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Thread: How to remove smoke smell after fire?

  1. #26
    Super Member ksea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katier825
    We had an electrical fire at our other house last week. Thankfully, no one was injured, but there is enough damage that it can not be lived it until repaired. We're are hoping to do some of the cleanup ourselves and use the money for the critical repairs (like having the whole house rewired). Can't do much until the insurance co. says we can go back in and clean. Short of airing out while we are there, what else can I try?

    I am looking for suggestions about cleaning products that will help remove the smoke smell of walls, cabinets, leather furniture, etc.

    Any suggestions?
    You can rent an ozone machine and it will take all the smell out, the only thing no pets or people can be in the space while the ozone is running.

  2. #27
    Super Member milikaa1's Avatar
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    Not sure about cleaners, after being thru two huge forest fires and lots of smoke damage (which is seems to be in the sub floor and insulation), I wash walls down with a Mr.Clean type cleaner, wash all "washable" fabrics in washer, be very careful with carpet cleaning if you are going to do this your self, insurance would not cover this in the begining so I had to do it myself, there was so much soot and smoke I cleaned multiple times to get it out which opened the carpet seams which resulted in replacing the entire house at our expense...they have a commercial air cleaner, I think it is a negative cleaner (?) which will eliminate odors really really well...

  3. #28
    Super Member Glenda m's Avatar
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    When we had our house fire, way back when, the company that did the re-painting had a special paint (any color) that covered the smell. It worked really well. You might check into that. As for the woodwork..a good old fashion cleaning worked for me. Good luck, but you really did want to renovate, didn't you.

  4. #29
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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    When my neighbor had their fire, the insurance company hired Stanley Steamers for fire clean up...the adjusters left many things that they deemed unusable....but we washed most in hot sudsy water, with ODO-BAN. Saved alot. Tupperware, laundry baskets, plastic toys...mostly ruined. The smell never leaves.

  5. #30
    Super Member alwayslearning's Avatar
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    In the meantime, put out dishes of vinegar. It will start neutralizing the odor. Good luck.

  6. #31
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    We had a fire and found out that white vinega.r and water work real good to remove smoke smell. also washed clothes,drapes by putting vinegar in the wash

  7. #32
    Super Member jbj137's Avatar
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    When my houe caught fire on 1993 the cleaning company
    had some kind of spray (don't know what) but they sprayed it in the vents.

    At times (especially when it rains for a long time)
    you will get a faint smoke smell forever.
    J J

  8. #33
    Junior Member whatever's Avatar
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    I was told by a mechanic that would get cars were people had passed away and not found for a few days that they would put a few open bags of charcoal in there and let it sit a few days and that would work.

  9. #34

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    If you have insurance they will send cleaning people out and they will clean your drapes,walls etc. When we had an electrical fire I remember my husband rushing home and he reversed the window fan to pull out of the house and it took all that smoke out. We have A/C now.

  10. #35
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    Insurance company should arrange a company to come in and clean and take care of everything. That is why you carry insurance. Be sure to document everything they do and ANYTHING they remove and take out to clean. This is not something you want do yourself unless you are forced to. Insurance should cover it or the biggest part of it. Good luck.

  11. #36
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    I know they WILL come out and clean, it's figured into the adjuster's estimate...I was just looking for ways to save a bit because the policy is NOT for replacement value, it's for cash value minus depreciation and deductible...we will probably have to come up with some of our own money to do the more critical repairs. This will be tough because we won't be collecting any rent until it's fixed. Maybe I just feel like I should be doing something physical since I don't have any money to send them...I feel terrible that the kids (my son & his family) are basically homeless now.

  12. #37
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    my mil had a fire several years ago we did alot of the cleaning ourselves clothes and linens we washed with gain detergent and a cup of white vinigar. we pried the cds out of a melted plastic stereo all 100 of them and washed them in dawn dish soap so be careful what you throw away febreeze
    is awesome too. we saved alot of stuff the ins co wrote off there saving her a bundle in replacement cost.
    carla

  13. #38
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    We had a fire in our home a few years ago. Our insurance agent was a tremendous help. He arranged for a fire restoration company to come to our home. The fire was four days before Christmas, and we were expecting out of state guests. We had to totally trust the company to make our home inhabitable in three days.

    First, they brought in an ozone machine that sucked in all the smoke. We had smoke damage in every single room in the house. After the ozone machine did its job, the restoration company brought in ten people to hand clean the walls (they used an amazing dry sponge), windows, ceiling fans, baseboards, eating utensils, plates, bowls, etc. They explained using the dish washer is a bad idea because heat would further set the smoke smell into the plates, bowls and glassware. The supervisor also recognized that my quilts were special and had them professionally cleaned by a company that specializes in tapastries and quilts. It was a challenge trying to get our house ready for company without continuously bumping into the ten cleaning people, but they knew we were working with a deadline, and they worked hard to get the job done in spectacular fashion.

    Having a house fire is never fun, but I hope you have the same wonderful experience as we did with the professionals who took care of our home.

  14. #39
    Member Shocked Quilter's Avatar
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    My house was skunked,,,really no joke...3 years ago. The insurance overed about $14,000. in the clean up. The skunk go into the trunk line of the A/C unit and panicked when the heat came on. NO words can tell you how bad it was. We were out of the house for almost 3 months. They ran a clean air machine for 2 weeks,,, snd all clothing, bedding, etc, was hung up inside. Hotels use the small version to get air hotel runs where smokers have stayed. I had to throw away food that was in boxes,, plastic containers, etc. I can not recall the name of the air cleaning machine, but call ServePro, or a company like that and they can tell you.. sorry about you loss. There were 4 houses skunked in our county that year. I had never heard of it before,,but believe me,,I know now.. You need "All Perils" on your home owners policy to cover the total cost of clean up.

  15. #40
    Senior Member be a quilter's Avatar
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    You might try using a small crock pot with baking soda and water. If you have use of the electric that is. It helps to absorb smells.

  16. #41
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by be a quilter
    You might try using a small crock pot with baking soda and water. If you have use of the electric that is. It helps to absorb smells.
    no electric :(

  17. #42
    Super Member Glassquilt's Avatar
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    We had a house fire - lost 20% to fire and all the rest to smoke. They striped everything down to the studs, painted them to control/stop the odor and then rebuilt. Everything else salvageable was sent to professional cleaners.

    If your insurance covers it, let the pros do the cleaning.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #43
    Super Member Glassquilt's Avatar
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    Finally remembered what the crew used to paint everything with. It was Zinsser BIN primer.
    A drawback is - it's a shellac but it works.

    http://www.epinions.com/Paint-Zinsse...ealer/display_~reviews

  19. #44
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    so sorry for your troubles. It might be best to let the pros clean they may be able to save things you can't and also give you advice. Good Luck. Sue

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glassquilt View Post
    We had a house fire - lost 20% to fire and all the rest to smoke. They striped everything down to the studs, painted them to control/stop the odor and then rebuilt. Everything else salvageable was sent to professional cleaners.

    If your insurance covers it, let the pros do the cleaning.
    I hate to dig up a very old thread, and I'm sorry for barging in on a forum like this (I admit, I have no interest in quilting). I was Googling for smoke smell after a fire and found this thread, and then that picture... I'm hoping that Glassquilt sees this and can give an update. Did the smell come back? If so, was it properly addressed or did you just have to live with it?

    We had a major fire last July while we were on vacation in Europe. We came home to a standing structure, but 100% interior loss. Every single builder said it was better to tear it down... but the insurance company decided it was economical to repair. Right now, our house looks like your picture. They've removed all the drywall and everything down to the studs and they've "painted" everything with that product. At first, I was impressed as I couldn't smell the smoke at all! But yesterday I came into the home and as I went down the stairs... there it was. Not strong, but distinct and noticeable. I worry that already (and its only been a month since it was applied) that the sealant isn't doing its job, or otherwise the workers who have cut through it (electricians, plumbers, etc) have released that smell. And is that going to forever be a problem? Some years from now, if I drive a screw into the wall to hang a painting, am I going to be releasing that awful odor?

    Again, I'm sorry for this post. I'm just looking for someone that went through a similar experience to get me an idea of what I can expect.

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