- First, get permission to enter your home from a fire marshal. Make sure it’s safe before you go inside!
- Wear safety gear! Wood isn’t the only thing that burns in a fire. Plastics and other materials burn as well. Getting toxic soot in your eyes can be harmful, so wear safety goggles and rubber gloves!
- The soot and smoke is toxic to breathe due to the chemicals released from household products during the fire so make sure to let air circulate before and during clean up!
Soot and smoke damage can be cleaned up, but keep in mind some things are unrepairable and will need replaced.
How to Remove the Smoke Damage on the Walls and Ceiling
Repairing smoke damage can be a challenging process, but it’s not impossible.
- First, vacuum up any loose soot on walls or ceilings.
- Second, grab a magic eraser or sponge, warm water, and some TSP, also known as Trisodium Phosphate solution. This cleaning product will remove the soot that is more worked in from your walls and ceiling.
- Next, dampen the sponge with TSP and rub it on small sections at a time. Make sure you’re wearing your rubber gloves! This part takes some time and dedication. Be patient and keep scrubbing!
- Before you move on to the next section, wipe the solution and soot off with a damp rag and warm water.
- Finally, move on to the next section!
Note: Don’t saturate your sections too much when rubbing them with the sponge or rinsing them with your rag and water! This can harm your drywall or cause mold.
Removing the “Smoke Smell”
Repairing smoke damage includes getting rid of the persistent odor. Simple air fresheners won’t do much to help. However, getting rid of this odor by yourself can be done with simple household cleaners.
- White Vinegar: Walls, furniture, floors, and ceilings can all be cleaned with a rag dampened with white vinegar. Remember: don’t soak anything with the vinegar!
- Activated Charcoal: Put out a bucket or multiple bowls of powdered charcoal in the room with the smoke smell. It will absorb and remove the odor.
- Baking Soda: This acts similarly to charcoal. Put scattered bowls of baking soda around the room and it will absorb the smell. Also, sprinkling baking soda on odor damaged furniture or other surfaces will remove the smell.
- Air Duct Cleaning: Smoke odors may linger in your home due to soot and debris that has been caught in your ventilation systems. The odors continue to stick around when heating and cooling systems are used. Clean out and deodorize your air ducts to get rid of the smell!