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“What can be saved from smoke damage?” Is often a question many homeowners ask the moment they walk into their property after a fire incident.
It can be hard to know what can be saved from the damage that smoke and heat have caused since items that were once in pristine condition are now blackened and charred.
However, don’t fret because there is still hope! This blog post will outline some information about what can be saved from smoke damage in your home, as well as the specific steps to take.
Read on below to know more!
Smoke contains acid-like particles called lipids which attack every surface area they touch by breaking down organic materials like wood into substances containing acids such as lactic acid.
However, it is crucial to understand that not all items are equally affected by smoke; thus, there is still hope for your furniture to be salvaged from smoke damage.
Among the things that can be saved after a fire are:
Smoke can do significant damage to everything from personal items to structural integrity, which means that timely cleanup is essential for restoring your property.
In this section, we have discovered smoke can be lethal to your items because of the acid-like particles it contains that break down your furniture’s surfaces.
However, we’ve also learned that upholstery, bedding, and clothing, wooden furniture, metal and plastic items can still be saved even after a fire.
Smoke damage can be unsightly and difficult to remove from your furniture since it penetrates the fabric, leaves a greasy residue, and can even blacken the surface.
But with the right tools, cleaning solutions, and proper knowledge, you can effectively clean and restore all your items to their immaculate conditions.
Here are some of the steps that you can take to do so!
Saving your upholstery can be a tricky endeavor, but it is not entirely impossible with the use of soap and water!
Soap and water will work together by breaking down the oily residue and loosening up any potential smoke particles that may have remained.
Here’s how to properly do it:
Step 1: The first step to getting rid of the smoke damage from your upholstery would be to vacuum off any visible dust and debris; this will ensure that the material won’t spread and stick to other surfaces in your home.
Step 2: After removing all debris and dust, you have to wash the fabric down with some soap and warm water. It’s highly recommended to use soap and water only because utilizing harsh chemicals might result in chemical burns, and the fabric may even melt.
Step 3: Finally, after you’ve thoroughly washed your upholstery, it’s time to dry them off with a vacuum cleaner or a hair drier for any stubborn wrinkles that remain.
If you were able to save your bedding and clothing from the fire, then congratulations!
However, there is still a procedure you must follow to ensure that any present chemicals that are invisible to the naked eye are eliminated.
One way to salvage your clothing and bedding is to use some baking soda and dish soap.
The baking soda will help neutralize the smoky residue and also remove any lingering smell while the dish soap loosens up grease from clothing or bedding.
Follow the steps below to achieve this:
Step 1: Simply add 1/2 cup of baking soda and dish soap into your washer. Once done, put the fabric in.
Step 2: Afterward, wash your bedding and clothing with warm water and use a gentle cycle to ensure that any potential fire particles are eliminated.
Step 3: Finally, dry them off using high heat to kill any remaining bacteria from smoke damages!
It isn’t easy to clean wooden furniture. If you use the improper cleaning product, you risk removing the paint and varnish, which can make the furniture look worn and old.
The best way to clean a wooden surface that has been exposed to smoke is by using vinegar and baking soda.
Vinegar contains acetic acid, which is a natural degreaser, and it also helps restore the wood’s natural sheen. On the other hand, baking soda will remove any smoky odor on the wood surface.
- Mix equal parts vinegar, water, and baking soda.
- Then, use a soft cloth or sponge to clean any visible soot.
- After cleaning, you can use a clean damp towel to wipe and dry off any residue left.
Smoke’s acidic soot can cause metal surfaces, such as major appliances, to stain and corrode over time.
On the other hand, plastic surfaces and synthetics accumulate more smoke than other materials and can discolor in minutes.
With this in mind, you need to use two different products for each material.
For metal surfaces such as appliances, wipe them down with a clean cloth and cooking oil. The cooking oil will help avoid rusting and staining thanks to the oil’s non-corrosive properties.
To clean plastics and synthetics, use a diluted alkali cleaning solution that contains ammonia and detergent that will dissolve soot particles.
Wipe the area down with a clean, dry cloth to eliminate any residue left after cleaning.
Applying these two solutions with a clean cloth will help remove smoke stains from metal and plastic surfaces while also limiting any chemical reactions between the fire-damaged surface and your cleaning agent.
What to Keep In Mind
So far, we've learned how to properly clean upholstery, bedding, and clothing, wooden furniture, metal and plastic items from smoke damage thanks to natural ingredients that can easily be found in every household.
After a fire, you must clean your house or room that has been affected by the flames.
Oftentimes, professional cleaners are called in to do this task, but if your fire incident wasn’t too severe, there are some steps that you can take to get the area back in shape.
To do so, take note of the step-by-step procedure recommended by the experts:
Step #1: Wear Proper Cleaning Gear
Start by ensuring you have the proper cleaning gear so you don’t get affected by any toxic chemicals that may be present. Wear a face mask, gloves, and eye protectors if needed.
Step #2: Wipe Surfaces
Wipe down all surfaces with a damp cloth to remove any soot or ash left on them, including walls, ceilings, and floors. You can also use a vacuum cleaner to make sure you get rid of all the particles.
Step #3: Use a Degreaser
Next, use a degreaser such as vinegar, dish soap, or baking soda to clean upholstery that has been exposed to smoke. If possible, cover your furniture in plastic wrap or sheets while cleaning it, so no dirt gets on its surface and causes more damages.
Step #4: Keep Damaged Furniture
Store furniture with severe damage away from its original location to avoid further contamination of already damaged property.
Step #5: Make Use of Dehumidifiers
Lastly, utilize dehumidifiers in conjunction with air purifiers for at least 24 hours after restoration work. They will help minimize the lingering smell by pulling out excess moisture.
By following this simple yet efficient plan, it is possible to make your house or room look new again. However, for those properties that have been severely damaged by smoke, it would be best to call in professionals.
Dealing with what happens after a fire can be tiring, especially when it comes to cleaning.
Fortunately, we have listed the best cleaning guide above that’s presented by the experts, which will help you recover from smoke damage.
Read Next: How to Remove Bed Bugs From Wood Furniture?
Now before you apply all your new learnings, let’s finally have our…
You no longer have to keep on wondering what can be saved from smoke damage because this guide has answered all your concerns.
You now understand why smoke is hazardous to your belongings, what can be preserved after the flames have been extinguished, how to save these items using natural remedies, and, of course, how to clean an entire house from smoke damage.
We’re confident that you’ll be able to restore a room to its former grandeur with this new information because you now know what actions to take!