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Removing Smoke Odor After a House Fire

Category Odors
Smoke damage can be very difficult to remove even from a small house or kitchen fire. This is a guide about removing smoke odors after a house fire.
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By 5 found this helpful
January 2, 2014

Launder items using hot water, regular amount of detergent, and 1 cup each of white vinegar and baking soda. Repeat if any smoke smell remains. DO NOT dry until smoke smell is gone. This worked beautifully on my daughter's garments after her apartment complex had a fire. Most loads had to be run twice.

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December 21, 20161 found this helpful
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Our home was set on fire by an arsonist about three weeks ago and we lost nearly everything. We decided to try to salvage clothing that was hanging in the closet, and while there was no fire damage to them, there is a heavy stench of smoke. What was recommended to us has worked very well. We were told to mix two cups of Scope mouthwash into each load by the Red Cross. I don't know why, I'm no scientist, and I'm sure each case is different, but the smoke smell is undetectable after one wash and dry cycle. We have been able to salvage the clothing at least. A moral victory for us knowing the arsonist didn't destroy everything we owned. It might work for anyone else on here with this type of question.

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By 7 found this helpful
August 12, 2011

Have you tried charcoal to remove the smell from the house and clothing and books? Take the clothing and books and put in a large trash bag. Place the charcoal in there first and then tie the end of the bag shut. Leave for about a week then remove and check for smell.

For the house, place charcoal in tin pans and sit around all over the house for a week. It should remove the smell.

For the smoke stains in clothes, try washing them in Oxiclean. I have never tried this but it came to me. It is suppossed to remove even the toughest stains.

Note: Use charcoal that does not have the starter added, just plain charcoal.

By Cassie

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November 1, 20130 found this helpful

Cleaning Ideas has a spray you set off in a room called " After The Fire", it runs about 7-8 dollars. It is amazing. Just follow the directions.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 3 found this helpful
August 18, 2010

How do I remove the smoke smell from a mattress and garments that were in a house fire?

By cstaack from Columbus, NE

Answer Was this helpful? 3
By guest (Guest Post)
January 26, 20072 found this helpful
Best Answer

Two ways I know how to get rid of odors from fire.

1. Get a bowl of water and add white vinegar and let stay there without anyone in the room for a few hrs.

2. Put charcoal in the room in dishes, they use it here in Florida to get rid of musty odors.

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 17, 20082 found this helpful
Best Answer

I had a fire in my home this past year. I contacted a company on the internet BioWorld Products in Visalia, California. They have a odor eliminating product that removed all the smoke odor from my home. It worked absolutely great! I keep it on my shelf and use it for all kinds of odor when the need arises.

Reply Was this helpful? 2
June 18, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

You will want to call a smoke and fire contractor. They rebuild after damage. You may not be able to get the smell out since it seeps into your wood, drywall and insulation. My friends just rebuilt after a small fire and they had to hire a professional smoke and fire contractor to remove all the smoke damaged parts of the house. Sorry.

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August 4, 20110 found this helpful

How can I get the smoke smell out of our clothes and the smoke stains off after a small house fire?

By Danielle R.

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August 4, 20111 found this helpful
Best Answer

Don't know if I can help, but two years ago my son had a fire in his house. Everything in the house was ruined from the smoke, but he had a favorite mattress he wouldn't through away. We keep it in our work shop til he could decide what to do with it. Thinking it was completely ruined, and because it was smelling up the shop, I decided to try ammonia (I had read about it somewhere) so I filled a pie pan full and left it on the floor near the mattress till it evaporated, it took a few days but slowly the smoke smell went away. The mattress was able to be used again and there is not a trace of smell left in it.

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August 5, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Vinegar will also take the smoke odor out of clothes and mattress. Use the vinegar in the laundry by adding a cup to the wash cycle, repeat as needed until the smoke smell is gone. Make up a half water-half vinegar solution, dampen a washcloth or hand towel in the solution and wipe down the mattress. Should take the smell out but again, you may have to repeat.

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August 11, 20110 found this helpful

They have Pure Air Candles, I guess they, are really good for smoke, also, activated charcoal is good for odor too, takes care of pet smell, and you get it at, pet supplies stores. Good Luck. Regina

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July 29, 20110 found this helpful

We had a mattress fire and some burn damage to the floor. There is no soot, but a smoke odor is there. The ceilings are textured white. What do I use to deodorize and get rid of the smoke odor permanently? I know I have to clean everything, but am not sure where to look for products or what to ask for. Thanks for any help. We have no insurance, so I am doing this myself! Thanks again.

By Sybil

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Anonymous
August 1, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Even though you don't have insurance you could still call around to your local insurance companies to see what companies they use for fire/smoke cleanup. Then give those companies a call and I am sure they would be happy to give you some suggestions of what is the best thing to do and safest products to use.

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August 2, 20111 found this helpful
Best Answer

Vinegar will really help you get rid of the smoke stench and it is incredibly cheap. Mix it strong at one-to-one to create a washing solution for the floors, walls, light fixtures, switch plates, etc. Don't rinse it off as the vinegar smell will dissipate within a few hours taking the smoke odor with it. You may have to repeat the process once or twice depending on how long the surfaces were exposed to smoke.

You can also dampen a tea towel in full strength vinegar and wave it around the room, and set out shallow bowls of it full strength to deodorize the rooms.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 3, 2016

Some of my house plants survived a major fire. I literally washed them with FIT and removed all old dirt to wash away the fire retardant and ash, etc. I repotted them in new pots with new potting soil, but they still smell like smoke. Any suggestions? They are temporarily in a new, smoke free location so it's not anything else, but the plants themselves that smell.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
April 4, 20161 found this helpful

Plants are living things, of course, and perhaps their tissues have absorbed the smoke smell. If they were mine, and the weather was good, I'd put them outside and let them grow there for awhile. I think that if you just let them grow for some time, this smoke smell will go away.

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By 0 found this helpful
February 6, 2011

I have porcelain, glass, and wood items that are heavily smoke damaged due to a house fire. Many of these pieces are antiques and collectibles that I'd like to preserve as they belonged to my mother, who perished in the fire. What should I use on these different surfaces? Thank you very much!

By Patti from Everson, WA

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
February 7, 20110 found this helpful

I have a large lovely picture that has smoke damage the paint is acrylic paint, I am afraid I will wreak it but I really want to clean it so can hang it back up.

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February 7, 20110 found this helpful

First off, no one noticed or wanted to mention that your mom perished in the fire. I am so very sorry to hear that you lost her. Of course the things she left are doubly precious.

That said, TSP or Tri Sodium Phosphate is the one thing that will absolutly get them clean. It is especially formulated for nicotine and smoking damage to walls, windows, and items that are in the home of smokers. I hope this helps.

Please know that we will keep you in our hearts. I am sure it was because of the loss that no one wanted to mention it. We are a kind and generous bunch so know that if you are new to us.

Sincerely,

Poor But Proud

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February 7, 20110 found this helpful

Patti,

My sincere condolences to you and your family. I can completely understand your need to restore these things to their original beauty.

I deal in antiques, in particular porcelain, china and glassware. There is no universal product or method to cleaning/restoring these types of pieces. There were/are so many methods used in the production of vintage and antique wares that great care must be taken - what will work fine for one piece, can destroy the next. For clear glass or crystal, whether cut or uncut, fill your sink with warm water and liquid dish soap just as if you were going to wash your regular dishes. To this add about 1/2 to 1 cup of vinegar (be generous). Wash the crystal using a soft toothbrush to gently scrub in any cuts in the glass. If there is still residue remaining, dip your wet cloth into some baking soda and use it to gently "scrub" the piece. Baking soda is a mild abrasive and does a nice job of cleaning tough residue and it doesn't take a lot of elbow grease. Finally, rinse the item well in warm water and dry with a soft cloth right away. I've always used this technique and have had success cleaning some pretty tough pieces. You'll be amazed at how they will sparkle!

In the interest of not turning this post into a book, please feel free to contact me about cleaning any other types of items. Once I know what they are I can better help you go about it.

Take care!

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By 0 found this helpful
June 6, 2016

It has been over 4 months since our house fire. There was heavy smoke damage. How do I get the smoke stains/smell out of trophies, tiaras, sashes, etc.?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

February 8, 20150 found this helpful

I acquired a brand new cuddle chair which had been stored in a warehouse that had a fire. It really smells of smoke! I've tried Febreze, and air fresheners to no avail. Does anyone have any tips to get rid of the smokey smell please?

By Linzi

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
February 9, 20150 found this helpful

Febreeze and air fresheners are only temporary fixes. If Febreeze did improve the chair, the company claims only a 30 day or so change. This limits any future liability.

I searched online and found many suggestions and companies offering their miracles. You may be lucky and find a good solution, however, most people give up after a few tries and dump the smokey item.

Caveat Emptor!

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By 0 found this helpful
February 22, 2012

How do you get the soot and odor off of clothes, dishes, cookware?

By idairlene from Nelson, MO

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April 5, 20120 found this helpful

Only way is lots of washing in warm soapy water.

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January 11, 20170 found this helpful

I know the original post was years ago, but perhaps this will help someone else.

I had a fire many, many years ago. For the dishes and the cookware, vinegar will remove the soot and odor.

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February 17, 20130 found this helpful

How do you get the smell of a house fire off of appliances and will it work on the inside? I have a refrigerator where the smell outside is bad and the inside is faint, but still there. Will whatever I use turn it back to white it is a little yellow?

By Deb

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
April 4, 20170 found this helpful

Wad up lots of newspaper and put inside the refrigerator for a couple of days it will pull out even that nasty spoiled chicken smell & onion. This works well on tupperware and ice chest also.

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January 7, 20140 found this helpful

Is it safe to use cookware after being in a fire?

By Julia

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

March 30, 20130 found this helpful

My husband decided to boil the Easter eggs and fell asleep. Needless to say the eggs completely burned and burst all over my kitchen walls, oven, doors, ceiling, and created an enormous amount of smoke throughout my house and in every piece of furniture I own.

I was able to place the throw pillows into the dryer, add two dryer sheets and a few squirts of Febreze and let tumble dry. They turned out perfectly; the smell was completely gone. The problem is the furniture, Febreze helps a little. I can't take the covers off and put through the dryer. Any suggestions as to how I can get the smell out? Thanks.

By Katrina K.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

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August 18, 20101 found this helpful

I just had a close call at my home from a fire, just a lot of smoke damage. I live in a trailer and I have scrubbed and scrubbed and can't get the smell out. I have a 10 year old little boy that is having problems with his lungs and I really need to get this out as soon as possible, before he gets home. Thanks for your help.

By Donna from IN

Answers:

Removing Smoke Odors After a Fire

When my sister and her husband had a major fire in their apartment many years ago, they had a hard time removing the smoke smell from clothing, dishes, etc. Another sister who was a flight attendant came over loaded with club soda. We scrubbed everything, dishes, walls, etc. with club soda to remove the smell. It worked, too. (06/16/2010)

By ggmsmolly2

Removing Smoke Odors After a Fire

We had a similar fire at our house with a lot of smoke smell. A cleaning service came in and cleaned our duct work for the air and heat. They told me that was one of the major causes of smells after a fire and most people don't think of the ductwork. Baking soda can help and so does club soda (although expensive). (06/16/2010)

By ncgardener

Removing Smoke Odors After a Fire

Try one of the smoke gel containers that you can get almost anywhere. I too had a fire and the gel helped a lot. Also if your fabric has smells use Fabreze to revive it.
Good luck! (06/18/2010)

By maphisx7

Removing Smoke Odors After a Fire

You will want to call a smoke and fire contractor. They rebuild after damage. You may not be able to get the smell out since it seeps into your wood, drywall, and insulation. My friends just rebuilt after a small fire and they had to hire a professional smoke and fire contractor to remove all the smoke damaged parts of the house. Sorry. (06/18/2010)

By yoder178

Removing Smoke Odors After a Fire

There are professional supply cleaning stores in almost any city. Ask them for suggestions.
Also, call your insurance agency and get the name of the cleaning people they use to professionally clean homes after a fire. Then maybe they can advise you of a certain product they use.
There are some really good answers below, too.

Good luck! (06/18/2010)

By metroplex

Removing Smoke Odors After a Fire

Sometimes professional cleaning services have ozone machines that they use to get rid of smoke damage smells. You might contact your insurance company for a recommendation. (06/18/2010)

By tracesof

Comment Was this helpful? 1

June 16, 20100 found this helpful

We had a house fire a few weeks ago and now we are trying to get the smell out of all our stuff, like our furniture, books, etc. Any ideas?

Sheleigh from Midland, MI

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

March 17, 20090 found this helpful

We had a small fire in our living room - a wooden shelf smoldered for several hours and the room filled with smoke. It now smells dreadful. I have tried vacuuming the carpets, furniture and walls. Opened up windows and doors for several days. But the smell is still strong. Any ideas, please?

Sohail from UK

Answers:

Removing Smoke Odors After a Fire

I just read on Thriftyfun! To open a small can of fresh coffee and leave it in the closed room for a few days and it should take care of the smell. I never tried this, but really trust thriftyfun. (01/25/2007)

By Margie

Removing Smoke Odors After a Fire

I would try fresh coffee grounds, and if that doesn't work put a few bowls of baking soda around the house and leave it for quite a while. (01/25/2007)

By dotty

Removing Smoke Odors After a Fire

Try charcoal briquettes (the Kingsford kind), just put some in a can or bowl and put in the corners of the room. It will absorb the odors. (01/25/2007)

By PICO

Removing Smoke Odors After a Fire

I have also been told that leaving a bowl of apple cider vinegar in the room(s) affected will remove the smell. May take several days. (01/25/2007)

By jc42

Removing Smoke Odors After a Fire

Two ways I know how to get rid of odors from fire:

1. Get a bowl of water and add white vinegar and let it stay there without anyone in the room for a few hrs.

2. Put charcoal in the room in dishes, they use it here in Florida to get rid of musty odors.

(01/26/2007)

By MaryEllen

Removing Smoke Odors After a Fire

The companies that do restoration after fire and floods and the repairs have special equipment to do this. Smoke odor is very hard to get out and you may need a professional. Homeowners insurance should pay for it, but you probably have a deductible so it may not be worth running through the ins. company. (01/28/2007)

By Linda

Removing Smoke Odors After a Fire

I had a fire in my home this past year. I contacted a company on the internet BioWorld Products in Visalia, California. They have an odor eliminating product that removed all the smoke odor from my home. It worked absolutely great! I keep it on my shelf and use it for all kinds of odor when the need arises. (11/17/2008)

By rem588

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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