I boiled a pot dry on the stove and smoke filled the entire house. There was no fire. Is the house smoke damaged and how should I remove odor?
I seriously doubt you have actual smoke damage from a boiled dry pot, but it may take some effort to clear the smokey smell. My "inexpensive" suggestion is to start with a gallon of white vinegar and a box of baking soda. Both are natural deodorizers.
Place a container (one that can hold about two cups of liquid) full of the white vinegar in each room and leave for at least 24 hours. (Be careful not to place near electronics or anywhere pets or kids could knock over.)
Wash all of the curtains, throw rugs/bedspreads/blankets (anything washable) with a half cup of the baking soda added to your laundry soap per load. Wipe down solid surfaces with a damp rag rinsed and wrung out from a a bucket with one gallon of water, half cup of vinegar and half cup of baking soda. Glass and metal surfaces can be cleaned with the appropriate cleaners or a 32 oz spray bottle filled with a 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar. Use this spray with crumpled up newspapers (black and white only, no colored print) to avoid streaks and absorb additional odors. Sprinkle baking soda over upholstery and carpets. Let sit for several hours then vacuum up.
If weather permits, open windows and doors to help air out the house and change any air filters in your heating/cooling system. Again, if weather permits you can take some items outside and let them soak up some fresh air and sunshine (other natural deodorizers.)
Since I don't know the extent of the odor, I can't promise this will cure all but it's a frugal "Step one" to try before considering more drastic and more costly measures. If, after all of this effort, this doesn't make a dent in the odor problem, by all means, call your insurance company and find out if you are covered by smoke damage. I wish you much luck and simple solutions.
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I cooked a pot of yellow-eyed beans. They simmered down to no liquid and a horrible odorous smoke filled the house, mostly the main level. My fire alarms never activated. I was outside and unaware the house was filled with smoke.
I have stripped all curtains, slipcovers and washed them. I have wiped surfaces down with a Zep product that says it's for smoke neutralizing. I changed the air return filters. But it still smells like a bar in the house. You can even get a whiff of it when you get to the porch. Any ideas that aren't too expensive? I'm at my wits end with this!
Wendy from central VA
Odor Out, sold by the gallon in Sam's clubs, and probably in places such as Lowe's will work wonders. Put some in a spray bottle and lightly spray around in the air in all rooms that have the odor, as well as the walls. Do not soak. I salvage some small jars, i.e. pimiento, or baby food jars and put some Odor Out in them, poke about 3 or 4 holes in the lid and set them around in your house. You get no scent from the O.Out, but it leaves a nice fresh smell in your house. (10/25/2008)
Displace that smell with new ones, such as putting cinnamon on cookie sheets to bake just for the smell. Orange peels baked, too. Look through your cookbooks for the best good-smelling recipes and fix a freezerful. (10/25/2008)
Thanks to everyone who responded with tips to help me with my smoke odor issue from burning a pot of beans! I actually have gotten rid of the odor and this is how I did it: My mother-in-law told me to simmer three or four pots of vinegar on the stove for several hours. Boy, my eyes and nose burned while the vinegar was simmering! It was really strong.
Then I borrowed an Alpine Air Purifier from a girlfriend. The kind that you can adjust the level of ozone output. I cranked up the ozone to the highest level. In just a few hours all the vinegar smell was gone and now the house smells great! The ozone has been running for five days now. I also wiped the walls down with vodka. I dampened dish towels with Odoban and hung them in strategic places around the house. I think simmering the vinegar to get the steam from it dispersed through the house was the best trick though. (10/27/2008)
Small dishes of vinegar placed around your house will absorb the smoky smell. Or boil water on the stove with cinnamon and citrus peels to cover up the smell. The vinegar will work wonders though!
Fill up a bowl with vinegar & leave it on the counter for a few hours. The kitchen will smell of vinegar but it will go away. The burning smell will disappear. (08/15/2005)