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black dust in house

freebird77
14 years ago

Hi we are noticing a lot of what Id cll black dust on just about everything. Its not like dust though really, its on the walls lamps furniture everything. Its on the mail thats sits on the desk for a couple weeks its almost like a dark stain, cant wipe it of like regular dust. Does anyone have any ideas, or have had similar problems? Thanks

Comments (84)

  • gardenbling
    4 years ago

    Chemtrails?

  • cynthia1224
    4 years ago

    Who the heck knows!

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  • WeirdCityCitizen
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    ..and Freebird was never heard of again. Nobody ever really knew what happened to Freebird. Some believe she just lost interest in the thread. Others, held far more grim suspicions. Course nothing was ever said, it was all implied. And so it became known as the "thread of the black dust".

  • Sue H
    4 years ago

    I do daily battle with the black dust with a dampened kitchen cloth. It's back each morning, one of life's mysteries. No candles, but I do love a Joss stick burning.

  • cynthia1224
    4 years ago

    I still haven’t figured out my black soot near plastic problem other than to think the plastic emits some sort of “stuff”. No black “stuff” is seen anywhere else in the house.

  • Shelby Finance
    3 years ago

    I am currently having this problem in a place i am renting, but we also are finding this "black dust" in our noses and my fiance is now coughing up black spots from it, but its stuck to everything plastic, we dont burn candles, and our only heat source is an electric heater thats built into the wall. No central air. We all have doctors appointments in the AM to take swabs of our noses and have them sent off for cultures... Weve also been sick on and off since we have been there, having head aches and coughs here the last month or so right along with the black stuff coming out of our noses.

  • gardenbling
    3 years ago

    I discovered that the plume from the neighbors boiler was blowing into the .

    air vents of my house. I now use the Dyson air purifier all the time and it does help.

  • HU-550718087
    3 years ago

    @ShelbyFinance did the doctor figure out what was going on? We have the same problem!

  • gardenbling
    3 years ago

    This is usually from air pollution. You need to get really good air purifiers because you are breathing this stuff as well. The only other thing to do is plant trees Densely around the house or put up a link fence with creepers on it to filter out the dust.

  • Kim Gill
    3 years ago

    I know this post is super old, but maybe this will help some of you. We just moved into a new build and I am seeing this soot substance around the perimeter of the ceiling. I did some reading and this seems to make sense.

    The appliances are doing what they are supposed to do, but there's still soot and dirt. In fact, the soot is oozing out of attic vents, through attic hatchway doors, and into and out of vents. Is this the mystery?

    No mystery, but a phenomenon with a rather sinister-sounding name: depressurization combustion re-entry.

    A mouthful, maybe, but easily explained.

    What happens: In a house that is well insulated and nearly airtight, the air pressure is lower indoors than out because air movers (dryers and exhaust fans, for example) are pushing air out of the house, and the house is too tight for new air to come in to balance off the pressure. Or, wind on one side of the house is pulling out the air, a venturi effect.

    This happens often in new, tight houses. By itself, it is not a bad thing. But what happens is that the house wants to bring in air to even out the air pressure; trying to inhale, as it were.

    If the outside air is clean, there is no problem. But if the outside air is contaminated, that contamination will get into the house. Yes, but how does that outside air get contaminated?

    Sometimes a power vent (a burner or stove vent that does not need a chimney) that goes through the wall will contaminate the air, which is then drawn into the attic through the soffit vents.

    Sometimes a low chimney, one that is not higher than the roof ridge, will not exhaust smoke and particles high enough, and instead waft smoke and particles into the attic by way of the ridge vent.

    Or, particles will follow the vent stack into the attic, and land on the attic insulation. Dirty insulation is a sure sign of this.

    Preposterous? Not at all, although you may have to be a physicist or engineer to understand it entirely.

    Take an engineer's word for it. It does happen.

  • Larry Dent
    3 years ago

    Hi all- this post attracted my attention as I was perusing the internet ISO what caused all the dust issues in my house. But one main difference: we have brown dust, not black dust. It’s almost like a very fine tan powder that covers EVERYTHING. Feels silky to touch, similar to a talc. Builds up within hours after dusting. A couple points: we have a house built in the late 1800’s. Fairly new furnace system - like four or five years old (I should mention we have only been here for 2 years) and we have an oil tank system, mostly hard duct and some flex duct. I’ve checked out the ductwork and it’s in good shape. Incidentally we don’t burn candles, or very infrequently. My wife and daughter tend to bust out a couple candles on the holidays... both my kids and wife do not really have the sensitivity to this but I do. My wife will now sneeze more frequently, but I’ve noticed I’ve had a few issues breathing of late. Also have coughed up brown phlegm after dusting. This can‘t be good. Last week I went to doctor and told her about this. They want to check me for Anthracosis (milder form of black lung) now! My job during the day isn’t in the coal business - it’s a paper-pusher. So I’m wondering if it could be from all this crazy brown dust? Any thoughts are appreciated.

  • apple_pie_order
    3 years ago

    @Larry: What is the MERV rating on your filters? Is dust on the windowsills the same color outside and inside?

  • Larry Dent
    3 years ago

    @apple_pie_order:

    the MERV rating is 8 on our filters, so they’re definitely good. There doesn’t appear to be dust on the outside of our windows, just inside. We even get a fine coating of dust on our walls - dust apparently now gets on vertical surfaces.

  • apple_pie_order
    3 years ago

    @Larry: thanks for info. Since you have already checked out your ductwork yourself, you could call in a professional HVAC technician to inspect and test the system from end to end with their equipment. They can also check your dryer, kitchen, and bathroom exhaust ducts. Also, you could post in the HVAC forum https://www.gardenweb.com/discussions/hvac 


    You may also check your home vacuum cleaner to see if the HEPA filter or bag have been dislodged or if there's a leak in the hose.

    There are many sources of particles that contribute to house dust. A nicely illustrated article is http://www.chemistryland.com/CHM107Lab/Exp01_AirFilter/NewLab/Exp1Air.html


  • Larry Dent
    3 years ago

    @apple_pie_order: great info (especially that Chemistry Land link) I actually have a HVAC tech coming next week so the ventilation can be rechecked. There is a part of me that thinks it may be the fact that we have oil heat here. This brown dust actually accumulates more in winter - and I’ve lived briefly in one old house that had oil heat and I vaguely recall a similar brown dust that got on every surface. I was much younger then, so less time at home !

  • HU-522217608
    2 years ago

    I just bought in Naples and I have the black dust


    i spent a week moping and steaming floors only to find it still there

    had Molly maids come and still have it

    my furnace is electric so nothing from that

    did have the filter replaced

    does anyone know if getting the duct work cleaned helps

    house is older??

  • concerned_mom8
    2 years ago

    Can this black dust be deadly or harmful at all to inhaul? We are experiencing the same thing and have a baby coming any day now! I'm scared to death to be bring the baby home to this. We are literally changing our furnace filter and Levoit air filter daily! The black dust is on everything. I even found it inside my electric washer and dryer! How do we get rid of this?? Please help!!??

  • gardenbling
    2 years ago

    I now use a very good air purifier made by Dyson. Especially at night this has dramatically improved my breathing despite the black dust.

  • Sue H
    2 years ago

    After taking out old plaster board we found the amount of black dust reduced. The board was really mouldy. Think it was the main source.

  • concerned_mom8
    2 years ago

    Thank you, gardenbling. I'm currently using a Levoit air purifier. Is Dyson better?

  • PRO
    By Design Consulting, LLC
    2 years ago

    We moved into our new home Jan 2014. The “black dust” started about 2 years later inside the kitchen cabinets, which are white. The first time I noticed it was when I took a plastic cup out of the cabinet. The spot where the cup was sitting was white. But all around it was a layer of black. I cleaned the entire cabinet. A couple of weeks go by and I notice it again. This goes on until I started seeing this “black dust” on my office’s IKEA bookcase and the white plastic IKEA magazine holders. Everything white is coated with this stuff. Now my interior doors and trim work. It seems to be everywhere in our home. Now I’m starting to be concerned about our lungs. What is it doing to US? I’m wondering if it has something to do with the building materials. Could they be producing chemical “gases” that are getting trapped inside because of the sealed tight home? Very strange and very annoying!!

  • cynthia1224
    2 years ago

    I’m the one that started this thread because I have the exact same thing. Wherever there is plastic black marks come, around the plastic solo cups, on the walls next to TVs, etc. It‘s a smeary mess to wipe off. It’s just something apparently that emits from “new” plastics. No vintage plastic I have does this. My front side car windows are totally coated and nothing works to get it off. Researching this they said it’s fumes emitting from all the plastic in the car. My house is a semi drafty house from 1964 so I don’t think the problem’s to do with an airtight house. I think it’s just the way it is. I don’t have it throughout my house, only within up to 12” from plastic. My house is pretty simple, mostly made from wood and I’m not even sure if there’s insulation in the walls to be honest, a lot of these old desert houses were built pretty nutty! Sorry I can’t be of more help, no one seems to know for sure.

  • PRO
    By Design Consulting, LLC
    2 years ago

    Wow! That would make sense now that you mentioned it!! I’ve noticed the black stuff on the plastic switch covers. Interesting!! Thank you for your input! And for starting the thread! I googled and this came up on the search. Thanks!

  • 3z3z3
    2 years ago

    A negative ion generator will cause black dust to cling to everything. Also, if you live in a large city, you'll have black dust. Country dust is browner.

  • Larry Bikes
    2 years ago

    I haven’t read all comments but I have the same problem in Center City Philly. I’ve been told it could be road dust as it’s a smoke-free building and I don’t burn candles. I know someone who used to unpack tractor trailers and he said he found same soot-like stuff all over the products. It’s literally on everything in my apartment and driving me insane.

  • HU-657668829
    2 years ago

    Hello my name is Derek and I have the same problem with black stuff all over my floors in the closet in the bathroom all in the kitchen and stove and refrigerator but I have something to ask have you ever heard of Morgellons disease if not look it up you may find the answer and believe me I'm not crazy I mean going through this for almost 5 years please put it up and read it


  • Cyrilla Blea
    2 years ago

    Smart dust nanoparticles.. look into it

  • Raquel Mendoza
    2 years ago

    I just found this while looking up why I have fine black dust accumulating on my white kitchen cabinets and anything plastic inside my kitchen cabinets. I just noticed it on my white porcelain bowls. It doesn’t build up on my window sills or wood furniture. I have LVP floors and clean daily due to this fine black dust. We are in a new build, “smart house“, in western Riverside County, California. We have solar panels, central air/heat, and Quiet Cool which started using during summer nights. We moved in here in Feb and I noticed this black dust then, when I was organizing my kitchen.

  • cynthia1224
    2 years ago

    I started this post because I couldn’t figure out what the black was in my cupboards and on a wall. It’s only near plastic like plastic Solo cups or on the wall by my TV. It’s a smeary mess to wipe off. I was researching why my car window was so cloudy and it said from all the plastic in the car emitting whatever plastic emits. I think the plastic we have an issue with is attracting “dirt” making the black, it’s nowhere else in my house, That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it, ha, ha.

  • 3z3z3
    2 years ago

    It doesn't take much rubbing to make plastic show a lot of static electricity, which could attract dust in the air.

  • cynthia1224
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I think that’s it, static electricity from plastic items attracting particles to the areas that are around the plastic.

  • Amy Newton
    last year
    last modified: last year

    New build home, just moved in July 2020 new refrigerator, new HVAC unit, new everything. We have switched out air filters at least 3 times after moving in and they have the normal dirt and dust. We changed the air filters on Oct.1, we started noticing a black like powder on our counter tops, toilet seats and white comforter. Randomly checked the air filters on Oct.5th and they were SOLID black..... in 4 days! No smell, just a really fine powder like baby powder or eyeshadow. We have never used our propane furnace, never used our wood burning fireplace(propane log lighter), we have used the propane gas range, but we have used it when the other filters came out clean, haven't burned outside, haven't had a fire in the home, I didn't burn scented candles in the 4 days this happened, its not pollution, we live in the country on 40 acres 45 min to the nearest city. We have a carbon monoxide detector as well as a propane detector. No one knows what happened including my builder and they just want to see if it happens again before calling someone out. We are breathing it... I woke up one morning with black in my nose. What could be causing this??


  • 3z3z3
    last year

    Could that be fine ash from the fires around the country? Ash from the California and Colorado fires blew as far as the East Coast. If you have your windows open, that might be the source of your problem.

  • Candida Sedillo
    last year

    We bought a house last October. Everything has been great! Until now. Suddenly, in the last week, there is black stuff EVERYWHERE!! We are a very clean people. It's on clothes, closed cabinets and drawers...literally EVERYTHING is covered. There is no gas in the house. Central heating and cooling. We do have a fireplace, but it doesn't get used much due to Georgia weather. Help!!

  • Julie Iken
    last year

    Me too and it’s very upsetting! I had a log stove put in this year and it’s great but I’m worried about it being the cause of all this sooty marking in my home.

  • ANT Henson
    last year

    What about your roof tops? Mines shingles black old and I cleaned this black dust from the outside of my home before. Now its on my white cabinets and white shelves. Maybe its from the old shingles? Coming in through doors windows HVAC us? Idk.

  • Sandy Mao
    last year

    Did anybody ever find out what’s causing the black dirt/soot like dust going in there house? I have a new AC unit iv had the ducts looked at and cleaned no gas appliances no candles no smoking I use merv 13 air filters and I don’t use the fire place did anybody find out what the problem is ?

  • Patty Lewis
    last year

    I bought a Homedics 4 in 1 air purifier for Christmas. I had it running for 3 weeks. I used the ionizer part if it for only 3 days as it made a bad smell in the room and I didn’t like the high pitch cracklings noise it made. When my husband was removing Christmas decorations he took garland off the small electric fireplace in my bedroom. When he lifted it up he let out a “what the hell us this” comment. Turns out the areas where the garland wasn’t had a dark black substance like soot. It’s a electric fireplace I’ve been using all dj get abs never had any issues with it. My husband started to clean up this black stuff abc nothing was really getting it off. Finally he used bleach and that took it off.
    So that was the beginning of our dilemma.

    I’ll add I have a rare disease and also live in constant pain with a bad back both have left me kind of ( I hate to say bedridden because I’m not laying in my bed all day but I am kind of limited to my bedroom) Debilitated.

    About a week later I was going over to the open the window on the opposite of the room when I noticed a swirl like pattern of some type of black substance on the woodwork that surrounds the window. As I looked around I noticed this black stain was in between the creases of my silk drapery. It was late in the day so the room wasn’t full of sunlight for me to see too much more.

    I told my husband to look as it and he was just as puzzled as I was but we both agreed it was the same stuff that he found on the top of my fireplace.

    A couple days passed and we found it in so many places. What was strange was it wasn’t like a concentrated area. I should mention my family had just totally redid my bedroom about a year ago. I had new bedding... the room including the ceiling was painted ( it had to be at least 15 years since it was painted) they got me gorgeous new crystal lamps and a ceiling fan with crystal lighting. My beautiful furniture that had been beaten over the years was sent out to be stripped and refinished. Do you have the picture my room was beautiful!! Note I said “WAS”. When we slide over a 26x32 framed canvas we were shocked to see the VERY dark outline of where the frame was... similar to what you see when you take down paintings and wall decor when your going to paint the room and see the outline of where those items were due to all the years they were up on the wall and dust... dirt... all the things that dirty our walls over the years. But this outline was so dark black something we didn’t even see when we took down things on my walls to paint last year but much worse than what we saw after 15 years or so since it was last painted. How could this be???
    I am a smoker hard to admit in this day and age. But it’s true. However I open my window and I’m not a chain smoker. There was no reason way we were finding this soot like substance ALL OVER MY ROOM.
    The only thing new in the room was the Homedics air purifier. The air purifier was 3 feet away from the window that was hit hard, close to the picture... that’s the only thing that possibly could be creating this black substance. Especially the way it was swirled in the woodwork and other places the air purifier had a fan so that definitely wouldn’t create a staining in a solid pattern if you know what I mean. The way it was swirled in places you could see if there was something coming from a product with a fan would leave such a pattern.

    Ok I called Homedics. I’ll cut this part short as possible. They had their insurance company call me. I sent in many pictures. They said to send it back they would run tests on it and get back to me. From the time I got the alert they received the air purifier till I got word about testing was completed was over a month and a half. Their insurance agent told me when we talked for the first time that they usually get a answer within 24-48 hours from the time they received the product. Why it took a month and a half they said with the pandemic they were short handed. Hmmm 🤔 sounds to me like they must have many of their products sent back with problems if it took from the normal 48 hrs to almost 2 months.
    Bottom line they say all tests should their air purifier passed all testing and nothing was wrong with the unit.

    Ok well we know that’s not true. The filter your supposed to have to only replace once a year was so black and even a little black was in the outside of the unit. Thankfully I took many pictures because I’ve been waiting over a month now for my air purifier to arrive back to me. They said they’d be sending it back to me.
    I’ve called my homeowners insurance and they will come look it over and if I say ok please help us with this I’ll need to pay the $1000 deductible and... my homeowners policy will increase by $300 a quarter!! That’s a increase of $1200 a year!!
    I’m so mad because there is nothing else in this room that was recently brought in and no other product in the room that is meant to do something with the air!! Remembers his air purifier is designed to clean the air!! It says it will eliminate all sorts of odors including smoke!!!

    The other day with not knowing what to do I called a lawyer. My medical bills are so high... before I learned of the disease I have my husband had cancer... chemo... surgery... more chemo even with insurance is so expensive!!! Medical issues has created enormous debt for us... so I don’t think it right that we need to pay the $1000 deductible or the huge increase with our homeowners.

    Anyone else here dealing with this black soot like substance have any type of air purifier or ionizer??

    I know ionizers can create issues with negative ions etc... I’m not very educated in that area. There’s no reason why I should have to do all this work on a product that no doubt has caused this problem. Keep in mind the huge damage was done with something we only had on for 3 weeks and the ionizer... I only had that on 3 days during daytime hours IF I even had it in 3 days it might have been only 2 i just remember it was so annoying.

    Hope you all get your answers to your soot issues!!

    I’d like to hear your experiences of you do also have a air purifier/ ionizer.

    Patty

  • 3z3z3
    last year

    I'm sorry for your experience, it looks terrible. Many years ago, the company I worked for moved to a small office with no windows and no effective ventilation. Two of the people smoked in the office (before laws against it). We bought an ionizer in hopes of cleaning the air. It did not freshen the air and it caused black soot on the walls. When I opened my purse, it smelled like cigarette smoke; my clothing reeked of it, so the ionizer was a failure in every way. I don't remember the brand. In this five-person office, at least three of us got cancer (one died) but I've lost track of the other two.

  • Patty Lewis
    last year

    Wow I’m so sorry to hear about you and your coworkers getting cancer. Even as a smoker in my home I open windows and when anyone comes especially my grandchildren I never smoke I go outside. If I wasn’t so ill I’d love to go outside for all smoking. I know those of you that don’t smoke and are reading this have to be thinking this woman is a total idiot! She’s killing herself she tells us how ill she is and then says she smokes. I know and you know what I totally agree with you!! 😞 there’s no excuse at all and if I explained it would appear like I’m looking for some type of pity and that’s not how I am. So we will leave it at I am a definite idiot! 🤓😉

    What did you do about the soot on the walls? I haven’t touched anything yet waiting because it’s possibly my homeowners may want to pay me a visit plus beings it took bleach and lots of scrubbing for my husband to get it off my fireplace no way are we up to using bleach and scrubbing all the walls and ceiling in here.

    I wish I knew what to do I just want my room to be beautiful again. I’ve bought many of my pretty things from Houzz.

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. I wish you the best of health!!

  • 3z3z3
    last year

    Thank you for your good wishes! I left the company so don't know if those remaining did anything with the walls or not.

  • k_vd
    10 months ago

    I read this entire thread as I was experiencing a gray/black film on my new kitchen cabinets and plastic items. i didn't find my answer here but throughout continued research I did find my personal culprit. Majority of the residue I was finding was in the kitchen and not throughout the house. I burn a scented candle almost daily i. my dining room for hours- CULPRIT. Releases soot and its negatively charged so its being attracted to my kitchen items. I figured I'd update this thread incase it's the culprit in anyone else's home. Also, I think its important for you to inspect where the black dust is accumulating throughout the house to better guide you to the possible cause.

  • Kathy
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    Black dust. We placed a patio against our 1952 home last summer. The patio is decomposed granite with sand and pavers on top. I built a french drain near the wall and the pavers slope away from the house. The patio level is slightly below the floor level inside. The patio covered one house side vent that we sealed with a board - there's another one 10 feet away. There are no heating or ac units or ducting anywhere near the issue.

    We're entering our rainy season in San Diego and it has rained a couple of times. It has recently I noticed black dust above and below the floor moulding, which is not sealed with caulk. We have never had a problem with black mold even though the north side of the house is colder and damper, The dust is on the SW side of the house. Cleaned it up yesterday and today it's back.

    Does anyone have any ideas?

  • HU-871372274
    8 months ago

    Sheila I have the same black dust not only on plastic but wooden window sills. carpeting, washing in the airing cupboard. On doors, shelves. Most of my house is white, or was. The carpets are light. When I move the laundry basket or anything in my bedroom it leaves a white patch, after only a few days. My stair carpet looks old as with feet going up and down the black gets ground in.

    Please is there anyone who can tell me where I can get help.

    I have constant pain and breathing problems and my son has now started suffering.

    I have lived in this house for nearly 30 years

    I don't use candles, dont have open fires, don't have pollen anywhere near, don't smoke, no air conditioning.

    It all started about 9 months ago and is steadily getting worse.

    The only heating I have is a gas boiler which was put in about 3 years ago.

    Any ideas where go for help I am an OAP so am finding it so difficult.

  • 3z3z3
    8 months ago

    If you Google "black mold in house" a lot of information comes up, including medical info, remediation strategies and providers for removing it.

  • Robin McGuigan
    7 months ago

    I moved into my home last May and I had not unpacked my dishes yet. I bought plastic dinnerware in the meantime because I noticed shortly after moving in, that the black dust was covered the paper plates and plastic cups. After that I realized it was everywhere. I painted a wall in a utility closet that I don’t use. But when I opened the doors to vacuum the floor, the painted wall had a large area of black. As though it went in between the two bifold doors and settled. I took out the bathroom vent from the ceiling to clean it. About six inches of the black soot along with everything else that would normally be trapped in a furnace or return filter. I had a home inspection done before buying the house so I assumed that person checked the hvac etc. . Everything is located in my attic except my outside central air unit which I used for 3 months. No filter in my furnace. Also, my dog sitter said he changed the return vent filter, (odd I thought), but I took that filter out, black as can be. Which I expected, so I brought a plastic bag up the 8 foot ladder with me because i didn’t want the black going everywhere. So up I go to the furnace to put a filter in, disgusted with the thought that I and my 3 bulldogs, who already had allergies, were breathing this in. I also started getting increasingly achy the longer I lived here. And about 6 weeks after moving in, I took my dogs to the vet because they were all losing an exceptional amount of hair. I got the courage up to look into the duct work. An inch at least if the black soot covered it. I’m sure this is what is causing my “black buildup” which is the same as what everyone has described. I’m sure all the vents are filled with this crap. I’ve taken two down and was coughing the entire day. I’m having an hvac company come to clean it all out. I feel so bad for everyone else that has this problem. I still have not put my dishes in the cabinets and I now keep anything that I eat off of wrapped up and I check it before I eat off of anything. I got a very large air purifier two weeks ago and I checked it. So black that I can’t even clean it.

  • Candida Sedillo
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    We had the issue. Turns out the ceiling fan was going bad and spraying oil out. It was being sucked up through the exhaust fan into the attic. To make matters worse, the exhaust fan, unbeknownst to us, was connected to NOTHING. It was being cycles through into the furnace, and being blown into the house. Long story short, fan is replaced, and no more black stuff.



  • Robin McGuigan
    7 months ago

    I will make a mental note of that thank you

  • Paul Garcia
    5 months ago

    I have the black soot and bieleve it or not the furniture moves around I'm not kidding

  • Robert Norton
    last month

    Hello everyone,

    thanks for sharing all the knowledge. i came home to our newly purchased summer cabin to find the entire house covered in a black dust. its in every single room and even inside somme cabinets!


    its on every single surface but not on any walls or the ceiling. No sign or smell of smoke, no sign of anything blowing in.


    We do have a pellet stove but its summer here in the Catskills so we are not using the pellet stove and its not even plugged in!


    We are convinced this must be an extraterrestial event at this point.


    its so hard to clean off and conviced its just being smudged into any surface thats not real wood.

    Please help! has anyone figured out what this is?