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Posted by: Nathan Keiser

7 Steps to Clean Up Smoke Damage in Your Home

Calender 04/24/2024
Clock 6 min READ

Dealing with smoke damage in your home can be overwhelming, but with the right approach, you can restore your property to its former glory. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through seven essential steps to clean up smoke damage and eliminate odors, whether it’s from a small kitchen fire or a larger blaze. From assessing the damage to implementing effective cleaning techniques, you’ll learn everything you need to know to tackle smoke damage like a pro. Let’s get started on restoring your home to its fresh, clean state!

Inside this blog:

  • 7 key steps for how to effectively clean up smoke damage in your home
  • Details and tips under each step

Keep reading to learn how you can protect yourself and your home from smoke damage!

smoke damage restoration clean up

1. Assess the Damage

Before diving into cleanup efforts, assess the extent of the smoke damage in your home. Take note of areas affected by smoke particles, including walls, ceilings, furniture, and personal belongings. Look for signs of soot, discoloration, and lingering odors. This initial assessment will help you prioritize cleanup tasks and determine whether professional assistance is needed.

Don’t forget to check hidden areas such as closets and cabinets, as smoke can penetrate even the smallest spaces. If you’re worried about doing a thorough check, don’t hesitate to call on a professional smoke damage restoration company.

2. Ventilate the Space

Proper ventilation is essential for removing lingering smoke odors and improving indoor air quality. Open windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate throughout the home, creating a cross breeze to push out stale air.

Consider using fans or air purifiers to help disperse odors and expedite the ventilation process. Be sure to ventilate all areas of the home after a house fire, including closets and basements, to ensure thorough air circulation and odor removal.

3. Remove Soot and Residue

Soot and residue left behind by smoke can adhere to surfaces and fabrics, causing discoloration and unpleasant odors. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to gently remove loose soot from walls, ceilings, and furniture. Take care not to press too hard, as this can embed the soot further into the surface.

For stubborn residue, gently wipe surfaces with a dry sponge or cloth to avoid smudging or spreading the soot. Consider using a dry cleaning sponge, which is designed to lift soot without water or chemicals, for delicate surfaces like wallpaper or painted walls. This will help you avoid causing physical or structural harm to these surfaces.

4. Clean and Deodorize Surfaces

Once the loose soot has been removed, it’s time to clean and deodorize affected surfaces. Prepare a solution of warm water and mild detergent, then use a sponge or cloth to gently scrub walls, ceilings, and hard surfaces.

Pay special attention to areas with heavy soot buildup, such as around light fixtures and electrical outlets. For stubborn odors, consider using specialized smoke odor eliminators or professional-grade cleaning products specifically designed to neutralize smoke odors.

Allow the cleaning solution to sit for a few minutes before wiping it away with a clean, damp cloth. Rinse the cloth frequently to avoid spreading soot residue. After cleaning, thoroughly dry the surfaces to prevent mold growth and further damage.

5. Launder Fabrics and Textiles

Smoke odors can penetrate fabrics and textiles, leaving behind lingering smells. Wash clothing, curtains, bedding, and other textiles with detergent and a cup of white vinegar to help neutralize odors.

Add the vinegar directly to the washing machine along with your regular detergent. Use the hottest water temperature recommended for the fabric and allow the items to soak for at least 30 minutes before starting the wash cycle.

For delicate items or heavily smoke-damaged fabrics, consider professional dry cleaning or laundering services. Be sure to thoroughly air-dry all laundered items in the sun, if possible, to further eliminate odors.

6. Treat Upholstery and Furniture

Upholstered furniture and porous surfaces can absorb smoke odors, making them challenging to clean. Start by vacuuming the furniture using a brush attachment to remove any loose soot or debris.

Next, use a fabric-safe upholstery cleaner or baking soda to gently treat affected areas. Test the cleaner or baking soda on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t cause discoloration or damage. Allow the cleaner to sit for several hours to absorb odors before vacuuming or wiping away residue.

For wood furniture, consider using a furniture polish or oil to restore shine and remove odors. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and test the product on a small area before applying it to the entire piece of furniture.

7. Address Lingering Odors

Even after thorough cleaning, lingering smoke odors may persist. To neutralize stubborn odors, consider using odor-absorbing products such as activated charcoal, baking soda, or commercial odor eliminators. Activated charcoal and baking soda are natural odor absorbers that work by absorbing and neutralizing odors in the air. Place these products in strategic locations throughout the home, such as near affected areas or in rooms with persistent odors.

For larger areas, consider using commercial odor eliminators designed specifically for smoke odors. These products often come in the form of sprays, gels, or plug-in air fresheners and contain ingredients that help neutralize and mask odors. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe and effective use of these products.

Additionally, consider using natural air purifiers such as houseplants to help freshen the air and remove lingering odors over time. With patience and persistence, you can effectively address lingering smoke odors and restore your home to a fresh, clean environment.

🏡 You Deserve a Smoke Free Home

Dealing with smoke damage in your home can be a daunting task, but by following these seven steps, you can effectively clean up smoke damage and eliminate lingering odors. From assessing the damage to implementing targeted cleaning techniques, taking proactive steps can help restore your home to its pre-smoke-damage condition.

Remember to prioritize safety throughout the cleanup process and consider seeking professional assistance for severe smoke damage or persistent odors. With patience and perseverance, you can restore your home to its fresh, clean state and enjoy a smoke-free environment once again! 

Contact us today to set up a consultation for your home.

We’ll address any concerns you have and answer all of your questions to ensure your peace of mind. Let’s get the ball rolling on your next project!

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