How To Remove Candle Soot From The Ceiling?

remove soot from ceiling

We love our candles, but we hate candle soot. The good news is that you have some options when it comes to cleaning and managing candle soot that may be released by your candles. Let’s take a look at how you can remove candle soot from your ceiling.

How do you remove candle soot from the ceiling? Clean soot from the ceiling by vacuuming the affected surface to remove any loose soot, then gently wipe the area with a dry sponge removing any remaining loose soot. If any residue remains use a clean cloth and rubbing alcohol to blot at any remaining soot residue.

Alternatively, you can also use vinegar to clean soot stains from your walls and ceilings. Let’s take a closer look.

Cleaning Supplies Required

  • Soot sponge or dry cleaning sponge
  • Cellulose sponge
  • Rubber gloves
  • Buckets
  • Drop cloths
  • Stool or ladder
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Utility knife
  • Vacuum
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Trisodium phosphate or phosphate-free TSP-PE

Candle Soot Cleaning Step By Step Instructions

Step 1 – Putting on Protective Clothing and Gear

First and foremost, you need to wear a mask, protective clothing, and safety glasses to shield yourself from carbon in soot. Make sure to wear rubber gloves to avoid chemicals from hurting your skin.

Step 2 – Clearing Out the Space

It’s recommended to clear out the whole space and remove any floor covers or furniture placed in the room. The cleaning process involves soot particles settling on the carpet and furniture, making it hard for you to clean the stuff later. If you can’t empty the room, you can also cover the items using some drop cloths or tarp.

Step 3 – Capturing Loose Soot Particles with a Vacuum

It’s a good idea to vacuum the ceiling with a vacuum cleaner that has a hose and a brush. Make sure to hold the brush at a minimum distance of half an inch from the surface to grab all the dust and loose soot particles.

Step 4 – Wiping the Ceiling with a Soot Sponge

A soot sponge is crafted from vulcanized rubber and does the job of catching soot amazingly well and helps you in lifting it from hard surfaces. However, the sponge turns black super quickly as it catches soot, so you need to switch sides once the surface of the sponge turns dark. Cut thin layers of the sponge using a utility knife to get a fresh surface after every few rubs. Make sure you don’t rinse it with water. Wipe the sponge on the ceiling with straight, parallel strokes to avoid spreading the soot even more.

Step 5 – Preparing a Cleaning Solution

Wet cleaning works wonders to get rid of all residual stains on the ceiling. You can make trisodium phosphate solution by mixing 2 quarts of water with half-cup powdered TSP in a large bucket. Another option is to make a blend of water and a degreaser-containing liquid dishwasher. Mix 2 tablespoons of the dishwashing liquid with 2 quarts of water and stir the solution properly.

Step 6 – Washing the Ceiling and Walls

Dip a cellulose sponge in the cleaning solution and wring it properly. Climb up the ladder and start rubbing the ceiling while rinsing the sponge in between. Replace the solution when it turns too dirty or black.

Step 7 – Rinsing and Drying the Ceiling

Dip a clean sponge in fresh water and wring it a little, further wiping down the ceiling with the same for a final rinse. Use a microfiber cloth to dry the ceiling.

Step 8 – Vacuuming the Floor

It’s time to vacuum the floor after you remove the tarp or the drop cloths from the stuff around the room. Make sure to empty the vacuum cup in a well-ventilated spot or simply dispose of the vacuum bag properly to avoid inhaling the soot particles yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Magic Eraser remove soot?

A magic eraser can be used to remove soot. We the magic eraser and then squeeze out any excess water from the magic eraser, then use it to wipe the soot-affected area clean. If any soot residue remains Use a little vinegar with the magic eraser and the area will come clean.

What will remove soot?

Soot can be removed with a magic eraser, vinegar, and water, trisodium phosphate, or a mixture of water and a degreasing dishwashing liquid. Vacuum the area clean, then gently wipe the area clean with a sponge and your choice of cleaner.

What happens if you paint over soot?

Painting directly over a soot stain will not cover it up, the soot stain will bleed through the paint. You need to remove as much soot from the affected area as possible, and then let it completely dry. If any soot remains you need to use a stain-blocking primer before painting.

What is ceiling ghosting?

Ceiling ghosting is the accumulation of dust, debris, and soot on your ceiling. It can come from the accumulation of normal household dust, the use of candles, gas stoves, cold spots, and condensation. Basically, anything that can make the airborne dust floating in the air stick to the ceiling.

How do you get rid of ceiling ghosting?

You can get rid of ceiling ghosting by dusting and vacuuming the affected area, and then wiping down the area with a sponge using your choices of cleaner, such as a magic eraser, vinegar, and water, dishwashing soap, and water or a name brand cleaner.

How do you prevent ceiling ghosting?

Prevent ceiling ghosting by better insulating your attic, stop the use of candles or gas stoves, using a dehumidifier, and use air purifiers in your home. You want to make the temperature as stable as possible with less humidity and clean the air of as much dust as possible.

Can you paint over ceiling ghosting?

Do not paint directly over ceiling ghosting before cleaning the affected area. When you do paint over it use a stain-blocking primer before painting. This will prevent the affected areas from bleeding through and showing through your new paint layer.


In conclusion, when it comes to soot stains in your home you have a lot of options when it comes to cleaning, removing, preventing, and painting over them. Some of the methods may be more time and labor-intensive than others but the solutions are simple nonetheless.

The same goes when it comes to ceiling ghosting because the problems are often interconnected and have similar solutions when it comes to cleaning them and painting over them.

If you do not want to give up your scented candles all together then I suggest buying natural candles that burn cleaner. You should only purchase candles made of soy wax, coconut wax, palm wax, and beeswax. These types of candles burn far cleaner than paraffin wax and have reduced chances of soot issues.

Carl Adamson

Hi, I'm Carl Adamson, one of the founders here at Candleers. A few years ago I got really into the art and craft of candle making, initially with soy wax container candles. My friends started asking me to make candles for them and pretty soon it turned into a nice side-business. I started this website as a way to document what I've learned over the past few years and hopefully help others in the process. I still love candle making but I'm learning that what I enjoy even more is the business side of things - and for this reason I've started consulting others on how to start and grow their own candle-making businesses and side-hustles.

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