Recovering from a House Fire – How Should You Clean the Smoke Out of Fabrics and Clothing?

Experiencing a fire is frightening and can cause a major burden to your family. Once you know that your family is safe and sound, and that your home is ready to return to, there are other issues that you have to deal with. If you’ve never experienced a fire or been exposed to anyone that has, these fire restoration steps may be surprising to you

The first issue you’re going to deal with is removing the smoke smell from the fabrics in your home and your clothing. Think about how badly the smoke smell lingers when you burn food in an oven and you’ll understand the issue that you’re going to deal with after a house fire.

The smell can linger in carpeting, curtains, furniture, pillows, clothing… anything cloth that absorbs the smoke particles. Even a small fire can make the smoke smell overpowering. The good news? There’s a way to get rid of that smell! Take a look at the following steps and reach out to a professional fire restoration team for more help if necessary.

Let’s Get Rid of that Smoke Smell 

There are a few steps to take to restore your home after a fire.

Step One – Get rid of the soot.

When you return home after a fire, you’ll notice black flakes that turn to powder the second you touch them. This is soot left over from the fire. Soot is tricky because it is made of incredibly fine particles that only spread as you try to clean them up. The kicker is, in order to fully restore your home after a fire, all the soot must be removed before you can go further. Soot is the main cause of the smoke odor and oils found in soot can lead to staining on different fabrics.

Using a vacuum to remove any standing soot is the best starting point. Be careful not to touch the hose directly to the material or rub the ash further into the fabric. Hold the nozzle as close as possible without actually touching the fabric and remove as much of the soot as possible.

A professional restoration company like A&J Property Restoration can take on the more difficult tasks and assist in removal of soot and the smell of lingering smoke.

Step Two – Deodorize Clothing and Fabrics.

Easy items, like clothing and towels, should be washed as quickly as possible.

While your first instinct will be to toss them directly into the washing machine, your washer and dryer can actually cause the odor to set into the fabrics instead of removing it as intended. Instead, cleaning your clothing and fabrics should be done using an ozone treatment. This will break up the particles causing the odor, leaving your clothing as fresh as it was before the fire.

There are some treatments available online. Professional cleaners and restoration companies have high powered cleaning options. They are able to quickly and effectively remove the odors from washable items.

Step Three – What to do After Deodorizing.

Now that your professional restoration team has removed the soot and odor from your fabrics, it’s time to start cleaning. This is when you can use your washer and dryer. Clothing, towels, and curtains can be washed as normal – now that the smoke particles are long gone. Larger items like furniture, rugs, etc. may need a carpet cleaning expert to handle the jobs not done by hand. 

Why Hiring a Professional Fire Restoration Company is a Great Solution 

Contact A&J today for water damage clean up emergencies and services by A&J Specialty Services Inc DKI of Madison, Sun Prairie, Milwaukee, WI Dells, Fort Atkinson, Watertown, and Waukesha, WisconsinAt A&J Property Restoration we know how to restore your home and property after a fire. We specialize in fire restoration and take away the stress of cleaning up after the fire. It is our goal to provide the best possible service during this difficult time. We know that restoration after a fire can be messy and confusing, not to mention chaotic! Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for emergency services – we’re here to help you get back to normal as quickly as possible.