Experiencing a house fire is a terrible and haunting experience, no matter how serious it was.
If your home and the majority of your things pulled through safely, you might be experiencing another annoyance – the smell of smoke everywhere and on all of your things.
Compared to the fire, it is a small thing, but it can get in the way of normal life fairly quickly.
Cleaning experts at Maids of Jacksonville share some tips on how you can get the smell of smoke out of your belongings.
Don’t Forget about Your Safety
If you are going into the home soon after the fire, wear protective equipment. In most cases, that means good gloves which will protect your hands from any potentially still hot materials, as well as a face mask, so that you breathe as little of the smoke as possible.
Wearing goggles is also recommended since smoke can really irritate your eyes and potentially cause some lasting damage to your vision.
The first step in getting your home free of smoke is to ventilate everything to help the smoke leave your home naturally.
That means opening all doors and windows and creating a draft which will take the smoke out. However, it also means turning on every fan in your home and helping to create the strongest possible air current.
Getting Rid of Soot
Once the immediate danger and the smoke are cleared from your home, you can start cleaning the residue. Soot is the biggest source of smell which will linger for a long time if you don’t clean it.
The simplest way to clean the soot is to get your vacuum cleaner and use the brush extension. Gently go over the surface of the wall. The brush will dislodge the soot from the wall and the vacuum cleaner will collect it.
Alternative to Vacuuming
If you don’t want to use the vacuum cleaner to get rid of soot, there are several different options. You can use a specialized dry chemical sponge. These sponges contain some chemicals in them which are designed to remove soot and the smell of smoke.
These sponges need to be used lightly on the walls where soot is visible. When the sponge gets dirty, it needs to be washed and allowed to dry in the air.
If there is a lot of soot damage, a sponge isn’t a practical solution. There are store-bought cleaning products which you can use to get rid of bigger areas of soot.
What to Do with Smoke Smell
Even if you get rid of all the soot and the immediate smoke, your walls may absorb the smell of smoke and this odor can linger for a long time, not only annoying you but also being potentially harmful to your health.
However, there is a way to get rid of this problem as well. The simplest solution might be to get some air fresheners and spray your walls. Even though many people don’t like air fresheners and believe that they don’t fight the bad odors, not all of the products are the same.
Look on the label for a product which uses cyclodextrin. This chemical actually binds the smoke and similar particles and neutralizes their smell.
Alternatively, you can get a mixture of dish soap and warm water and rinse a cloth in it, gently wiping down walls, making sure that you don’t saturate them with water.
Getting rid of smoke in your home can be a challenge, but it is not impossible. All it takes is a bit of effort and some craftiness.