Cleaning Carpets After A Fire

Wet carpets should be quickly separated from padding to prevent padding dyes from wicking up and causing permanent stains. A professional would next use a water- lift vacuum, but a good substitute is to turn on electric fans and open windows to provide good air circulation as an aid to speedy drying. Open windows and fans help if temperatures are warm enough and air outside is dry. In cold, damp weather, if house does not have any openings (such as broken-out windows) borrow, rent, or buy one or more dehumidifiers (depending on size of wet area in house) to pull water out of surfaces and materials.


Carpets and rugs should then be shampooed with dense detergent suds and very little water. Cleaning experts have recommended steam extraction by professional truck- mounted units, with higher horsepower than home rental units, to clean and extract carpets much more thoroughly than shampooing the surface. Professionals use special deodorant shampoos in rotary carpet-scrubbing machines and they also have facilities to stretch shrunken rugs. It will be difficult for most home-owners to replace wall-to-wall carpet.

Source: MSU Extension

About The Author: This article was written by Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus, with references from Arkansas Extension bulletin How to Clean House After a Fire.

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Home and Garden Cleaning CarpetApril 1, 2005
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