My house burned down this past Sunday. We have been able to salvage some stuff, but obviously it smells horrible. Are there any suggestions on how in the world to get smells out of mattresses, a dress that cannot be dry cleaned, books, photos, etc.? We were very lucky to save my entire room, but my parents lost everything. Please help us get this smell out.
Brittany from Quinlan, TX
We had a house fire 2 years ago that gutted our house. We lost most of everything. The people that did the repairs put what they called an "Ozonator" in the rooms to get rid of the smoke smell. It puts out pure oxygen. Check with someone that does fire restoration. They should be able to help you. (08/11/2006)
I went through an apartment fire with heavy smoke damage in April 2005. Try Arm & Hammer Carpet Fresh with cinnamon. It neutralizes the smoke odor (give it at least twelve hours before vacuuming). That is how we saved our couch. You may just need to get a new mattress, as that can be harder to remove, but try the powder first.
For clothes or any washables, try Scope, it has TSP (can't remember chemical name) that also does the same thing as cinnamon. Two capfuls for one regular load. Stuffed animals and pillows, I would bag, sprinkle the powder, then after a day vacuum and air out.
Hope this helps and you can get it done soon! Heavy duty Febreeze or Clorox Fabri-care are also great. You'll have to repeat many times, and may not smell "right" but it is better than smoke, and saved my baby stuff! (08/12/2006)
My sister recently had a house fire, and she managed to save some of her jewelry which was in a glass jewelry box. We used Dawn dish soap and let it soak for a few days, after we scrubbed them clean with a toothbrush. Pretty much good as new. (12/06/2008)
I found this tip:
Smoke Odor Removal from Wood Furniture:
Some ways to remove smoke odors from wood furniture are: filling the drawers with ground coffee and leaving it over night. Using baking soda and leaving it for several days, using cat litter and leaving it in for several days or placing the item outside in a shady spot on a breezy day. Another option is to apply a thin coating of shellac to the entire piece to seal in the smell.
Smoke Odor Removal after Fire:
To remove the smoke odor, you will need to give EVERYTHING a thorough cleaning. Walls, curtains, cupboards, ceiling, etc. When washing the curtains, or anything else washable, add 1 cup of vinegar to the rinse water to remove odors. Use baking soda as a scrubbing agent on the walls and ceiling, and after everything is clean, place small bowls of vinegar throughout to collect any lingering odors. Also, try to get as much fresh air through the room as possible. (01/21/2009)
We work with home owners that have fires on a regular basis. Couple quick things that will help:
1) Ozone will get rid of smoke and fire smell in most items - furniture and mattresses, etc. A fire restoration company can help here.
2) Pictures - the simplest way to clean these items of smoke is to wipe them down and color copy them. (01/31/2009)
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