How to Remove the Smoke Smell After a House Fire
Long after a devastating house fire, the smoke smell lingers. This smoke odor is caused by volatile molecules released when materials such as wood and fabrics burn.
Smoke particles attach themselves to walls, furniture, and flooring. The challenge in removing smoke smell is that different materials produce their own odors and complications. Burnt plastics, for instance, are exceedingly difficult to remove without using specialized cleaning methods.
Stay out of a fire-damaged structure until the fire department says it is safe to return.
DIY Smoke Smell Removal
Follow safety guidelines from the Red Cross when checking on your home after a fire.
Once it is safe to re-enter your home, you can take steps to help lessen the effects of smoke odor yourself.
Air Out Your Property
The bigger the fire, the more smoke it produces. This results in a stronger and more prevalent smoke smell. The longer smoke smell lingers within your property, the greater the likelihood your household materials will absorb the odor and suffer further smoke damage.
To reduce the chances of the home and your possessions absorbing and retaining smoke smell, air out your property. Open doors and windows to allow good ventilation. Cross-ventilate with box fans facing out the windows. Turn on exhaust fans.
Use Positive Pressure
Using positive pressure helps to move the air and direct it to the outside of your home. Open up your house’s main entrance and set up a large fan facing inwards; set it right outside the doorway.
Close all the other doors and windows, except one. Leave one window open; this acts as an exhaust. It will force fresh air into your home while pushing out the smoke smell. Leave the fan operating at its highest setting for at least fifteen minutes.
Repeat this process for all the rooms in your home.
Use Baking Soda on Fabrics and Carpets
Baking soda is an effective and natural odor removal agent. Sprinkle it on all fabrics and carpets and leave for 24 hours. Vacuum and repeat the process as needed.
Wash Down Solid Surfaces
Smoke particles quickly build up and gather on solid surfaces such as bare floors, walls, and baseboards. You will need to clean these surfaces several times to remove the smoke sell. Use a solution of dish soap, warm vinegar, and warm water.
When mopping floors, remember to use a bucket of fresh solution with each run. Otherwise, smoke particles float in the bucket and return to the floor. Be sure to rinse the mop after every run for the same reason.
Wash Windows, Screens, and Blinds
Smoke residue often gathers on window blinds. If you have wooden blinds, make sure you only use cleaning products that are wood-safe. Clean plastic or vinyl blinds with a solution of white vinegar and hot water.
To clean your window screens, use dish soap or shampoo, then rinse them off with cold water and allow them to air dry outside.
Get a Free Consultation for Smoke Smell Removal
Be sure to take steps to prevent a home fire in the future to protect your family.
- 6 ways to prevent electrical fires.
- Kitchen fire safety.
- Smart home devices to help prevent fire and water damage disasters.
ATH technicians are the experts in smoke smell removal and fire damage remediation across Phoenix and the State of Arizona.Get a Free Consultation