Remove Ash Stains from Clothes

You went camping this last weekend? What is camping without a campfire? If you were in charge of the campfire, it’s likely that you got some ash stains on your clothes. That means that, as soon as you get home, you have to put some effort into removing ash stains from clothes before you wash them. Here’s some easy tips about doing so.

Remove Ash Stains from Clothes

Why Does Ash Stain?

Wood ash can easily stain your clothing, especially if you’re working with it in a campfire or fireplace. The interesting thing is, there are a variety of factors that can play into how bad the ash stain is in your clothing.

Why is that? Because the chemical composition of wood ash varies depending on many different factors.

  • Sometimes the solids escape during combustion, sometimes they don’t.
  • How hot the fire is burning effects conversion of chemicals.
  • Where you’re burning can affect how much ash remains, and what properties that ash has.
  • Type of tree you’re burning.
  • Age of tree you’re burning.

So what does that mean for the ash? Well, these different factors can affect the chemical compounds within the remaining ash. For example, some people claim that calcium carbonate is what most wood ash consists of, others say calcium oxide, and even others say iron oxide. The issue is, sometimes, wood ash won’t even have one or more of those chemicals! But, as you can see, it’s something involving an oxygen or calcium compound.

Oxygen and calcium compounds frequently stain for a variety of reasons. First, because they are usually black (dark) or white in color. These chemicals also have a propensity toward “clinging” to fabrics and other materials. Their consistency also has a lot to do with how badly they stain.

How to Remove Ash Stains from Clothes

You don’t need a lot of technical knowledge about cleaning in order to remove ash stains from clothes. It’s actually a really simple process that you can do right from your home. Here’s a simple home remedy that can get the ash stains out of your clothing in no time.

What you will need:

  • Cold water
  • Club soda
  • Baking soda
  • Sponges
  1. Shake off any excess ash. Do not “wipe” it off, as that can smear the stain further.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda over the stained area. This serves two purposes: “lifting” the stain out of the article of clothing, and getting rid of any of the “soot” smell. Allow the baking soda to sit for an hour or more.
  3. Take one of your sponges and dip it into the cold water, dabbing at the stain. Do not soak the article of clothing; due to the consistency of the ash, you can actually spread the stain and make it worse than it was when you started. So dab it until the area is moist. Note: Make sure that the water is as cold as you can get it. Warm water is actually bad for stains, because it will help the stain to set deeper into the fabric.
  4. Take your other sponge and pour some club soda on it. Dab at the affected area gently for a few minutes.
  5. Rinse your clothing in the cold water again, to see if any progress has been made. Repeat this step and step four until the stain appears to be gone.
  6. Allow your article of clothing to air dry and check it. If there is still a stain, start the process from step 1. If the stain is gone, launder as usual, but hang the article of clothing after washing just in case you missed some of the stain.