How to remove charcoal stains

If you’re the type that works in the charcoal industry or you only use it as fuel, there are higher chances that you will always have charcoal stains on your clothes or skin.

Unlike most other stainers, charcoal does not have a shield or package that protects it from direct contact with other surfaces, so it is easy to get stained with it.

How to remove charcoal stains

Removing charcoal stains can be tricky, and that is why the information in this article is all about how to get rid of charcoal stains.

What is charcoal made of

The common charcoal consists of materials like; Petroleum, Peat, Coal, coconut shell, or wood.

Does charcoal stain

Yes, charcoal can stain any surface there is. Charcoal has a high-density pigmentation, which makes it easier for it to stain surfaces like countertops, tile grouts, hands, sinks that directly comes in contact with it.

Cleaning charcoal off surfaces is easy but you cannot say the same of objects with porous surfaces like grout lines and cracked surfaces e.t.c that can easily provide spaces for the stains to hide.

Does charcoal stain come out

Yes, charcoal stains come out. Charcoal stains are not permanent so they can be removed. Trust me, the charcoal stain is not one of the toughest stains you will ever come across as they can be easily get rid of it through thorough washing and cleaning of the affected surface.

What can remove the charcoal stain

There are lots of cleaning agents that can help you eliminate charcoal stains found on any object. But I have carefully selected effective home-based cleaners to make your job easier. These cleaners range from aggressive cleaners to mild cleaners. These cleaners include; Margarine, Vinegar, Baking soda, Ammonium hydroxide, liquid dishwasher, and lemon juice.

Details about how to use some of these cleaners will be provided here while some will be provided in subsequent sections.


Well, don’t be surprised, I know margarine is probably your favorite spread you use as flavor and for cooking. But it can also help remove your stubborn charcoal stains.

Application of margarine

  1. Spread some margarine on the stained cloth.
  2. Apply detergent on the same spot and rub as gently as you can. You will notice the stain is lifting.
  3. Put cloth inside a bucket or washing bowl and pour hot water.
  4. Add more detergent and salt and wash the regular way putting more pressure on the affected spot.
  5. After the stain is completely gone, withdraw the cloths, rinse, and dry.

How to take out charcoal stains

The purpose of this section is to educate readers on precautions to take before actually proceeding to clean a charcoal stain.

Precautionary steps

  1. After discovering that your fabric or any other surface is stained with charcoal, do not wash with water so that the stain will not spread further. But rather gently brush off as much charcoal dust as you can with a soft-bristled brush.
  2. Pretreat with a laundry detergent or any cleaning agent of your choice. Or you can choose from the ones provided above.
  3. If it’s a fabric, wash at room temperature. Then you can proceed to apply a color-safe bleach or chlorine bleach to the fabric.
  4. If the stain refuses to budge, you can apply a more aggressive cleaner like rubbing alcohol.

Note: Ensure the charcoal stain is completely gone before you put the clothing in the dryer so it doesn’t set in.

How to remove charcoal stains from clothes

Removing charcoal stain might seem pretty easy until you try to clean up the mess and you end up staining the surface even further. There are two stages involved in charcoal stain removal. First, you pretreat, and then you wash. These two stages will be explained below.

How to pretreat charcoal stained cloth

  1. Place a rag or towel on your work surface to prevent the stain from transferring to the surface.
  2. Lay the stained cloth on the rag/paper towel, ensuring the stained side is the one facing the rag/towel directly. This becomes necessary because the stain remover to be used will work better when applied on the other side rather than rubbing it directly on the affected area.
  3. Blot the stained spot with pre-treatment/stain remover rubs. Allow the stain remover to sit on the cloth for a time duration between 2 to 10 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle liquid detergent moderately on the affected spot.
  5. Work the detergent into the stained spot by patting gently with a toothbrush or sponge.

How to wash cloth stained with charcoal

  1. First, check the label on your cloth to see if it can be washed with warm water. If warm water can be used, put bleach in the wash cycle and wash the cloth alone so that the stain doesn’t transfer to other clothes.
  2. Withdraw cloth from the washer to check if the stain is completely gone. If the stain persists, dampen a sponge in rubbing alcohol and apply it in the stain by patting gently just as you did at the pretreatment stage.
  3. Rewash the cloth in the washer without bleach.
  4. Withdraw the cloth again after a complete spin in the washing machine and check if the stain is completely gone.
  5. After a successful clean, dry cloth according to the care label.

How to remove charcoal stain from carpet

Follow these steps to guide you through processes involved in removing stains out of carpets.


  • Liquid dishwashing detergents
  • Warm water
  • A cloth or rag


  1. Make a solution from the mixtures of 1 tablespoon of dishwashing soap and 2 cups of warm water.
  2. Rub the solution into the stain using a clean cloth.
  3. Continue to rub the stain until it’s completely removed.
  4. Scrub the treated area with cool water and rub with a dry cloth until it dries up.
  5. Vacuum off any stain or water remnant.

How to remove charcoal stain from woods

Charcoal stains can be removed from the woods with the following steps.

  1. Vacuum any dirt or charcoal dust on the wood surface so they don’t spread further.
  2. Make a solution from the mixtures of 1 tablespoon of liquid detergent and 2 cups of cool water.
  3. Dampen a clean cloth or towel into the solution and rub it into the stain until the stain is completely gone.
  4. When the stain is completely gone, remove the solution from the treated spot with a clean dry cloth/towel and cold water.

How to remove charcoal stains from plastic

Go through the following process for detailed information on how to remove charcoal stains from plastic.

  1. Pour baking soda on the charcoal-stained plastic.
  2. Leave to sit for few hours.
  3. Clean the treated spot with a dampen cloth.

How to remove charcoal stain from the wall

You can use a magic eraser to get rid of charcoal stains on walls. Follow these steps for guidelines.

  1. Ensure the eraser is completely wet.
  2. Scrub the wall surface with the eraser until the stains start lifting off.

Note: Before you proceed with this method, try out the eraser on a hidden part of the wall to check if it can cause any damage. And when you’re scrubbing, make sure you scrub as gently as possible.

How to remove charcoal stains from concrete

You can remove charcoal stains on concrete using baking soda. Steps involved include;

  1. Make a thick paste from the mixtures of baking soda and water.
  2. Spread the paste evenly on the affected areas and leave it to sit for close to 1 hour.
  3. Scrub the concrete surface with a soft-bristled brush.
  4. Rinse the treated surface with water.
  5. If the stain persists, through the process again until the stain is completely gone.

How to remove charcoal stain from skin

You can effectively get rid of charcoal stains on your skin by using either lemon or Rosewater.

Using Lemon

  1. Dampen a cotton ball into a bottle of lemon juice.
  2. Rub the face with the dampened cotton ball.
  3. Repeat the process 2 to 3 times every day.

Using Rosewater

  1. Wipe your face with rose water.
  2. Then you clean your face with a dry cotton ball to remove both the charcoal stain and the rose water.

Charcoal stains FAQs

Curious to find out does soy sauce stain, how to clean cobwebs from tall ceilings or how to hide urine stains from a black light too?

1. Does activated charcoal deodorant stain clothes?

Yes, it stains clothes. However, this depends largely on the brand because some brands stain clothes while some don’t. But regardless of what brand, it is recommended that you leave your deodorant for about 5 minutes before you put on your cloth. This will prevent the deodorant from staining your cloth.

2. Is charcoal bad for your skin?

No, charcoal is not bad for the skin. But rather our skin can benefit from it because charcoal can help remove skin toxins.

3. Can you wash our charcoal stain with water?

No, you can’t. It is not advisable to follow your instinct when it comes to charcoal stain. In most other stains, the first thing that comes to mind is to wet the stain so that it doesn’t set.

Washing charcoal stains with water right after it stained your cloth will spread the stains further to areas of the cloth that wasn’t affected initially. The best way to treat a charcoal stain is to brush as much charcoal dust as possible off the surface with a toothbrush or vacuum before later washing with water.

4. Can charcoal soap stain cloth?

Yeah, charcoal soap stains cloth. But the good news is, their stain is not permanent and can be easily get rid of after thorough cleaning and washing.

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