Will a Fire Extinguisher Stain Carpet?

Fire extinguishers serve a very important purpose for putting out fires and keeping people safe. However, the spray leaves a residue that can leave stains on certain surfaces, including carpeting. So, will a So, can fire extinguisher spray stain carpet?

When Does Fire Extinguisher Spray Stain Carpet?

House and office fires can cause a great deal of damage to the inside of the building. This includes the carpets, walls, and any furniture inside. In an event of fire, a fire extinguisher is used to douse the fire until firefighting personnel can arrive. While fire extinguishers removes any fire from view, it does leave behind a residue that might leave stains on carpets and other items in the building.

Fires that break out in homes and offices will require immediate use of a fire extinguisher, sprinkler system, followed by evacuation. Rooms and hallways in buildings that have carpeting will be affected.

Substances That Can Stain Carpets

  • Paint
  • Makeup
  • Chocolate
  • Blood
  • Juice
  • Soda
  • Coffee
  • Milk
  • Bleach
  • Fire Extinguishers

Spilling any of these contents onto a carpet can result in stains, perhaps permanent ones.

How To Clean a Carpet After Spraying It With a Fire Extinguisher?

Carpet Stain

Most fire extinguisher spray leaves a residue that will require cleaning up. However, there are two types of fire extinguishers that will not cause staining to carpeting. These are water and CO2 fire extinguishers.

The remaining types of fire extinguishers will leave particles and fluids that require removal. Dry chemical fire extinguishers will leave quite a mess after spraying. Other than chemicals that are toxic to a persons health, these substances can be colored and easily seen on carpeting.

Steps to Clean a Carpet of Fire Extinguisher Spray

If you spray a dry chemical fire extinguisher on carpet, it will need cleaning which can be done with the following steps:

  1. Have all pets and children taken out of space.
  2. Use a HEPA rated vacuum to clean the carpeting. Thorougly go back and forth to make sure no particles are remaining on the floor, on tables, or inside cabinets and drawers.
  3. Wash the stained area with warm water using a wet rag or towel. Blot over and over again until satisfied.
  4. If the fire extinguisher contains, sodium bicarbonate and potassium bicarbonate, this can be diluted with a solution of 2-5 percent vinegar and 95-98 percent hot water.
  5. Wipe down any furniture with water spray diluted with cleaning solution.
  6. Scrub the carpet using a moist rag or carpet bruch with carpet rinse.
  7. You can purchase effective carpet cleaning solution and apply yourself or hire the services of a professional carpet cleaning service.

If you use a foam or halotron fire extinguisher, this will require a unique method of cleanup. At this point, having a professional clean it may be the best option.

Sizes of Carpet Stains Caused By Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers produce a spray that can extend 5-20 feet and cover a circular space of 2-5 feet in diameter. This does not include any particles that made it onto furniture or blew into the rest of the room when blasted out under pressure. So, just cleaning several square feet of carpet may not be enough to completely remove all the fire extinguisher residue.

Chemicals That Can Remove Carpet Stains

Some products that can be used to remove carpet stains include:

  • Woolite
  • Resolve
  • Carbona
  • Bissell carpet shampoo
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • bleach-based stain remover

Types of Fire Extinguishers That Can Stain Carpet

Portable fire extinguishers are made for putting out containable fires in a small area. Anyone in the nearby space or building should evacuate immediately and not wait to see if the fire gets put out.

Using a fire extinguisher to put out a fire will help keep you safe and limit damage to your home or office. The mess left afterwards is a minor consequence to maintaining your immediate safety.

Most fire extinguisher types can stain a carpet. These include:

  • Dry chemical fire extinguishers
  • Foam fire extinguishers
  • Halotron fire extinguishers

In Closing

Fire extinguishers should be used quickly to put out a small fire before it gets out of control. The after effects may include a stained carpet. But what matters most is keeping you and your family safe from fire danger.

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Nick Klamecki, Author
About Nick Klamecki, Author

Nick Klamecki is a certified Fire and Workplace Safety expert with 15 years experience in product research and testing. He has a degree from U.C. Davis, is an active outdoorsman and spent years ensuring the safety of special needs children. Nick researches and tests workplace, industrial and safety products and provides advice on their safe use. Learn more about Nick here or connect with him on LinkedIn | Medium