How To Remove Charcoal Stain From Washable Fabrics

February 14, 2023

Charcoal is a popular fuel for grilling, smoking, and other outdoor cooking activities. However, when it gets on your clothes, it can leave behind a stubborn and unsightly stain. Charcoal stains can be particularly challenging to remove, as the black pigment can easily embed itself into the fabric. Whether you're hosting a backyard barbecue or just enjoying some time around the fire pit, it's all too easy to get a charcoal stain on your favorite clothes. Fortunately, there are several methods you can use to successfully remove charcoal stains from washable fabrics. In this article, we'll explore some of the most effective techniques and provide step-by-step instructions to help you get your clothes looking like new again.




These stains may appear as a dark gray or black mark on the fabric, and could be powdery or gritty to the touch. They may also have a strong smoky smell.


Warm (85° to 105°F)


Warm water helps to dissolve the carbon and make it easier to remove.

The Science Behind Charcoal Stains

Charcoal stains clothes because it contains fine carbon particles that can easily adhere to fabrics. These particles are usually black in color and can be difficult to remove from clothing once they've set in. Additionally, charcoal is often used in products such as face masks and teeth whitening treatments, which can come into contact with clothing and leave stains. To prevent charcoal stains, it's important to handle charcoal products carefully and avoid getting them on clothing.

What You'll Need To Get Rid Of Charcoal Stains

  • Cold water
  • Dish soap
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Stain remover
  • Laundry detergent

Step By Step Process To Remove Charcoal Stains

  1. Scrape off any excess charcoal from the fabric.
  2. Flush the stained area with cold water to remove as much of the stain as possible.
  3. Apply dish soap to the stain and work it into the fabric with your fingers.
  4. Rinse the fabric with cold water.
  5. Apply a solution of equal parts white vinegar and cold water to the stain, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Rinse the fabric with cold water.
  7. Apply a paste made of baking soda and water to the stain, and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  8. Rinse the fabric with cold water.
  9. If the stain is still visible, apply a stain remover to the affected area, following the instructions on the product label.
  10. Wash the fabric in the washing machine with laundry detergent, using cold water. Avoid using hot water, as this can set the stain.
  11. Check the fabric for any remaining stains before drying, as drying can set stains.
Note: Always read and follow the care label instructions on the garment before attempting to remove any stains. Additionally, it's a good idea to test any cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric before applying it to the stain.

In Brief

Charcoal stains are caused by the fine particles of black color that can adhere to fabrics. To remove these stains from washable fabrics, scrape off any excess charcoal and rinse the fabric with cold water. Apply dish soap, white vinegar, baking soda, and a stain remover as needed, and wash the fabric in cold water with laundry detergent. Test the cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric before applying it to the stain, and check for any remaining stains before drying.

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