Smoke Stains: When You Need a Professional

Picture of girl covering her nose and mouth from smoke

Smoke stinks in more way than one. The odors aren’t just gross, they can cause dangerous health problems. From a smoky kitchen to a full-on fire, your home can become subject to smoke stains. Not only can smoke weaken the structure of your home, but it can also damage your lungs. Here's what you should look out for in regards to smoke stains in your home.

The Cleaning Process

Smoke damage cleaning is an extensive process. When a fire breaks out, many chemical reactions occur. Each and every material in your home reacts differently when in flames; hence, they produce different types of smoke.

There are two common types of smoke. Dry smoke results from burning wood. It leaves grey, dry, powdery soot behind that is far easier to clean than wet smoke. Wet smoke is black in color and leaves a thick, oily residue that can easily smear during clean-up. You will need professional assistance when dealing with both dry and wet smoke, as both pose potential health risks.

Professional fire restoration begins with removing visible soot. Chemical treatments are then used to clean and remove any non-visible residue. Cleaning walls and ceilings can be difficult, or impossible, for homeowners to do on their own—always hire a professional.

What You Can Do?

After a fire, there are ways you can restore some items yourself! When cleaning affected clothing after a home fire, be mindful of the potential health risks. You absolutely can DIY this; however, use safety goggles, protective gloves, and a breathing mask before you attempt to clean anything that has been damaged by smoke.

Use a vacuum hose to remove soot from clothing and fabric-covered furniture. Make sure you hold the hose slightly away from whatever you are cleaning to avoid smearing or smushing the soot further. Once the soot is removed, the odor needs to be eliminated.

Smoke odor can be masked, but this is only a temporary solution. Surprisingly, a dry cleaner is not the best option here. In this case, you are actually the best person for the job! Studies have shown that dry cleaning is less effective than at-home cleaning when it comes to restoring color and eliminating odors from your clothing. Four to five cycles in your washing machine, with warm water and liquid detergent, should mostly restore clothing if soot is completely removed first.

Smoke damage to your home can be dangerous to your health and the structure of your property. If your home has smoke stains, reach out to AWR Restoration & Cleaning, at (206) 823-2252, for a free consultation or contact us online.

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