Removing Smoke Odor After a House Fire

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.



December 21, 201613 found this helpful
Top Comment

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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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.


17 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

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


By MaryEllen (Guest Post)
January 26, 20073 found this helpful
Best Answer

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

  • Get a bowl of water and add white vinegar and let stay there without anyone in the room for a few hrs.
  • Put charcoal in the room in dishes, they use it here in Florida to get rid of musty odors.
By rem588 (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.

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.

June 18, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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August 4, 2011

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

By Danielle R.


August 4, 20112 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, 20111 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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July 29, 2011

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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August 1, 20111 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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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.?


July 6, 20170 found this helpful

Soak clothes in peroxide and baking soda over night, then rinse, put outside to dry.

July 6, 20170 found this helpful

Soak in a bucket, a mixture of peroxide and baking soda overnight. Next day rinse well with a tablespoon of vinegar in a gallon of water, rinse add softerner hang dry outside.


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July 13, 20170 found this helpful

When we had our house fire, the fire restoration people cleaned everything with vinegar and lots of fresh air. It took awhile, somethings had to be cleaned several times and air out for several days in the fresh outside air.


They also had to replace all the sheet rock as it held the smell and kept putting the smell back into the air.

August 13, 20220 found this helpful

The walls need to be wiped down with white vinegar, dawn dish detergent original dawn, and warm water. Let dry then paint on Kilz primer and a paint with Kilz primer in it . The Kilz will keep the sm
ell from breaking through

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August 3, 2017

After a fire, ridding your home of the smoke odor can be a daunting task. Books can easily harbor the lingering smoke smell for a long time. This is a page about cleaning smoke odor from house fire in books.

Several books on a table.

August 3, 2017

Water and smoke damage can lessen the value of collectibles. This is a page features advice about cleaning collectibles damaged in a house fire.

A house on fire.


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

March 17, 2009
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.

August 18, 2010

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.

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