After your home has had a fire that caused smoke and soot damage, you may try to salvage as many items as you can from your home, including personal possessions, clothing, and furniture. Cleaning the items to remove the greasy soot and its accompanying smell can be quite a task but should be completed properly for the items to be used again. Here are some recommendations to clean items in your home after a fire has occurred:
Fabrics inside your home can be salvaged as they have not been burned, but you will need to remove the soot and the smoke smell before cleaning them. Soot usually falls onto your fabrics, such as clothing, bedding, and curtains, creating a layer of greasy dust. Remove the soot from the fabrics with your vacuum's hose without an attachment. Turn on the vacuum and move the end of the hose directly over the fabrics but not touching them, which will pull up soot from the smoke damaged fabric without pushing it into the fibers.
After you have pulled the soot from the surface of your fabrics, you can remove the smoke smell and wash the items in your clothes washer. To remove the smoke smell from the fabrics, submerge them in a bucket of water mixed with a cup of dissolved laundry detergent and let it sit overnight. The next morning, wash them in a cold water wash cycle in your clothes washer. Add some vinegar into the bleach and fabric softener compartments or add the vinegar during the rinse cycle on upright washers.
After washing your fabrics, check them for any remaining smoke stains. Repeat the process of washing them in your clothes washer to remove all the stains until they are clean if there any remaining in the fabrics.
Clean Wood Furniture
You can also clean wood furniture of soot and smoke damage after a house fire has occurred. It is best to complete his process outside so you don't scatter soot into your home. Or, place the furniture on a plastic tarp to catch any soot as you clean it from the furniture's surface.
First, use a dry sponge to wipe soot from the surface of your wood furniture. Then, apply a furniture restoration polish to the furniture, working in small areas. You can find this type of product at most home improvement stores. Rub the product over the surface of the wood with a cloth, following the direction of the wood grain. Then, wipe it from the surface with your cloth and buff the surface of your furniture with a separate, clean cloth.