Cleaning Soot from Brick?

Hello, all:
I've purchased a house with some small, black soot spots on the exterior of the fireplace, just outside of the firescreen.
What's the best way to clean these soot spots from the brick?
Thanks, in advance!
Rob
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There is a soot sponge that works, I have one.
http://www.parish-supply.com/dry_cleaning_sponge.htm
It is a dry use tool. Rub on the surface to clean. There is even one for dog owners.
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