There are a variety of tips to remember when removing odor and smoke damage from fabrics and upholstery.
- Act quickly: The longer smoke odor is left to linger on fabric or garments, the harder it can be to make it go away. Smoke damage restoration efforts should begin immediately to avoid related costs from escalating.
- Reduce the odor: Before the cleaning process can begin, start by removing as many items holding the smoke smell as possible. This includes anything that is not salvageable, such as carpet, wallpaper, building materials, and insulation. If items can be cleaned off site (furniture, clothing, linens), remove them from the premises. The less smoke objects holding the smoke smell, the easier it is to rid odors.
- Air it out: If weather permits, open the windows and use fans to circulate the air. The ventilation will help to decrease the odor, while also dry out any moisture damage that occurred in the fire extinguishing process.
- Remove soot: Soot, or the black particles left behind after a fire, can contain acids and chemicals that can further be of damage to fabrics. Since soot holds odor, the deodorization process must begin by using a heavy duty or industrial vacuum to eliminate the oily residue. Be sure to hold the nozzle above the fabric, carpeting, or drapery to avoid the soot from further staining or destroying the material.
- Deodorize textiles: To help break down the smoke molecules causing the odor, fire restorers often rely upon “smoke odor counteractants.” For best results, always follow manufacturer specifications when using.
- Dry clean: While not exactly a DIY approach, professional dry cleaners can be a less expensive option to respond to smoke odor cleaning for smaller items.
- Contain it: Werner Restoration offers cleaning via ozone treatment generator, which when combined with containment can help to eliminate odors.
- Get foggy: Another process Werner Restoration relies upon for smoke damage is “thermal fogging.” This deodorizing process uses pressurized force to disperse deodorant droplets in a similar manner to how smoke is spread.