Natural Ways of Removing Smoke Smell After a Fire
One of the most pervasive aspects of fire damage is the smell that comes along with it! But not only is that smell unpleasant, it can cause health concerns as well. It is vital that once a fire has occurred, steps are taken to remove as much of this pollution as possible. Depending on how much damage you have, you will most likely need the services of a professional restoration company. Shrock Restoration is passionate about helping to give you back your life after a disaster has occurred. However, if the damage is not extensive (maybe you just burned dinner), or you just need to do something while you wait for restoration to be initiated, here are a few easy-to-do tips for removing the smoke odors!
TIP #1 – LET IN FRESH AIR
Once you are cleared by the authorities to safely re-enter the building, you will want to GET FRESH AIR IN. Open every window and door possible. You need to let some fresh air in and that smoke-laden air out. If you have fans, turn them on high speed and point them towards open windows or doors. Switch if up every few hours or so and blow some good air in from the outside. Let this air flow for an entire day. There will be a lot of smoke and soot particles inside and the longer you can let the air flow, the more the air quality will improve. This tip will not completely fix the problem, but it is a vital first step.
TIP #2 – CLEAN EVERY SURFACE
Now that you have some fresh air flowing, it is time to start addressing the soot, ash and tiny particles that have infiltrated every square inch of surface space. You will need access to fresh water, a bucket for water, rags for cleaning, some dish soap (we suggest ones containing citrus), baking soda and some white vinegar. The dish soap will help cut through the greasy residue and the vinegar and baking soda is especially helpful in eradicating the smell. Don’t worry – the vinegar smell will dissipate after a
while – unlike that smoke smell! This is admittedly the hardest step, as it is the most amount of labor for you. This is a good opportunity to recruit some helpers; there is a lot of ground to cover and you must be THOROUGH. Smoke knows no bounds within a building, so every surface will need to be cleansed.
Fabric is one of the main places that smoke will embed itself into. Think about couches, pillows and blankets for instance – they are usually filled with soft, voluminous fibers and those fibers love to collect the smell of smoke. Launder any fabric items that you can, and remove from the building once they are clean, lest you have to wash them again later! Couches, mattresses, carpets, etc. will likely need professional cleaning to restore them. Baking soda will come in handy for absorbing some of the
smoke odor: sprinkle generously on the surface, leave overnight and vacuum up the next day with a vacuum containing a good HEPA filter. This alone will not completely remove the smell, but it will improve it until these items can be properly cleaned. Shrock Restoration is equipped with the industry’s leading ozone chamber and highly skilled cleaning technicians.
WINDOWS & WALLS
Using a rag/brush and a warm water/dish soap/white vinegar combination, start with window screens and windows. Be sure to thoroughly cleanse the screens, removing them if possible for easy cleaning. Scrub each one with a brush, using plenty of soap and water, and rinse well. All those little holes are great hiding places for smoke residue and we want to dislodge as many of them as we can! Walls, ceilings and floors are the next big surface areas. Mop any uncarpeted floors thoroughly with the same solution. Get that rag over every surface, being sure to rinse your rag often! Our goal is to make the “shell” of the room as clean as possible by removing as many of those particles as possible. The professionals at Shrock Restoration are experts in soot and smoke odor elimination, deodorization, and their air purification process is certified by the Clean Trust.
Once the actual shell of the room has been cleansed, move on to all solid surfaces, such as countertops and fixtures. Start with the larger items, such as furniture and appliances, and continue until every surface has been cleansed. Shrock Restoration will pack out inventory and remove possessions and other contents for cleaning and restoration at our clean, safe, insured, off-site facility.
Once all surfaces have been cleansed, you can place little containers of white vinegar and baking soda (not combined!) throughout the building. They are both excellent at absorbing odors. Again, the vinegar smell will dissipate – and it is way better than the smell of smoke! Dealing with the aftermath of a fire or smoke damage is a stressful time. We hope these tips will help you feel a little more in control and that you can rest assured knowing you are doing everything possible to regain your peace of mind and, of course, your indoor air quality!