Cleaning Fire Residue from Glass and Metal

We salvaged some glass and metal antiques from our home after a fire, but not much left. It was a 75% loss. Hope to save some things, but what the heat didn't destroy, the smoke left behind this greasy black residue on everything. We have tried orange cleaners, oxi clean, windex, 409, but these type of cleaners hardly touch it. Any suggestions that might help dissolve this blackness?


KLR from Las Vegas NV.

April 2, 20080 found this helpful

Yes, I can help... We also had a house fire several years ago. Here's what the pros that came in told us:

1) COCA-COLA: To get the smell out of things you can wash in the machine (or by hand) put one can of regular Coca-Cola (WITH sugar, NOT sugarless) into the wash with your clothes, drapes or whatever. This will remove all traces of the smoke SMELL.from your clothes. (Don't use Pepsi, only regular Coca-Cola) It sounds crazy, but It really DOES work!

2) OZONE MACHINES: To make your home smell sweet & fresh again (your insurance should cover this) Rent an industrial sized Ozone machine. If you run a large Ozone machine for 2 days at full strength it will get rid of all that nasty smell of smoke from even a large house (ours was a 5 bedroom 3 bathroom home & in 2 - 3 days all traces of the smoke smell was gone). Don't run the machine while your in the same room! (It removes oxygen from the air) An Ozone machine will remove the smoke smell from INSIDE of your upholstered furniture, mattresses, & carpet padding, nothing else will!

3) AWESOME BRAND CLEANER: To clean carpets & upholstered furniture try a concentrated cleaner named "Awesome". I buy it at a dollar store named "Dollar Tree" but most dollar stores have it. This is the only thing I've found that will remove carbon from carpets. (It's like cleaning up "charcoal!) I've also had good luck with the cheapie dollar store squirt bottle that just says "carpet cleaner" when nothing else would work on fire residue.

4) FOAMING BATHROOM CLEANER: Way back in the 1979 I had an oil furnace that exploded & sent a greasy, oily smoke EVERYWHERE inside my home. The only thing that I could find that would remove this greasy smoky residue was "Foaming Bathroom Cleaner" Like "Dow Scrubbing Bubbles". They also sell this at the dollar store. Just buy a spray-can that says something like: "Foaming Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner"... It's the only thing that removes the greasy film that's left on counters, linoleum, glass, walls & mirrors.

5) DRY-CLEANING CHEMICAL SPONGES: When the Pros came to help us clean up after the fire they used this DRY-chemical sponge to "erase" the smoke from our wallpaper, walls & woodwork. I believe they might be called "Dry Cleaning Sponges"... You wouldn't believe how wonderfully they worked! These sponges are made for use by professionals. Not many know about these little gems, but, once you use one... You're HOOKED! Simply amazing how you just wipe them across the smoke residue & they pick up every little bit of it!


* To find more, you'll need to Google the words "Chemical Sponge"

6) CARPET & UPHOLSTERY DRY-CLEANING: There's no use in trying to steam clean your carpeting or furniture (the steam would only push the smoke down into the carpet!), in fact we had all of our carpets torn out & new rugs put back in. This stuff can be also be used on Upholstered Furniture (Not JUST rugs!) This stuff is simply AMAZING! (Don't let the word "Dry-Cleaning" scare you, this stuff is totally SAFE for the environment & people!) ---> When you hire it done, this is how they do it: They have these large machines that remind me of a floor polisher & they sprinkle the "Dry-cleaning" stuff on the carpets & the machine spins around & pushes the dry-cleaning particles deeply into the carpet. This "dry-cleaning" stuff is made up of little tiny "sponge-like" particles that are impregnated with a cleaner of sorts. They used a different dry-cleaner for the areas where there were stains. This stuff is then left on the carpet for about a half hour, then it's vacuumed up with a high suction vacuum. Let me tell you that after he cleaned our rugs with this technique, they looked like NEW! ... (& our carpets were REALLY bad!) I'll never use a steam cleaner or foam carpet cleaner again! Only this stuff! ...Plus: This stuff is safe for kids & causes no allergies!

* Here's a web site that sell basically the same thing, only for smaller areas... All you need is the dry-cleaner & maybe the roller-type thing that pushes the granules down into your carpet, then finish off with a really good vacuuming.


Daisy roller brush $29

Dry Carpet Shaker Pack $14.95

You can't beat that price!

HERE'S THE SITE: ... t-carpet-care-cleaning-products.html


---> Any more questions? Send me a note here on ThriftyFun! ... I have several more tips for you about your fire insurance.

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April 3, 20080 found this helpful

We also had a devastating fire in our home and I found through trial and error some "different" types of cleaners or solvents, nail polish remover (acetone) , rubbing alcohol, and believe it or not sometimes oil, varying from plain old butter to just about anything you find that is greasy. I know that sounds weird, but sometimes something oily loosens that sooty residue. Also try a sponge you can find at any grocery store called magic eraser. GOOD LUCK!

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April 6, 20080 found this helpful

We helped a couple clean their smoked home. The firemen told the couple to use alcohol where ever there was smoke. Alcohol will cut the smoky residue. It is about the only thing that will cut it except having a professional company come in and clean it. Hope this helps.

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