other options (not the cow poo, thanks Waston) on the unwashed areas. I have found reference to a soot sponge so I'll try and track down one of these.
    Thanks for the responses.

  10. #10
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    Got some Tricleanium but it had little affect on the already stained area. I might try it in an uncleaned spot and see how it goes.
    In the kitchen and bathroom though, it's terrific. No obvious staining results and it really gets the dirt off. The paint in those rooms is a semi gloss which might explain the different results.
    It's great for cleaning the concrete in the carport too!

  11. #11
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    If you haven't already used "Gumption" cleaner it may be worth a try. It is slightly abrasive and quite cheap at the supermarket.

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