Cleaning Smoke Residue From Ceramic and Porcelain Figurines

A house fire or smokey fireplace can wreak havoc on your treasured figurines. This is a guide about cleaning smoke residue from ceramic and porcelain figurines.


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3 found this helpful
March 11, 2010 Flag

After a house fire, I had many glass and ceramic items to clean. The polyurathane that had coated my walls left a film like black glossy paint on them. I found if I soaked them in ammonia over night, they washed clean, even my Hummels.


I used a plastic paint bucket with lid. I also found out the hard way without rubber gloves even the ammonia fumes would burn my hands!

Hope this helps someone out. Fires are one of the worst things that can happen to a family. Most of my treasures were from my late mother-in-law. I was so happy to be able to save and clean them without damage.

By Tomboy53 from Conway, SC

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October 5, 20120 found this helpful

i have a $10 porcelain or ceramic incense burner, it takes the cones and the smoke comes out of the mouth and ears, burning these leaves a bunch of residue, i found out that hot, soapy water helps loosen it, and walmart brand heavy duty oven cleaner sprayed inside of it(only spray the inside) will remove it

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0 found this helpful
April 26, 2015 Flag

I recently bought some drinking glasses from 1971 that have years of smoke build up on them. They have a wonderful painted design on them, but they look very faded from the build up. How is the best way to clean this without losing the paint design?

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April 28, 20150 found this helpful

I would wash them in vinegar water. Maybe even let them soak in it for a few minutes.

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0 found this helpful
April 6, 2016 Flag

I had a house fire and everything is covered in smoke damage. I have a wedding porcelain set that is covered in smoke damage and I've tried using Clorox wipes, I've tried scrubbing them, and I don't know what to do. Can someone please tell me on how to get these porcelain candle figurines back to looking the way they should before may?

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May 9, 2013 Flag

My Hummel figurines were in a bad fire. Why did they look like there was only black smoke on them from a distance and still looked all together and OK, but when someone touched them, they all fell apart into cinders?
Please answer my question.

By Val J. from Torrance, CA

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May 11, 20130 found this helpful

My best guess would be they were super-heated by the fire, that even if they didn't look damaged until touched, the heat changed the ceramic base.

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May 17, 2015 Flag

10 years ago I packed my entire household for a cross-country move. Unknowingly, I wrapped my Hummels in newspaper. I do not have time for the repeated cleanings with a toothbrush and am very afraid to damage them. Will the same process used for removing fire smoke resolve this problem? I am so hoping it will! Thank you.


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