Cleaning a Smoked Damaged Home
Do you want to know how to clean a smoke-damaged house? We recommend that you find a pro to do it for you because you’re not going to clean a house damaged by smoke simply by opening the windows and airing out your home. It’s a much more complicated job than you think. But… if you wish to do it on your own, here is how you should do it:
- The first thing you need to do is open those windows and ventilate your home. This is just the first step, but it’s essential. All the windows and doors should be open, and you may want to turn on all your fans to boost airflow. However, you need to turn off the HVAC to keep the smoke and soot from spreading.
- Before you do the actual cleaning, you need to wear the proper protective suit. This means trousers, a long-sleeved shirt, gloves, and eye protection for you. Then it would be best if you also protect your floor, undamaged furniture, and the undamaged rooms.
- Next comes the vacuuming, and you’ll need a powerful vacuum cleaning machine with an upholstery attachment. You will use the vacuum to remove loose soot particles by lightly brushing with the brush attachment. Don’t make the stains worse by scrubbing, and just be light and gentle.
- After vacuuming, you need a chemical sponge (dry-cleaning sponge) to wipe the smoke stains and soot. This type of sponge is crucial, as it has special chemicals that can lift the stains from your walls. Wipe the walls gently with it, and don’t scrub as you may spread the soot and work it deeper into the surface. Turn to a different side of the sponge, so you’re always wiping with a clean sponge surface. When the sides of the sponge are all dirty, you can use a new sponge or slice off the dirty sides with a knife, so you have fresh new surfaces to work with.
- After removing as much of the soot as possible with the chemical sponge, it’s time for the liquid cleaners and a clean rag. You may want to use a commercial smoke and soot remover, though you have to make sure you follow the directions for use. Alternatives liquid cleaners include paint thinner, white vinegar, and rubbing alcohol.
- Soak the clean rag with the liquid cleaner and then wipe the walls throughout the room. Wipe every surface inside the room, whether or not there are visible signs of soot or smoke damage. Don’t overlook the light bulbs.
- Next, you need a few tablespoons of dish soap (or TSP or degreaser) in about a gallon of hot water. Use this with a sponge or rag to wash your room surfaces, and replace the rag and the cleaning water if they get dirty.
- After you’ve washed the room completely, wipe the walls again with fresh water to remove any remaining cleaning agents.
- Now dry all the surfaces with another clean rag, and you can use fans to accelerate the drying process.
- If you smell smoke, find the things in your room that absorb odors quickly and put them outside. These will probably include your carpets.
As you can see, this is a very complicated process. So make it easy for yourself and get a pro to do it for you. They will do it faster, and they will do it right.
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