8 Tips For Getting Rid Of Smoke Odor After a Fire
If you are a homeowner who has recently experienced a house fire, you know that fire smoke odor removal can be a difficult task. Learn how to get that lingering fire smoke smell out of your house in our step-by-step guide created by our industry experts in fire damage restoration – which you can do yourself at home. We’ve compiled a list of the 8 best methods to get rid of any remaining smoke smell from a fire and restore your house to an odor-free and clean environment like one of the pros.
Before you get started, you’ll need to assess the extent of the fire damage before beginning any smoke smell removal processes, as the exposure time affects the way you can get rid of the odor. Burnt materials and the size of the house are also important factors in determining which remediation methods you should use. If the extent of your fire damage is severe, it is highly recommended you reach out to a professional fire restoration company.
When your whole house smells like smoke after a fire, it is very unsettling, but you can take specific steps to thoroughly eliminate it. Clean surfaces and clean air are key. Ash, soot, and debris keep bad odors around, and trapped, stagnant air will make removing smoke odor more difficult. Simply follow these tips to make the process quick, easy and successful – so you can restore your home back to pre-damage condition and a livable environment.
The 8 Most Important Steps in Fire Smoke Odor Removal
1. Air Out Your Home
You can get rid of a substantial amount of fire smoke smell by airing out your house. Open all windows and doors to let in fresh air and allow it to circulate throughout your home, which will aid in clearing lingering odor. Window screens, curtains, or any other obstructions should be removed from windows to maximize air flow.
Tip: Use fans directed towards open windows or doors to ventilate stagnant air quicker and speed up the air circulation process.
2. Remove Curtains and Drapes
In a house fire, drapes and curtains are notorious for absorbing smoke odor. Be sure to remove all curtains and drapes in your home and wash them thoroughly. An odor-removing detergent will be helpful in eliminating lingering smoke smell, but stay away from odor-masking sprays that will only temporarily cover the smell.
After cleaning, air them outside until any remaining odor has completely dissipated.
3. Wash Solid Surfaces
Solid surfaces can hide trapped ash and smoke and are important to clean thoroughly after a fire. You can use a simple mix of water, dish soap and vinegar on walls, doors, cabinets and floors to remove soot and debris and their lingering odors.
Make sure to clean all unseen areas as well like baseboards, the insides of cabinets, and underneath wood furniture where smoke particles could have been trapped.
Tip: Change the wash water and rinse sponges or rags regularly so you aren’t redepositing smoke particles.
4. Clean Carpet and Upholstery
Carpet and upholstery also tend to stubbornly trap smoke odor. You can remove their absorbed smoke smell with baking soda. Simply spread the baking soda on the affected areas to absorb the odors, allow it to sit for 24 hours, then vacuum up all leftover product.
Steam cleaning carpets can also help remove odor, but delicate materials often used in upholstery should be cleaned professionally.
5. Wash Window Screens
Window screens are a prime suspect for lingering fire smoke odor, as they absorb odor from burning substances in your home during a fire. You can use the same mixture of dish soap, water and vinegar for hard surfaces to clean them, then leave the screens outside to dry and deodorize.
Tip: Make sure to clean all window glass and blinds as well to ensure no ash or soot remains.
6. Clean Light Fixtures
As smoke rises, it can get deposited on light fixtures. Remove all light fixtures in your home and clean them thoroughly. Just be sure to turn off the light switch before removing, and ensure every part is completely dry before reinstalling. Check all bulbs for fire damage and replace as necessary.
7. Mop Hard Floors
Smoke odor can hide in hard floors, which must be mopped thoroughly to remove it. Using the same mixture of water, dish soap and vinegar, mop all hard floors throughout the house, and be sure to rinse the mop each time between passes. This will help ensure that no ash or smoke particles are redeposited and spread.
8. Use Vinegar
If any smoke odor is still remaining after applying all the above methods, you can use vinegar to further deodorize any room. Place it in a bowl and let it evaporate in the room to target the smoke smell.
If any items in your home still have an odor even after using vinegar, they may need to be replaced. Do not keep them in the house, as they will continue to release a lingering smoke smell.
Completely removing all leftover fire smell from your house might feel impossible at first, but if you follow all of these steps you should be able to successfully restore your home back to pre-damage condition. Just remember, using air flow, deodorizing laundry detergent, baking soda, vinegar, and allowing smoke damaged items to dry outdoors after cleaning are the best ways to eliminate smoke odors on your own.
This comprehensive list is a great DIY guide for homeowners who want to tackle fire odor removal themselves, but some fires cause damage that is better left to professionals. If any smoke odor remains after following these steps, contact a professional fire damage restoration company to assist you in your remediation process.